Kilcooley Women’s Centre
Kilcooley Women’s Centre (KWC) is based Bangor, in the Ards North Down region of Northern Ireland. It has provided services for women, children and families in the area 1995. The Women’s Centre is a key player within the wider NGO sector and works collaboratively with other agencies towards improved outcomes for all project beneficaries, with a particular focus on early intervention programmes and projects to address educational underachievement and poor health and wellbeing outcomes for disadvantaged groups. As the only women’s centre serving Ards/North Down and unique in Co Down, where possible we offer outreach training to smaller towns and villages in the Borough. On 2nd June 2017, HM Queen Elizabeth II announced in the London Gazette that she had awarded the centre the ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’ in recognition of the service to the community from 1995.
The Centre has been acknowledged as a valuable asset within the community and has developed a diverse range of services to meet the identified needs of women, children and their families. Local women are involved in the staffing and management of the centre, which is a key provider of training, health awareness, childcare and young women’s activities and leads on community based education in the area. Based in a number of sites including Kilcooley Primary School, Kilcooley Square and Balloo, we work in close partnership multiple agencies, complimenting their service, offering a welcoming environment, where local participants can engage in a wide portfolio of activities, including training and education, programmes for young women aged 16-24, employability skills, health and wellbeing programs, peace and reconciliation activities, arts programs and personal development programs to build skills, confidence and self-esteem. To work towards self sustainability in a climate of austerity and reduced grants and funding, KWC is working developing a social economy business model as a trading arm and an over-arching Charitable Trust group.
The Trust links urban and rural, crosses the different community and social divides and has developed a positive proactive working partnership with the Co Down Rural Network linking towns and villages. The partnership considers collaboration and transfer of innovation, experience and sharing of resources, skills and expertise is the way forward for women, children and families residing or working in the Ards North Down region. Part of the Trust group includes an Early Years childcare project’ – Ladybirds Daycare, which is registered with the South Eastern Trust. Ladybirds Childcare offers affordable childcare to assist women engaged in training or in the transitional period into employment, respite as crisis intervention for vulnerable families and a not-for-profit affordable childcare programe.
The centre links with 14 regional women’s centres in Northern Ireland through a close working relationship, who collectively represent our views as a National grouping’ which provides a one stop shop information and policy service for women in disadvantaged communities across NI. KWC also co-operates with other regional, national and European partners.
Contact: +44 2891478292 / email@example.com