The following letter was received from the Beechmount Community Project in West Belfast:
We are a community project based in West Belfast. We operate in an area of major social deprivation. Our community suffers high levels of unemployment. Our area is rife with social problems such as joyriding, vandalism, drug and solvent abuse and petty crime. In addition to social and economic deprivation almost every single family in this community has been scarred directly as a result of the political conflict which engulfed the north of Ireland for the 25 years from the early 1970's to the mid-1990's.
Our project was established in 1994. Our Mission Statement is enclosed.
We offer a range of much needed services to our community with a particular focus on the unemployed, youth, women, and the elderly. Existing programmes of activity include after-schools and youth projects and a young women's group. The scale of our existing operations falls way short of addressing the need in the community. The continuation of existing activities and the much needed expansion of our programmes is dependent on resources, in particular funding.
We write in the hope that you can assist us in delivering our services by offering to fund some of our activities. Financial assistance towards our project would make a real difference to the community we serve.
We are contacting a range of organisations to seek their assistance in funding equipment costs, project costs, running costs and volunteer expenses which would enable us to maintain and develop existing services to the community over the next 12 months. The projected cost of this expansion is $105,000.
We would be grateful if you would consider contributing to our project activities. If you require any additional information we would be pleased to hear from you.