Supporting Communities invited our former colleagues, staff and board members from the past 40 years to come together with the current team for a look back at our history to mark our anniversary year.
We were joined in our celebrations at the Braid Centre on 12 September by Cllr. Maureen Morrow, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim who kicked off the proceedings with a speech congratulating everyone involved in an organisation that has grown from a small, single estate-based project to a region-wide independent charity that provides tailored support, advice, information and training to new and existing community groups, statutory and voluntary organisations.
Lorraine Campbell, who spoke on behalf of the current board, reflected on her own involvement over the years, first as a staff member at the Housing Executive and now as Chair of the Board and noted that it was always the people who made the organisation. She referenced the timeline displaying Supporting Communities’ history and remarked that it shows all the major milestones along the way but doesn’t show “the incredible wealth of experience and contributions from the staff and board that are behind those points of achievement.” She went on to say that “working in a supporting role doesn’t often garner us the big headlines or public recognition so it is my job today to say to everyone here, thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.”
Next, Colm McDaid, Chief Executive, echoed those sentiments and also paid a special tribute to Brian Holmes, the founder of the original project and the head of the organisation through its many guises for much of its history. Brian retired several years ago but was able to join us for this special celebration and reunion. Theresa Patton, Head of Finance & Governance, who worked with Brian for many years, presented him with a gift to mark the occasion.
It was great to catch up with everyone. Thanks for helping us to celebrate our 40 years of supporting communities.
Here’s to the next 40 years!