Northern Ireland’s leading youth homelessness charity, MACS, welcomed Philip Boyd, SOS Project manager with Kier Group and founder of the MACS-TRAC initiative who brought a little taste of Monaco to MACS’s Head Office on Belfast’s Ormeau Road.
In a bid to drive away the January blues, MACS staff and young people were treated to a special Fun Day featuring high-performance cars including a Mercedes G Wagon (577HP), a Lamborghini Performante (620HP) and the fastest Mercedes car in the country, a Mercedes AMG GT (906 HP) courtesy of Storm Competitions in Belfast, alongside a John Deere 6R155 (200HP) courtesy of Johnson and Gilpin & Co in Lisburn.
The relationship between the charity, MACS Supporting Children and Young People and Kier has been strong and longstanding.
Philip and his SOS team have undertaken refurbishment and redecoration projects at MACS houses in Newry, Downpatrick and Belfast and installed a new kitchen and loft conversion at MACS Head Office. All with the mighty help from the Northern Ireland business community saving the charity considerable funds.
MACS also provide holistic support with education, health and wellbeing; training and careers, social participation in the community and ensure young people have life skills such as shopping, cooking and being able to budget their money. Their focus is on early intervention; in helping young people build a pathway out of the homelessness cycle to progress with their lives and personal ambitions.
Philip Boyd explains how the SOS initiative began ‘I was introduced to a special needs school near to where I was working on an infrastructure project. They expressed the need for an outdoor classroom, and I knew I had to just say yes, I think we can sort this! And the journey started!’
He sourced contacts with the right expertise who were willing to make projects happen, with zero budget. The SOS Team is a community of like-minded businesspeople and tradespeople who deliver all kinds of projects to those who are in genuine need.
Boyd adds, ‘We’re not tied to funders, we just all put our hands to the wheel to get the job done. Speaking of wheels, the MACS-TRAC initiative is a separate fundraiser for MACS and I’d like to give massive thanks to the following local companies who donated and helped raise crucial funds for the charity’s year ahead. In no particular order: JP Corry, Storm Performance Autos, Johnston Gilpin & Co, McQuillan Quarries, KPM Surfacing, Sun Belt Rentals, Breedon Group, Euro Auctions, Collen Bros Quarries, A S Ballantine, Tullyraine Quarries, Modern Tyres, CES Quarry Products and N D Brown. We all love the work MACS does helping young people with housing and support so they can move away from homelessness.’
Today’s event is a way of celebrating MACS and the local business community’s teamwork and to help lift everyone’s spirits, near the end of the bleak month of January.
Kate Martin, MACS CEO adds, ‘We are so thankful to Kier Group, and especially to Philip Boyd whose SOS team have donated so much of their time and resources to MACS. He even slept in his tractor to fundraise for MACS last year when he couldn’t make it to Belfast for our annual Sleep Out event which is how the name MACS-TRAC came about. Philip’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he has harnessed so much support for the work MACS does. SOS’s work embodies our belief that together, we can help young people build positive futures’.