Tuesday 07 May 2019 09:21:26 PM

Ards First Responsders Win On People’s Projects
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Ards Peninsula group wins £50,000 in The People’s Projects.

The public have voted and a group working in the Ards Peninsula has been announced as one of the winners of The People’s Projects competition in Northern Ireland and they will pick up a prize of £50,000.

Well done to the Hand on Heart Ards Peninsula First Responders for winning a £50,000 pot for recruitment, training and developing their volunteer base.

Ards Peninsula First Responders Scheme is one of three groups who won the public over with their plans to make a life changing difference to their local communities.

Five groups campaigned across Northern Ireland from 1-15 April for a share of £150,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund. Each had their work featured on UTV, Daily Mirror NI and Belfast Live, giving the public a chance to see their fantastic work and then make the tough choice of where the money should go.

The Hand on Heart project by Ards Peninsula First Responders Scheme, has been awarded £50,000. The group works with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to respond to emergency calls in the rural Ards Peninsula area. Responders live and work in the community so can get to casualties quickly, providing life-saving care until the ambulance arrives.

The project is strengthening their volunteer base by recruiting and training ten more responders and buying equipment so each responder can deliver emergency care quickly.

Jamie Nicolls, assistant co-ordinator of Ards Peninsula First Responders, said: “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for us and to our volunteers who were fantastic at rallying support for our project. We’re so grateful to be one of the winners and with this funding we can now increase our responder base and hopefully save more lives.”   

Adam’s Camp NI and Newry Helping the Homeless also won £50,000. The two runners up — Equine Enrichment and Drake Music Project NI — are set to receive £5,000 for smaller projects.

The People’s Projects is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund, ITV and The National Lottery. Since 2005 it has given the public a unique say in how National Lottery money should be put to good use in their local area.

Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “The People’s Projects highlights the fantastic things communities are doing across Northern Ireland to enable people to thrive.

“All five groups did a brilliant job at showcasing their projects, building community spirit and campaigning for votes.

“Congratulations to everyone and we’re looking forward to seeing this year’s winners use National Lottery funding to strengthen their communities and support people to lead happier and healthier lives.”

The People’s Projects has awarded around £45 million to over 1,000 good causes across the UK since it started in 2005.