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July 1, 2004

Northern Ireland’s Deaf Children Receive Big Lottery Fund Support

From: Big Lottery Fund (Press Release), UK - Jul 1, 2004

Location: Northern Ireland
Focus: Other
Release Date: Monday, June 28, 2004

Local deaf children and their families received news today of a £151,000 funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors. The funding is part of a £600,000 funding package to 5 Northern Ireland community and voluntary organisations.

The grant of £151,131 goes to the Northern Ireland branch of the National Deaf Children's Society. Deaf children from all over Northern Ireland will benefit from the funding, which will pay for information and advocacy services, peer education programmes and social initiatives.

The Big Lottery Fund's two-year grant will support the salaries of family officers, a programme development officer, travel and training for staff and volunteers and producing information.

Pauline Walker, NI Director of the National Deaf Children's Society, said that the funding would make a huge difference to local deaf children and their families. 'We are the only national charity specifically working with deaf children and their families. Ninety percent of deaf children grow up in hearing families with little or no experience of deafness, and we offer an essential resource not only for babies, children and young adults, but also to the families who are affected by a child's deafness. We are delighted to receive this funding – it is a real boost for us and will help us to continue to provide an even better service to those who really need it.'

Walter Rader, Northern Ireland Director of the Big Lottery Fund said: "The Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland is proud to be able to support the National Deaf Children's Society in their vital work. The funding will enable local deaf children to access education and the technical aids and equipment best suited to their needs and enjoy everyday activities on equal footing with hearing peers. Families of deaf children will also receive peer support to enable them to come to terms with their child's deafness and learn to communicate effectively with them.'

He went on to say, 'through grants such as this one, the Big Lottery Fund can ensure that lottery funding makes real improvements to the lives of disadvantaged people and supports the well-being of communities across Northern Ireland.'

Four other local groups also share in the £600,000 of lottery funding.

Pomeroy Resource Group, offering community support and services to the local community, received £165,873 for the renovation and refurbishment of the group's premises, providing disabled access and improved facilities.

£100,000 went to Mediation Northern Ireland to go towards the purchase of a building from which to deliver the organisation's independent mediation and conflict resolution support service.

Community Evaluation Northern Ireland was awarded £32,008 to raise awareness of evaluation, promote good practice and develop the evaluation capacity of voluntary and community groups, particularly those operating in disadvantaged areas. Funding will pay for the salary of an Information and Advice Worker, training and production of information.

Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association was awarded £139,070 to support a range of educational workshops, develop a cross-community social activity programme for both children and young adults, provide family counselling and support services and deliver a range of language programmes.

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NOTES TO EDITORS Big Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board (which made grants under the name of the Community Fund). The Big Lottery Fund, launched on 1st June 2004, is distributing half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK.

The Big Lottery Fund is building on the experience and best practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas where they overlap and to ensure Lottery funding provides the best possible value for money. To date, the two merged Fund's have committed more than £5 billion to initiatives with national, regional and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.

© 2004 Big Lottery Fund