Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday August 31st

Today was supposed to be a day of rest for Wellington House - mainly because a couple of members of staff are off on holidays so the rest of us are busy taking up the slack.   However, the redoubtable Bob decided he just had to get the ceiling finished before the weekend!   So the painting continues.

Over this past week we have managed to rip out many of the old bar seats in readiness for getting the shop up and running.  We need to do some major work to the electrics so people have been in poking at cables and sucking their teeth and offering their wisdom and expertise on what needs to happen next.   The plumber has also been in sorting out the heating and the great news is that the newly painted and floored family space is now toasty warm and ready for Homework Club to start up next week.

The roofers have been looking at what needs to be done to ensure we are completely watertight too..... so it's all been happening.

The stock room has been painted and there is a lovely bright red carpet down in the Dare2Care area and the upstairs Houses to Homes furniture store.    Hard to imagine that so much has happ
ened in such a short time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

many hands, much work

Wow!!.  It's hard to comprehend what has been acheived over the past week or so.  The seats have been ripped out of the bar which is going to become the shop,  the whole of the top floor has been stripped and all the carpets lifted ready for painting.  The main difference though is in the new family center where we have ripped and stripped and painted and sealed and skimmed and now there is a brand new floor down and the place looks amazing!

Thank you so much to everyone who has worked so hard over the past couple of weeks.  It is just astonishing what can happen when people work hard together for an end purpose.   The heating is also up and working so we are all set to be able to open our doors to the homework and after school club very soon,

TA DAH!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Get stripping!

On Monday 13th August we had an important visit from a potential funder who came over from London for the day specifically to have a look at our work and to see round the new building.    We were delighted to be able to show him our team in full swing working hard over at Wellington House to prepare the office spaces for our imminent move.

Thanks to Daneil, Natasha, Ruth and Mark from the People's Project for wielding the wallpaper scrapers so effectively.   We were able to get so much more done than we had imagined.

Many hands make light work

Not only was our Market Street premises flooded at the start of August, but Wellington House was too.   At the time we hadn't fully completed the paperwork, however we were allowed into the building to remove acres of sopping wet carpet and to clean up as best we could.   We were massively indebted to our own wonderful staff and volunteers who willingly gave up part of their weekend to come and help us.  And also to a team from Lagan Valley Vineyard Church who were doing a weekend of practical help in the community and sent some of their congragation ( and their trailers) to help us.

The sun shone, the Olive Branch provided much needed tea and biscuits and within four hours we had managed to lift every carpet and all the lino, throw out everyting that had been contaminated by floodwaters and leave the building looking ( and smelling) a bit more healthy!

soaking carpet
working hard
all hands on deck to fill trailer
stair carpet lifter

4 large trailer loads of carpet removed
well deserved tea break

even the kids worked really hard

result!  Well done everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2018

After the flood

On the first weekend in Auguest Dromore experienced the most severe flooding for years and sadly both our old and new premises were inundated with several inches of filthy water.   Donna and her stalwart team of hardy volunteers donned wellies and mopped out the property in Market Square, doing an amazing job and getting things all shop shape for a return to work on the Monday.

We even got on the local news! 

However things across the road at Wellington House looked grim.   The whole ground floor had been flooded and every carpet was soaked in dirty water.  The lino in hallways was trapping the water underneath it and items of furniture which had been sitting on the wet carpets were also ruined.

Thankfully the very next weekend we had already been offered a team of volunteers from Lagan Valley Vineyard Chuirch in Lisburn who were sending out work parties as part of their Love Lagan Valley week.   This was amazing as they turned up not only with their kids and their wellies but also with a couple of big trailers which enabled us to lift out every single carpet and all the lino so that the floors could properly dry out.. 
all the carpets were soaking and ruined

It was a real team effort with many of the staff and some of our regular volunteers and board members joining us for several hours of really hard work.   The sun shone.  Even the little kids worked really well and we ended up managing to transform the place.

But look !  A beautiful tiled floor hidden under wet lino!

4 large trailers were filled

many hands, even small ones, made light work
The smell wasn't too pleasant.

We are on the move!

Finally, at last, after many nailbiting months of waiting - we have the keys to our new building!!!!!!

To say we are excitied would be an understatement!   We are whooping and buzzing and jumping up and down - and then again we are daunted and a little bit scared by the monumental task we have in front of us.

Let us first show you round.

So here it is.  Our new Via WIngs center for Dromore and the surrounding area.  We have such huge plans for Wellington House which is situated just off the market square a stone's throw from our current building.

Wellington House has been lying empty for several years following the death of the landlady Helen  McFadden who ran it as a thriving pub for many years.   Helen had a desire to see the whole community use her building and we trust she would be delighted to know that we are going to continue that vision into the future.

The building currently has bar and kitchen accommodation downstairs and living accommodation upstairs.

bar - soon to be Hope and Soul shop
As you can see it is currently very dark and dingy with much wood pannelling  and in need of a massive amount of work to turn it into the shop, cafe, offices and meeting spaces we want to provide for Dromore

Via Wings has never been daunted by a bit of hard labour.   Donna is already champing at the bit to get the wallpaper strippers out and start turning this delapidated pub into a wonderful industrial-chic shop.

We have plans to turn the downstairs snug into a sensory room for people with additional needs.  There will be space for Mums and Tots too. 
snug - to be the Sensory Room


upstairs - soon to be office suite
  Upstairs there is room for lovely big offices for the girls plus one for Gail and Donna and a therapy suite where we hope to be able to offer massage, relaxation, mindfulness sessions etc. 

 There is also a stockroom for the shop which comes complete with dress rails ( much to Laura's absolute delight) and a bathroom which will make a suitable kitchenette.

Very soon you will be seeing the banner going up outside and the workers taking over the space to do the preparatory work of fixing electrics, heating etc.  However we anticipate being able to move our offices very quickly to give us a base at Wellington House.   Please watch Facebook for details as we shall be keeping you updtaed every step of the way

March 21st 2019

Every day there is something new appearing - and today it is our ' Mary Poppins' bread stand ( as christened by Gail)  made for us s...