Mystery donor saves Springwell

A MYSTERY benefactor has come to the rescue of the Springwell Centre, saving it from closure at the 11th hour.

The community based family centre at Edward Street had been set to close at the end of March, 20 years after it opened.

Lack of funding was cited as the reason for proposed closure and it was feared the centre, which provides a wealth of services including family and parenting support and advice, was doomed.

However, Centre co-ordinator Sr Philomena Horner revealed that a mystery donator has stepped into help.

She said: “The benefactor, who does not wish to have publicity for his generosity, came to the rescue after he learned that the centre was about to close.

“He phoned here the day before we were due to close and asked if he could pay a visit,” said Sr Philomena.

“A few hours later he was in the centre, confirming that his organisation would pay the shortfall to allow Springwell to continue in operation for at least another year.”

“We were amazed and delighted,” said Flo McKeever, chair of Springwell’s board of directors.

“It had been so difficult to let the staff go and to accept the loss of a service that is valued by so many families in the area.”

Of the seven core staff who had been employed, four are currently working at the Centre. However, the centre still intends to offer a wide range of services.

Springwell Centre offers support to over 400 families each year. The service includes personal development, parenting support, health education and counselling for the whole family – children, young people, couples, individuals and families.

A steadily growing part of the work supports the Polish families who are settling in Lurgan. Polish family worker, Agnieszka Kozina, provides a range of services to assist Polish people in integrating into the wider community.

“We are deeply grateful for the kindness and generosity shown to us by this and other benefactors and we are even more committed to ensuring that the Centre finds a way to be sustainable into the future.

“We would love to hear from anyone who has fundraising ideas or who is willing to support us in our work,” said Sr Philomena.

For information or to offer support, contact the centre at telephone number 38347222 or philomena@springwellcentre.com.