Ballymena charity sets aside £500,000 for local community projects

Chair of The Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley MP with board members Mark Nodder OBE, Karen Reynolds, Jacqueline Williamson MBE, Anne Donaghy, Pat McCallion and James Perry MBE.

A Ballymena based charity is aiming to inject £500,000 into the local communitiy.

HE Gallaher Trust, a charity dedicated to job creation and skills development and supporting disadvantaged adults, is searching for innovative projects that need assistance. Established in 2018, the charity was born out of the legacy of tobacco company JTI, formerly known as Gallaher Limited, after £5 million was donated to the Ballymena community following the closure of the factory in 2017 in recognition of its 75-year presence in the town. Over the past three years, the charity has already committed £1.1 million to date and has supported projects that are striving to create over 240 jobs, develop skills for over 700 adults and provide support for 975 disadvantaged adults by 2023.

To help inform the local community about the charity’s work, the Gallaher Trust is hosting a webinar on Thursday 22 April, with keynote speaker Sue Gray, from the Department of Finance, and inviting businesses, public servants, councils and stakeholders to register. Chairman of the Gallaher Trust, Ian Paisley, MP commented: “It goes without saying that 2020 was a particularly challenging year and we are delighted to be making great inroads and a positive impact in the wider Ballymena community with our numerous projects through our delivery partners. “It could be said that the charity is still in its infancy, but since the Gallaher Trust’s inception, we have already committed £1.1 million to Ballymena based projects which will go on to create hundreds of jobs and develop skills as well as support disadvantaged adults in the next three years.

In the community and social sphere, the Gallaher Trust is also hoping to help, through delivery partners, victims of domestic violence, older people as well as those suffering from mental illness.

Ian Paisley MP

“We’re committed to helping the local Ballymena community and The Gallaher Trust wants to ensure that everyone is given the assistance they need.

"We are delighted with what we’ve achieved to date from establishing a recycling business, founding the Northern Ireland Hospitality School of Excellence with key stakeholders and having a positive and social impact on older people and those victims of domestic violence.