Need is Greater Than Ever
The Club were delighted to hear at the Club meeting Monday 17 May from Harmony Community Trust (HCT) Chairperson Seamus Camplisson and Treasurer Club member Past President David Boyd about the Club’s history with the Trust and impact of Covid to Glebe House.
Chairperson Seamus outlined that 45 years ago the founders realised that the needs of the community were not being met but they could not have realised the impact it would have had on people not only the participants but also all involved working and volunteering. Today HCT has faced a difficult year but they are following the founders' ethos as they face essentially the same mission. He advised that the resilience of staff and volunteers had got them through a difficult Covid year as they found new ways of doing programmes and that they had also used the down-time to upgrade facilities to make them more attractive for all. They are now preparing for another cautious reopening and the need for a safe and welcoming place that HCT provides is greater than ever.
PP David explained Harmony Community Trust (HCT) and Glebe House began in 1975. As a response to the impact of ‘the Troubles’ in 1975 Rotary was looking for ways to help the children affected by the troubles. The Club in conjunction with International Voluntary Service organised for the purchase in June 1975 of a 19th century Rectory with 16 acres in Kilclief near Strangford to provide somewhere to give children the opportunity of respite and the experience of mixing together in a neutral environment helping them understand one another in familiar territory. The 1st holiday took place in July 1975 and it has continued its programmes to this day. Normally at this point the Club would have handed it over but it has continued the relationship having one or two members serving on the Board.
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