Since 1969 Quaker Service (originally called Ulster Quaker Service) has provided services to mothers and children, prisoners and their families, young people and senior citizens. By delivering practical, social and emotional support services that value and empower people where they are, the work of Quaker Service plays its part in reducing violence, suffering and disadvantage. This work is often with those in society who are the most forgotten, unpopular or sometimes viewed as ‘undeserving’.
Their Vision is to for a Northern Ireland where people are valued and fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances or choices in life.
Their Ethos is guided by Quaker beliefs and values. Quakers believe that there is a divine presence in everyone and this fundamental belief leads us to value the equal worth and unique nature of each individual.
Across the key project areas delivered by Quaker Service the following groups are benefitted:
– Quaker Connections: Befriending programme supporting people facing isolation incarcerated in NI prisons, colleges, secure hospitals or stepping down facilities.
– Quaker Cottage: Families. Wrap-around support for women, children & young people designated most ‘at risk’ or ‘in need’ from areas of greatest disadvantage in North / West Belfast.
-Societal Change: Supporting young people who themselves, or someone they know, are experiencing mental health challenges and enabling them to “speak truth to power”
– Quaker Care: Retail outlet & online providing unrestricted funding for Quaker Service projects as well as providing volunteering opportunities for many including people on probation or serving a prison sentence.
Quaker Cottage, a whole-community family support centre situated on Black Mountain, Belfast, has been providing a long-term intensive and holistic, person-centred package of social, emotional, and practical support services for families in crisis since 1980. The Cottage provides a welcoming, safe, inclusive and caring environment where mothers and their children, across the religious and cultural divide, discover new and different ways to cope with life’s challenges, enhancing parenting capacity and improving the lived experience of children
Quaker Cottage is situated on Black Mountain and is not accessible by public transport. Three vehicles are required to bring our families to Quaker Cottage – otherwise they couldn’t attend. Additional minibuses are hired during the summer period, when all our family members enjoy daily trips to sea-sides, parks etc.
It is no surprise that IQFA has contributed regularly to Quaker Service over the years. In 2020, IQFA granted £4000 to help pay for the cost of running a Quaker Cottage minibus for a year.