Belfast Telegraph

Armagh businesses club together to launch £25,000 wellness centre

Portadown Wellness Centre founder Alan McDowell (centre) with David Overend and Josh Lyness
Portadown Wellness Centre founder Alan McDowell (centre) with David Overend and Josh Lyness
Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

A Portadown businessman has called together the support of some of Co Armagh's biggest businesses to launch a £25,000 wellness centre to support people struggling with mental health problems and other issues.

Alan McDowell, who founded the Portadown Wellness Centre, said: "It is the businesses in this community that have made significant contributions who are allowing us to provide this support.

"Asda Portadown, Sainsbury's Craigavon, Tesco Portadown, Lidl Portadown, The Almac Group, Wilson's Country, Murdock Builders Merchants, Kingspan and MacBlair Craigavon, to name but a few, have come on board to make this possible."

The facility, in Tavanagh Industrial Estate on Church Street, will offer a listening drop-in service as well as a number of classes, including woodwork and yoga, all free of charge.

"An important part of the work at Portadown Wellness Centre is to address the issue of the stigma associated with mental health," continued Mr McDowell, who said the inspiration for the centre came from his own mental health struggles six years ago.

He said that after trying to source funds for the project through the public sector, "it became too stressful", after which he appealed to the private sector in the area.

"Almac donated around £5,000 for the pottery classes, MacBlair Craigavon has donated all of the building materials needed to refurbish the old woodwork suite within the wellness centre and Kingspan provided insulation for the refurbishment of the building," said Mr McDowell.

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The Portadown Wellness Centre will be governed by a board of volunteers, including representatives from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Thompson Aero Seating.

Belfast Telegraph