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Home solutions for Rathgill and beyond

Published: Tue, 14 Oct 2014
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Pictured (l-r) are Sammy Joe Cunningham, Gary Sullivan, Karen Worrall and Franci Craig, Rathgill Solutions & ouir own Richard Tanswell (second from right)
Rathgill Solutions Bangor
Rathgill Solutions Ltd provides a quality cost effective service for people in the Bangor area to help them maintain their garden and homes.
This work is to be showcased at our community conference on 15 October. It will be one of six projects to be recognised at The Community Conference, organised by the Housing Executive, in conjunction with Supporting Communities NI.
It takes place annually and this year will be staged in The Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena, where community groups and Housing Executive employees will come together to celebrate a year’s work.
From a small beginning Rathgill’s Social Economy Project ‘Rathgill Solutions Ltd’ has developed to offer a wide range of services including garden tidy ups, power washing, gutter cleaning, painting and decorating, car valeting, computer maintenance, media services and others.
It was formed in 2007 after research by Rathgill Community Association which identified significant numbers of local people required help with maintaining their home.  Funding from the Local Community Fund meant the community association was able to purchase essential equipment to start the enterprise and further support from the Housing Executive’s Small Pockets of Deprivation (SPOD) fund meant a part-time Business Development Worker could be employed to kick start sales and marketing for the social enterprise.
The community association, through the social enterprise, is also able to help young people with work placements giving them valuable experience.  It has an agreement with the Youth Justice Agency and the Probation Board to help those wishing to pursue this.  
Karen Worrall from Rathgill Solutions is delighted the social enterprise is being recognised at the community conference and said:
“This opportunity to showcase our work here is great.  Over the years Rathgill Solutions has helped so many people in the area make a difference to their home.  We are delighted it has also provided many young people with vital work experience to help them gain a job in the future.  Hopefully by hearing our story other community organisations will consider how they can develop their own social enterprise.”
The Housing Executive’s local office manager in Bangor, Richard Tanswell, is also happy the locally based enterprise is being showcased:
“This is a terrific project and has provided many of our tenants and other home occupiers in the area with a vital service.  We are pleased to see this fantastic example of a community social enterprise continue to develop and witness it being showcased at our community conference.”
The service continues to go from strength to strength and has broadened its reach beyond the local Rathgill community to maintaining homes in the greater Bangor area.