Parallel Processes

Initial consultation on 16th November 1998 revealed that local people believed that the top health gap was the need to improve transport and access to services. Fortunately at this time the Department of Regional Development (DRD) launched the Rural Transport Fund. Dr. Gingles and Sheila Bailie availed of this opportunity and as a separate initiative they formed Peninsula Community Transport Limited, also known as PACT. Because of DRD timescales the transport scheme had to be set up in advance of the main healthy living project. PACT was formed as a Company in March 1999 and obtained charitable status for tax purposes. Dr. Gingles and Sheila Bailie took receipt of the first 2 minibuses on 13th October 1999.

Another project that started before the receipt of the core healthy living centre grant was Peninsula Afterschools. This need was identified by the Eastern Childcare Partnership. Peninsula Healthy Living Partnership was approached late 2001 and asked to consider meeting a gap in childcare provision on the Peninsula. Peninsula Afterschools started when Sheila Bailie made a successful application to the New Opportunities Fund under their Out of School Hours Programme. The result was the creation of two clubs, one in Portaferry and one in Cloughey. Each club opened Easter 2002, in advance of the announcement of the Healthy Living Centre Programme monies.

Summary of Identified Health Needs/Needs Assessment Findings

The widespread consultation identified key health needs, with lack of transport being the top need:

  • Lack of transport
  • Isolation (young and old)
  • Lack of employment
  • Outward migration
  • Lack of access / fragmentation of service
  • Depression and mental illness
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Few opportunities / facilities for sport / recreation / culture

Structures 

Peninsula Healthy Living originally consisted of a consortium of members representing the wide interests of the community.  From the consortium a Project Steering Committee was formed in June 1999, supported by 7 Sub-Groups to maintain wide community representation.  The Sub-Groups focused on the following areas: Â

  1. Leisure & Tourism
  2. Services for Youth
  3. Services for Children, Parents & Women
  4. Services for People with a Mental Health, Learning Disability or Physical Disability
  5. Services for People over 50
  6. Environment
  7. Transport

In advance of the announcement for successful stage 2 applicants, the Partnership decided to form a Limited Company. Registration was filed in July 2002 and the new Company was again accepted by the Inland Revenue as a Charity for Tax Purposes.
It had been agreed that the Board should not exceed a maximum of 12 members. The first subscribers to the Company were:

  • Jenny Gingles (Chairperson)
  • Sheila Bailie (Director/Company Secretary)
  • Carol-Ann Hewitt (Vice Chair)
  • David Quigg (Treasurer)
  • David Smith
  • Valerie Richmond
  • Trevor Patterson
  • Caroline Mahon
  • Bob Mageean
  • Gerry Fagan
  • Joyce Coffey
  • Briege Arthurs