McDonald’s, in partnership with ‘Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful,’ is encouraging communities to apply for this year’s ‘Live Here Love Here’ Small Grants Scheme, which has extended application criteria to include funding support for communities during Covid-19.
Communities across Northern Ireland can benefit from up to £5,000 to support actions that help care for those in need as a result of Covid-19, with a focus on practical environmental action as well as supporting those who are trying to make steps to improve their local areas.
Applications are now open, closing on May 18. To apply visit www.liveherelovehere.org
Over £200k of funding is available thanks to McDonald’s, 10 local councils and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive with grants from £500 to £5,000 open to volunteer and community groups, all school and third level education organisations, youth groups and sports clubs undertaking community based environmental projects.
Last year, 191 groups were allocated funding with an average grant of £1,200. Successful applicants will aim to improve the health and well-being of communities whilst helping to improve or maintain public spaces.
Helen McFarlane, McDonald’s Sustainability Consultant, said: “McDonald’s is delighted to once again be a key partner of the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme, offering both financial and hands on support for local community initiatives that make a real impact.
“The great outdoors have never been a more crucial asset for communities, and we look forward to supporting projects in community spaces across Northern Ireland in 2020.
Over the past two years McDonald’s has supported over 12 fantastic community projects, including Focus on Family’s ‘The Cornfield Project’ in Coleraine which saw a run-down site turned into a beautiful environmental nature zone.”
Helen added: “This year we are really proud to support groups and individuals that have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We hope in the future these community projects will be a source of hope and comfort to local communities.”
The Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme is also supported by 10 local councils and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive who together with McDonald’s will allow communities throughout Northern Ireland to avail of funding of up to £5,000.
The funding will support those communities who have, during these unprecedented times, acted to help those most in need and taken environmental action and steps to ensure that their local area has not suffered.
Helen commented on the timely nature of this year’s launch against the challenging backdrop of Covid-19:
“Although McDonald’s restaurants are currently closed, our franchisee community is doing everything it can to support our local communities and lend a helping hand where possible. We would urge any community or individual who, in the future, would like to improve their local area, no matter how big or small, to apply.”
Brendan Patterson, Project Manager for Focus on Family, added: “The Live Here Love Here grant which we received through funding from McDonald’s has been a real boost to The Cornfield Project.
“Our local community are immensely proud of what we have achieved at the site, transforming it from a run-down, unloved area to a beautiful and engaging nature zone.
“However, littering remains a big problem and the funding has enabled us to install new bins with basketball nets to encourage litter to be disposed of, ballot-butt bins for cigarette butts and friendly site signage.
“I would urge anyone who, especially during these difficult times, has worked to help and benefit their local community to apply for the scheme before it closes on 18th May.
“We are so grateful for the funding we received and thank McDonald’s and the Live Here Love Here Small Grants scheme for their help in improving our project and our local environment.”