Glencraig Parish hosted the charity HarmonI at morning worship last Sunday 16 June. They were celebrating 140 years of service to people living with disability and disadvantage.
HarmonI was founded in 1878 as The Cripples Institute, later becoming Northern Ireland Institute for the Disabled. The name was changed again in January of this year and is today known as HarmonI. The capital I at the end of the name shows the importance of the individual.
The charity was started by Mr Alfred Vance from Bangor, and the Browne Brothers from Belfast one of whom became Mayor in 1879, and Mr William Fulton one of the founders of Cleaver Fulton and Rankin the Belfast legal firm. They started in Felt Street Belfast, just off the Donegal Road by building a Methodist Mission hall which provided for the spiritual welfare but also the medical and social welfare of the local community.
HarmonI currently provides 33 apartments, bungalows and cottages in Bangor allowing people living with disability to live independently. In Belfast, they run a men’s hostel, where each night 59 men can be provided with an emergency, short term accommodation and meals.
Sam Humphries CEO of HarmonI said:
“We are grateful to Reverend Catherine Simpson, the Vestry and the members of Holy Trinity Church for their kindness shown to us as we seek to thank God for 140 years of compassionate support and care to people living with disability or disadvantage. The charity was founded on the Biblical ideals of practical Christianity, and while today we operate as a secular charity, there remains a core desire to honour God in his provision and goodness and stay true to that ethos and calling in our daily service.”