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BWC Annual Report 2014-2015

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The Ballybeen Women's Centre

Ballybeen Women’s Centre has been delivering quality services in an area of low and weak community infrastructure for the past twenty years.  Ballybeen Women’s Centre was established to address the needs of women within a community objectively defined as disadvantaged and has developed expertise in the design and delivery of education and training programmes, health promotion programmes, cultural diversity programmes, family and childcare programmes and advice and support. 

There is no statutory provision for women in the area.  Ballybeen Women’s Centre is the only community development project aimed at addressing the educational, health and social support needs of women in the area.  The local further education centre has closed its Dundonald centre but recognises that the first step back into education for local women is the Ballybeen Women’s Centre.  They also recognise that without the support and assistance offered by the Centre many women would be unable to progress on to mainstream education. 

Ballybeen Women’s Centre is an integrated service provider committed to enabling women, young people and children to realise their potential and fulfil their aspirations through the promotion of health, personal and socio-economic development. 

Childcare is at the heart of the Women’s Centre, without it women and would be denied the opportunity to progress in their lives and realise their full potential, families would be unable to access necessary support services and programmes and children would be denied the opportunity to participate in quality learning and development activities before going to school.  Ballybeen Women’s Centre’s childcare facilities have been a crutch for many families in the local community and has been recognised by both statuary and voluntary bodies for the quality of provision.  

Regarding young people, for the past 25 years there has been a high level of recruitment of young people into paramilitary organisations, which have a hold on the community.  There is now opportunity to stem this recruitment through the provision of diversionary activities for young people.  The time is now right to encourage young people to broaden their horizons and to look beyond the confines of the estate.   There is no health information resource for young people in the area.  Ballybeen Peer Education Project is the longest established project of its kind in Northern Ireland and was recognised as a flagship project for health promotion by the EHSSB. 

With regards to cross community work, we are the only organisation in the area providing training and exchange opportunities.

Community development underpins the work of the Women’s Centre and all the core activities promote community development, social inclusion and contribute towards capacity building in Ballybeen.