THE Hope Centre in Ballymena is set to close, it has been reported on social media.
The news emerged in a statement on their Facebook page.
The centre helped people with addictions and hundreds of people in Ballymena and beyond availed of their services over the years.
The Hope Centre Facebook statement said: ‘It is with deep sadness and regret that following 20 years the Hope Centre, Ballymena will now cease to operate as of 30th June 2020.
‘Following my personal 20 years of unwavering commitment to the Hope Centre and due to my ill health I reluctantly must now retire from my role and as there is no available successor to uptake the role the Board and I have made the sad and difficult decision to close our doors.
‘Due to the economic climate, core operational costs have become unsustainable over the past few years and now trying to navigate through the economic effects of COVID has been the ultimate factor in now becoming detrimental to the business and is an additional reason as to the cessation of the business.
‘Personally, I would like to convey my sincerest thanks to all those who have supported both the Hope Centre and my journey over the past 20 years including all other professional community groups, funding bodies, businesses, family members and individuals as well as staff and volunteers.
‘To all those who chose not to support the Hope Centre over the years but now feel the need to hurt the Hope Centre’s legacy, I feel saddened and disappointed. I take great joy in knowing that the Hope Centre has helped a vast number of individuals and families battling addiction as well as mental health issues who have been at the very heart of the Hope Centre for 20 years.
‘I can now look back on those fond memories we all shared with an untainted view. There are and will continue to be those in the community who challenge this very difficult decision and indeed my integrity as both Chairperson and founding member in reaching this decision but after assessing all tenable options there was no other viable solution in this case.
‘I now hope these people now invest their energy in the greater good and pull together as one to focus on what is important and to help those in the community facing daily struggles and challenges.
‘We have taken all necessary steps to ensure all those in need will have those needs met through other agencies within the local community.
‘After 20 years volunteering with the Hope Centre I will miss you all greatly, it has become a part of my heart and soul. I have cherished every moment, both those which were challenging and those that made me laugh out loud!
‘I now hope you all continue to live your best lives, you are truly amazing, it has been a privilege knowing you all and remember no matter what life brings there will always be Hope, just remember to Keep the Light of Hope Alive. Love May.’
There was a big response to the news on social media with many people saying the Hope Centre had greatly helped them.
Others wondered if the centre could yet be saved.