IMPRESSIVE new outdoor facilities that will greatly enrich the experiences of Larne Adult Centre members were officially opened on Friday.
A trike trail and sensory garden - making full use of the centre’s extensive grounds - are now being greatly enjoyed. Soothing wind chimes, shimmering sun-catchers and beds with scented and textured plants and seating areas are positioned along the trike trail. There’s even a greenhouse to provide the ideal place to encourage gardening skills.
Larne Mayor, Councillor Bobby McKee - accompanied by his wife Betty - were on hand to declare the new facilities open. Cllr McKee described it as a “privilege and a pleasure” to be asked to perform the special duty.
He praised the work carried out at Larne Adult Centre, which has provided a variety of day care programmes for around 70 adults with severe learning difficulties since it was established in 1983. He also paid tribute to their carers, describing their work as “very underestimated”.
Austin Heatley, chairperson of the Friends of Larne Adult Centre, welcomed everyone to the occasion. The friends group - made up mainly of parents and carers - supports the work of the centre mainly through fundraising and encouraging the local community to take an interest in the centre.
Danny Carron, the centre’s deputy manager, explained that the project had come about as a result of hard work and fundraising by a number of people over the past few years.
He particularly mentioned Kevin Haveron and McCartney Motors for their generous support over the years, particularly through the Ultimate Car Show,. He also thanked Larne Rotary Club and others from throughout the community for their very much appreciated support.
“On behalf of the friends and members, I’d like to thank you all very much,” said Mr Carron.
After the official opening ceremony, the Makaton choir performed “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and “I believe” to much applause.
Choir members received an extra pat on the back from the Mayor, as he invited them to perform at his annual open day in the parlour at Christmas.