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19/09/2021

Tributes paid as staff member retires from Derry resource centre after 25 years

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A long-standing member of staff at a Derry community centre has retired after a quarter of a century. Patricia (Pat) McGeehan has held a variety of jobs at the Carnhill Resource Centre over 25 years she has worked there. Staff gathered at the centre on Friday to bid her a fond farewell, and look back on a career which has seen Pat hold down a number of posts in the organisation. “She has been a carer, a hairdresser and even worked in our shop,” explained Betty Feeney of the Board of Directors. “Like many of us she has been here since time immemorial. “I like to tell people that I stared working here since I was 11,” she joked. The Resource Centre was established in 1974 above a shop on the Racecourse Road to serve the rapidly expanding new community in Carnhill. In those days, the estate was seen as a rural area and did not even have a bus service. In June 1984 the centre moved into its current home in the Carnhill Housing Estate, with a loan of £26,500 from the Sisters of Mercy, The centre offers a huge variety of services from welfare rights advice to meals on wheels. “We even had our own catering service and Pat would have been our maître d',” laughed Mrs Feeney In 2016 the centre underwent a huge facelift thanks to funding from the Northside Development Trust. Now in its 44th year, the centre continues to address the needs and challenges faced by those in the local community, thanks to committed staff like Pat. “The thing for us here is that we have always served the whole of the city our service extends to people outside of Carnhill, be that in the city side or the Waterside, so Pat would be well known across the city,” added Mrs Feeney. “The board of Directors would like to wish her well and we hope that she will not be a stranger. “She will be missed big time. “We would always say we are like a family and we have our ups and downs but we are always there for each other.” “Pat loves her holidays and she will be heading off now with her husband Frankie for a well-earned break.” Mrs Feeney continued: “She will certainly will be missed but she has promised us she will come back and do a bit of volunteering.”      

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