Community Fund

The Co-Ownership Community Fund is available to support projects which make a positive social impact in the lives of individuals, local neighbourhoods, or communities.

The fund builds on Co-Ownership’s commitment to responsible business and working for social good. Funding is open to constituted organisations which are interested in working with and receiving funding from Co-Ownership to deliver a project in one of the following areas:

  • Helping regenerate, rebuild, and revitalise neighbourhoods and communities.
  • Supporting elderly or disabled people.
  • Providing advice and educational services to promote either financial capability and inclusion, energy efficiency or biodiversity in the community.

Winners of the Community Fund

Winners of the 2023 Community Fund

Co-Ownership has selected three community groups from across Northern Ireland to receive a share of its 2023 Community Fund. These are West Wellbeing, Charis and Open Arts Luminous Soul Dance group.

West Wellbeing is a mental health charity who offer a safe space for people in need of help and support. Their suicide and self-harm prevention initiative delivers care services to those with complex issues or distress, assisting their service users to achieve positive mental health.

Charis, a club that helps families of children with learning difficulties is run by Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. The club will use the grant to help their team of experienced volunteers continue to provide a range of activities for club members, such as soft play, games, crafts, walks, outings, and inclusive cycling.

Open Arts Luminous Soul Dance group is the only contemporary dance development programme for disabled people in Northern Ireland. The dance group will use its share of the fund to continue helping people with and without disabilities to participate in the arts.

Winners of the 2022 Community Fund

Co-Ownership has selected four community groups from across Northern Ireland to receive a share of its 2022 Community Fund. Co-Ownership has awarded a total of £20,000 across the four groups – Mainstay DRP, Sion Swifts, The Trussell Trust and FareShare NI.

Four colleagues smiling in an office environment, holding a sign and groceries to represent co-ownership.

The first group to benefit from the 2022 community fund is Mainstay, who provide services to over 150 people with learning disabilities in Downpatrick, the funding is for the ‘Our Wee Garden’ project which aims to help and support service users to achieve independence.

The second recipient of the Fund was Sion Swifts ladies F.C, a women’s football club based in Strabane attracting members from Tyrone, Derry-Londonderry and Donegal. The club makes football accessible to girls and ladies from the age of five and welcomes all ethnicities and backgrounds. The Club will use the funding to enhance its winter programme of events to include health and wellness classes.

The third recipient, The Trussell Trust, is a network of more than 40 food banks including the South Belfast Food Bank which provides emergency support to people locked in poverty, whilst also campaigning for change. The funding will help to support Trussell Trust continue to support households across the province and is particularly important this year as the cost-of-living crisis means more people than before are vulnerable to poverty.

The fourth and final recipient of the Co-Ownership funding is FareShare Northern Ireland, the Homeless Connect project, which is part of the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors and made up of independent organisations. It takes good quality surplus food from the food industry and funnels it to charities and community groups.

Winners of the 2021 Community Fund

Winners of the 2021 Community Fund were Street Soccer NI, Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum, Extern NI and Ligoniel Improvement Association.

Winners of Co-Ownership Community Fund 2021

Charity Street Soccer NI aims to bring positive change to people’s lives through football. It works with disadvantaged groups, including the homeless, people with addictions and/or mental health issues, ex-prisoners and asylum seekers. Alongside football it offers support with housing, employment, education, addictions, mental health issues and more.

Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum, aims to support people of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle. It offers a wide range of programmes addressing physical and mental health.

Extern NI, a leading social justice charity , support around 20,000 people each year to change their lives. For over 40 years, it has worked alongside children, young people, and families facing challenges to empower positive change and support family unity.

Ligoniel Improvement Association, works collaboratively to provide services, the improvement of facilities, and the guidance and support of individuals and groups in creating a vibrant and flourishing community. The Association provides an opportunity for people who live or work in different parts of the area to discuss issues of common concern, influence the way in which services are provided and improve their local area.

Winners of the 2020 Community Fund

Under the current circumstances, and with so many worthwhile causes five charities were chosen as recipients of the Co-Ownership Community Fund.

Extern’s Coronavirus Hardship Fund which was set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund will allow Extern to continue to support the most vulnerable in society, giving them access to vital items and reducing the impact of the crisis on the more vulnerable members of the community.

Age NI help thousands of people every year, providing companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most and the funding received will support their ‘Check in and Chat’ service. Before Covid-19 started affecting our daily lives, there was already an epidemic of loneliness amongst older people living in Northern Ireland. The pandemic has only made this a more stark reality for our older generation.

Versus Arthritis works with volunteers, healthcare professionals and researchers to do everything they can to push back against arthritis. With partners they continue to promote the development of breakthrough treatments and campaign relentlessly for arthritis to be a priority.

Bolster Community is a charity and social enterprise that works alongside individuals, families, and communities to improve health and wellbeing. They support ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges from early years right through to later years.

Simon Community NI, Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charity works without prejudice to support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Winners of the 2019 Community Fund

In 2019 the fund was awarded to 3 different organisations.

1.Street Soccer NI were awarded some of the 2019 Community Fund to help with their ‘Homeless Soccer 6 Nations Cup’, an 11-a-side tournament with teams taking part from NI, England, Scotland, Wales and a ‘World Select’ team made up of refugees currently residing in NI. The project provided opportunity to engage with homeless people who take part, train them for the tournament and provide support in relation to housing and employment.

2. Friends of Holy Cross are a well-established group who organise and deliver community events which help to reduce rural isolation through interaction and socialisation and also fundraising events for their local school. The funds required for purchase of essential items to help them become more self-sufficient.

3. Hillhall Regeneration were awarded some of the 2019 Community Fund as part of the Home Safety doorbells project. The project is aimed at enhancing community safety following a spat of burglaries in the area. Work has been done to identify vulnerable residents, mainly elderly / disabled who will benefit from this

Winners of the 2018 Community Fund

Street Soccer NI, a Belfast-based football project that supports some of the most vulnerable groups in Northern Ireland including homeless people, people with drug and alcohol dependency, mental health issues, ex-prisoners, refugees, asylum seekers and the long-term unemployed. The 2018 fund helped the organisation participate in the 2018 Homeless World Cup in Mexico. Read more here.