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NIFHA | News | Guest Blog: More than money…

Guest Blog: More than money…

By Claire McKeown, Relationship Manager at Ulster Bank
Published on: 29 November, 2016

The Northern Ireland Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (NIHACT) recently launched the Building Thriving Communities report highlighting the scope and scale of community investment activity undertaken by housing associations across Northern Ireland. The headline figures are impressive – nearly £9m invested in over 300 services to the benefit of over 25,000 people. The case studies and photographs throughout the report bring to life the real value of community investment activity. By supporting and empowering people you can achieve a positive and lasting impact on individuals, families and their communities.


If you search online for ‘community investment’ the focus is on money and tangible amounts of funding, finance and contributions.  Of course most community investment requires money, but more than money is needed to achieve real value and lasting outcomes. Often our most effective resources are the time, knowledge and skills that we can share with others. When we work together to help people help themselves, we build stronger communities and we can all grow.

Ulster Bank is proud to sponsor the Building Thriving Communities report. Just as the involvement of housing associations in our communities goes beyond bricks and mortar, Ulster Bank’s involvement in our communities is about more than money.

Conor Creaney (NIHACT Manager), Claire McKeown (Ulster Bank) and Carol Kinkead (NIHACT Chair)

Conor Creaney (NIHACT Manager), Claire McKeown (Ulster Bank) and Carol Kinkead (NIHACT Chair)

Ulster Bank has been working alongside our communities for generations to make a positive difference. We work as partners with community and third-sector organisations in order to deliver a range of community programmes which aim to deliver sustainable long-term benefits. This partnership approach helps us reach more people and brings a wider range of skills and opportunities into the mix. Our community programmes are focused on the areas of financial capability; supporting entrepreneurs and innovators; and supporting good causes in our communities. They include:

  • MoneySense – an award winning and impartial financial education programme designed to help young people towards a better financial future;
  • Skills and Opportunities Fund – providing grants totalling £220,000 per year to 2018 to community organisations for projects that help people in disadvantaged communities to learn new skills, get into work or start their own business;
  • Young Social Innovators Partnership – engaging young people to fully take part in civic action through volunteerism, community service, service-learning, citizenship education, social entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Quick Start – working in partnership with Young Enterprise Northern Ireland to enable young people to set up and run a business while still at school;
  • Community Cashback – charitable donations of £250 to match the fundraising of employees for their chosen charity or community group.


To find out more about these Ulster Bank community programmes, and other Ulster Bank partnerships and initiatives that are making a difference in our communities, please visit our website:



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