Foyle Women’s Aid is to carry out crucial refurbishment work at one of its premises, thanks to a £300,000 loan provided by the Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT).
UCIT provides community and social enterprises throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland with access to affordable loans. As a registered charity, all profits generated by UCIT are recycled for reinvestment into the social sector.
Constituted in 1976 and incorporated in 1981, Foyle Women’s Aid has been the primary provider of accommodation and support to women and children who have suffered the effects of domestic abuse in the Derry region. Since its formation, the organisation has supported over 10,000 women and children.
Foyle Women’s Aid has undertaken the extensive refurbishment of Ashleywood House and Mews, a large Victorian property and courtyard on the outskirts of Derry.
“The property was previously gifted to the organisation by the Department of Health and Social Services.
“The courtyard has been developed to contain 15 secure housing units for victims of domestic abuse.
Marie Brown, Director, Foyle Women’s Aid said: “We are delighted to be working with UCIT. This loan will allow us to significantly improve and update our premises which was a real cause for concern.
“The improvements to Ashleywood House will certainly make a difference to those women and children we support. The main house will be developed as a training and counselling centre and provide staff office accommodation.
“It will ensure a more rounded atmosphere and give us a chance to reach out to more sufferers of domestic abuse.”
Phelim Sharvin, Associate Director, UCIT said: “Foyle Women’s Aid is a superb organisation and UCIT are pleased to be able to support the development of facilities and the successful delivery of essential support services.
“We are supportive of the social economy sector and stand ready to support social enterprises that are growing whilst continuing to deliver a positive social impact in the local community”
Since its foundation, UCIT has committed in excess of £46 million to over 300 charities, community organisations and social enterprises.
Those interested in finding out more can visit www.ucitltd.com