Six community groups from across Northern Ireland have been announced as the recipients of SPAR NI’s Community Cashback Scheme, which saw a total of £20,000 being donated across the organisations.

The Community Rescue Service (CRS), a volunteer search and rescue service that operates throughout Northern Ireland, received the impressive top £10,000 grant to help them continue to provide their search and rescue services for high-risk, vulnerable and missing members of the community, including dementia patients, children and people in crisis.

Launched in April, SPAR announced £100,000 for charities across the UK, with 1 x £10,000, 1 x £5,000, 1 x £2,000 and 3 x £1,000 grants available for organisations to apply for in Northern Ireland.

Sean McCarry, Regional Commander of CRS commented, “We are so privileged and pleased to get this Community Cashback Grant from SPAR NI, it will go such a long distance towards the vital work that we do.

“Every pound we have is spent on the organisation and the people we go looking for. It is very difficult to keep going without grants like this and in particular, without the support of the community.

“On behalf of the CRS, all our members and our community, I would like to extend our thanks to SPAR NI and their shoppers for what is an absolutely fantastic grant that will go straight back into our local community.”

This grant will also help CRS invest in a new member of staff to build their fundraising team and place a greater focus on raising awareness, which will go a long way in ensuring the long-term survival of this vital charity.

The £5,000 grant recipient is North Coast World Earth (NCWE), a community group that is passionate about protecting the environment by tackling pollution, raising awareness and creating community-led climate action.

Belfast’s Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues (TAMHI) has been awarded with the £3,000 grant to help them continue to promote mental health in sports clubs, schools and youth groups and empowering young volunteers through training.

Three organisations have received £1,000; The Hygiene Bank NI, Listening Ear and D’Sign Arts.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group which owns SPAR in Northern Ireland commented, “We are delighted to be able to give back to these vital charities and groups, which all make such positive impacts on their local and surrounding communities across Northern Ireland. Their services are needed now more than ever post pandemic, and it is so important to us at SPAR to be able to show continued support in every way we can.

“SPAR NI stores nurture our neighbourhoods, committing to supporting local schools, charities and suppliers.

“We hope these grants provide help to these amazing charities and groups to continue their work and grow the services they are providing.”