Rehab centre to ‘enhance village’

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THE proposed rehabilitation centre in Waringstown would be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The ‘MAIL’ reported last week how plans had been submitted to build a centre to aid in the recovery of people with drug and alcohol dependencies.

Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said she’d been contacted by several constituents who’d expressed concerns about such a facility coming to the village.

This week the ‘MAIL’ talked to a spokesman for Meadows of Hope who said the aim of the centre was to “enhance” the area.

Meadows of Hope are a Christian group based in the locality. The proposed location of the centre is at lands on New Line which would be donated to the organisation.

The spokesman told the ‘MAIL’: “We just can’t stand by and watch people who need help. The worst thing we can do is nothing. Everyone deserves a second chance.

“We are trying to enhance the area in trying to help take people off the streets, bring them in, make them better and send them out again.”

He added: “One of the main problems of running a centre of this nature is to have in charge those with the correct level of professional expertise, love and care to offer.

“It was with this in mind that a small group of local people took a trip to Swansea to see the work of Teen Challenge.

“The group who visited the Centre were greatly encouraged by the life changing, ongoing work amongst the young people there.”

Teen Challenge is a worldwide, Christian run, charitable organisation. With a proven track record spanning over 25 years, the work of Teen Challenge continues helping people in the UK with drug and alcohol related addictions.

The spokesman said: “The participants are very carefully monitored. Each part of their day is strictly timetabled as they progress through a well tried and tested 18 month program, designed to help them back into society, drug and alcohol free.

“Each centre has 24 hours a day supervision with medical advice and help at hand.”

As yet, there is no such centre in Northern Ireland, although Teen Challenge has been working with drug addicts and alcoholics on the streets of Belfast over the past five years.

After a number of meetings Teen Challenge agreed to take responsibility for running a centre in Northern Ireland. Plans were submitted on January 6 this year with the view to building an accommodating facility.

If permission is granted, the centre will be built with private funding, would have charitable status and be run by Teen Challenge.