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Armagh based community group awarded funding from Power NI

Westenders Older People’s Group has purchased additional instruments for their members with the funding award

Power NI has awarded Westenders Older People’s Group £1,000 funding as part of their Brighter Communities initiative.

Running since 2016, Westenders provide a support network for elderly and vulnerable people in Armagh to reduce loneliness and isolation.

Supporting their 155 members, the group run monthly meetings and well as hosting other social activities to allow their members to network and improve their wellbeing.

With the funding from Power NI, Westenders Older People’s Group has purchased additional ukuleles and tuition for their members.

Thankful to have won the funding award, Siobhan Murphy, secretary of the group, says: “These additional instruments and tuition will make such a difference to members. We have 22 people signed up for the ukulele club and it’s fantastic that we are able to purchase more instruments as we’ve had big demand for them.

“The group has been a vital source of support for many of our members, particularly post pandemic. The ukulele club not only allows our members to meet up with each other, but we’re arranging events with other music groups which we think will be really beneficial in giving our members the opportunity to network with other musicians.

“We’re very grateful for the funding from Power NI and cannot wait to see how the group’s skills will develop with the new ukuleles and tuition.”

The Brighter Communities funding was first established by Power NI 2018 and since it has donated over £40,000 to groups and projects across Northern Ireland.

The programme was set up to energise innovative community groups, teams and projects that are working to support their local communities.

Power NI’s Ashleigh O’Neill added: “Power NI is proud to be supporting a group so dedicated to providing support to older and vulnerable people across Armagh. The work that this group is doing is so important for the community in relieving feelings of isolation and loneliness and giving their members space to make friends and socialise with one another.

“Westenders Older People’s Group has come up with some really innovative and bespoke initiatives to get their members involved, and we’re delighted to play a part. Congratulations from the team at Power NI!”

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Power NI's Oliver Howie with Westenders Older People’s Group

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Brighter Communities:  Power NI’s Brighter Communities programme was first introduced back in April 2018 and since then has supported a huge variety of bespoke groups, clubs, charities and community organisations across Northern Ireland.     Each month or at specific key times, community groups and individuals are invited to submit applications on how they would use £1000 to roll out innovative and creative projects to change and improve their local community for the better. Brighter Communities has helped groups ranging from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years and stroke recovery groups.   Since its establishment in 2018, the Brighter Communities initiative has donated £40,000 to community groups across Northern Ireland.  Power NI provides 55% of the domestic market’s electricity needs and 53.8% of the commercial market (Utility Regular Report).  Power NI, a local supplier which celebrated its 90th year in 2021, supports an extensive range of local community, environmental and sporting initiatives including Volunteer Week, The Mary Peters Trust and Age NI. 

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