Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk

The Westcourt Centre in Belfast helps reduce disadvantage through education.

The Westcourt Centre, Belfast is committed to working towards social justice by giving voice and support to vulnerable people.


We recently visited Dungannon & Cookstown Camera Club to talk about our photographic projects on Homelessness. In return the DCCC members kindly gave a cash donation which we passed on to The People's Kitchen Belfast today to support their street outreach services.


October 10 is also World Homeless Day - the aim is to bring to focus the issue of homelessness and inadequate housing. Last year almost 6,800 children were accepted as homeless by the NI Housing Executive.


Congratulations to our committee members Denis Gleeson and Aidan Donaldson - their new publication 'Beauty Through Broken Windows' has reached No.2 in the charts in Veritas in Dublin 🙂


Today we met with all 8 Principals from the Edmund Rice Schools in Armagh, Belfast, Newry, Glengormley and Omagh. We look forward to working with them on programmes and activities around homelessness, advocacy, social justice and su***de awareness. Thanks to Edmund Rice Schools Trust - NI Ltd for the invitation to attend.


1 October is International Day of Older Persons, the 2022 theme is “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.”

Women make up the majority of older persons yet too often their contributions and experiences are overlooked. This theme is a reminder of the significant role older women play in addressing local, national and global challenges and contributing to their solutions with resilience and fortitude.

Timeline photos 29/09/2022

Timeline photos

Worry is normal - but worry can take over & be overwhelming in all aspects of our health.

Our self-help hub includes a workbook and video guide for dealing with worry in difficult times (SEHSCT/Ed Sipler).

Watch addiction specialist, Ed Sipler talk through the workbook here: 👉 http://ow.ly/LSrh50KOPlz
❗ OR ❗
You can download the workbook here: 👇 http://ow.ly/KzTH50KOPzo

ASCERT self-help hub: http://ow.ly/V7Na50KOPzp

Photos from Homeless Connect's post 27/09/2022

Photos from Homeless Connect's post


We look forward to the Belfast launch of "Beauty Through Broken Windows" - a new publication by our own Westcourt Committee members Denis Gleeson and Aidan Donaldson.

This is an inspirational book which brings together a variety of international contributors who looked out into a world of need - and responded to people excluded and marginalised.

All are welcome tomorrow evening.

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 12/09/2022

Thanks to UPR Info for the opportunity to take part in the recent Pre-sessions at the United Nations in Geneva.

I was nominated as 1 of 8 panelists to address Permanent Missions from around the world during the Pre-session of the UK.

I gave a statement on the current Homelessness situation here in advance of the UK state review in November.

Thanks also to Edmund Rice International and Homeless Connect for their help and support.


Congratulations to Westcourt committee members Denis Gleeson and Aidan Donaldson on the publication of their new book "Beauty Through Broken Windows".

The book brings together a wide range of international contributors who were inspired by the charism of Edmund Rice to look out into the world today and respond to those in need - the excluded and marginalised.

I was delighted to attend the launch of the book in Dublin yesterday with editor Aidan Donaldson and contributor Don O'Leary from Cork Life Centre.


Our CEO, Nicola McCrudden on UTV, calling for our MLAs to restore the Executive, and to prioritise both policy leadership and sufficient funding for frontline services as well as giving budget certainty to allow longer term planning and to intervene to prevent more people falling into homelessness. https://homelessconnect.org/utv-live-special-9th-august-2022/


We support the campaign for services for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 05/08/2022

Belfast Lord Mayor Christina Black visited our photo exhibition on Homelessness at the launch of Féile An Phobail last night.

Thanks to Westcourt Camera Club member John Mallon for the pictures.

The exhibition in St. Mary's University runs until August 14. All are welcome!

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 04/08/2022

We are delighted to be part of this year's programme for Féile An Phobail - Ireland's largest community arts festival. Our most recent photographic exhibition on Homelessness will be on display in St. Mary's University from 4-14 August and will be officially launched at 7pm this evening. All are welcome.

The exhibition was produced by Westcourt Camera Club members and residents from Rosemount House to help inform people and support the facts and figures of the grim reality of Homelessness here.

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 03/08/2022

Yesterday we received an official visit from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Christina Black. She met with the various groups and organisations based at the Centre to learn about their work within education and providing help and support to people in need. We shared our aspirations on the future development of the premises and Christina even kindly pitched in to water the new flower boxes! 😀


Last night we took part in a candlelit vigil at City Hall as a mark of respect for the 15 people who died on Belfast's streets or in homeless accommodation since June. Their lives matter.


Candle lit circle of support for those lost and suffering from addiction mental health issues and homelessness
10.00pm, City Hall, Tonight. Please bring a candle and show your support.

Already committed to support-
The Homeless community
Families and friends
People's Kitchen Belfast
Homeless Aware
Teen Challenge UK
Homeless Outreach
Clothing For All
Belfast Homeless Services
Tamhi Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues
DAWG su***de prevention
Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk
Reaching Out Homeless and Community Support
Regional Service Users Network
Mana 4 many
Unite the Union, Northern Ireland
Nipsa, Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance
Political parties would want real change
Those concerned about the loss of human life, and the need for REAL support

Please Share and Support!
Thank you!

Photos from People's Kitchen Belfast's post 28/07/2022

Photos from People's Kitchen Belfast's post


In partnership with the NIHE, we are pleased to announce that our two Outreach Teams are now out on the streets every night of the week until 2am, doubling capacity in the city at night time.

Outreach 1 operates 7am - 2am daily and Outreach 2 from 2pm - 2am.

The Outreach teams provide on the ground support for people affected by homelessness in the city.

If you see someone sleeping rough and you are concerned about them you can contact the teams on 078 9493 1047 (7am - 2am) or 078 5124 6814 (2pm - 2am)


Six young men died on the streets in Belfast within one week in June. Now two young women have died within days of each other on our city centre streets at the weekend. They were all vulnerable and/or homeless.

Too many people have lost their lives on our streets! Enough is enough! It’s time for change! Please join us on Saturday!


We’re currently carrying out consultation on mental health first aid training in schools with principals, teachers and other school staff.

If this includes you, and you want to share your views, we’d be keen to here from you!

Please get in touch at [email protected]

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 28/06/2022

Today our friends from the St. Joseph's immersion group rounded off their stay in Belfast by signing the Peace Wall. These young people just finished their A levels on Friday and travelled straight here to engage with people impacted by issues of poverty and injustice. A huge thanks to all the organisations and individuals involved in the programme for making their visit so memorable.


Today we visited Derry and the Children in Crossfire Charity and were privileged to hear about forgiveness from Richard Moore. If anyone is unfamiliar with his story, please look him up. An incredible human being.


A highlight of our programme on Sunday was the dinner and quiz night organised and hosted by the residents of Rosemount House. A great evening! The winning team are pictured below 🙂


A busy day for the immersion group from St. Joseph's. In between a double shift at the People's Kitchen, they visited the Needle Exchange, Belfast City Hall, Rosemount House and had a reflection session on their experiences so far, this afternoon in Westcourt.

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 25/06/2022

It was great to welcome the immersion group from St Joseph's Stoke to Belfast last night. A big thanks to The People's Kitchen and Rosemount House for all their help and support.


It was our privilege to attend this Red Cross event today as part of Refugee Week 2022


Cillian & Shaun from St. Mary's Eco Club with the newly planted trees donated by Belfast Hills Partnership and planted with the help of Catherine form RSPB Northern Ireland. This was part of their RSPB Wild Challenge Bronze Award.


Today is the feast day of Blessed Edmund Rice - this is the new icon designed by Denis Gleeson


We are deeply saddened by the death of our former colleague Alex Vernon who passed away peacefully on May 3rd. Alex worked here at Barrack Street for over 20 years and remained a great friend and neighbour to the Centre after his retirement. He is held in very high regard and will be sorely missed by all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his sons and family circle. May he Rest In Peace.

Timeline photos 13/04/2022

Timeline photos

ERI Newsletter April 2022 - https://mailchi.mp/6c60a02d4749/vjua1pamk3-8810845
The ERI April newsletter contains items on the recent UN Human Rights Council session, the latest IPCC report on climate change, the International Day for the Elimination of Racism, Homelessness in Northern Ireland, World Health Day and more.

Irishman with terminal cancer travels to Ukraine to deliver aid 03/04/2022

Irishman with terminal cancer travels to Ukraine to deliver aid

Our friend and colleague Don O'Leary - as ever an inspiration! 👏❤️

Irishman with terminal cancer travels to Ukraine to deliver aid Corkman Don O’Leary made the 2,500-kilometre journey to Shegyni on the Polish-Ukrainian border to bring urgent aid to those fleeing the war.


On this day of reflection, we pause to remember the loved ones lost in the past two years.
We also think of anyone continuing to suffer physically or mentally due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you need help please contact us on 0800 254 5123 or visit our website for more information www.ascert.biz

49HRC_SR_Housing_UK/Northern Ireland 17/03/2022

49HRC_SR_Housing_UK/Northern Ireland

I was privileged today, on St. Patrick's Day, to deliver a video statement on Homelessness to the Special Rapporteur on Housing at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

49HRC_SR_Housing_UK/Northern Ireland Cormac Mc Art delivering an ERI video statement at the 49 HRC


On 28 February 2022, 3763 children were living in temporary accommodation in NI. This is an increase of 55% in the last three years.

It is not inevitable that so many children have to experience homelessness. This society can and must do better.

Photos from Westcourt Centre Social Justice Desk's post 07/03/2022

Some images from the launch of the new photographic exhibition by Westcourt Camera Club and Rosemount House. Many thanks to everyone that attended and particularly to Homeless Connect and the Executive's All Party Group on Homelessness for providing the opportunity to exhibit in Parliament Buildings.

Photos from Homeless Connect's post 07/03/2022

Photos from Homeless Connect's post

Videos (show all)

Ciara Ferguson MLA and co-chair of the Executive's All Party Group on Homelessness talks about our new exhibition in Par...
This afternoon we presented this video statement on homelessness here to the Special Rapporteur on Housing at the 47th S...





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