New training facility opening in Ballymena

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A well established local charity, ‘Compassion Ministries’,is opening a major new training facility in Ballee.

Compassion Ministries has been involved in training and discipling local people for almost ten years, and in that time over 100 people have progressed through their training and development programmes and on to further education or employment.

In partnership with ‘Advance Engineering’, Compassion Ministries has been offering on the job training at its components factory in Pennybridge Industrial Estate, Ballymena for two years. They are preparing to move teaching and training classrooms to a purpose designed building in Lantara, Ballee.

The doors to the new centre will open in September where the staff will be available to chat through what’s on offer. New courses begin mid September 2016.

Mark Donley, Director of Compassion Ministries explained: “The m634 academy offers a programme of life skills training, personal development and work experience in a friendly, supportive environment. Our hope is to support our clients as they work to rebuild areas of their lives which have been disrupted by illness, addiction or unemployment for example and work together to rebuild hope for a fresh start and a new future. We have many participants who have already passed through these programmes and have progressed from long term unemployment to full time employment, have gained qualifications for the first time in their lives and have made the shift from supported living to living independently.”

The programme of learning includes basic life skills from cooking to budgeting and life skills which will prepare you for the next step such as interview skills and CV writing to confidence building programmes. Accreditation is available depending on the course you chose to complete.

Anyone aged eighteen plus can enter the first level programme called ‘fresh start’. This programme is free of charge and is a good starting point to enter into the other programmes on offer at the m-three-six-four academy. Some course fees do apply as you advance through the different programmes to cover costs of training and resources. These programmes all hope to give you a fresh outlook on life, surround you with a friendship network and support system and give you all the skills we possibly can to help you back on to the road to employment and a transformed life.

Mark added: “M-six-three-four refers to a passage in the Bible found in the book of Mark. At compassion ministries we believe in a love that not only talks but takes action and that through training, education and the truth found in Gods word, you have the power and potential in you to transform your life.” To find out more log onto www.gpastures/compassion or email mark@