Northern Ireland news

More than £500,000 funding awarded to NI organisations from Late Late Toy Show appeal

Around €6.6 million was raised by viewers of the Late Late Toy Show. Picture by RTÉ

MORE than £500,000 of funding is to be awarded to organisations in Northern Ireland from the Late Late Toy Show appeal.

Groups in Belfast, Omagh and Derry are among the 55 projects across the island of Ireland to benefit from the €6.6 million raised by viewers of the RTÉ show.

Half of the money was shared out between three key charities: Barnardos Ireland, Children's Health Foundation Ireland and Children's Books Ireland.

The rest was made available for children's charities in an open call for grants, which was managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland and Community Foundation Northern Ireland.

The grant total for organisations in the Republic is €2.64 million, with a further £537,000 being distributed in the north.

Among the groups to benefit is Kinship Care Northern Ireland, with the money to be used to provide clothing, footwear, school uniforms, and bedding for children in care.

Mencap NI has also been awarded funding to improve the wellbeing of young people with a learning disability by providing them with opportunities to improve their physical and mental health.

It will be used towards the FIVE Project, which focuses on friendship, independence, vitality and engagement. It will allow the charity to provide six 15-week programmes, combining individual mentoring with group activities. The project will work with small groups of young people, aged 13-18, with a learning disability and special educational needs in the greater Belfast area.

Mikhaila Woods from Mencap NI said: "We are extremely grateful to the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal for the funding of the FIVE project in the Belfast area.

"This programme will provide a pathway to improve young people's physical and mental health through mentoring and groups activities."

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