The Ann McGeeney Fund announced funding of over £6000 as it took to the Mournes recently on its annual walk in Ann’s memory.
Groups receiving a welcome boost from the latest round of grants from the Fund include the South Armagh Rural Women’s Network, Migrant Centre NI, Jigsaw Community Counselling Centre, Parrisio in El Salavdor and the Rural Community Network.
Ann McGeeney who passed away in 2014 was a lifelong community worker and peace activist from South Armagh who began her working life in Crossmaglen as manager of the Regeneration of South Armagh community organisation.
In her memory, a Trust Fund was set up through the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland by Ann’s family and friends with the intention of continuing her work with marginalized people and disadvantaged communities.
This round of funding will help a number of groups carry out a diverse range of work through various projects including; work with mothers experiencing post natal depression, projects focused on peace-building, projects providing summer diversionary activities for young people, work supporting migrants as well as a range of community wide health and well-being sessions.
Jimmy Murray from the Fund speaking about the grants and the walk in wife Ann’s memory said: “Ann dedicated her life to helping people from all walks of life who were experiencing all sorts of disadvantage. She was also passionate about peace-building and would be delighted with the breadth of work we are able to help fund in her memory.”
Jimmy continued: “Each year around the date of Ann’s birthday, we hold a walk to Doan Mountain in the middle of the Mournes. This is the place where friends, family and colleagues gathered to scatter Ann’s ashes following her untimely death in September 2014, a place she loved and spent so much of her time.
“It is a sad occasion but also wonderful to be able to remember Ann in this way with the announcement of these grants around the time of her birthday,” said Jimmy.
Jimmy also thanked the Old School House restaurant in Rostervor who provided food for the weary walkers and the Old Killowen Inn Rostrevor who hosted the after walk gathering.
The full list of groups receiving funding include; South Armagh Rural Women’s Network, Migrant centre NI, Jigsaw Community Counselling Centre, Rural Community Network, Paraiso, Manor Street/ Cliftonville Community Group, Life Works NI and Drum Development Association.
Andrew McCracken Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland said: “We are proud to manage the Ann McGeeney Trust Fund on behalf of Ann’s family and friends. The Fund is helping support a really diverse range of work in communities and shows the positive difference that even small grants can make to people. The Community Foundation was able to match the initial contribution Ann’s family made to the fund, with £10,000 from the Pears Foundation.
“We are delighted to help that the Fund supports the causes that Ann was passionate about and appreciate the opportunity to assist with the management of her Fund,” said Andrew.
The Ann McGeeney Fund also holds a collection at each annual walk which it donates to another charity. Previous years have seen funds collected at the walk benefitting the work of Newry Hospice and McMillan Cancer. This year the walk raised £1,000 for Mary’s Meals, a charity which aims to provide meals for some of the world’s poorest children.
To find out more about the Ann McGeeney Fund visit; www.communityfoundationni.org/funds