Former doctor’s house now hub for community

Pictured at the official opening of the new ABC community hub are, from left, Joe Garvey, chairman of ABC Community Network; Miss Rosalind Hadden, of the Magharee Trust; John McGuinness, director, ABC; Tom Hadden, Magharee Trust, and Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Darryn Causby. INPT10-211.
Pictured at the official opening of the new ABC community hub are, from left, Joe Garvey, chairman of ABC Community Network; Miss Rosalind Hadden, of the Magharee Trust; John McGuinness, director, ABC; Tom Hadden, Magharee Trust, and Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Darryn Causby. INPT10-211.

One of the first doctor’s surgeries in Portadown has been transformed into the new offices of a community group, thanks to funding from a trust set up by a town family.

Magharee House, at the corner of Thomas Street and William Street, is now home to ABC Community Network, which provides a support service to more than 180 voluntary and community groups.

It was officially opened last Friday by the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Darryn Causby.

The house, which was built in 1878, is synonymous with the Hadden family, who were doctors in the town for decades. And it was a trust set up by the family - the Magharee Trust - which has funded the refurbishment of the building for the benefit of the community.

The community hub is also a base for groups including Advice NI, Dunlewey Addiction Services and Sands stillbirth & neonatal death charity.

The new building will provide meeting space, office space/hot desk facilities, reception and administration services, delivery of training programmes and full disability access and car parking - facilities lacking in the former premises in Church Street.

The Mayor said, “This project is a strong example of how organisations can work together, share resources and deliver an improved level of service to those most in need.”

Joe Garvey, chairman of ABC Community Network, said the new network centre will enable the group to further develop its support services for communities, providing practical help such as advice on making funding applications.

He added, “I am also pleased to announce that plans are underway to refurbish the outbuildings and to revitalise the existing gardens. This offers the possibility for a range of community uses.

“We are very grateful for the significant investment which has been made by the Magharee Trust.”

The house was home to the Hadden family since 1886 and also served as a surgery.