Special year for Garvagh and Kilrea Branch of Save the Children

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2012 is a landmark year for Save the Children as it celebrates 60 years of endeavour in Northern Ireland.

The Garvagh and Kilrea Branch is joining 21 others across Northern Ireland by holding various local and regional events to mark this significant milestone.

Since 1952, Save the Children has pioneered programmes to meet the real needs of children. Be it in child development, safety, or education, the rights of the child has always been at the heart of everything they do. Through the Troubles, Save the Children created safe places for children in areas hit hardest by the conflict; at times the only organisation providing such services. Under the umbrella of No Child Born to Die, Save the Children works globally to promote child survival, to end malnutrition and premature deaths whereby 7.6 million children each year die before their 5th birthdays.

Internationally, Save the Children is making a real difference to the lives of children around the world.

It is an outrage that 7.6 million children under five still die needlessly every year. But that’s two million fewer than were dying annually just four years ago, proof that through campaigning and targeted feeding and health programmes real change is achievable. With your support we want to do even more.

Locally, the first Save the Children meeting was held in Garvagh on the 3rd October 1953, with the Kilrea area joining in 1958. Over the years many fundraising events have been organised: ‘mannequin’ parades, coffee parties, auctions, to name but a few. From humble beginnings in local homes the annual Coffee Mornings have now branched out into the local church halls, such is the popularity and for this provision of accommodation we are extremely grateful. Support from the local community is invaluable: from the efforts of the youngest in primary school, to the oldest for their contribution to the street collections.

The sterling service of committee members has not gone unnoticed. In 1997 the late Miss Maud McKeeman, Kilrea, met Princess Anne and received a signed certificate in appreciation of her committee work. In October 2010 Mrs Audrey Dickson, Garvagh, completed fifty years of dedicated service, and once again her services were recognised.

So it is with a sense of pride that the Garvagh and Kilrea Branch can now look back and survey the benefits reaped by those much less fortunate than ourselves, thanks in no small way to the support of all and sundry in both areas.

As they enter our 60th year in 2013, the Garvagh and Kilrea Branch anticipates yet another year of success and to anyone interested in joining our committee, you will be more than welcome!