A local charity has announced plans to mark its 140th anniversary with a bold re-brand and a five year investment programme worth almost £5m that could double its workforce.
The Northern Ireland Institute for the Disabled (NIID), which began its life as The Cripples Institute in 1878, will now be known as HarmonI. The charity has a long heritage of providing compassionate support and care to people living with disability or disadvantage. Originally based in the Donegall Road area of Belfast the services were expanded to Bangor in the late 1890’s. It now operates an Independent Living Facility at Stricklands Care Village in Bangor and a Men’s Homeless Hostel at Utility Street Belfast.
HarmonI Chief Executive, Sam Humphries said the investment programme which represented the most significant development and growth phase since the charity’s foundation would add up to 40 new living spaces for Supported Independent living, thus transforming its Stricklands’ location. He said the facilities were designed with the future needs of the clients in mind, ensuring the care delivery was among the best in the sector. The design would plan for and reflect workforce supply issues and would ensure HarmonI would continue to be at the forefront of specialist care in Northern Ireland.
“Our Board of Trustees is excited at the prospect of being able to build on our 140-year history of providing high quality care and excellence in the delivery of our services with the creation of purpose built facilities which would be designed around the needs of our residents and staff. The entire capital investment is geared towards ‘Doing more for More’ as we know there are many people in need in our community and it is our goal to be available to help them meet their supported independent living needs.
“HarmonI is humbled and privileged to provide care and a support for a diverse range of people, each with an individual need. Our new logo which incorporates overlapped finger prints reflects the individuality of each client. We are all about improving quality of life to each individual we encounter through compassionate support and care by helping them re-establish a healthy, harmonious relationship with the world around them – hence our choice of HarmonI as the new name for the charity.”
Mr Humphries said work had already begun on the new development programme for the five acre site at Stricklands with the first element of the project - the conversion of a former nursing home wing from 16 ensuite rooms into eight flats for supported independent living – commencing on 2nd January 2019.