Abuse counselling group to close office

On the market - the Nexus premises in Portmore Street.
On the market - the Nexus premises in Portmore Street.

The sexual abuse counselling organisation Nexus is closing its office in Portadown town centre.

In a statement, the organisation said it had not taken the decision “lightly” and revealed that potential funding cuts to charitable organisations had partly dictated the move.

A Portadown woman who has used the service in the town said she had fears about the impact on those who have experienced sexual abuse and who valued Nexus’ services.

She praised the service in Portadown, which has been operating for more than two decades, but voiced fears that it “would not be the same” once the current premises closed.

Nexus has stressed that counselling will still continue for victims somewhere in Portadown.

“Nexus are a counselling service for survivors of rape and sexual assault and I think they do a wonderful job,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

“This change is not good news for the people who use the service in Portadown. There are implications for the office staff there who I understand will have to move offices to Belfast.

“The building is now up for sale and I believe the move will be happening in a couple of months.

“I believe they are now looking for other premises in Portadown where they can do the counselling. It’s disappointing because people are familiar with that building and they feel comfortable there.”

In a statement, Nexus NI chief executive Pam Hunter underlined why the decision had been taken.

She said, “It is unfortunate that we have had to take the decision to sell our office in Portadown. This decision was not one that was taken lightly but was based on a number of factors which include the fact that the office itself is only used one day per week.

“In addition, this takes place in a climate of huge uncertainty for organisations in the charitable sector. Cuts to funding have become commonplace and organisations like Nexus are having to make very hard decisions about how they make their services sustainable into the future.

“I would like to reassure clients that Nexus will continue to provide services in the Portadown area and we are in talks with other organisations to arrange suitable space from which we can continue to provide our much needed local service here.

“Anyone with any concerns should call us on 028 9032 6803.”

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