Atlas Manager Stephen Reid with
Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie. Lagan
Valley MLA Basil McCrea, staff members Sarah
Marshall and Gay Sherry Bingham and Atlas founder
member Elsie Vance.
Social Development Minister Margaret
Ritchie and Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea pays visit
to the Atlas creche.
NOVEMBER will be a momentous month for Atlas
Women's Centre when they move from Sloan Street to brand new
premises in Gregg Street.
Explaining the background to the move and
their hopes for the future, Stephen Reid, Manager of Atlas
Women's Centre, said: "In October 2004 Atlas moved from one room
in Bridge Street to about 5,000 sq ft in Sloan Street.
"The support we have received from the community
over the last three years has forced us to hire out other rooms
in the area to take our overflow.
"The opportunity arose to rent new premises
in Gregg Street, which at 12,000 sq ft, will more than meet the
demands being put on us by the local community and our
"It will double our tutorial suites, provide
purpose-built childcare facilities and we hope to open a 50
seater restaurant in due course," added Mr Reid.
The move to 12,000 square foot premises was
announced last week during a visit to Atlas by Social
Development Minister Margaret Ritchie.
Accompanied by Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea,
the Minister spent an hour at the centre, visiting classes and
"It must create a great sense of security for
the mothers using the Centre to know that their child is not
only in good hands but is only a few steps away if they are
needed," said the Minister.
The Minister then called into 'The Hub'
coffee shop and had morning tea with some of the members of the
Congratulating Atlas on their move, MLA Basil
McCrea said: "Atlas is moving on from strength to strength and
are playing a very major role in the social health of our
community." The Minister congratulated the organisation and
wished it every possible success in its new venture.
Evening of celebration for Atlas
Patterson and Mrs Patricia McCarrol
at the Atlas celebration in
LAST Thursday evening supporters and friends of Atlas Women's
Centre were invited to an evening in Hillsborough Castle to
celebrate their new move to Gregg Street.
Representatives of their new landlords, Mrs Heather Patterson
and her sister Mrs Patricia McCarrol joined the evening to show
their support for the work being done in the community by Atlas.
Together with the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford,
they complimented Atlas on the support it gives to women
suffering from domestic violence.
"When I was the Chairman of the local District Policing Board
I was shocked at the level of domestic violence occurring in our
area," said the Deputy Mayor Ronnie Crawford. '
"It is partly through the good work of Atlas that these
issues are addressed and women art given the opportunity to
regain their self esteem and self confidence.
"This is a major unacknowledged contribution Atlas makes to
our community, which is a vital foundation for these vulnerable
women to rebuild their lives."