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3.3m Lottery windfall for 140 groups 07.01.13

SOME 3.3 million in one-off grants was shared among voluntary organisations including three in Donegal last year under the Department of Health's National Lottery Discretionary Fund, latest figures show.
The monies were given to 140 organisations providing a range of health-related benefits in their local communities. While the same amount was allocated under the scheme last year, the overall grants are down about 700,000 euro on three years ago.
The three beneficiaries in Donegal were Malin Head Community Centre (3,000); Downstrands Family Resource Centre (11,040) and Aislainn Rann na Feirste (8,382).
The biggest beneficiary nationally in 2012 was mental health support group, Shine, which received 185,000 euro. The next highest award was 150,000 euro which was granted to three organisations, the Irish Kidney Association; The West of Ireland Alzheimer Foundation in Ballindine, Co Mayo and Build4Life Cystic Fibrosis in Castleisland, Co Kerry. There were five allocations worth 100,000 euro each to organisations including the Brothers of Charity in Co Clare; The Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and the Mater Foundation. Several allocations were made in the 30,000 euro - 70,000 euro bracket with many smaller grants ranging from 350 euro to 20,000 euro.
According to the department, applications "come primarily from community groups and voluntary organisations with an involvement in the provision of health services to specific client groups". Groups providing mini-buses for patients, holidays for the elderly and equipment for hospitals are also covered.
A total of 3,286,000 euro was disbursed in 2011 and 2012 to 126 groups and 140 groups respectively. The scheme has been reduced however from 2009 and 2010 levels, when almost 4m euro and 3.8m euro was allocated to 118 and 183 groups respectively.
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