The Boys’ Brigade NI District have ‘made their way home’ on a sponsored 35 mile walk from their previous HQ Rathmore in Larne to their new base.
It’s the former Newport Primary school in Culcavy, just outside Hillsborough which has just been renovated.
Northern Ireland District Vice-President Rev Dr Trevor McCormick and District Trustee Drew Buchanan MBE led a small but mighty band of walkers, some walking all and some walking part of the 35 mile route; making their way from Larne to Carrickfergus, along the Shore Road to Belfast City Centre then via Lisburn to Culcavy.
They were welcomed by the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council Uel Mackin at the boundary of the Belfast and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area at Seymour Hill on the final leg of their journey through Lisburn to Culcavy.
He said: “It was a privilege for me to welcome the Boys Brigade NI District to Lisburn and Castlereagh as they neared the finish of their journey to their new home in Culcavy, right here in our Council area.
“As a current member and former Captain in the Boys Brigade, I have seen first-hand, the contribution that this wonderful organisation has made to the lives of so many boys and young men across generations. I am delighted that the Boys Brigade has chosen to make Culcavy its permanent home and I thank everybody involved for making it happen.”
The BB Fundraising team led by Trevor McCormick initially set a £400,000 fundraising target for Newport back in 2014.
Three years later and after many fundraising initiatives including filling smartie tubes with 20p coins, a cycle challenge, concerts, dinners etc the final target to clear the building and renovation debt at Newport is now just £7,000; once raised this will conclude the Newport Opening New Doors Appeal. The total amount invested in Newport including purchase is £800,000.
Lead organiser and walker Drew Buchanan said: “I feel honoured to be a part of the transformation of Newport and to play a small part in equipping future generations of boys and young men to continue leading this great organisation.”
On arrival at Newport there was a celebration for the completion of the sponsored walk and all that has been achieved at Newport, to convert and equip the former Primary School into a modern office, training, conference and residential centre.
The Boys’ Brigade NI District has gratefully acknowledged the funding received for all the work carried out at Newport in the last three years.