East Belfast Mission expands its services with Invest NI support


East Belfast Mission, recently named the UK Social Enterprise of the Year, is creating 21 new full time positions with support from Invest Northern Ireland’s Jobs Fund.

Invest NI’s Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton welcomed the expansion during a visit to the organisation’s new offices in the Skainos building on Belfast’s Newtownards Road.

The community development organisation has opened a childcare nursery and relocated its café to the Skainos building. 17 of the 21 jobs are already in place.

East Belfast Mission provides services to the elderly, individuals on low income, young children and individuals who are homeless and unemployed. It also operates a number of other social enterprises including 11 shops, a refurbishment workshop and a bicycle repair workshop.

Invest NI has offered East Belfast Mission £42,000 of support under the Jobs Fund social economy measure.

Alastair Hamilton said: “East Belfast Mission is an example of the numerous social enterprises in Northern Ireland which are making a significant economic impact, and its achievements were duly recognised at the 2012 UK Social Enterprise Awards event in London.

“The move to the Skainos building underlines its commitment to the East Belfast community and its ambitions for future growth. This expansion will enable East Belfast Mission to deliver increased services and provide job opportunities for those most removed from the labour market.

“Our Jobs Fund, which has supported the creation of these new jobs, has so far created over 1,750 new jobs across Northern Ireland. I would encourage local businesses looking to grow and create jobs to get in touch with us.”

Anne Walsh, Director of Business Development at East Belfast Mission, said: “Our mission is to see community transformation and renewal in East Belfast and to offer hope and a future for all those in need, regardless of background or belief.

“Winning the overall UK Social Enterprise of the Year is a wonderful accolade which is aptly timed as we settle into our new offices. Opening the childcare facility and extending the Café’s opening hours into the evening will help us to generate more income and contribute to the growth of the social economy sector.”

For information on how Invest NI can help your business to grow and create jobs go to www.boostingbusinessni.com or call 0800 181 4422.