Northern Ireland charities urged to apply for grants

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Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation

By VIEWdigital deputy editor Kathryn Johnston

The head of a UK foundation with a budget of £70 million has urged charities in Northern Ireland to apply to it for grants.

“We gave away our £1billionth pound this year – and to cap it all, that came in our 60th anniversary year,” said Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation who was talking to VIEWdigital in the Ulster Museum at the recent launch of Dippy on Tour:  A Natural History Adventure exhibition which opened in Belfast.

Dippy on Tour exhibition at the Ulster Museum, Belfast ©Press Eye/Darren Kidd

Ms Charles said: “It went to Ourside Youth Association in Evesham. We feel it is important to support people engaged in the local community and the vital services they provide, especially given the current tough financial situation.

“Over the last five years we have funded projects in Northern Ireland alone to the tune of over £7.5 million.”

Projects supported by The Garfield Weston Foundation include Good Morning Down, Greysteel Community Enterprises, NI Opera, The Mac and Northern Ireland Hospice.

The number of applications coming from Northern Ireland has fallen slightly, so in this anniversary year, Philippa wants to encourage registered charities and charitable incorporated organisations here to apply for grants from Garfield Weston.

 ‘It’s all about making a difference.  We have a budget of £70 million across the UK and we are keen to encourage groups in Northern Ireland to apply.

“We are particularly keen to see groups carrying out practical projects to come to us.  Applying is a simple one-step process, fully explained on our website, and all you need to do is to tell us about yourself and your work – no guarantees, but you have to be in it to win it.”

Ms Charles added: “We are proud to have supported Dippy on Tour, it’s great to encourage children and families into a resource like the Ulster Museum.

‘It is vitally important that we remember and understand our past, whether that is the story of the dinosaur, or Northern Ireland’s recent past, as the museum does in their regular Troubles exhibitions.’

• Apply to the Garfield Weston Foundation at http://garfieldweston.org

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