Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Support Praxis Care at Hillsborough protest

I WRITE regarding the unfortunate saga developing at Hillsborough Castle regarding the proposed eviction of mental health charity Praxis Care.

The charity's goals are empowering adults and children affected by mental ill-health, learning disability, or acquired brain injury, to enjoy everyday living.

The charity makes no profit from the Secret Garden project, with income being reinvested in the improvement of facilities at the Hillsborough Castle site.

What the NIO and Royal Historic Palaces are asking, essentially, is for Praxis to walk away from nine years' hard work, during which they have turned a disused shed into a thriving business.

We see no reason why Royal Historic Palaces and Praxis cannot co-exist and indeed, thrive together at Hillsborough. Indeed, given the Royal Family's backing for similar projects, through organisations like the Prince's Trust and various community-based initiatives on their other estates, I would urge them to intervene.

So far, we have gathered more than 1,600 signatures opposing the eviction, which gives some indication as to the strength of feeling locally on the issue.

Therefore, we have felt it necessary to take more direct action and have arranged a protest at Hillsborough Castle today, beginning at 11am. Following the protest, we plan to hand over the petition to the Secretary of State. We would be grateful if your readers could come and show their support.

NEIL McNICKLE

Stop the Praxis Eviction Campaign

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