Housing Executive funding helps Ballymena create a ‘Little bit of Paradise’

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A woman poses with a young boy
Dunvale residents receiving their window boxes as part of the Little Bit of Paradise Project, funded through the Housing Executive’s Covid-19 Response Fund and delivered by Dunclug youth Forum - Geraldine Ringland and her grandson

A local community group in Ballymena have been creating their own ‘Little bit of Paradise’ by delivering summer window boxes for tenants across the Dunclug estate in Ballymena during Covid-19, thanks to support from the Housing Executive.

Dunclug Youth Forum received £750 funding to deliver their project which is almost complete.  It’s one of 200 groups across local communities who have benefitted from the Housing Executive’s £290,000 Covid-19 Response Fund.

Community champions have been delivering food, groceries and medicines, telephoning to check on neighbours and bringing some happiness to the streets with gardening, exercising and karaoke.

Kevin McCrudden, Chair of Dunclug Youth Forum, said:

“This has been important to residents of all ages in the Dunclug estate, and a great opportunity for everyone to do something they enjoy, or learn a new skill.

“Thanks to the Housing Executive our main street in the estate looks great with the window boxes planted up, they’re coming along nicely.

“We have a few more boxes to deliver once the plants are in stock again, but it’s been a great success.”

The Covid-19 Community Fund from the Housing Executive was made available by the organisation to help constituted groups and organisations respond to local residents’ needs.

Grants up to £1,500 have been distributed to dozens of community groups to assist local people, some of whom are elderly, vulnerable or shielding for health reasons.

Denise Conlon, Head of Communities at the Housing Executive, said:

“Community groups across Northern Ireland have made incredible efforts to ensure they are assisting the most vulnerable throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period.

“As an organisation, we are so proud to have been able to provide support to their amazing activities through our Covid-19 Response Fund, and we commend them for their work.”

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