The Gallaher Trust commits over £1 million to Ballymena community

Ballymena based charity, The Gallaher Trust, has committed £1.1 million to the local community, which will go towards supporting projects focused on creating jobs, developing skills and assisting those from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2023.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 6:00 am

Ballymena based charity, The Gallaher Trust, has committed £1.1 million to the local community, which will go towards supporting projects focused on creating jobs, developing skills and assisting those from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2023.

Founded in 2018, the charity is aiming to inject a further £500,000 into the Ballymena community by the end of this year, which according to The Gallaher Trust’s Chairman, Ian Paisley MP, will serve to provide “essential assistance and necessary support” to local projects and organisations.

As the Province looks to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic the support offered by The Gallaher Trust could prove vital to many projects and organisations.

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The current Board of The Gallaher Trust (LtoR) Mark Nodder OBE, Karen Reynolds, Jacqueline Williamson MBE, Ian Paisley MP, Anne Donaghy OBE, Pat McCallion and James Perry MBE

“We are fully committed to the improvement of the Ballymena community by supporting delivery partners and projects that work to create jobs, develop skills and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds,” explained Mr Paisley.

“The Gallaher Trust’s desire to support the local community has seen us commit £1.1 million to date, which will go towards supporting 10 projects across nine delivery partners by 2023. This will serve to create over 240 jobs, develop skills for over 700 adults and will provide support for 975 disadvantaged adults.

“A wide range of delivery partners and projects have already benefitted from The Gallaher Trust’s assistance and we have a further £500,000 earmarked for spending by the end of 2021.

“We’re appealing for all non-profit organisations, social enterprises and charities based in the Ballymena area, who share the Trust’s vision and values, to get in touch with us to see how we can help.”

James Perry MBE congratulates Deborah Fitzsimmons on her appointment as Enterprise Manager in the Ballymena Business Centre

Recently, The Gallaher Trust, launched a Hospitality School of Excellence in collaboration with local hoteliers and the Northern Regional College, earlier this year. Graduates will be offered employment upon completion of the school’s training programme at one of Northern Ireland’s top hotels; the Adair Arms, Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort or the Tullyglass House Hotel.

Claiming that the assistance received from the Trust was “invaluable,” to the recently opened hospitality sector, Ashely Douglas, Northern Regional College lecturer said: “We’re thrilled to partner with the newly established Northern Ireland Hospitality School and deliver a fantastic new training programme for students keen to pursue a career in hospitality. The new City & Guilds course offers students a real mix of training, from basic bartending to the art of mixology, sales techniques and finance training to personal development.

Colin Johnston, Galgorm Collection’s Managing Director said, “The assistance we have received from The Gallaher Trust has been invaluable. We now have a Hospitality School where people with a passion for the industry can come and learn all the skills necessary to secure employment with one of the country’s top hotels.”

Elsewhere, USEL, a charity which supports employment for people with disabilities and health conditions was also a beneficiary of The Gallaher Trust. Monies donated to USEL created 45 new jobs and provided pre-employment opportunities for 60 adults.

The launch of USEL at the ‘reuse and recycling’ centre and bed factory in Ballymena which created jobs and pre-employment opportunities for adults with disabilities

Scott Jackson, Head of Recycling and Manufacturing at USEL commented: “With the support of The Gallaher Trust, we set-up a recycling centre in Ballymena which offered employment to those with disabilities and health conditions who may otherwise struggle to secure a job. Being able to assist these individuals has given us a real sense of purpose and pride. We are helping these individuals to reach their full potential whilst also giving back to the Ballymena community. I would encourage any other organisation in need of help to get in touch with The Gallaher Trust – they are a fantastic team!”

Aside from creating employment opportunities and developing the skills of local adults, the Gallaher Trust also plays a small part in assisting charities, like the Samaritans and Women’s Aid, that work to improve people’s lives in the social sphere.

Through the Gallaher Trust’s funding, the Samaritans of Ballymena was able to upgrade its computer system, complete building repairs and purchase a fireproof cupboard.

Jacquie Gilmore from the Samaritans added: “Thanks to funding received from The Gallaher Trust we were able to add various upgrades and repairs to our building. Our work is essential to those suffering from mental illness and without this vital assistance we wouldn’t be able to provide our much-needed services. We are truly grateful to the Gallaher Trust for enabling us to continue helping those in our community during their time of need.”

The Samaritans of Ballymena were able to upgrade its computer system, complete building repairs and purchase a fireproof cupboard

To apply for support from The Gallaher Trust, visit the website: or call 07565 026097 for more information.

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