Health Minister announces grants for 15 creative community projects

Date published: 18 March 2022

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced grants for 15 projects to encourage people to start conversations about their wishes for the future, now.

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Successful projects include a school clay art project in County Tyrone, a photography project to help 16 and 17 year olds in Belfast tell their personal stories, and creative writing workshops organised by Nexus, a specialist sexual trauma charity, while older people across Fermanagh and Omagh will receive support to create personal time capsules.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I am delighted to announce that 15 projects will receive grants totalling £30,000. It is fantastic to see such an enthusiastic response from communities across Northern Ireland. Our experiences during the pandemic have shown us all the importance of planning for the future with the people important to us."

Corrina Grimes, Regional Advance Care Planning Lead, said: “Each group will receive a grant of up to £2,000 and support to complete their project. The projects will be documented in video to create a lasting record of their work and impact. As these projects are brought to life, I look forward to seeing the impact that reflection inspired by creativity can have.”

The announcement of the successful grantees follows the end of a consultation on the draft Advance Care Planning policy for Northern Ireland on 11 March.

The draft policy provides a framework for adults (aged 18 years and over), to have greater choice and control over decisions relating to personal, legal, clinical, and financial matters, from creating a will to organ donation.


Notes to editors: 

  1. Advance Care Planning is a voluntary process and helps a person to make known what their wishes, feelings, beliefs and values are, and to make choices that reflect these.
  2. The consultation on the draft Advance Care Planning policy is available to access on the Department of Health website. The consultation on the draft policy closed on 11 March.
  3. Details and updates on all the successful projects can be accessed on the Department of Health website.
  4. Corrina Grimes available for interview on request.
  5. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email at:
  6. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110. 
  1. The 15 awardees across Northern Ireland include:

St Mary’s Primary School

  • Pupils aged 4 to 11 from the Stewartstown school will make clay models around the theme of “a moment in time” leading to an exhibition inviting the school’s community to reflect on what makes us happy at this moment in time.

Ligoniel Improvement Association

  • Ligoniel Improvement Association in Belfast has been working to support a flourishing community since 1974 and will use the grant to make a reflective garden to provide a haven of tranquillity for quiet moments in busy lives.

Laurencetown, Lenaderg & Tullylish Community Association (LLTCA)

  • LLTCA is seeking to give voice to their community through digital portraits of residents reflecting on what matters to them. These will be shared at local events and online to encourage wider conversations.

Brain Injury Matters

  • The charity, which supports, promotes and empowers people living with acquired brain injury, will work with street artist DMC to promote awareness and understanding.

Tamnamore Community Development Association

  • The rural community group, which includes many carers, will use craft and conversation to explore issues and awareness of Advance Care Planning in a project called CARES.

Compassionate Communities North West

  • Compassionate Communities is a public health approach to palliative and end of life care. Its mission is to improve the end of life and death experiences for everyone. The project will build on their Death Positive Library initiative to include Advance Care Planning.

Ulster University’s School of Nursing and Belfast School of Art

  • Ulster University’s School of Nursing and Belfast School of Art will work together to explore the importance of thinking about and planning for the future, irrespective of age and health status, with young adults. The first step of this is increasing awareness and engagement.

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

  • Lecalle Ladies Social Group will work with an artist, exploring the issues of Advance Care Planning by reflecting on the highs and lows of the last two years and identifying future hopes and wishes by collectively making a large copper artwork with words and symbols meaningful to the women. 

Belfast Exposed

  • The project will use photography to tell stories that create dialogue, working with young people age 16 to 17 to explore hope, opportunity, power and education. They will create personal stories told through pictures and an online exhibition to articulate what matters to them.

St Mary’s Parent Teacher Association

  • The Cushendall School PTA will explore through the arts how their school community overcame covid articulating how what matters most came to be most important, through positive and meaningful dialogue.

Clanrye Group

  • The group works to support people to make positive changes and achieve personal goals. Its project “Exploring the Cyle of Nature and Life” through personalised window boxes offers a way to encourage reflection on Advance Care Planning.

South West Age Partnership

  • Network for older people representing 60 smaller groups across Fermanagh and Omagh will develop “Junk Journals” as time capsules for their own story to encourage reflection on life.


  • The specialist sexual trauma charity will lead four creative writing workshops with the support of a counsellor, helping attendees feel more in control of their lives and ready to shape them as they see fit.  The workshops will encourage participants to think about the priorities in their life and what they want to focus on in the future.

Strabane Community Project

  • The project will tackle broad health and wellbeing issues through facilitated sessions reflecting on the pandemic, leading to a collage, that reflects back to its community what matters in times of crisis.

ARC Healthy Living Centre

  • ARC responds to the needs of its local community. It will generate community conversations around healthy dying through an all ages event for the Irvinestown/Lisnarick Community Partnership inviting people to engage with a game called ‘ Hello’ which opens up discussions about things that may be difficult to talk about yet liberating to consider.

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