The new Mencap Children and Families’ Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland has reached a major construction milestone, as the main steel work and first floor of the building have now been completed. Mencap in Northern Ireland’s Big Step Forward Appeal is the charity’s most ambitious local fundraising appeal to date and calls on the public to help raise the £1.7 million it needs to build, equip and run the new Children and Families’ Centre.
Una Brown, Mencap Project Manager said: “Suddenly the building is here, you can see it and visualize all the nursery play rooms and other areas. Thanks to everyone for their continued support during the busy construction and fundraising phase. It’s exciting to see the dream become a reality and that reality is happening very fast.”
The new centre and nursery will be opening in early 2016 and will support children with a learning disability and their families to have the best possible future in life and achieve their full potential. Planning for the move to the new building is starting and services are being designed to make the most of the new state of the art building.
Una Brown, continued: “Plans for areas such as the multi-sensory room and the outdoor play area are being finalized as well as a whole range of Mencap services and activities that can now plan to use the building next year.“
At the heart of the building, on the ground floor, will be the nursery with three airy, sun-filled playrooms, a soft play area, sensory room and therapy and family consultation rooms. The playrooms will open out onto a large, secure south facing outdoor play area with specialist equipment tailored to children’s needs, 7 times the size of Segal House’s back yard.
The new centre will allow Mencap In Northern Ireland to pilot and develop new children and family support programmes, using the centre as a place to show best practice, so teachers, health professionals and academics can come to learn and see at first hand the difference early childhood intervention makes in the lives of children with a learning disability.