Posted online: Sep 27th, 2010
A new initiative has been launched to help people from ethnic minorities who have moved to the Magherafelt area.
The Magherafelt Ethnic Support Programme was launched at the offices of Magherafelt District Council last week.
The programme, which has been funded by the European Union’s Peace III project, aims to provide support and advice to anyone from an ethnic minority background living in the Magherafelt district.
Advice clinics are held weekly in Magherafelt Library on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm, in Draperstown on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm and Maghera Library on Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm.
These will be manned by professional interpreters who can sign post individuals to Magherafelt Advice Services if necessary or to other appropriate agencies.
Another aspect of the project is to target eight community organisations in the Magherafelt district who want to open their doors and welcome people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds into their group.
These can be sports groups, arts groups, community groups, fishing clubs, church groups or anyone who thinks that it is impossible to act as a host organisation.
Host organisations will be entitled to a grant to organise a function which will welcome members of the migrant community into their activities.
Last week’s launch was attended by more than 30 people from ethnic backgrounds as well as a range of community leaders.
Gerry Lynch, manager of the new project, introduced the new Welcome Mid-Ulster website which would be developed and promoted throughout Mid-Ulster as the project rolled out.
“I hope that it will be a valuable tool by which councils, statutory and voluntary agencies and businesses can advertise their services, job vacancies, or major events directly to the ethnic community.
“These could be automatically translated into a range of languages. “Those who attended the launch from the ethnic community were very enthusiastic about the programme and promised to ensure that all of their friends would soon register to be part of the programme.”
If anyone is interested in the project they can contact Gerry Lynch on 07980906425 or can ring Josie at 02879301606 any day between 1pm and 4pm.