The Base is a boost for learning disabled

David Hunter, Larne Mayor Maureen Morrow, Brian Meenie, Brendan Looney, Joanne O'Toole, Diane Hood and Marie Boyd at the new Larne Base drop in centre. INLT 26-371-PR
David Hunter, Larne Mayor Maureen Morrow, Brian Meenie, Brendan Looney, Joanne O'Toole, Diane Hood and Marie Boyd at the new Larne Base drop in centre. INLT 26-371-PR

The Carrickfergus-based Learning disability Team is helping to provide a new crop-in facility in Larne.

The Base, at Pound Street, offers adults with a learning disability a bright, spacious and homely place in which to meet, make friends and help access community facilities within their local area.

The project is a partnership between the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Kilcreggan Homes.

The Base is part of on-going modernisation and reform of day services which aims to give adults with a learning disability more choice and opportunity. There are currently 11 Bases in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area, which are part of the Day Opportunities Programme. Adults with a learning disability attend as part of a package of community-based day services on the days when they are not at college, volunteering, going to work in a social enterprise or in supported employment.

A Base coordinator gives support and helps to arrange activities for the members, including arts and crafts, exercise classes and outings to local facilities such as the leisure centre and the library.

Gillian Todd, senior day opportunities coordinator at the Northern Trust, said: “The Base is a brilliant place for adults to meet new people, develop their independence and try new things that they may not have had the chance to do before. The official opening was a great day and our members enjoyed the chance to show off the new centre to their families, friends and local business and political representatives.

Damien Cassidy, manager at Kilcreggan Homes, welcomed Mayor of Larne, Cllr Maureen Morrow, who cut the ribbon and officially opened the new centre.

“The new building is spacious and modern and offers the members a great place to meet and take part in activities,” said Damien.

“The location in Pound Street is ideal, as members are close to a range of facilities in Larne which helps them to be involved in their local community. The members love the new centre and coming to it will have a real impact on their lives,” he added.

Referrals to The Base are made by named workers with the Northern Trust, or contact the Learning Disability Team in Carrickfergus on 028 9331 5100.