Representatives from the local community of Portadown gathered recently to celebrate the official opening of Portadown Wellness Centre.
In attendance were guests from public sector organisations, local private businesses, counsellors, support services, local agencies and most importantly participants who visit the Centre regularly.
Honorary Chairperson Norma McConville MBE welcomed all present and thanked for attending a very important day.
She particularly welcomed the cross-community choir of pupils from St John the Baptist and Edenderry Primary Schools.
Secretary Alan McDowell followed with a short introduction, sharing what motivated him to develop a Wellness Centre and why he and the team at the Centre feel that such a project is so necessary and important in the area.
Focusing on the presence of the cross community choir of children Alan went on to say that our children are our future and that we need to provide them with support and encouragement to ensure that they achieve their personal dreams and feel respected, valued and empowered as they go through life.
He invited local politicians to learn from the children, “Today we have primary school children from all religions working together to put on an incredible performance to inspire the whole community.
“They have chosen inclusivity rather than separation.”
Margaret Tinsley, Deputy Lord Mayor from Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council thanked the choir and gave immense encouragement and support to the team at Portadown Wellness Centre as they settle into the important work of getting people back to wellness and helping raise their self-esteem and confidence.
Then followed the Official Opening of the Centre by Dr Kate Newmann, a well-known author and teaching facilitator of creative writing. Kate expressed her belief that teaching children to put their dreams and aspirations down on paper in whatever method or format they choose is a sure way to transform these dreams into reality.
Following the Official Opening guests were invited on an informal tour of the Centre’s Reception and Gallery, The Murdock Counselling Suite, The MacBlair Woodwork suite, The Housing Executive Woodcarving Suite and the Pottery and Ceramics facility sponsored by Almac.
The event concluded with a beautiful lunch prepared, presented and served by the talented team at Restaurant 180. The quality, presentation and selection of the food was exceptional.
The team at Portadown Wellness Centre would like to thank all of their funders and potential funders for joining them on the day.
They would particularly like to express their gratitude to Margaret Tinsley Deputy Mayor and to Dr Kate Newmann for their inspiring speeches but most of all to the children from St John The Baptist and Edenderry Primary Schools and the team from 180 for making the official opening such a special and memorable occasion.