A registered charity, The Gallaher Trust was established in September 2017, and works alongside delivery partners that create jobs, develop skills and assist disadvantaged adults living in the Ballymena community, via a £5 million legacy donated to the town by Japan Tobacco International (JTI).
The Trust currently supports and has supported 17 projects across 12 delivery partners and is aiming to spend a further £340,000 in 2023 supporting and collaborating with new eligible organisations.
“We are delighted with the success of our delivery partners thus far and have no doubt that they will continue to deliver for the wider Ballymena community,” said Ian Paisley MP, Chairman of The Gallaher Trust.
“We have already committed £1.9 million to projects that will go a long way to helping create jobs, develop skills and assist disadvantaged adults and applications for the next round of delivery partners are currently open.
“We’re aiming to support charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations that are committed to boosting our community and the lives of those living within it and we are urging those that meet our eligibility criteria, to apply for funding today.
“Given the staggering cost of living that we’re all experiencing at present, it’s vitally important that we do all we can to provide jobs, improve people’s skillset and help those less fortunate going forward – which we are confident the work of our delivery partners will achieve.
“It’s no secret that rural areas can sometimes get left behind in favour of larger towns and cities, but through the work of the Trust and our delivery partners, we want to give our young people a promising future and put Ballymena on the map as a place with endless opportunities.”
Elsewhere, Graham Whitehurst MBE, Chair of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Manufacturing Task Force added: “The Gallaher Trust and its delivery partners are undoubtedly carrying out essential work in the wider Ballymena community.
“Thanks to funding from the Trust, we were able to launch Ballymena’s first Manufacturing Fundamentals Academy last year alongside Northern Regional College, to give young people the opportunity to learn the skills necessary for a successful career in the manufacturing industry.
“The Academy will also go a long way to boosting the local manufacturing industry by preventing a ‘brain drain’ and by ensuring that companies have a pool of knowledgeable, skilled and talented young people to choose from.
“I would like to sincerely thank The Gallaher Trust for their support throughout the past year – without their support, it’s unlikely that the Manufacturing Excellence Academy would’ve got off the ground.
“If you have an idea for a project that will make a real difference to the lives of those living in the Ballymena community, get in touch with The Gallaher Trust today.”
If you’re a charity, a social enterprise or not-for-profit organisation based, or willing to be based, in the Ballymena area, you could be eligible to become a delivery partner with the Trust. Visit the website: https://thegallahertrust.org/contact-us/ for more information or to download an application form.
Pictured at The Gallaher Trust’s Delivery Partner Conference, which was held in the Galgorm Golf Resort and Spa, are from left, Eddie McKeever, Northern Ireland Hospitality School, Karen Reynolds, a Trustee of The Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley MP, Chairman of The Gallaher Trust, Melanie Christie Boyle MBE, Ballymena Business Centre and Graham Whitehurst MBE, Manufacturing Task Force.