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SCA’s Vision – A Youth Club for Older People

Executive Summary

Springfield Charitable Association (SCA) have a proposal that involves the capital redevelopment of 16 Cupar Street, Belfast to create a purpose-built hub for older people’s activity. The building was previously occupied by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Springfield Charitable Association (SCA) recently purchased the building at a cost of £160,000, demonstrating significant commitment to delivering a project to meet the needs of older people from across West Belfast. The building contains 9216 square foot of space across 2 floors. The total cost of the refurbishment will be in excess of £1.1 million of which SCA will be contributing 50%.

In the interim, we are working in partnership with the New Life Church based in the Shankill area to provide a food bank in the facility.

Based on its initial aspirations and taking account of the consultation findings, as well as the actual physical potential of the site (informed by architect and QS team), Springfield Charitable Association is proposing an Older People’s Hub that includes the following:

  • A Day Resource Centre for older people (consisting of activity rooms, a small library, treatment rooms, communication & consultation rooms, a hydrotherapy pool and an older people’s gym).
  • An Advice Centre Service accessible to the entire local community (consisting of a number of advice support rooms).
  • A depot for the storage of goods for sale in SCA’s second hand shops.
  • Provision of a small number of rentable office and training spaces to support income generation & sustainability.
  • A centralised SCA administration and headquarters under one roof.
  • An urban allotment and horticultural garden.
  • The creation of a number of social enterprises designed to address long term sustainability: Premium Care, Office Rental and Conference Facilities


SCA’s project will ensure that more people and communities can reconnect as a result of making use of this underused and difficult space.

The project seeks to enhance access to and participation in a range of support services for older people including a day resource centre delivering a myriad of health and holistic wellbeing related activities, in effect a ‘Youth Club for Older People’. This drop in centre will also have an advice service provision, local community space, an intergenerational centre of excellence and an urban garden allotment scheme. The project location, on one of Belfast’s most notorious peace lines, will cement this project as a distinctive regeneration initiative, transforming dereliction to a vibrant hub of positive activity.

It will build community capacity through the provision of accessible and inclusive local space and place achieving the transformation and better use of underused and difficult space. The centre will also provide a welcoming space for the wider community to access, be this in the form of intergenerational projects, local community initiatives or wider community participation.

Our in-depth consultation with a varied range of stakeholders has overwhelmingly indicated that a growing number of older people feel disconnected from existing community services, with all but a few feeling that the development of this facility would greatly enhance their wellbeing and enable a ‘safe place’ for them to socialise.

The existing premises have been summed up quite succinctly through a local resident’s survey, being described as ‘dark, grim, dead and an eye sore’. During a recent inspection, heroin needles were found on the grounds. During a consultation, local police stated that the redevelopment of the site would promote an incredibly positive image for the area and would undoubtedly affect the local community positively.

The entire premise of the proposal is to enhance the availability of and access to health related services for older people. The facility and the services available will promote a healthier and more active lifestyle for older people, and for the wider community, becoming a beacon of hope in the area. The location of the project, in the heart of urban Belfast, will ensure that the project becomes a memorable iconic transformation. The services and activities we will provide will be based around our three core tenets of diet, exercise and stimulation. These provisions will ensure that the facility becomes a magnet that attracts other providers of health care and will enable the centre to become a centre of excellence in healthier lifestyle.

In our discussions with the wider public, voluntary and community sector, a number of organisations indicated not only their support for our vision, but are actively working in partnership with us to develop programmes of work. Some of these organisations are: Nexus, Parenting NI, NI Hospice and Belfast Women’s Aid to name but a few. In effect, before we have even opened the doors of this facility, we have already improved our partnership working between communities, groups, support organisations and statutory agencies for the purpose of connecting people and communities.



Download the word document here. summary-cupar-street


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SCA Limited Montague Centre Broadway, 2 Fallswater Street, Belfast BT12 6BZ Tel: (028)9024 8509