Belfast Telegraph

Community centre opened

By Marie Foy

A NEW £70,000 community centre was officially opened today in east Belfast.

A NEW £70,000 community centre was officially opened today in east Belfast.

The centre at Knockwood Park on the Clarawood Estate, Orangefield, was opened by Presbyterian Moderator Dr Alastair Dunlop.

Belfast's Lord Mayor Jim Rogers was also present.

The centre is the result of a unique partnership between four Christian organisations, the Housing Executive and a local community group.

Orangefield and Kirkpatrick Memorial Presbyterian Churches, Belfast City Mission and the YMCA together with representatives from the Clarawood Estate formed the Oak Partnership in 1999.

Their aim was to find a way of tackling practically social and economic problems in the estate.

"Clarawood is one of those areas, where, because it is surrounded by relative affluence the problems within it have been hidden," said Sam Lamont, secretary of the Oak Partnership.

"Consequently it has not attracted the help and support it so obviously needs."

Consultation within the community showed the need for a support and advice service for parents and children, an after schools programme, evening activities and a community based education programme.

The centre is based in two shopping units which have been renovated.

Belfast Telegraph

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