Council chairman picks charities he’s supporting

Council chairman picks charities he’s supporting

11 July 2018

NEWLY-ELECTED Newry Mourne and Down Council chairman Mark Murnin has announced the charities he will be supporting throughout his term of 0ffice. 

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, Glebe House, Harmony Community Trust, and Newry and District Gateway Club are the charities under the spotlight.

Air Ambulance NI, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for the region, and relies solely on financial support from the public and local businesses.

Glebe House holiday home near Kilclief is run by the Harmony Community Trust, a cross-community organisation that promotes community relations and social inclusion. It delivers community relations, social inclusion and respite programmes on a year round basis. 

Newry and District Gateway Club is a charity which works to advance the personal development of people with learning disabilities through social, recreational and cultural opportunities. Founded in 1973, the club has its own community centre that is open to children and adults of all ages.

Cllr Murnin met recently with representatives from the charities to discuss his plans for a number of innovative events over the coming year. 

He said: “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has the support of health and well-being outcomes as one of our strategic priorities. The organisations I have chosen as my charities are vital to helping the Council realise this objective. 

“It is by working together that we achieve successful outcomes. I am planning a number of events, spread throughout the district, which I will use to highlight the work of my chosen charities. These events will raise funding for the charities to assist with the vital work they carry out on a daily basis. I will soon announce details of events I am planning, and am confident that the community of Newry, Mourne and Down district will, as always, give their full support.”

Air Ambulance NI fundraising manager Colleen Milligan thanked Mr Murnin for his support.

“We are a relatively new service which requires public support to survive, so this chance to raise our profile and much needed funds is welcomed. Serious or life-threatening situations can happen to anyone at any time and, on average, one person a day finds themself in desperate need of AANI.

“Since our launch last year we have responded to over 300 incidents with the most difficult being to County Down.

“The primary role of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service is to deliver advanced pre-hospital care to patients at the scene, whose lives are at risk following serious trauma. AANI needs to raise £2m each year to maintain this service, so funding and public donations are crucial.”

Helen Honeyman, from Glebe House, said: “We at Glebe House, Harmony Community Trust are absolutely delighted that the chairman of Newry Mourne and Down District Council has chosen us to be one of his supported charities for 2018-19. 

“We are looking forward during the coming year, to a heightened profile and awareness for our on-going cross-community, positive good relations work with children, youth and older people throughout the district. We also welcome the opportunity to work together with the other chosen charities, the Air Ambulance service and Newry and District Gateway Club.”

Jim McDonnell, chairman of Newry and District Gateway Club, said: “We are humbled, privileged and delighted to be nominated as one of the chairman’s chosen charities for 2018/2019.

“Our club, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, continues to provide much-needed recreation, education and cultural activities for its many members. We depend on the many donations we receive and, without these, our task would be impossible.”