Members of Newry Street Unite, a Kilkeel Community Group from left, Kate Matthews, Secretary, Joanne Phillips, Treasurer, Ann McGivern, Committee member, Siobhan Maddocks, Committee member and Oliva Spiers, Chairperson, receive a cheque presentation of £28,152.56 pence from Stephanie Rodgers, Community Champion, ASDA Kilkeel. The proceeds will be used to purchase much needed, tables, chairs, IT equipment, kitchen and office equpiment, for use in the locally based Community Hall.

The Asda Foundation has presented a cheque for £28,000 to Newry Street Unite – a cross-community group established by Kilkeel residents in 2013 to tackle the lack of local facilities and activities.

Newry Street Unite provides support to approximately 500 service users per year. Following the investment of the Asda Foundation donation, the group aims to increase this to 750+ in the upcoming months.

Olivia Cunningham, Chairperson for Newry Street Unite, said:

“We connect people in our community from diverse backgrounds by providing a range of services and facilities including after-school clubs, a youth group, health and well-being activities and drop-in groups – all of which wouldn’t otherwise be available to residents. With a high level of unemployment and anti-social behaviour in our area, it is important for us to tackle these issues head-on through engagement programmes.

Local residents, young people and children, who use the Newry Street Unite, Kilkeel based Community Hall facility included, After School Club members, Cliona Rose Quinn, (aged 5), Jenson Cole, (aged 5), Rocco Cunningham-Phillips, (aged 5) and Catherine McBurney, (aged 5), Youth Group members, Joy Mackin, (aged 16), Callum McKibbin, (aged 17) and Caitlin Collins (aged 15) and Drop-inn Group members Stephen Cunningham and Eddie Mackin, receive a cheque presentation of £28,152.56 pence from Stephanie Rodgers, Community Champion, ASDA Kilkeel. © Photo: Gary Gardiner.

“As a direct result of the generous donation from the Asda Foundation, we will be able to purchase equipment for our newly constructed community centre. This includes purchasing kitchen equipment, cleaning equipment, and tables and chairs, as well as buying new IT and office equipment – which will allow us to offer valuable services to improve health and wellbeing in our community.

“We would like to say a special thank-you to Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie, for her continued support, and assistance with the donation, which allows us to bring about positive change in our community for as many people as possible.”

Representatives of Newry Street Unite, a Kilkeel based Community Group, including Olivia Spiers, Chairperson and David Hunter, Vice-Chairman, receive a cheque presentation of £28,152.56 pence from Stephanie Rodgers, Community Champion, ASDA Kilkeel. © Photo: Gary Gardiner.

Asda Kilkeel Community Champion, Stephanie Rogers, added: “I was honoured to present the Asda Foundation donation to Newry Street Unite. It is a fantastic organisation, and I really enjoy working with the service users and volunteers on a regular basis.

“The support offered by the group to the local residents is invaluable – and I am delighted that this much-need financial investment will help create and shape a much-needed support hub within our community.”