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Newry based social enterprise set to expand

Published: Mon, 27 Mar 2017
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SPACE NI Director Jacinta Linden
Following Housing Executive funding
A Newry social enterprise is hoping to expand its workforce following the award of £50,000 investment by the Housing Executive.
The funding will help set up a training workshop and retail workspace at Market Street to facilitate 15 young adults with learning difficulties, whilst providing extensive volunteering opportunities to those returning to work from ill health.
Since its establishment in 2004, SPACE NI employs 18 staff and is hoping to expand its workforce, thanks to the investment from the Housing Executive.
The ‘Love Your Space’ initiative supports referrals from families and individuals across the greater Newry area who wish to learn and train in up-cycling, retail and business skills. Due to the large number of referrals and requests received, SPACE NI wish to extend their premises to facilitate an increasing number of volunteers and adults with learning difficulties.
It is hoped that this funding will help upskill up to 50 volunteers and support 15 adults with learning difficulties.  SPACE NI will be introducing various commercial enterprises through the organisation’s ‘Love Your Space’ initiative.
Connor Smith from the Housing Executive said: “We have enjoyed a long standing partnership with SPACE NI and the significant investment provided through the Social Housing Enterprise Programme is further evidence.
“Adults with learning difficulties in the greater Newry area will be able to obtain new skills enabling them to gain employment.
“The Housing Executive are fostering vibrant communities and supporting independent living through SPACE NI.”
SPACE NI Director Jacinta Linden added: “For over a decade, SPACE NI has continually grown and become an integral part of life for so many people in the Newry area. Since 2014, our staff have provided direct family support to over 2500 rural families including 237 Housing Executive tenant families.
“The Housing Executive investment will change lives, both directly and indirectly, as well as creating a dynamic new social enterprise facility in the heart of Newry, many individuals will be able to access supported training and work towards a more independent lifestyle.
“The up-skilling of 50 volunteers and 15 adults in a sheltered enabling environment will greatly improve the prospects for those in our community most in need of help, whilst also helping families and individuals purchase much needed material goods.”