Muckamore Parish Development Association (MPDA) has moved into purpose-built premises in the heart of the Ballycraigy Estate outside Antrim, and is reaching out into the local community.
The not-for-profit charity was established in 2008, and since then has worked to enable people of all ages to cope with adversity and reach their full potential.
This new community hub is a place for families to meet, socialise, and avail of training, advice and other support.
Family Support Work Kim Dunne lives on the estate, and knows the difficulties facing local families. MPDA proves support with issues such as financial hardship, domestic violence, parenting issues, childcare, and managing mental health and wellbeing. It also works with the local foodbank to provide practical help on site.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns, MPDA continued to work in the community, making contact with families by telephone or at the garden fence, delivering foodpacks and providing physical activities for children where garden space permitted.
We called into the community hub in Ballycraigy on a Thursday afternoon, to find it bustling with children enjoying the fun and games offered at the after school clubs. These have proved so popular the group is also using the nearby community centre hall to accommodate all the children wanting to join in the multi-sports led by Sports Youth Worker Daniel Carlisle. There was also dinner for the kids, who, as our photo gallery shows, were all having a great time.
We take an in-depth look at the huge impact MPDA is having in the community and its plans for the future in the spring issue of our diocesan magazine Connor Connections, which will be available in February.