Stop the Shadows news

New hub aims to combat loneliness in Northern Ireland

Jamie sitting next to his support worker Mel holding cups of tea

An Irish charity is tackling loneliness in the disabled community by providing support and activities for families affected by isolation.

Next year will see the opening of the ‘Sense Hub Belfast’ at the MS Society’s Belfast Resource Centre site which will be transformed into “a thriving community space” for visitors with complex disabilities.

The venue was purchased by the Sense charity for almost half a million pounds who are working in partnership with the MS Society to support disabled people in Northern Ireland experiencing loneliness.

Sense Hub Belfast will include a new adult day centre, arts, play sessions and sporting activities for disabled children to help them communicate and strengthen relationships with their families.

It’s expected that the new centre will support over a thousand visitors by 2026, one of those will be Jamie.

The 25-year-old from Belfast [pictured above sitting to the right of his support worker Mel] has severe vision loss and learning disabilities.

He told Irish News: “The new hub means my service will be closer to my house. That’s brilliant because I really enjoy it.

“I can’t wait to learn to bake cakes in the kitchen and develop my computer skills in the tech suite. That will be cool”.

[ There are around 52,000 people with complex disabilities living in Northern Ireland. ]

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