Created by Ulster Bank
Women’s centre invests in new premises and facilities
A Lisburn-based women’s centre has expanded into new premises and completed a major renovation of its facilities, with support from Ulster Bank.
Atlas Women’s Centre, which has been operating in Lisburn since 1989, exists to improve the quality of life for the vulnerable and most disadvantaged adults and families living in Lisburn city and the surrounding areas.
Supported by Ulster Bank, the charity has invested £75,000 in the purchase of a new business unit adjoining the centre’s current premises in Lisburn city centre. With additional grant funding of £349,070 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Space & Place Programme, the charity has also completed a full interior and exterior renovation of the new 4,000 sq. ft. centre.
A hub for all sections of the local community, the centre facilitates a host of regular activities and courses to enhance employability, ranging from personal development and confidence-building to more vocational training in food safety, child protection, paediatric first aid and more.
Working in groups and on a one-to-one basis, participants and visitors to the centre have access to specialist community workers who are available to offer guidance, practical support and mentoring to build confidence.
Atlas Women’s Centre Manager Gay Sherry-Bingham says:
“It is an exciting time at Atlas Women’s Centre as we celebrate the grand reopening of our new premises in Lisburn city centre, made possible through the support we’ve received from Ulster Bank and the Big Lottery Fund. From personal development to employability and more, Atlas Women’s Centre provides a vital lifeline for accessing services, support and guidance.
“Now is the right time to invest in the future of the centre. We are seeing increased subscription to the courses, activities and programmes we schedule and there is huge demand for the provision of community-based services such as ours. There’s not only appetite, but there’s a need. By investing in the purchase and renovation of the neighbouring property we will be in a position to scale active services and now have capacity to introduce new ones to meet changing needs.”
Paul Reid, Business Development Manager at Ulster Bank, says:
“We are very proud to support Atlas Women’s Centre as it expands its base of operations to improve services and facilities. Its focus on delivering courses in literacy, numeracy and IT, among other vocational training, is helping more and more centre-users gain the skills and qualifications needed to achieve financial stability and start on the path to securing employment in the local job market. Beyond that, the centre is driven by an ethos built upon creating an inclusive environment to learn, socialise and relax; it is having a real and meaningful impact.”
Pictured (L-R) are Atlas Women’s Centre Manager Gay Sherry-Bingham, Ulster Bank Business Development Manager Paul Reid and Mandy Gilmore.