Delight as Praxis trainees find new base after closure

A new mental health project has opened in Portadown, providing a range of work skills training for 30 adults with a learning disability.

The Praxis project will replace the Secret Garden in Hillsborough, which was forced to close earlier this year amid a major outcry.

The services consist of Blissful Bites Bakery on the Lurgan Road which will offer a range of bakery products including apple tarts, tray bakes and shortbread as well as catering and bespoke bakery goods.

The On the GO Project, also on the Lurgan Road, will provide activities for older people with a learning disability.

Meanwhile, the Cusher Meadows Allotment Project, based in Tandragee, will allow trainees to grow their own vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Nevin Ringland, chief executive of Praxis Care, said, “Our previous cafe and garden project at the Secret Garden, Hillsborough had to close in April of this year, after 12 years of supporting vulnerable adults.

“Opening this new project means that we are able to provide an alternative service to these displaced service users. sThe development of this new service shows a commitment from Praxis Care and our staff to provide meaningful training and support services to people with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.”

The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Darryn Causby, who opened the project, said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Praxis Care staff team for their work and commitment in providing services for the community in our borough and throughout Northern Ireland.

“Praxis Care is one of the leading charities empowering adults and children with mental ill health, learning disability and acquired brain injury to enjoy everyday living, irrespective of the complexity of their needs.

“By developing this new service within just six months of the closure of the Secret Garden is a great testimony to their commitment to providing quality services to people with learning disabilities”