Health Minister visits Clients at Work

L-R Andrea Warwick, Employment Officer, AMH Accept; Diane McLucas, Proprietor, Barkingham Palace; Edwin Poots MLA, Health Minister; David Babington, CEO, AMH and one satisfied customer who has popped in for a blow dry!

Health Minister Edwin Poots praised Action Mental Health for the innovative way it provides vocational rehabilitation and training for people recovering from mental illness.

Mr Poots was speaking as he visited the Hospice Shop and Barkingham Palace Dog Groomers in Lisburn where he met clients from AMH Accept in Derriaghy who are currently on work placements.

The Minister said:

“I am really impressed by the support and empowerment programmes that Action Mental Health offers people who are recovering from mental illness. The personal development training and work placements provide opportunities for people to develop the confidence, tools and skills that will enable them to lead independent lives.

With up to one in six people possibly suffering from mental illness at some point during their lifetime, any programme that aims to create a positive and meaningful future where people in recovery are able to contribute in a positive way to their local communities should be lauded.”

The Minister commended both the NI Hospice and Barkingham Palace Dog Groomers for providing diverse and innovative placement environments. 

Barkingham Palace Dog Groomers, specialises in the grooming and hygiene of dogs. The work involves bathing, drying and cutting a range of different breeds. Diane McLucas bought over the Dog Grooming Business in February 2011 and is a training placement provider for clients who wish to develop skills working with animals in a grooming and care profession. The previous owner also facilitated work placements for AMH Clients.  One former client is now studying to be a Veterinary Nurse at Greenmount College as a result of working in Barkingham Palace. One client is currently on placement.

The NI Hospice Shop opened in Lisburn in November 2010. Two clients from AMH currently volunteer in the shop. 

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