“Never judge a book by its cover.”
“To plant a garden is to dream of tomorrow.”
“Home is the comfiest place to be.”

There are so many inspirational quotes to put to this story, but the simplest is, “A picture paints 1000 words.” MACS Shared Tenancy Team recently celebrated a milestone after securing their first privately rented property outside of Belfast, which in turn gave two young people a place to call home.

Once the dust settled (only a little bit of dust) after moving in, both young people and MACS workers couldn’t ignore the property’s outdoor space. The house had been vacant for quite some time, and nature had taken over the garden, two wooden sheds and most of the kitchen window, blocking out the light.

After seeking the Landlord’s permission, I contacted our good friend Philip Boyd at the Kier Group, explained the project, and asked if he could help us safely remove the crumbling sheds. Philip simply said, “Leave it with me.” That phone call was 8 weeks ago and the result is simply awesome!

Getting his hands dirty alongside our young people, Philip used his skills and magical way of getting others on board to complete his vision. This amazing space was created by the kindness of local businesses in the community, Philip’s resounding dedication to helping MACS and our young people and hard labour.

We cannot express our gratitude enough, not only for the end result but also for the life lessons young people gained by tearing down the old, working hard to rebuild, and reaping the benefits of a safe, quiet space they can appreciate and be proud of.

Watching our young people bed plants and taking an interest in their care reminded us that the little things keep us going and give us hope.

Our heartfelt thanks go to:

Philip Boyd and his team at the Kier Group
George at Down Hire, Downpatrick
Claire / Gavin at Jacksons, Saintfield
Ryan at Byrnes Garden Centre, Downpatrick
Sean at JP Corry, Downpatrick
Ronan at Mac Blair, Downpatrick
Joe at MacNabb Waste, Downpatrick

And a word from the man who made it happen, Our Philip.

Claire said, “Philip! I have a wee job for you in Downpatrick”. I responded, “Wee job, No problem I will get it sorted.” Little did I know of the massive surprise that was waiting for me! 😂 But it was all good craic, and the fantastic local companies had a good laugh, too, when I explained that my latest free project had only one door in and one door out. Folks, as always, it’s an honour to bring communities together so that their local MACS Team and young adults can get some support in these very challenging times.

To find out more about Shared Tenancy, please visit https://www.macsni.org/what-we-do/shared-tenancies/ or drop us an email to sharedtenancy@macsni.org

~Claire, Shared Tenancy & Floating Support Manager

#endyouthhomelessness #housingcrisis #supportingpeople #macssharedtenancy #ourhouse