Sites works have started on a new £450,000 childcare hub in Drumahoe that will bring the YMCA’s total staff complement up to 42.
As well as providing full-time child care facilities the new building will double up as a community hub and host health programmes, welfare information and support, anti-crime sessions with the PSNI, social housing clinics and training courses.
William Lamrock, General Secretary at the YMCA, said: “The project will be to the rear of the existing main building and replace some temporary buildings on the site.
“The single storey building will be 300 square metres and contain space for a fulltime child day care facility, multimedia and IT centre and meeting rooms.
“The centre will have a rural focus, but not exclusively, and will add to YMCA’s existing impressive facilities.”
When opened, the fulltime childcare facility will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week, and cater for 32 children from two to five years of age.
It will be complemented by the YMCA’s existing 61 place Out of Schools Club on site provision and its highly acclaimed fulltime youth provision.
Plans are in place to add a facility for six infants from six months up in the coming year.
The development will create a child and young people’s facility from six months to 24 years and will be managed and staffed by professionals.
Mr. Lamrock confirmed that the new building will have a multimedia and IT facility that will support YMCA’s work with young people.
It will also provide an education and skills focus to the YMCA’s community work, especially with the rural community. The development of the new facility on the outskirts of Derry chimes with the need for community development, health and wellbeing, education and skills and cultural expression within the rural community as identified in the Rural Needs Act. Mr. Lamrock said the new facility will support this.
The hub will be used to support the work of tackling rural poverty and social isolation, said Mr. Lamrock.
When complete the project will increase YMCA’s work force in Drumahoe to 29 full-time and 13 part-time staff. The completed project will cost £450,000.
The project had been part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union.
It has also received support from Derry City and Strabane District Council.
It has been designed by 5050 Architectural Services (Limavady) supported by MA McCloskey Consulting Engineers (Structural) and Burke & Morrison Consulting Engineers (M&E). The construction will be completed by JA Gambles (Strabane).
Mr. Lamrock said the YMCA is indebted to the staff of the LAG (RDP) in DC&SDC for their continued support, and to its solicitors MACAULEY WRAY (Coleraine) and Blu Zebra (Therese & Bruce Hogg) for their consultancy work.