A Rainbow to Broaden the Horizon of Newry, Mourne and Down!
The Newry Rainbow Community (NRC) in partnership with the County Down Rural Community Network and supported by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland hosted an engagement and awareness-raising event at the Ballymote Centre in Downpatrick. The event aimed to provide an opportunity for people to meet with members of the NRC and to hear about their Centre in Newry City Centre and the services it provides.
Newry Rainbow Community is a social, befriending and informational organisation that exists to offer support to the lgb&t community across Newry, Mourne and Down District.
Welcoming the NRC to Downpatrick, the Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down Council Cllr Naomi Bailie declared the council’s support for the local lgb&t community and committed herself, as both Councillor and Chair, to help in whatever way possible to extend the availability of services and support to lgb&t people in Downpatrick and surrounding areas, particularly to people living in rural areas and communities.
As a continuing part of their Outreach Programme the NRC are providing a free return bus facility leaving the Ballymote Centre on Thursday 28th May at 6.30pm to convey people to the new NRC Centre in Newry and to afford them an opportunity to meet and engage with a wide range of people from various sectors and organisations.
All are welcome to come along. To book your place on the bus email Mary or Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 028 4461 2311 Pick ups can be also arranged in Clough/ Castlewellan, Kilcoo, Hilltown etc.
The NRC has operated an information, resource and drop-in Centre in Newry City since September 2010 to provide information and advice services to lgb&t people, their families and friends, and is operated entirely by Volunteers. Services and support provided through the Centre include; personal development courses; advocacy and referrals; signposting; befriending service; professional counselling; rapid HIV testing; sexual health advice; training courses and opportunities for social engagement.
Damian McKevitt, Secretary of the NRC commented “The project will enable us to more widely publicise the work of the NRC. The relocation of our drop-in Centre has provided us with an opportunity to expand the services, supports and programmes delivered through it Our new premises provide substantial extra space and a more secure and financially sustainable future. This will allow us to consolidate our existing services and supports, to improve the impact and quality of these services and to develop a range of new services and programmes aimed at addressing the health, wellbeing and equality of lgb&t people throughout the new Newry, Mourne and Down District council area.
Mr McKevitt concluded “This re-location will enable the NRC to build on progress made in the previous 4 years of operating and to further increase the visibility of the NRC as an organisation and raise awareness of lgb&t issues generally throughout the new Council area. It will allow us to more effectively portray lgb&t people in a positive way, breaking down barriers and stereotypes and promoting the integration and participation of lgb&t people in all aspects of the wider community and civic life of Newry, Mourne and Down, working collaboratively with other organisations across the new Council area.”
For more information please see www.gaynewry.com