LURGAN’S Springwell Centre is set to close at the end of March, almost exactly 20 years after it opened .
The centre, based in Edward Street, was supported by a number of funders and provided a wealth of services including family and parenting support, advice, training and counselling.
“We have tried to keep the service going, but we simply hadn’t the money to do it,” says the centre co-ordinator, Philomena Horner.
“The decision to close hasn’t been easy. It has been painful for the staff, particularly as we think of all the wonderful people who have been involved with the centre over the years. It concerns me greatly that just at the time when everyone is under financial pressure, stress levels are high and many people need support to cope, the services they relied on will not be there.”
Springwell Centre opened in February 1993, established by a group of local women.
“When it opened there were two volunteer staff and five families involved. Today, there are seven core staff, two sessional therapists, several volunteers, and a number of student counsellors in the centre. Over 400 families use the services every year.”
The centre has developed strong links with the Lurgan community, working in close partnership with a number of other community organisations as well as the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, GPs and schools.
“The centre was a place that people knew they could drop in to at any time of day, sure of a warm welcome, a cup of tea and a listening ear,” said Sr Philomena.
Springwell Centre provided parenting support, personal development, health education and counselling.
“Its specialist children’s therapy and family therapy services were unique and will be difficult to replace,” she said.
The centre also worked in partnership with Jethro Centre to promote cross-community respect and understanding.
“It is a sad commentary on the current state of the economy that such a core service to our community has had to close its doors.
‘This is a very sad day for all of us’, says Philomena Horner. “We on the staff are very sorry to see Springwell Centre closing. On behalf of all of our team, I want to thank all the families and individuals who trusted us and used our services. It has been a privilege to serve you.
“I also want to thank all the colleagues from many different organisations who worked with us in any way. We wish you all well for the future.”