THE Gallaher Trust has announced that funding applications for delivery partners have opened for 2022. Having committed up to £1.85 million over the last four years to support projects that will create jobs, develop skills or assist disadvantaged adults, the Trust is now searching for social enterprises, charities or those who can think ‘outside the box,’ to make a difference to the Ballymena community.
One of those ‘outside the box’ ideas was the creation of the Northern Ireland Hospitality School, which allowed three local hoteliers to come together under the umbrella of a not-for-profit organisation to create courses and programmes for the Ballymena hospitality sector.
The Northern Ireland Hospitality School, as a delivery partner, was launched last year in conjunction with Northern Regional College (NRC). The Trust, over the next three years, has committed almost £260,000, offering students a chance to expand their skills and gain guaranteed employment with one of three local hotels – the Tullyglass House Hotel, the Adair Arms and the Galgorm Golf Resort and Spa.
Since its launch, a total of 15 students have completed the Level 2 Professional Bartending course and have gone on to secure full-time employment. Joel Johnston, a former student of the Northern Ireland Hospitality School, who now works at Gillies Grill as part of the Galgorm Golf Resort and Spa in Ballymena, has been reflecting on his experience.
“I’m really glad that the Northern Ireland Hospitality School was able to become a delivery partner with The Gallaher Trust,” Joel said. “Completing the Level 2 Professional Bartending course has made such a positive impact on my life; I was able to develop my skills and now I’m working in a field that I’m truly passionate about.
“I have always wanted to work within the hospitality industry and when I saw that a Hospitality School had been launched in Ballymena, I couldn’t wait to apply.
“The Professional Bartending course has given me a great launchpad into my career. Working within hospitality can be tough, but the course has equipped me with all the skills necessary to thrive.
“I am an employee at Gillies Grill and I’m really enjoying it. The Hospitality School has made such a difference to my life and I’m not sure if I would be in this position without it.
“Any eligible organisation that requires funding and support should definitely apply to become a delivery partner with The Gallaher Trust. Their support helps to get projects off the ground which can make a big impact on the people of Ballymena – just like the Hospitality School.”
Elsewhere, Ian Paisley, Chairman of The Gallaher Trust says he’s delighted with the success of the Hospitality School thus far and is speaking out to encourage other eligible organisations to apply for funding.
“On behalf of The Gallaher Trust, we are so proud that the Hospitality School is achieving its purpose of developing skills and creating jobs for adults within the Ballymena community,” Ian commented.
“Our mission at the Trust is to work alongside delivery partners that are aiming to make a real difference in peoples’ lives by creating jobs, developing skills and helping disadvantaged adults.
“Delivery partner applications are now open and to be eligible, you must be a charity, a not-for-profit based organisation or a social enterprise, that can make an impact on the greater Ballymena area.
“I would strongly urge any organisation that is eligible, to apply for funding today. We have seen from the likes of the Hospitality School, that it could make a massive difference to your project and ultimately the people of Ballymena, which is our clear purpose.”
For more information about becoming a delivery partner, visit the Contact Us section of The Gallaher Trust’s website: https://thegallahertrust.org/contact-us/. Applications for funding and eligibility guidance can also be downloaded from the website.