Lisburn-based Social Enterprise Employers For Childcare is delighted to today (Tuesday 19 November) officially launch its £2.5 million indoor adventure centre High Rise at Altona Road, Lisburn. High Rise incorporates a stunning Clip ‘n Climb arena – the biggest in Ireland - along with a soft play area, Sensory Room and Quiet Room and a number of party and corporate rooms.
High Rise is designed to be inclusive and accessible and features an innovative Sensory Room and a separate Quiet Room, benefiting a range of users, including children with additional needs. Employers For Childcare received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to install and equip these highly specialist rooms, which have already proven to be a major attraction to guests of the centre. The development of these rooms was informed through working in partnership with the local community, particularly families and groups supporting those who have additional needs. High Rise also features a Changing Places toilet, available for anyone who needs it, providing dignity for all, and which is registered with the Changing Places consortium.
Speaking at today’s launch, Employers For Childcare’s Chief Executive, Marie Marin commented: “Today marks a very special day for Employers For Childcare, in our 20th year, as we officially launch our brand new indoor adventure centre, High Rise. This project has been in development for over three years and we are delighted to today welcome our friends and colleagues from over the years to celebrate with us. At Employers For Childcare, parents and children are at the heart of everything we do, and that extends to High Rise – we are passionate about making High Rise somewhere that all families, whatever their needs, can come to enjoy time together. And of course, as a Social Enterprise, 100% of our profits are invested in our charity, which supports parents across the UK”.
Attending the launch, Councillor Alan Givan, Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, said: “High Rise is already making an important contribution to the local economy. It has created over 50 new full and part-time jobs, represents an innovative addition to the wide range of leisure facilities already on offer within the Lisburn area and is playing an important role in bringing visitors and tourists to the city.”
Local television and media personality Sarah Travers hosted the event and performed the official ‘launch’ for High Rise and Sue Gray, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance also addressed guests and shone a spotlight into the exciting future for social enterprise locally. Sue said: “The social enterprise sector is hugely important to Northern Ireland and makes a massive contribution to the local economy. This event showcases how social enterprises in Northern Ireland are thriving, and investing to deliver long-term, positive social impact, both locally and across the UK. It is great to see the sector so well represented at today’s launch and I look forward to hearing about the future success of High Rise as it continues to grow”.
Over 100 guests from across Government, business and the charity and Social Enterprise sectors as well as local politicians and visitors from across the UK attended the launch event.