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On Monday, August 4, Ballymena’s new One Stop Shop for young people aged 11-25 years will officially open its doors.

A new service by NI-wide charity Start360, N-GAGE provides a drop-in social and recreational space for young people – to meet, share, chill and get involved in activities. The new service is funded by the Public Health Agency and will provide an outreach service across the northern areas of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area.

Anne-Marie McClure, Chief Executive of Start360, believes this is a vital new service. ‘I am delighted to be opening our N-GAGE building in Ballymena. This initiative is all about young people getting the support they require. It is about access, signposting, making use of all the resources available, participation and active involvement. Young people are key to the continued success of N-GAGE. Already the young people who have been involved in setting it up – from giving it a name to painting the walls – are telling us that the service has changed their lives. We look forward to giving these same opportunities to many other young people in the area.’

N-GAGE provides information on a wide range of issues relevant to young people. Most importantly it focuses on improving access to the range of support services available to them in their local area and further afield.

Madeline Heaney, PHA’s Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (North), said, ‘The One Stop Shop model provides an opportunity for young people to access information, advice, support and signposting to a range of areas, such as mental health and wellbeing; sexual health; suicide prevention; relationship issues; resilience and coping with school and employment. The service puts young people at the heart and aims to ensure that there is ‘joined up’ working across a range of health and social wellbeing themes so that services and programmes, including the One Stop Shop, are provided in a seamless and accessible way.’

The Mayor of Ballymena, Audrey Wales MBE, who will attend the official opening, said, ‘As Mayor of Ballymena Borough Council, I welcome the opening of N-GAGE in Ballymena. This is a great initiative to help young people, The centre will offer advice and support in a relaxed environment promoting positive health and lifestyle choices. I encourage everyone to avail of the fantastic services available at N-GAGE and wish the staff and team every success’.

For more information contact N-GAGE on 028 2568 9356 or drop in to 2-6 Wellington Street, Ballymena


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