Press Release: February 2011
Sure Start Ards has officially opened its new base premises in Maxwell’s Courtyard, Kircubbin, following a lengthy search for alternative accommodation.
The premises are part of a restoration project carried out by the Kircubbin Regeneration Programme, and the new accommodation provides dedicated office space, a reception area, training room, crèche and a venue for the daily programme for two year olds.
The premises are highly visible and easily accessible on the Main Street and all families with children under the age of four are welcome to call in and find out what Sure Start has to offer.
Janette Keers, Co-ordinator of Sure Start Ards, said: We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the management committee over the years in seeking to secure permanent premises, the support of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, our lead and accountable body, the Eastern Childcare Partnership who oversee the Sure Start projects, and the Department of Education, who provide enabling funding.
Speaking at the official opening on Tuesday, Paul Evans, vice-chair of Sure Start Ards, recalled how in their search over the past 10 years for the right premises they looked at schools, technical colleges, detached houses, unattached houses, portacabins, a manse and even a double decker bus. Their hopes were raised and dashed on several occasions, until they found the ‘wonderful development at Maxwell Courtyard’.
Thanking all those who facilitated this splendid development, Mr Evans thanked the staff, not only for years in Portaferry Health Centre, but for their smooth transition to Kircubbin.
He also thanked Sure Start co-ordinator Janette Keers and Eileen McEnearney, assistant director of women and acute child health at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, who he described as the ‘catalyst’ for their relocation.
Eileen McEnearney said: I am delighted that Sure Start in this area has a front window presence within the community and seeing Sure Start with front window premises shows something very positive about recognising our services and the support it gives to families and children.
The building is wonderful, but the service is about people and staff. I would want to reinforce what Paul said about the staff within this project. Janette, as co-ordinator, has been steadfast in completing this process and we thank her and her management committee.
Thanks were also expressed to Newtownards based Architects BGA Architects Ltd, Kircubbin Regeneration Programme, Keith Alexander, Estates, Simpson and Crawford Consulting, Red Sky Contractors, Quantity Surveyors, The Williamson & Johnston Partnership and Structural Engineers, MCF Consulting..