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Thorndale Lifehouse

Situated in North Belfast Thorndale Lifehouse is resettlement accommodation (ranging from 1 bedroom flats to a four bedroom house) for 27 Families and four single females, there is also a playgroup which currently accommodates 16 children.  Major Susan McFerran has been the Service Manager at Thorndale since July 2016 and is supported by a staff team of 23.

Since being here I have made some great lifelong friends.

Thorndale Chaplaincy

"Chaplaincy at Thorndale is both interesting and challenging. It’s not a ministry in which I would regularly see ‘souls saved for the Kingdom of God’, but I do, on a regular basis have moments of blessing and hope and assurance. It is my privilege on many occasions to talk and pray with our service users and staff members. To many I am ‘church’ and it is humbling to know that problems are shared with me in the knowledge that I will support and intercede on their behalf to God. Another aspect of my role is to assist with the social programme of the centre. Cooking, craft sessions, trips, shopping, group discussions, Coffee Mornings, Jumble Sales, are just some of the recent activities we’ve planned together. It is lovely too being able to visit our Playgroup and engage with the children during their playtime, storytelling and prayer moments. No two days are ever the same at Thorndale, some are good, some are challenging! Every day though, there is evidence that God is blessing our ministry and using our service to bring about change in the lives of those who live and work on our building." - Jacqueline Wright, Major  

Thorndale Resettlement

Thorndale resettlement program Provides short term temporary accommodation for 27 families in self-contained, Houses/Flats, in need of housing. Each unit of accommodation has a living room, kitchen area, and either, 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms with bathroom and shower facilities.  Each flat is furnished and equipped to a level that would allow potential clients to just move in with their own personal and childcare belongings.  

The service also offers accommodation for 4 single ladies comprising of shared living room, shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each female has their own single bedroom. 

The service supported by a Programme Coordinator, Specialist Support Worker, 5 Support Workers and 2 Assistant Support Workers,  operates a person centered approach with a strong emphasis on client engagement and involvement. At Thorndale we are passionate about ensuring that the individuals living within the service are the key focus in all that we do, and that we meet their needs at every stage of engagement with each of the clients.  For some of the clients the service has been   a lifeline where they can address issues around their homelessness and make positive decisions about their future.

Support workers assist clients in working through problems and enhancing their independent living skills, in order for them to move on to more appropriate, permanent accommodation in association with other agencies. We provide a secure and stimulating environment where families can remain together when waiting to be re-housed in the community. 

Discussions generated through the use of support tools ensure that we fully understand the needs of the individual and we work alongside them to develop individual work plan for clients, and to work towards their individual goals and objectives as the tenancy progresses while also helping them to plan how they will each achieve their hopes and dreams.

Thorndale Playgroup

Thorndale Playgroup is situated within Thorndale Lifehouse and operated by The Salvation Army.  We provide places for both children from the local community as well as those residing in the centre.  

The staff are supported by the Centre Management team, an Early Years Advisor, Sharon Harvey, a health visitor, Orla Murray and an early years team support worker, Nuala Lavery.

We are registered with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and receive an annual inspection from members of their early year’s team.  Inspection reports are available to parents in the main reception area of the Playgroup.





The playgroup maintains the minimum ratio of 1 adult per 8 children.  This changes to 1 adult per 2 children when we go on outings. All staff, students and volunteers are vetted through Access N. I. and BHSCT. Students may also join the playgroup team and will undergo the appropriate vetting and induction procedures. The staff are as follows: 

Playgroup Leader: Mrs. Elaine Walker (start date: 10-12-01)

Qualifications: B. A. (Hons) Education (2009); NVQ 3 Early Years Care and Education (2001); Child Protection (2017); Designated Child Protection Officer (2016); Level 3 Paediatric First Aid (2017); and Level 2 Food Safety in Catering (2016) among others.

Playgroup Worker: Mrs. Adrianna Koper (start date: 19-02-18)

Qualifications: Master of Arts Pedagogy (2008); Keeping Children Safe (2016); and Paediatric First Aid (2017).

For further information please contact the playgroup leader on 028 90351900 any weekday afternoon between 1.30 and 4pm or by email on