Ballyclare homebuilder donates £100k to support integrated education

A Ballyclare homebuilder has pledged support for the Integrated Education Fund to ensure NI children have more opportunities to be educated together.

Monday, 2nd November 2020, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 2nd November 2020, 11:50 am
Pictured are (front row) James Hagan, Chair and Founder, Hagan Homes and Baroness May Blood, Campaign Chair at the IEF; (back row) Brian Small, Fundraising Manager, IEF and Paul Caskey, Head of Campaign, IEF.

Hagan Homes will present £100,000 to the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) over a four-year period.

A passion of the firm's chair and founder, James Hagan, the IEF has for over 30 years campaigned to promote integrated education in the province, helping create 65 integrated educational settings with parents awaiting decisions on a further eight.

Inspired by the charity’s efforts and drive over those years, Mr Hagan has been supporting the IEF for two decades, with the latest donation his biggest investment to date. “I have always been an advocate of integrated education here," he said. "I think it is wrong to divide children according to their religious backgrounds and the impact of that division can have financial and societal implications on not just in our immediate future but for generations to come.

“The IEF is the backbone to making sure opportunities are there in educational settings that bring our children together. It is the voice, the investigator and the supporter of the cause and any funding that goes to this drive can only hone a better society here in NI.

“It is a pleasure to be in a position to support the IEF and we do it because at Hagan Homes we believe in cohesive neighbourhoods. We believe that smaller towns and villages should have one modern integrated educational/community facility instead of three and our children should share their futures. We understand that the integrated educational setting as it stands is oversubscribed. Demand is there and we want to support parents in meeting those demands.

“Over our 30 year history we have been dedicated to putting the heart into local communities whether that’s through reviving once vibrant neighbourhoods or supporting local charities and schemes and we will continue to do so."

Mr Hagan added: “We also believe that by building meaningful partnerships with organisations involved in health, arts, education and sport, we can build so much more than the structural foundations needed to provide a strong, supportive community network. This is why we have donated in excess of £500,000 to our charity partners in the last three years and look forward to further strengthening these partnerships in the future.”

Baroness May Blood, Campaign Chair at the IEF said: “In thanking James Hagan for this exceptional investment, it strikes me that it’s no coincidence that someone who builds houses appreciates the importance of a firm foundation. Hagan Homes’ support over the years highlights the importance they attach to integrated education in building a firm foundation for a more economically sound education system and a more understanding school setting for our children here.

“I also pay tribute to James and all at Hagan Homes for their steadfast commitment to local charities - especially those, like us, who rely totally on the generosity of business leaders and the general public. Thank you from all at the Integrated Education Fund. This donation will make a huge difference.”

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