CHARITY mental health organisation MindWise officially opened its new Ballyclare shop and resource centre this week - its third outlet across Northern Ireland.
The store, at 15-17 Rashee Road ,has been in the planning for the last fifteen months after it received funding from the Northern Trust.
Unlike the other MindWise charity shops, this retail unit has a second hand bookshop and will also stock some arts and craft items that are made both in the Ballyclare centre and other resource centres.
The shop will support the work of the charity and allow those using the resource centre to showcase their work and volunteer to help in the day-to-day running of the shop.
The charity has also joined forces with the Job Centre to give those out of work retail experience.
Local MP William McCrea joined the Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Victor Robinson to cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new shop.
The South Antrim MP said: “It was a privilege to be part of an historic occasion at MindWise Ballyclare.
“The staff and volunteers who work at the centre deserve the highest commendation for the excellent service they provide to those who face the challenges of mental health.
“I encourage the local community to visit the charity shop and enjoy interaction with those who run and use this invaluable service.
“For too long mental health has been a subject few were willing to speak about, but thankfully that has changed.
“MindWise is providing sterling service to the local community, creating awareness of mental health and I have pleasure in commending them for doing so.”
The charity also launched its very own magazine at the store opening last Friday (April 12).
WiseCraic, as it has been called, aims to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health illness and to promote good health and will be available in the Ballyclare shop.
The charity has called for the support of the Ballyclare community to help provide much needed stock for the shop. For more information call 9334 1714.