Early in 1971, the then Eastern Health Board decided that Shankill should have an Old Folks Association. Several people were approached and a meeting took place in the Health Centre to discuss the idea. Unfortunately, the early records of the Association were lost, but the outcome of that first meeting was that a social afternoon should be held at the Youth Club building, then situated behind the Health Centre. The first Social took place on 5th May 1971: the word went round and about 50 senior citizens arrived.
The socials continued in the Youth Club, and later in the Burton Hall in Rathmichael School, but eventually it was felt that SOFA merited its own building, and should expand its activities to meet a growing need. The County Council and Health Board agreed to match what funds could be raised for its construction, and on 5th September 1979 the Shankill Old Folks Association building was officially opened with attendant TDs and local clergy, and the Daycare Centre was ready to start.
That first building consisted of the main hall, and a small kitchen and cloakrooms. Since then, with additional lobbying, donations and fundraising, a conservatory and a bigger kitchen were added, the original small kitchen becoming the Nurse-Manager’s office.
With a grant from POBAL, the kitchen has since had another complete make-over, and an extension has been added to make the Daycare Centre fully compliant with more recent Health and safety requirements, thanks to grants from the HSE and the National Lottery.