This week's content:

1. CCF News and Events
2. Community News
3. Fundraising News
1. CCF News and Events 
During this difficult period for the whole community CCF continues to support our local community groups and individuals to the best of our ability at a time when face to face contact is not advised. Although our regular group meetings, training courses and various group support services are not taking place the staff are still working behind the scenes to ensure we continue to offer as much support and assistance as possible where it is needed and share any relevant and important information as it becomes available.

If you keep checking our facebook page we will share any updates from our service providers and groups that would normally offer face to face support services or training from our premises including:

Action on Hearing Loss
Carers NI
Dementia NI
Epilepsy Carrickfergus Support Group
ABC Therapies
Northern Regional College
Compass Counselling

Stay safe everyone

2. Community News
This page provides the latest information about COVID-19 and DfC Services. It will be updated regularly with the latest information, so you should check this page for advice on Benefits and other public services.

For general heath advice relating to COVID-19, please visit the Public Health Agency's website(external link opens in a new window / tab).

Department for Communities


Managing the Impact of Coronavirus

We've created a new webpage to help support you at this challenging time and to assist with managing the impact of coronavirus. 

The new page has links to Human Resources Guidance, the latest coronavirus funding, and general Public Health Authority advice. It'll be updated regularly, so keep checking in with us. We'll be sure to keep you posted.
Can I freeze it? Yes you can!

As customers look for more ways to keep their kitchens well-stocked, our Director of Food Technology, Paul Willgoss, and resident chef, Steve Fitzgerald have put together some top tips to help you make the most of your fridge and freezer space.

There are lots of foods that you can put straight in the freezer instead of the fridge. This includes meat and poultry, ready prepared meals, fresh pasta, bread - and did you know you can even freeze butter and cheese? Here’s some examples:

Milk: All milk can be stored in the freezer and defrosted before use. Just make sure it’s still sealed. It should be defrosted fully in the fridge before using.

Cheese: Some hard cheeses freeze very well, firmer types like cheddar, gouda and Swiss cope well with the freezing process and maintaining their structure. You can freeze in blocks or grate it and freeze in handy portion sizes.

Bread: Baked goods like bread, rolls, pittas, bagels and crumpets can all be easily frozen. Loaves of bread can be bought ready-sliced or whole to be sliced yourself before freezing. Most toasters have a defrost function so you can toast baked goods from frozen.

Pasta: Fresh pasta is a great option to keep in the freezer. Some pastas won’t have to be defrosted before use either, they’ll defrost once put in boiling water.

Fruit and vegetables: Our frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer aisle are not the only option; some fresh fruits like bananas and berries when frozen make great ingredients for smoothies and for baking.

Batch cooking: Consider cooking a larger portion at mealtimes to freeze for a later date. Make sure you freeze the leftovers as soon as possible, once they’ve fully cooled and mark clearly the date it was cooked and frozen on the container for later reference. And only defrost or re-heat the meal once.

Around three quarters of our ready prepared meals and over half our desserts are suitable for freezing and have the logo on pack. Simply freeze on the day of purchase and follow the guidance on packaging for the length of time it can stay frozen. Look out for the ‘suitable for freezing’ logo on product which also includes guidance for how long you can freeze each item for.
Defrosting food safely:
Thinking about the best way to prep your food for freezing is important. But it’s even more important to defrost your food properly.

The Food Standards Agency website has everything you need to know about freezing and defrosting food safely, including:
• Make sure any warm dishes are cooled before putting them in your freezer.

• Place food in an air-tight container or wrap it well in freezer bags or freezer wrap.

• If the food has been defrosted it must be cooked before being eaten to be safe.

• Once defrosted, food should be consumed immediately.
3. Fundraising News


On Monday 16 March 2020 (subject to funding), Council will open the following schemes for the 2020-2021 financial year:



Good Relations Grants Scheme


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council invites applications for the Good Relations Grants Scheme.  The purpose of this grants scheme is to consider support for any constituted community or voluntary group undergoing activities within its statutory and civic remit where there is a benefit to Good Relations in the Mid and East Antrim area.  The scheme will be 100% funded up to a maximum of £2,500, which can be secured through one large application or through a series of smaller applications. 


Projects which are funded by the scheme must link to the project outcome of ‘Increased sense of community belonging (widens contribution beyond community background)’This scheme is aimed at projects taking place between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.  The scheme will operate on a rolling basis (subject to available budget).


This scheme has received financial support from the Executive Office administered through Mid & East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Unit.



Community Festivals Fund


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council invites applications for the Community Festivals Fund for festivals taking place between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.  Council would particularly welcome applications for festivals which promote equality, target poverty and social exclusion and encourage cultural expression.


The Community Festivals Fund is a competitive scheme and festival organisers will be required to demonstrate how their festival meets the assessment criteria.  There is no guarantee that successful applicants will receive the amount applied for.


Levels of Financial Support


•        Single Day Festivals  -  100% funding up to £1,500

Festivals must last more than 3 hours and must consist of more than one element.  For example BBQ, children’s entertainment, music etc.


•        Multi-day Festivals  -  100% funding up to £2,000

Festival activities must take place over two or more consecutive days and have a common theme.  Each day must contain activities lasting more than 3 hours per day.


The closing date for applications for the Community Festivals Fund is 12pm Friday 8 May 2020.



Everybody Active 2020 Small Grants Scheme


Mid and East Antrim Borough Council invites applications for the Everybody Active 2020 Small Grants Scheme for projects taking place between 1 April 2020 and 28 February 2021 .   The programme aims to prioritise investment in sports clubs, community groups, PTAs and governing bodies of sport, especially those based in areas of greatest need that will deliver increased sports participation.


Projects must demonstrate participation from priority groups including:

•        Women and girls

•        People with a disability;

•        Those living in areas of greatest social need (specifically people living within the top 25% of wards designated by NI Multiple Deprivation Measure Index 2010)

•        Projects that promote positive mental health and wellbeing and use sport and physical activity as a mechanism.


Council will consider up to 100% funding of total eligible costs up to a maximum of £2,500.  Projects must be completed by 28 February 2021.


This scheme has received financial support from SportNI and the Department for CommunitiesThe scheme will operate on a rolling basis (subject to available budget).



How to Apply


Applications for all schemes can be made online at Applications received after the closing dates will not be accepted.


N.B. All of the above schemes are subject to Council receiving funding from the relevant awarding body.  Funding levels and closing dates may be subject to change depending on the availability of budget.


Projects carried out before the outcome of the application is known, or before any Letter of Offer is issued will be done so at risk of not being funded.


Further information on the grant process is available by contacting the Grants Office at: Tel: 028 2563 3148 or 028 9335 8240 or by emailing  


Please note that applying for a grant is a competitive process and awards are subject to the availability of funds. Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, as part of its duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, is committed to equal opportunities and good relations and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. All awards will be based strictly on the merit principle. 


New and Updated Funding Initiatives 🆕

Paul Hamlyn Foundation: Youth Fund
The Youth Fund supports organisations whose main purpose is helping young people (aged 14-25) in the most precarious positions, where making the transition to adult independence is most challenging. They provide 2 year grants of £30,000 to £60,000 for core operating costs to help grow an organisation’s impact.
Find out more on the website

Royal British Legion Grants
Grants for members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families who are suffering financially. They are also there for those who need urgent assistance to get through a temporary crisis, such as homelessness.
Find out more on the website

Key Dates for your Fundraising Diary 📅

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council: Arts and Heritage Grants
Applications are  invited from individuals and suitably constituted community/voluntary sector organisations living /working within the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area to apply for financial assistance for Arts and Heritage programmes.  Grants are available under both rolling and set deadline programmes, ranging from £250 up to £1000.

Submission Deadline: 12 noon, Tuesday 31 Mar 2020

Find out more on the website

Bank of Ireland: Begin Together Fund
Administrated by the Community Foundation for Ireland, the Begin Together fund will support new and existing project-based activities with grants of up to €5,000 (or the sterling equivalent) for local, not for profit groups with an income under £500,000 working to improve the physical and/or mental and/ or financial wellbeing of the communities they serve across all counties on the island of Ireland.
Closing Date (4pm) 31 Mar 2020

Find out more on the website

The Magdalen Hospital Trust
Offers grants to promote the welfare of young people (of both genders), under the age of 25 years, who suffer from various effects of social deprivation, abuse, mental and physical handicap, inadequate housing, lack of education or training, and the problems derived from unemployment and broken families.  Grants are normally within the range £500-£2,000 and are usually one-off and project-based.  

Application opening date 01 Apr 2020

Find out more on the website

For a full list of upcoming dates see GrantTracker


For a full list of upcoming dates see GrantTracker



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