Family Children’s Centre boost for the north coast

Paul and Steve Allen.
Paul and Steve Allen.

A new, first of its kind, Family Children’s Centre is coming to Ballymoney this summer.

The brainchild of Paul and Steve Allen, the centre called ‘iseeyoucareni’ will be located on a farm at Garryduff Road and help foster children and those with disabilities from throughout Northern Ireland.

Paul and Steve recently moved from South England across to the north coast and have been fostering and adopting children for over eight years.

Paul explained: “We love the north coast and feel part of a great community here. We recently moved over from England to Ballymoney and our background is fostering children and helping to find adoption families. Over the short time spent living here I have realised that there is a great need for a Family Children’s Centre that can not only help foster children, but children with disabilities such as autism and other scencery needs.

“‘iseeyoucareni’, our new centre, will offer children and their families a safe place to go and offer support, advice and training to them and their families or carers.

“We will have a Therapy room to support families with children in foster care. It will also help families and children living with a disability or simply for families to sit and talk about the issue’s they may have. Children can also attend with a Therapist to support them in their life.

“There’s also Family Contact rooms which families can visit children that are in foster care and children that are up for adoption, a Meeting area for families to receive parent skills to support them with children with disablities and behavour problems as well as a Toddler and Baby room that offers training to mothers, fathers and grandparents in supporting children with disabilities.

“We have found a great building and location that will offer children these vital services which is located at Garryduff Road, just outside Ballymoney.

The centre will also house a ‘Little Growers’ Club’ where children can learn about how things are grown and will be able to grow fruit and vegetables plus a ‘Little Farmers Club’ where children can learn how to look after a range of animals and a ‘Little Learners Club’.

Steve continued: “The building is on a farm which will offer children the chance to see and interaced with farm animals. We have Moo ‘Cow’, Shaun ‘The Sheep’, Charlie ‘Chicken’ and Sam ‘the donkey‘ so children can feed and learn how to look after animals. The ‘Little Learners Club’ also allows the children one to one with local teachers to help with homework/course work, maths and English. All these clubs can be booked though our great new centre.”

“The centre offers an in-door play area to that is safe and friendly for children with a disability or learning issue.”

Calling on the local community to help and support this new initaitve, Paul added: “Already we have been working with local shop and business owners who have donated items that are needed to help support us.

“However we are still looking for help and support from our community and a list of the much needed items are on our Facebook account iseeyoucareni

“The new centre would mean a great deal to the community of Ballymoney and north coast, bring employment, support and advice to the community of Ballymoney as well as from all over Northern Ireland.”

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