Ballymena-based Alternative Medicine Theatre Company has raised a magical amount of £3,000 to support local mental health services.
The company comprises of diverse bunch of talented individuals of all ages, who share a passion for theatre and a desire make a difference by supporting local community and health services.
Last Christmas saw their 30th anniversary performance, Sleeping Beauty staged at the Braid Arts Centre to the delight of packed out audiences.
Thanks to all cast and crew volunteering their time for free, the production managed to raise £3000 which is now going to be donated to help fund the work of Niamh.
Steven Andrews, Director of the Alternative Medicine Theatre Company, said: “Over the years, the Alternative Medicine Theatre Company has donated tens of thousands of pounds to over 30 different health and social care charities that support our local community.
“We were delighted to focus our efforts in our very special 30th anniversary year on mental health, raising vital funds for Niamh and awareness of this important issue among our audiences and supporters of all ages.”
Niamh (the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) has been offering community-based mental health day support and accommodation services to adults across Northern Ireland for over 55 years through its network of Beacon services.
In the County Antrim area, the charity operates a number of services including: Woodvale Day Support Service in Ballymena, Moylena Court Supported Housing Service in Antrim, the Antrim & Ballymena Advocacy Service, Glens Floating Support Service and the Shiels Court Supported Housing Service in Ballymoney.
Geoff Scott, the charity’s PR & Marketing Manager, said: “We cannot thank the gang at the Alternative Medicine Theatre Company enough for choosing to donate to us.
“£3000 is a huge amount of money to raise, and it will be put to very good use helping to ensure people living in the local community who have experience of mental ill-heath, are supported to recover their quality of life.
“Just as importantly, we want to thank them for doing their part to raise awareness of mental health issues.”
He added: “At any one time, as many as one in four people will be experiencing mental ill-health. Yet our charity knows people still find it difficult to speak up and ask for help when they need it for fear of what others might think.
“Having an experience of mental ill-health is nothing to be ashamed of, and the sooner someone gets the help they deserve, the sooner their recovery journey can begin.
“By choosing to support us, the Alternative Medicine Theatre Company did a wonderful job of drawing attention to our services, and also helped let people in the area who are living with a mental health condition know that their community cares about them.”
For the Alternative Medicine Theatre Company the magic continues they are already in the early stages of production for this year’s pantomime, Aladdin, which will be on in The Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena from November 24-26.
This year the ticket proceeds will be donated to NET Patient Foundation (Neuroendocrine Tumor) and Arthritis Care UK.