All Saints Caring Association in Londonderry-Derry today celebrated the beginning of a new era with the official opening its brand new facilities at the former Stewart Memorial Hall on Glendermott Road in the city.
The replacement of the Stewart Memorial Hall with the All Saints’ Centre, which cost £756,125 , will enable the Waterside-based community group to accommodate community and cross-community activities for the area including drop-in schemes, training courses and community relations programmes.
The International Fund for Ireland provided £656,125 in grant assistance to the modern 422 square metre space. The new community hub has been designed as a neutral base that will help build strong confident communities and support community relations efforts by encouraging dialogue and friendships in the surrounding areas.
In June 2011 the Fund also approved assistance of £175,000 towards a 2.5 year programme of community and community relations activity to coincide with the provision of the new community facility, to raise its profile and to get programmes off to a good start.
Speaking at the official opening, Dr Adrian Johnston, chair of the International Fund for Ireland said: “This is a wonderful new facility and a welcome boost for the city as a whole. The opening of the All Saints’ Centre brings with it new opportunities for people to meet, learn and work together. This in turn opens new opportunities to improve community relations, support peace building and promote understanding. The Fund is extremely proud to support this vital work towards regeneration, community relations and building for the future.”
Rev Malcolm Ferry, Chair of All Saints Caring Association, said: “There is much excitement at All Saints now that the project has become a reality. We are very pleased to offer a much more contemporary and comfortable space for community groups to meet and we very much want Stewart Memorial Hall to be a neutral, magnetic hub for everyone in the city. We look forward to welcoming old and new friends and creating new opportunities for them to reach out and improve relations. Our thanks go to the International Fund for Ireland and many other individuals for making this project a reality. I would particularly like to mention the Waterside Area Partnership for their sterling input and particularly Hilary McClintock who was instrumental in getting the initial International Fund for Ireland application together for the All Saints Caring Association Committee. ”
All Saints Caring Association was formed in February 2009 to provide services for all ages in the Waterside area of Derry. As a community organisation, it aims to promote care, support and understanding for all those in the area.
At its official opening community leaders and funders gathered for a special service at All Saints Clooney Church followed by a short ceremony in the main hall of the new-look Stewart Memorial Hall.
For further information on All Saints Caring Association please contact Norman McCorkell on 028 7134 9348.
All media enquiries or to arrange interview please contact:
Lindsay Beacom at Weber Shandwick on 028 9034 7300 or mobile 077 7088 6949.
About the International Fund for Ireland
The International Fund for Ireland is an independent, international organisation established by the Irish and British Government in 1986. The Fund’s main objectives are to promote economic and social advance and encourage contact, dialogue and reconciliation between Unionists and Nationalists throughout Ireland.
Contributors to the Fund are the United States of America, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Since its inception, the Fund has committed more than £707m/€890m to a wide variety of projects in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties. Developing and funding initiatives that tackle segregation and promote integration to build a lasting peace in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties is a key priority for the Fund.