The new building will provide a large hall, three new meeting rooms, a large lounge, a dedicated crèche area, a kitchen, and a church office – all spread across two floors. It will also have greater accessibility with level access into the building and a lift to a new church entrance on a mezzanine floor, catering for people of all abilities.
The centre will be a modern building fit to serve the growing community and will enable increased outreach. It will host toddler groups, a young mothers’ social group, lunch clubs for older people, money and life skills courses, and increased support for people with learning difficulties. It is hoped that the new and improved building will be ready for community use by October 2022.
David King, the Minister for St Patrick’s, said: “We are very grateful to Benefact Trust for the grant as we are working against very tight funding constraints. Without its support it is very unlikely that we would have been able to go ahead with our project, CentreForward, in its current form.
“The new centre will provide us with all the space that we need to extend our work into the local community and on a scale that we just couldn’t do before. For example, we have always wanted to have a drop in area that people could use to just have a cup of tea and a chat as loneliness and isolation has always been a major issue in our area. Now we will be able to do it.”
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, added: “This project is a great example of how we can help a local church extend its community work and make a real difference. It’s exciting that we have enabled St Patrick’s to reach the stage where they can now provide a fit for purpose building for the benefit of the church and for the people it serves and supports locally.”