After months of planning Damask Community Outreach project was formally launched at the Seymour Street Methodist Church premises on Saturday 24 September 2011

This followed a period of detailed consultation with local and statutory agencies and completion of a survey in the East Lisburn area to determine current community needs

The launch event included a Health & Advice Fair with the following organisations participating:

Citizens Advice Bureau, Safe & Well Project, Ulster Cancer Foundation, Chest, Heart & Stroke, Cruse Bereavement Care, Aware Defeat Depression, Alzheimer’s Society, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, Department of Social Development Benefits Outreach Team, CAB Money Active, Community Safety Partnership, FIT NI Computer Training, Students Working Overseas Trust

Members of the Seymour Street congregation mingled with Lisburn City Council Mayor Brian Heading and public representatives together with leaders of these organisations and the local community who attended

Local Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA who formally launched the event referred to the special contribution the Seymour Street Church had made to the community over many years and said it was true to its ethos in presenting a social action programme. The Minister went on to acknowledge the work of the various groups with whom Damask are partnering and said they were contributing a lot to the health and well-being of many communities throughout the country. In congratulating all involved Mr Poots said this was a great example of local Agencies, Trusts and the Community groups working together  to improve the lives of those around them

The Minister was welcomed by Damask Chairman Rev Brian Anderson who said it was a special milestone in the journey to serve the community through Damask and paid tribute to the many volunteers who had undertaken the arrangements to date. Mr Anderson went on to say this was another step in strengthening relationships between the Agencies mentioned and the local community.

Advice service launched

The latest programme to be introduced is the Damask is an ‘Advice Service’  Its purpose is to offer confidential one-to-one advice and support on a broad range of issues and trained volunteers are available who can give advice on issues such as simple budgeting, benefits advice and back to work support. The Advice Team can also refer enquirers to partner organisations including Debt Action NI, Storehouse, Cruse, Safe & Well Befriending and Horizons

 The Advice Centre will be open each Wednesday from 10.00am – 12noon in Seymour Street Methodist Church Hall or call 07749 332662 to speak to an Adviser or make an appointment