Preventing Addiction Larne (PAL) is going from strength to strength, after receiving a funding boost to the tune of almost £4,000.
The small team of seven dedicated volunteers, based at Moyle Medical Centre in Larne, provide a wide range of services including counselling, therapeutic and drop-in facilities for people with drug and alcohol addictions, as well as those who self-harm or who may be suicidal.
Since setting up at their new base on Old Glenarm Road earlier this year, PAL has provided support to between 100-150 people directly, either face-to-face or over the phone.
And the charity is keen to highlight that it is not just limited to helping those affected by addictions, self harm and suicide; it also offers support to people suffering from any form of mental health problem.
Press liason Beverley White told the Larne Times: “We will never turn anyone away and our team of trained volunteers will strive to provide whatever help we can.
“In the rare cases where a client requires specialist support that we cannot provide, we will ensure we find them the help they need.”
In a bid to expand its range of services, PAL has recently secured grants to help them set up two exciting new projects.
The first is a scheme for women which will focus on tackling various mental health issues. Participants will be take part in group sesssions, and will also be offered two individual counselling sessions each.
The project, which is being funded by the Community Foundation for NI to the tune of £2,800, will start in January and run for eight - 10 weeks.
PAL has also been awarded £1,095 from NI Electricity staff and pensioners charity fund, towards an innovative project aimed at educating young people about a vital first aid technique.
Beverley explained: “The funding will be used to create plastic cards, similar to credit cards, which young people can keep in their wallets.
“On one side it will have a diagram showing how to correctly get someone into the recovery position, and the other side will have a list of phone numbers of various organsiations, including PAL.
“We plan to distribute the cards in local schools.”
PAL has many other projects in the pipeline, but the group is appealing for more volunteers to come forward and help in whatever way they can.
Beverley added: “There is a variety of things that people could help with; they don’t need to worry about experience, because we will always find something for them to do.”
“We have access to training courses, but it’s really down to what people want to do, from somebody who is happy making a cup of tea to a qualified counsellor.”
PAL can be contacted at any time on 028 28273335 or visit www.pallarne.com