To mark Philanthropy Fortnight and Mental Health Awareness Week our CEO, Paula Reynolds, takes a look at recent recipient of the Building Better Futures (BBF) Fund, The Hummingbird Project. Belfast Charitable Society is a financial contributor to this fund.

Created by a partnership between Belfast Charitable Society, Building Change Trust and Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), the £1M fund provides unsecured loans of up to £25,000 to voluntary groups, charities and social enterprises. The Fund not only supports much needed work that tackles disadvantage, but it also gives organisations another opportunity to source income and to think about the viability and sustainability of their projects.

The Hummingbird Project, a Portstewart-based organisation, aims to explore and develop innovative solutions to the current mental health crisis in Northern Ireland.

The founders of the organisation have a strong shared belief in people’s abilities to recover and adapt to difficult life circumstances and they make it their mission to inspire the ability for people to determine their own emotional health and recovery through building a capacity for resilience.

With many one to one and group therapies, as well as mentorship programmes the project runs various sessions including Anger Management, Let’s Talk Mental Health, Exploring Anxiety and Stress and Food and Mood.

The company received funds of £25,000 from the Building Better Futures Fund earlier this year, in order to assist them with funding the ongoing financial growth of the company.

Hummingbird CEO, Leigh Carey explained, “The Building Better Futures funding has enabled us to embark on an exciting period of substantial growth. We are passionate about helping people to improve their own circumstances and their mental health and we can now focus our efforts of our services users, rather than worrying about the medium-term financial security of the project.”

Philanthropy Fortnight was established in 2012 to encourage charitable giving and to look at ways to encourage people to be more strategic and focused in their giving to benefit local charities and the communities they serve. With so many projects in the third sector making a positive impact on the lives of people in their local community it is important that we do what we can to ensure their long-term future.

If you would like to find out more about the Building better Futures fund, and how your project might benefit please visit contact UCIT on 028 9031 5003 or visit the UCIT website

Likewise, to keep up to date with the Belfast Charitable Society, please check out our LinkedIn page