Snow Patrol Star Launches Foundation

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has announced the launch of a foundation to support charities in Northern Ireland.

The County Down man said the foundation will donate to several local charities each year with six organisations each receiving £10,000 to begin with.

The first to benefit are:

• Drake Music Project Northern Ireland- providing access to music making for children and adults with complex disabilities. 

• Youthlife- bereavement counselling for children and young people.

• YouthAction Northern Ireland- 70 years working with disadvantaged, excluded young people so their voices are heard, respected and valued and to improve their life chances.

• SOS Bus NI- providing a safe haven for vulnerable people on the streets of Belfast for the past 10 years.

• Every Day Harmony- The NI Music Therapy Trust - leaders in music therapy in Northern Ireland. Providing therapists to schools, private individuals and all health trusts.
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• Alzheimer's Society Northern Ireland- providing information and support, funding research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

Gary, a musician originally from Bangor, said the money will come from personal donations with no public contributions required, and outlined his hopes to widen the initiative to the Republic of Ireland and the UK in years to come.

"There is no remit," he commented. "We'll give to causes across the board. Mental health, education, music, dementia, sport, cancer and disease research and many other things… I don't want to narrow our focus. The focus is Northern Ireland, countrywide. Across communities and divides. As a great man once said 'there is no them, there's only us'."

The initiative will be named The Lightbody Foundation and is a family-run organisation, made up of the singer's sister and a group of close friends and colleagues.

Gary added: "The other reason I named it the Lightbody Foundation is because when I was young I hated my name. People always laughed at it. It made me embarrassed. Now I love it. I'm proud of it. It's strange and wonderful and it was passed down to me by my dear dad. I'm proud to use it for something I have put my heart into."


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