Compassion Group Network reveal plans for major refurbishment

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

A local charity has revealed exciting plans for a mayor refurbishment of former offices at Bryan Street in Ballymena.

Planning permission has been granted to provide a food bank and cafe within the current building at 10-16 Bryan Street as well as a new computer suite.

The application was submitted by start up charity Compassion Group Network which is focused on helping persons or individuals who are “struggling and fallen through the system”.

This can be due to substance abuse and dependence, disability, mental illness or other reasons.

The charity currently offers professional counselling, befriending services, job placements, benefit advice, money matters through partners and has a charity shop including a delivery and collection service.

Compassion Group Network aims to expand its services to include a food bank and cafe as well as training and educational facilities.

Founder of Compassion Group Network, Ken Wright, said he was appealling to the community to help support the project.

The charity faced major challenges last year when Ken contracted Covid 19 and spent three weeks on life support after his oxygen levels plummeted to just 5 per cent. They said I was a walking miracle and I suppose I am. They have no idea how I woke up,” Ken said.

“It was a very tough time because I was the everything man, collecting and delivering and managing the charity and when I wasn't there my family helped to keep things going.”

Now Ken is back on his feet and he is keen to see the charity expand to help more people in the community.

He said: “We are entirely self-funded and we are looking to the community to get behind us.

“This project is for the community and we want to help as many people as we can with employment, education, counselling and much more.

“We are seeking support from volunteers, trades people, anyone who can teach computer skills, corporate sponsors to get this project up and running.

“If anyone is interested in helping please contact me on 028 25420141 or email ken.wright@compassion groupnetwork .org”

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