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Small Grants Scheme 2020

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

The Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme is an incredible opportunity for local communities to apply for a grant between £500 to £5000 to improve their local environment.

The Small Grants Scheme is about encouraging practical, local action towards building more sustainable communities. The scheme will support volunteers to:

• Contribute to the development of civic pride within a community with a focus on environmental improvement.

• Encourage actions and projects that enable Pollution Solutions, Biodiversity Recovery and Climate Action.

• Enhance the environmental management of a local area.

• Improve the health and wellbeing of communities whilst helping to improve and/or maintain public spaces.

• Improve the quality of their local environment by reducing littering and dog fouling through effective and innovative means.

In light of COVID-19, the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme will make available funding to community groups enabling them to respond according to local need for people impacted through reduced contact with society.

Where people and organisations have solutions or ideas, we want to hear from them. An additional criteria has therefore been added to the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme this year:

• Support actions that help care for those in need as a result of COVID-19.

A range of much needed community help that could be supported under this new criterion including, but not limited to:

• Emerging issues in the community as a result of the continuing threat of COVID-19.

• Grow Your Own projects and materials (supplemented by online webinars/classes for e.g. on seed collection, seasonal food growing and maintenance, cookery, foraging etc.) to encourage new skills development, extend virtual environmental education opportunities to the wider community and to provide positive interventions to tackle loneliness and isolation in response to COVID-19.

• Applications welcome from newly formed COVID-19 action groups to act as a community hub and to distribute growing kits to families/individuals in the wider community.

Follow the link below for more information and to complete the online form! We've also got case studies, FAQs, guidance notes and our webinar for you to have watch and read through. This is certainly a different year but we will be here as support throughout the application process as always.

Read the full article here:

Live Here Love Here Newsletter March 2020: Stay Positive

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hello everyone! A lot has changed since our last newsletter. The world is changing very rapidly and you may be feeling anxious, worried and sad. We wanted to take this opportunity to focus on the positives in this difficult time.

As we said on Facebook earlier in the week, the current Covid-19 situation is a worry on everyone’s minds and with 24 hour social media it's difficult to know what is real or fake news. Steadily though we are seeing an increase in good news - from home-workout videos and dad's trying their hand at TikTok videos to tips for keeping the kids amused (we're loving these fun ideas from Northern Ireland Forest School!) and this delightful couple keeping their spirits high with music and dance.

We are also heartened by the massive community spirit that has ripped its way through our towns and cities. Every day, people are rolling up their sleeves and helping where they can. If you know of any community heroes that you would like to celebrate or if you would like to share any support for communities in your area please email Karina at, tag us on Facebook: @liveherelovehere, Twitter:@isupportlhlh and Instagram: @livehere.lovehere or click the button below. There are many platforms out there already sharing the great work but if we can help spread the messages just let us know.

However, before we start on all things positive, we do have some bittersweet news to share with you. Unfortunately, Jodie, our Live Here Love Here Manager has moved on to pastures new as the new Northern Ireland Fundraising Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support! Jodie has been a shining light these past 3 and a half years, guiding the team and overseeing the blossoming of Live Here Love Here. We will miss her very much but very excited for the next stage of her journey. Maybe some of you will be organising a coffee morning fundraiser to bring our communities together when this is over?

Read the full article here:

#NotSoBIGSpringClean : Keep Safe And Well During Covid-19

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hi folks,

It’s a strange and uncertain time we are living in – the current COVID-19 outbreak is a worry on everyone’s minds and with 24 hour social media and news there seems to be no getting away from it. We understand that you may be feeling anxious, it is a natural response as it has the potential to effect those closest to us. But we are also heartened by the number of you who want to roll up your sleeves and help. So we want to update you on our response to Covid-19.

Read the full article here:

Big Spring Clean Guidance - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Big Spring Clean Guidance (released Friday 13th March 2020)

Read the update here:

The Big Spring Clean supports communities to come together and support their local community through practical environmental action. However, we also want you stay safe during your clean up.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, we want to make sure that Big Spring Clean volunteers take extra hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of this, or any other, preventable illness.

DO NOT attend a clean up if you feel unwell or are showing cold or flu like symptoms, stay home to protect yourself and others.

Live Here Love Here asks that you undertake your clean-up events in line with the advice being issued by the Public Health Agency. In particular, participants are asked to use the following guidelines:

Do not pick up any litter with your hands.

Avoid contact with your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.

Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before and after your event.

Event organisers are advised to provide hand sanitiser for participants where possible or sign post to accessible hand washing facilities.

Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people whenever possible.

We want everyone to play their part in the Big Spring Clean but it is really important that everyone follows these steps and takes extra precautions at this time.

We would ask that you continue to follow the relevant government websites for the most up to date advice.

Please continue to consult our Hints and Tips booklet for general clean up advice.

January 2020 Newsletter

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hello and welcome to our first newsletter of 2020!

We hope you had a good Christmas and New Year and are ready for the year ahead. In our Christmas edition we had mentioned our top tips for a sustainable Christmas.

We'd love to know how you got on and if you've any top tips to share with us! In this edition we've information on our Small Grants Scheme and Information Sessions, BIG Spring Clean and some events from us and our friends to get involved in!

Read more at:

Good News November

Karina Robinson   Thu 02 Jul 2020

Hello friend,

The Christmas rush has started! This time of year can be a bit hectic and it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. So why not grab a cuppa, take a minute and have a read though some of our good news.

In this edition, we've lots of exciting news including the launch of our GIFs, some events and opportunities for you to get involved in and of course, our Litter Heroes of the Month!

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara

Read more at:

Merry Christmas from Live Here Love Here

Karina Robinson   Mon 06 Jan 2020

Just a note to say thank you for all your help, support and hard work throughout the year! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We hope you enjoy our last newsletter of 2019, we've got our Top Ten Sustainable Christmas Tips, some exciting news about our Small Grants Information Sessions in 2020 and a great community event to start the New Year. We look forward to working with you all again in the next decade!

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara

’Tis the Season for Sustainability - Our top 10 tips

Karina Robinson   Thu 28 Nov 2019

In 2019 both the UK and Ireland governments declared climate emergencies – so it’s never been more important for families to make this festive season sustainable. Last Christmas alone our wasted wrapping paper could have stretched around the planet nine times over, so the Live Here Love Here team at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful are calling for families to source eco-friendly alternatives.

Households in Northern Ireland throw away 230,942 tonnes of waste across the festive season* - more than any other time of the year.

Christmas is usually an indulgence of parties, gifts, decorations and lots to eat and drink. Nowadays there are plenty of eco alternatives that will help save our environment whilst letting us enjoy all the things we love about Christmas.

The trick is to start small - we challenge you (and ourselves!) to try just one of our top 10 tips for a sustainable Christmas;

Top Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

1 - With gift wrapping you want to reuse last year’s giftbags and left over paper before buying more. Think alternative materials by wrapping in newspaper or make the wrapping part of the present by using cloth or a scarf. If you have to buy, try recyclable wrapping paper (avoiding glitter as it contains microplastics) and do the ‘scrunch test’. If the paper stays in a ball shape, then it can be placed in the recycling box but if it ‘springs’ back it is most likely metallised plastic film and therefore not currently recyclable.

2 - Reusing an existing artificial tree is better than buying a new real tree each year. If you do buy, get a potted version you can replant after Christmas and enjoy for years to come. Trees can also be considered as presents too - gift a native tree and plant it with friends and family to mark the end/start of a new year.

3 - Make handcrafted decorations – classic styles that will last a lifetime and are fun to create with the kids. (edible decorations can make things more interesting and are easily disposed of!)

4 – If you’re searching for the perfect party outfit try buy and sell clothing apps or visit a local charity or vintage shop plus all major retailers now stock sustainable clothing lines. You could always get into the festive season and throw a clothes swap party with friends.

5 - Think organic for food, try to plan ahead as best as possible to minimise waste and visit local fruit and veg or farm shops for package free goods.

6 – Use LED Christmas lights with timers to save energy.

7 - Ditching the car for a winter walk or sharing a lift with friends avoids unnecessary pollution plus the festive season has extended public transport times so glide or try the train!

8 – 1.5 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year in the UK - send e-cards instead or make a DIY card for close friends and family that they are likely to keep as a memento (again avoiding glitter). If you need to buy think charity cards that are made of recycled materials.

9 - Create your own advent calendar that will last for generations with wooden boxes or felt pockets and simply restock each year with edible treats.

10 - Gift buying can be one of the most stressful parts of Christmas but there are plenty of options - check if items are environmentally friendly by searching for established logos such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance. Secret Santa is always a good option to keep the number of gifts down or use Secret Santa to regift especially for young children. Consider buying your presents from a charity shop – in doing so you can reduce your packaging, recycle or rehome existing toys and clothes meaning new resources don’t have to be exploited and you have the added benefit of the money being donated to a good cause. Try organic and recyclable clothing and beauty products, solid soap ranges, bamboo products as well as pledging money to charity or using vouchers for experiences to enjoy together.

The key is to try and buy less and when you do buy, be responsible. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful also has a number of eco-friendly projects live over Christmas which encourage time spent together as a family - such as Adopt a Spot and various community litter picks - let’s do our bit this Christmas!

What’s on in Autumn 2019

Karina Robinson   Wed 16 Oct 2019

Hello friend,

The season of 'too cold for t-shirts, too warm for jumpers' is upon us! Firstly we want to say thank you to everyone who took part in our Big Beach Clean in conjunction with Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Clean Up! The numbers are still coming in but hundreds of thousands of volunteers from around the world participated in the 2019 International Coastal Cleanup. So from us at Live Here Love Here...THANK YOU! If you have any pictures we'd love to include them in our next newsletter and social media.

The same goes for all of you who have completed your Small Grants projects already- let us know how you are getting on! In this issue we've a few photographs and stories from our Big Beach Clean Ocean Heroes, some details on our Adopt A Spot programme, upcoming events, information on DAERA's 25 Year Plan, a few ghoulish tips for a plastic free Halloween and of course, our Litter Heroes of the Month.

From Jodie, Nicola, Karina and Ciara

One Big Opportunity: DAERA 25 Year Plan

Karina Robinson   Tue 08 Oct 2019   updated: Mon 03 Feb 2020

The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs has launched a consultation to develop a 25 year plan for our environment. That gives you one BIG opportunity to make a real difference and we want to make sure decision makers hear from you.

To make it easier for you and to give you some ideas we have included our responses below. To see the list of questions and full report go to:

Simply copy and paste the text below and email it to by 5pm on 5th February 2020.

Remember to say who you are and include your age.

Please share this with your family, friends, work colleagues and networks. The climate emergency requires ambitious leadership and urgent action. Everyone needs to raise their voice, everyone needs to play their part.

Our Responses

Question 1: Do you agree that the Environment Strategy should sit alongside existing Executive-endorsed strategies, such as the Sustainable Development, Public Health and Economic Strategies?


Create healthier communities by providing opportunities to get together more outdoors in accessible public spaces to do good and feel good through practical environmental action. This should link in with other strategies around sustainable development, mental Health and well-being. Research has shown the benefits that volunteering has for an individual’s general health.

Question 4: Do you have any comments on what specific issues should be included under a proposed Environmental Engagement strategic theme?


Inform every young person about climate breakdown, the loss of our wildlife and marine plastic pollution and what it means for our future. Help us find ways to raise awareness and to take action together. Declare a climate emergency.

Question 5: Do you have any comments on what specific issues should be included under a proposed Environmental Prosperity strategic theme?


Invest more in public transport making our dependence on cars less necessary and improving air quality

Question 7: Do you have any comments on what specific issues should be included under a proposed Environmental Quality strategic theme?


Plant more native trees. We have the lowest level of tree cover anywhere in Europe and want to see 20% of our land planted with trees; important for nature to thrive.

Create a waste free society where we use less, waste less and stop polluting our seas. And anything we use, including single use plastics, needs to be part of a truly circular economy.

Help everyone learn how to grow more tasty local food and provide plants for our pollinating bees.

Question 10: What are your big ideas for the future protection and enhancement of the environment?

Response All of the above