First Steps Women's Centre in Dungannon is celebrating a funding windfall following a grant of £343,730 from the Big Lottery funded Space & Place programme. The group is one of thirteen organisations across Northern Ireland receiving a share from a funding pot of £4.3 million, the largest amount awarded to date by Space & Place in any round.
First Steps Women's Centre plans to use the funding to renovate and expand its current premises. The work will also see the transformation of an abandoned mill located underneath the centre which will add to the available space. When complete, the project will provide a new permanent crèche facility, computer suites, a counselling room, multi-purpose training rooms, enterprise and therapy rooms as well as a larger kitchen and conference room.
Over £270,000 Additional Benefit identified for people living in Dungannon and surrounding area in past 20 Months The Benefit Checker Service has been in operation since September 2012. In less than 3 years this service has helped many people in need. These include pensioners, single parents and families whose parent or parents have suffered a drop in income e.g. through loss of employment.
At present the total additional benefits identified and claimed has surpassed £270,000. Additional benefits identified include amongst others Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Family Tax Credit and Attendance Allowance.
Chief Executive Michael McGoldrick stated “This confidential service evolved out of a real need to help women and their families who were struggling to cope with the complexity of the benefits system. We saw how stressed and confused people were, when trying to understand what benefits they were entitled to.