Suicide-prevention charity PIPS Larne has embarked on a major fundraising drive in a bid to make its town centre headquarters fit for purpose.
After years of seaching in vain, the organsation –which seeks to aid those in despair and also support those who have lost a loved one through suicide – has managed to acquire its own premises.
But the facility, formerly Woodside’s premises on Main Street, is in dire need of renovation before it can open its doors to those in need.
Founder of PIPS Larne, Carlee Letson told the Times that the charity needed about £30,000 to bring the building up to scratch.
“The building has been divided into two separate premises and we will be located in the one directly facing Quay Street,” she said.
“Our premises,which covers two floors, will contain a charity shop, counselling rooms, relaxation/complimentary therapy rooms, a kitchen and an office. It will also be wheelchair friendly.
“We really do hope that we will get the support of our community and local businesses to get our premises open to the public as quickly as possible.”
PIPS Larne is a totally voluntary group working in the East Antrim area, which relies heavily on donations from the public to deliver its vital range of services.
Carlee, who lost a brother to suicide, added: “We host monthly family support group meetings specifically for those who have lost a loved one through suicide and again counselling for families or individuals who require it.
“We also offer drug and alcohol support. Our charity provides training on suicide and self harm within the community, both to raise awareness and to teach others how to recognise the tell-tale signs of someone in distress and how to help them.”
PIPS Larne has a 24-hour helpline for anyone in crisis or in need of help.
The charity provides immediate face-to-face intervention and has direct access to specialist counsellors to initiate further management.
Any interventions are followed up with counselling and after care. All counselling, complementary therapies and transport provision are free of charge to the recipients and funded by PIPS Larne.
Carlee said: “A number of fundraising events have already been held to help us raise funds for our new premises, such as the Virtual 5K organised by Stealth Translations Ltd, and our own Walk a Mile In My Shoes event, which took place on Saturday.
“Other events are in the pipeline, including the Larne Hoopathon.”
Anyone who would like to support PIPS Larne can do so at www.justgiving.com/pips-larne