SOUTH Down UUP Assembly candidate John McCallister has praised the work of two Kilkeel based organisations.
Mr McCallister spent Friday morning in Kilkeel accompanied by UUP Party Leader Tom Elliott on a walkabout.
The pair met with Bevin O’Hare co-ordinator of Homestart who explained how the organisation strives to provide trained volunteers to support local parents and families undergoing a range of challenges.
Mr McCallister said, “Bevin and her team do great work but they are being hindered by lack of financial backing. I have given Homestart my commitment to fight to secure future funding if re-elected as I feel this is a vital service for the whole of South Down.”
The UUP team then met with Ivan Henderson from the JIM’S project based in Greencastle Street, Kilkeel.
Mr McCallister said he has nothing but praise for this project which is “a life-line for hundreds of young people in Kilkeel.”
He said, “This is a fantastic building offering a safe and secure haven for the area’s young people. JIM’S takes young people off the streets with as many as 80 coming through the doors on a Saturday night. They offer computer courses through the week and the facilities in the building really are second to none.
“I must also praise the excellent cross community work JIM’S does with the local Kingdom Youth Club. This is a real example of a shared future, and I would love to see further examples of this being rolled out across South Down.
“JIM’S relies on a huge volunteer base – with as many as 50 local people giving of their time and efforts in a bid to keep the young people safe. Credit must go to these people who are a shining example to their local community,” added Mr McCallister.