The Murlough Foundation

The Murlough Foundation has been established to address issues relating to loneliness and isolation and issues around access to, and support of, education.

The foundation aims to support work where there is clear evidence of a sustained beneficial impact on people who are excluded, or disadvantaged, through low income, rural or social isolation, age, disability or gender.

Priority is to be given to small, locally based groups, or organisations in areas of disadvantage, that have a clear understanding of the needs of their community and the potential beneficiaries who are undertaking action as a means of addressing these needs.  The foundation will prioritise organisations and areas where there has been limited access to funding in the past.

Grants of up to £2,000 will be available.

Grant Criteria

There are still communities in Northern Ireland that suffer from economic and social deprivation, and people who face significant disadvantage and who do not have the same opportunities as others. This foundation aims to empower local groups to address the particular issues they may face, to help them to help themselves and to support those people who are most marginalised.

The foundation will help communities to address the issues they are facing and work with the people directly affected.  

Priority will be given to smaller organisations with income levels of below £50,000, who have identified a clear need, in line with the foundation priorities, and who require a small amount of money to help address the particular issues.

Projects should be run by people directly affected by, or have significant knowledge of, the issues they are dealing with.

Projects must target at least one of the following foundation priorities:

  • Providing people with opportunities to access local services, achieve greater social justice, and to reduce inequality, exclusion and disadvantage, including educational disadvantage

  • Building skills of local people who are disadvantaged, marginalised and/or isolated

  • Increasing opportunities to strengthen community cohesion and reduce isolation

  • Responding to local disadvantage for those on low incomes

  • Advancing people's physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety

Work can cover a small geographical area such as a housing estate or village, or a larger area, if the project is clearly identified as needed and there is evidence of involvement of the main beneficiaries.

Who can apply?

  • Constituted Community Organisations, including Residents Associations, who have a local Management Committee, current bank account (in credit), and governing document in the name of the application organisation.

Examples of the type of activities we will fund:

  • Projects reducing loneliness and isolation, eg: Men’s Sheds, or youth activities, where those participating are clearly facing disadvantage, and identified as in need.

  • Community educational activities, such as breakfast clubs, providing there is clear evidence of need and disadvantage for those attending the breakfast club.  

  • Committee and volunteer training to support identification of future needs in a disadvantaged community, or community of interest.

  • Projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of people who are facing a particular disadvantage.

  • After school activities for young people with low educational attainment.

  • Support for those excluded from vocational training due to lack of access to equipment.   

Who cannot apply

  • Individuals

  • Statutory organisations, including schools, unless governed separately, for example, as a Parent Teacher Association

  • National organisations, unless the application is submitted by a local office with a separate management committee, bank account and governing documents

  • Organisations who have indicated poor management of any previous grants


The foundation will not support the following:

  • trips, unless absolutely essential for the project and of added value;

  • building costs, including access adaptations to buildings;

  • IT equipment, unless clearly identified for use by those people facing significant disadvantage, who would not otherwise have access to the use of such equipment

  • promotion of religion or political activity

The fund will be open from Monday 3 September 2018 until 28 September 2018 at 1:00pm.

It is recommended that you read our Grant FAQs before starting your grant application. Should you have any further questions please contact the Grants Team on 028 9024 5927.