Attendees and SEARCH Gala Evening (Left to RIght): Campbell Dixon, Paula Bradley, Aileen Marks, Ardee Wallace, Sean Brennan and Tommy Kirkham.
SEARCH Project celebrates year of achievement
A special celebration event has marked an incredible year of achievement for a major Co. Antrim community project.
South and East Antrim Resourcing from Conflict to Hope (SEARCH), held its recent gala evening at the Clarion Hotel in Carrickfergus, with over 150 delegates in attendance.
Representatives came from all areas covered by the Project, which takes in the council areas of north Belfast, Newtownabbey, Larne, Carrick, Antrim, and Ballymena.
SEARCH is administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, supported with part-finance from the European Union’s PEACE III Programme.
MLA’s Paula Bradley and David Hilditch attended the celebration, as did officers from the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and staff from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
SEARCH project Co-ordinator, Tommy Kirkham, said; “This was an incredible event where we recognised the achievements of those participating in the SEARCH Project so far, while organising plans for the next year of delivery.
“These plans include a focus on events like the centenary of the Titanic disaster, the signing of the Ulster Covenant and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“Workshops were held to begin to plan how best to mark these occasions in the next year and to discuss plans for commemoration events up to 2016.
“Dozens of people from the SEARCH catchment area also received certificates for training achieved as part of the programme, ranging from training for nightclub door staff and building site certification to one of our volunteers Heather North, who completed a Masters Degree at Queen’s University, Belfast.
“Everyone attending the celebration left feeling inspired and ready to re-engage with our work in the New Year.”
Adree Wallace, Community Development Worker with the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said; “The action plans formulated for the project at the outset have already been surpassed and new plans are now being drawn up to be delivered in 2012.
“Next year will be an historic one for Northern Ireland and the SEARCH Project will be focussing on international elements of our work, while there will also be a big focus on youth engagement.
SEARCH Outreach Worker Stephen Ross, who works in Newtownabbey, said; “Our group will be responsible for the refurbishment of an existing community facility, which will begin in early spring.
“This project will provide a base for activities to benefit the entire community of the Macedon Ward and beyond”.
Philip Mannis, SEARCH Outreach Worker based in Carrickfergus and Greenisland, revealed; “A new health and well-being centre is also planned for Glenfield in Carrickfergus.
“Our vision is to make all our facilities more comfortable and people centred thus enabling residents of every age to engage with projects.”
For more information on the SEARCH Project, please visit the our SEARCH Project Programme page.