The cold weather has certainly arrived and as we dig out our winter woollies and get used to the darker nights, we are also planning ahead for 2020 and encourage you to let us know what you would like to help make happen in your Eden Project Communities network and with The Big Lunch in 2020.

If you would like to organise something for the network in your area to bring people together before the new year or to plan for 2020, just touch base with Niamh

At the moment, we are planning our activity for network and promotion of The Big Lunch in 2020. We want to include your point of view in our plans and will host a few informal conversations. If you would like to take part, it would last about two hours and take place in a few different regional areas during December. Also, if there is something happening between now and June 2020 in your area that we should run a workshop or host a stand at, whether it’s a social event or a conference, please let us know.


Natali Márquez Foundation's Launch - 11 December, 1pm to 2pm

Fellow Network member Darren Ferguson of Beyond Skin invites you all to join him at the launch of the Natali Márquez Foundation. The Foundation will train, support, enable and empower young girls in Northern Ireland and Colombia to use their creative skills in peace. The organisations Beyond Skin, Escuelas de Paz (Colombia) and Brehon Advisory are the organisations assisting to manage the foundation. Register here.

So What? - A night of comedy and connection - 10 January 8pm

This event is a collaboration from inspiring people in our network who are working in innovative projects for positive change in their area, anywhere across Northern Ireland and beyond.

We encourage a diverse range of attendees from all backgrounds, with projects from idea stage to fully established organisations. The purpose is to connect, share, test new ideas and to motivate each other. To relax and enjoy the company of inspiring ‘can-do’ people.

We’ll follow with some speed networking and then the rest of the evening to enjoy refreshments. You can register to join us for this event, here


Latest funding

For regular funding updates please visit our peer-to-peer online group on FacebookWe have posted new information this week.

The National Lottery’s 25th birthday pot of funding

The National Lottery Community Fund will be making a special £7.5 million pot of funding available to mark The National Lottery’s 25th birthday. Up to £2 million will be made available this year in small grants of up to £1,000. Applications are now open


2020 Residential 

There is sure to be a lot of interest in our 2020 Eden Project Communities Residential, since the interest grows every year. Please keep the first weekend of September 2020 free if you want to join this and express your interest here

Exchange visits and social gatherings for our network in Northern Ireland

Please register your interest in an exchange visit to a fellow network member’s project, and your interest in joining a team to help design a network led social. Email if there is a specific project or type of project you are interested in visiting.

Thank you!

Thanks to network members Mary Mc Coy, Dromore and Racheal Ludlow Williams and Sustrans on the very enjoyable and useful network gathering they jointly organised with Niamh. The weather didn’t dampen our spirits and everyone really appreciated the learning opportunity. If you attended, do tag us in anything you decide to organise following your training, it would be great to see it put into action.

Have your say!

National Lottery Community Fund

National Lottery Community Fund NI will distribute money under direction from the Department of Finance to increase capacity, resilience and sustainability in the Northern Ireland Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. These funds are not derived from National Lottery activity.

To ensure this funding has maximum impact in communities across Northern Ireland, they are now consulting with the sector, with a view to opening the fund in early 2020 and are asking you to review this framework and offer an opportunity to say what you think. Find out more!