The Deputy Governor made a visit to Northern Ireland at the end of February. Highlights included:
- A Local Advisory Committee meeting in Guildhall, Derry, where grants totalling just over £20,000 were agreed – including £2,000 obo The Drapers’ Company and £6,000 from The Clothworkers’ NI Fund.
- A call at Glendermott Parish Church to meet Bishop Andrew Forster and Rev Jim Boyd and visit ‘Another Chance’ – an outreach project and charity shop in Tullyalley Estate. We also met Joanna who showed us around the premises and told us about the additional services and support they offer the local community.
- A visit to Holywell Trust in Bishop Street to meet Dr Barney Toal and Clare McGee and learn more about the Foyle River Gardens Project.
- A tour of Victoria Hall, Culmore, meeting Neil Doherty (Culmore Community Partnership) and Viji Puliyur-Doherty (Secretary, CCP) to see progress with refurbishment works – fixtures and fittings now in place plus the installation of heating and electrics, which were helping to dry out plasterwork, etc. The Deputy Governor was delighted to hand over a cheque in the sum of £12,000 from the Irish Society towards previous asbestos removal costs. And, in addition, we learned that CCP will get £25,000 from Council, “to help furnish the interiors and get us to a place where we can open to the public”.
- A meeting with Fergal Quinn (Manager) and Nikki of Age Concern Causeway (“Your local charity for Older People”) where the DG is pictured presenting a cheque of £5,000 towards their Dementia Support Group programme – being the final instalment of a three year commitment.
- Attendance at Causeway BEP’s annual Careers Convention for local schools and colleges (taking place this year at Ulster University’s Coleraine Campus), where we met Jayne Taggart (CEO, Causeway Enterprise Agency) and David Grainger (Chairman, Causeway BEP) to hand over a grant cheque of £5,000 towards hosting the event – having renewed a previous commitment for a further three year period. and
- A visit to the ‘Ashes to Gold – GROW’ project (at premises off the Dunhill Road, Coleraine) which offers therapy through gardening for people suffering mental ill health or those with physical disabilities,“inspiring the community to get physically active and produce their own food in a sociable and supportive environment”.