New Projects supporting Women’s Aid
As a Diocese we were fortunate to receive a £1000 seed grant from All Ireland Mothers’ Union following discussion we decided on two projects in conjunction with Women’s Aid within our Diocesan boundaries. One of the projects is to provide women who are trafficked to Northern Ireland with a Chromebook to support them with applying for and attending university or further education courses. The other project was to put together a starter pack for women moving from the Women’s Aid Refuge to their own new home. Each pack would contain an air fryer and a washing-up bowl filled with cleaning materials. We approached Currys Corporate Department and they have been very generous regarding discounts and delivery for the electrical items.
It was decided that using the seed grant along with the proceeds from a very successful 16 Days of Activism prayer breakfast in Mid Connor we would purchase 2 chrome books and 21 starter kits. the 21 starter kits are to be split evenly between three Women’s Aid centres in our diocese, Belfast & Lisburn, Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne & Newtownabbey and Causeway & Mid Ulster. The 2 chrome books will be given to Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn.
On Monday 29th January, Connor Diocesan President, Sally, VP F&A Unit, Alberta, Social Policy Contact, Jacqui and A&O Unit Co-ordinator, Wendy had the privilege of visiting Virginia House refuge which is operated by Women’s Aid Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne & Newtownabbey. The ladies were given a tour of the refuge and discussed with Communication and Engagement Manager, Arlene, and Sarah the manager of Virginia House how the Mothers’ Union in Connor could assist with supporting them in the future. After the tour and discussion, the representatives from Connor Diocese were delighted to hand over 7 of the starter kits which in turn will be given to women who are preparing to move into their own homes. Two further dates are to be arranged for visits to Women’s Aid Belfast & Lisburn and Causeway & Mid Ulster to enable us to present the other 14 starter kits and the 2 chrome books.
It is hoped that these 2 projects will be adopted by the Areas and/or Branches within Connor Diocese over the coming months. Further details about both projects will be available at our Spring Council meeting in April.