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The Family Caring Centre was established in Rathenraw, Antrim in 1985.  Its purpose was to provide training, information, advice and childcare services to families in the area who were suffering from social deprivation as a result of deteriorating housing and high unemployment. The Centre has been successfully providing this support through a range of services which have been continuously developed over the years as a response to the changing needs. Today, over 250 families benefit from the range of services that are currently provided.

It is impossible to measure the huge positive social impact the Family Caring Centre has had in the local community over the years. We have certainly contributed to building social capacity within our work with residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds

 All potential employees and volunteers may be subject to Access NI checks before employment can commence and this is then followed by an induction program.



The Family Caring Centre has a continuing vision that the district of Antrim will be an attractive place to live, visit and work in.  It will have a strong community spirit underpinned by family structures which support members to aspire and achieve.  Families will actively choose to live in the area, which will continue to be socially and economically regenerated.


Mission Statement

“The Family Caring Centre is a voluntary organisation providing a range of services in a friendly and supportive environment to families and individuals”.



Summary of Current Services

The ‘Good Morning Antrim’ Service

This is a Telephone Support & Alert Befriending service, which has been in operation since April 2008. The service aims to reduce the feelings of fear and isolation felt by the elderly and other vulnerable members of our community building on social inclusion and building local, social capacity. This is achieved by contacting each person via telephone, on agreed week-days at a pre-arranged time.  Every call will cover three main points:

  • A friendly chat about health, well-being and anything of interest.

  • To provide information on services in the area and forthcoming events.

  • To listen to any concerns and with permission, pass these on to relevant agencies/individual.

If any person in receipt of our services do not answer their call and have not advised us of their absence; a nominated emergency contact will be alerted, to physically check on them. This service is available to those who reside in Toome, Randalstown, Antrim, Parkgate, Templepatrick and Crumlin. The ‘Good Morning Antrim’ service also helps to reduce the concern felt by friends and families, when their loved ones are alone. Good Morning Antrim is one of 22 Good Morning services across Northern Ireland.

This project is funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA).



Mental Health Support Group

Our Mental Health Support Group works on the core principles of support, acceptance and understanding and are provided through a holistic programme of alternative therapies and activities.

This program is funded by NHSCT.

Activities include:


  • Shopping

  • Emotional Well-Being Support

  • Art Projects

  • Educational Opportunities

  • Short Courses

  • Social Activities

  • Access to Computer Classes 7 Tutoring

  • Empowerment Activities

  • Talks and Demonstrations

  • Personal Services

  • Trips to places of local interest

  • Complimentary Therapies


Depression Support Group

Our Depression Support Group meets on a Thursday morning 9.30-11am and available to all in the local community, including residents living in Crumlin, Templepatrick, Parkgate, Antrim, Randalstown and Toome. Supported by Aware NI, the group is hosted by trained Facilitators in a safe, respectful and confidential environment. Anyone experiencing depression currently, or in the past, and feel they might benefit from talking about how they are feeling can join the group.

Benefits to the group member include, knowing you are not the only one with the illness. You will have the opportunity to share feelings and get support from other group members through talking, whilst learning more about the illness and new ways to cope, through shared experiences. You may also be able to support others in the group.

Educational Services

'The Learning Zone' ICT Classes

The Learning Zone promotes ‘Learning for the Whole Family’ and encourages adults into lifelong learning through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  We currently provide a range of courses to individuals and businesses.  Courses run all year round all classes have eight or less students for the personal touch.



  • Internet communications

  • E-mail


  • ICDL Qualifications

  • Digital Skills

Additional information:

Accommodation is provided for counsellors from organisation’s such as Nexus to meet with clients in a safe, comfortable and confidential environment. 

We also support supervised ‘Child Contact’ meetings on behalf of NHSCT ‘Children with Disabilities’ and Looked After Children’s Teams. We provide space for other local charities to meet, including nexus, Links2Pink and Antrim Foodbank.



From Monday 9th May 2022, Antrim Foodbank will provide evening session 5-7pm hosted by the Family Caring Centre whereby food parcels can be collected out of the usual hours. Antrim Foodbank provides emergency food and support to people in crisis, through our referral agents.

‘The kettle is always on and we have time to listen, pray for you if you would like, and arrange for other professional help and advice including counselling, advocacy, debt advice, budgeting, and housing support - all within a friendly, relaxing environment’.

Oasis Antrim Community Support Hub

10d High Street


BT41 4AN   t: 028 9454 8555

Antrim Foodbank is run in partnership with local churches and facilitated by Oasis – Caring in Action, a Registered Charity in Northern Ireland (NIC100881) · Registered Office: 81-83 Castlereagh Street, Belfast BT5 4NF





Views of stakeholders:

How do you benefit from attending the Family Caring Centre?

- it gets me out of the house, ideas for new hobbies, helps with my self-confidence l, keeps me occupied, everyone is so non-judgemental.

-gets me out and about as I live alone, meeting new people and having a good chat

-being able to go out on my own, the ladies are just so positive and make a bad day good.

-chatting, company, making things, getting out and about.

-meeting people my own age, learning new skills and good company.

What do you enjoy doing?

-chatting, crotchet, arts and crafts

-crotchet, bingo, flower arranging, positivity board

-I love it all

-crotchet, arts and crafts, quizzes


How are you finding the activities and is there anything we could try or change?

-more adult activities

-computers and basic skills

-would love to attend more than once a week

-gardening and pottery



1-5 Somerset Park


BT41 2TE

Tel:  02894 464619

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