North West Migrants Forum

Migrants Forum welcomes funding boost from Bank of Ireland

Main photo caption: From left – North West Migrants Forum Community Liaison Officer Aynaz Zarif, Forum Director Lilian Seenoi Barr, Culmore Road Branch Manager Eighrean Horner and Forum Policy and Strategic Planning Advisor Dominic Nartey at the announcement of a welcome funding boost of £13,000 for the charity.

THE Director of the North West Migrants Forum Director says funding of £13,000 from Bank of Ireland will make a huge impact on the lives of minoritised communities.

The money, secured through Bank of Ireland’s ‘Begin Together Fund’, will be used to promote the financial and mental wellbeing of those who are rarely centred when it comes to service provision.

Speaking after learning of the financial boost, Migrants Forum Director Lilian Seenoi Barr said she was “absolutely thrilled” with the support for her organisation’s ‘Working Together for Better Health, Better Care and Stronger Communities’ project.

“This grant not only underlines our strong working relationship with the bank but propels our mutual commitment to creating a more inclusive and supportive community,” said Mrs Barr.

“Our project’s focus on addressing mental health needs and enhancing financial literacy is a significant step towards promoting awareness of rights and services available for minoritised individuals in the north west region.

“For these communities, accessing mainstream support often comes with unique challenges, particularly when they have no recourse to public funds. With this grant, the North West Migrants Forum is determined to empower individuals by providing them with the knowledge and support to access to the services they may need.

“We have high hopes that this project will bring about a meaningful and positive impact in the lives of minority ethnic individuals, fostering deeper understanding and stronger community support.”

The North West Migrants Forum is one of four local groups to benefit under the Begin Together Fund, a strand of the Bank of Ireland’s wider Begin Together programme which was established to support community groups, local enterprise and the arts across the island of Ireland.

Other chosen organisations include Advice NI, Cara Friend and Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative.

In what is year four of the Begin Together Fund, £433,000 is being allocated to groups across the island of Ireland. This will bring the total value of grants issued via the fund to over £3.5m since 2020.

George Higginson is Bank of Ireland’s Northern Ireland and UK Strategic Partnerships Managing Director.

He said, “Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Fund has been providing financial support to help a broad range of community groups, charities and organisations across the island of Ireland meet the needs of some of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in our society.

“We are immensely proud of the role these organisations play in making a positive difference in the communities we serve.

“Supporting financial and mental wellbeing is an important focus for the Begin Together Fund this year and we are delighted that the four organisations that have been awarded funding have the capacity and capability to make a real difference to local communities in these areas.”

Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland, Denise Charlton, added, “The Bank of Ireland Community Fund is transforming lives, often when people are experiencing greatest need.

“We believe in equality for all in thriving communities.  It is an ambitious goal but one, which through initiatives like the Community Fund, is achievable.

“The impact we have seen since the fund was first established has been extraordinary.”