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Charity celebrates birthday with new expansion plans

Julie Magee

Reporter:

Julie Magee

Email:

julie.magee@thechronicle.uk.com

A COLERAINE based charity which offers mental health support is planning to expand to meet the ever-increasing need for help in the Causeway area.

During celebrations to mark Bee Heard's fourth birthday, Chairperson James Butler revealed how the free and confidential service is intending to support even more over-18s in their time of need.

He said: “There is a huge demand for mental health support on the Causeway Coast because so many areas are very isolated.

“Every year we have seen an increase in need for one to one support. All our volunteers have experienced mental illness and can draw on that to help others.

“We are planning to expand our projects as well as our volunteer base; we currently have six volunteers and 11 trustees. We are always looking for more volunteers and provide training for our listening ear service.

“The majority of our clients are seen face to face but people can also talk to us on the phone; we need volunteers to help out with fundraising.”

James recalled: “We started off being just a listening ear service but then decided to be more proactive. We now have an art group called Bee Creative which meets on Tuesdays from 1.30pm until 3.30pm.

“Recently we started our second project; a Bee Active walking group, which will involve regular walks on beaches and in forests from the New Year. However, our main aim is to give people a voice so they can be heard in a safe place; our motto is 'listen, support and power.'”

*For more on this, see this week's Coleraine Chronicle.

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