Speaker for 19th September 2017

President Mike Turner greets Susan Lyons with Club Member John McHenry (R) and Club Secretary Graham MacDonald (L)

Coleraine Probus and the Oasis Trust

Members of Coleraine Probus were pleased to welcome Susan Lyons, when she visited the club to talk about the work of the Oasis Trust, where she is manager of their office and drop-in centre at 35 Abbey Street. Although the name was new to some members, Susan explained that the trust has been around for twenty years, starting life as 'Patchwork'. It aims to be a listening ear and to help people through a crisis or some traumatic experience, with a wide variety of practical help and counselling.

This centre at 35 Abbey Street

The reason Oasis exists, is because our lives change, and for some of us that change can be just too much to handle alone. Sometimes people have 'addictions' that get out of hand - Drink, Shop-A-Holic, Drugs, Gambling and more. Health issues, both physical and mental are a main concern at Oasis. And there are also 'everyday' problems - children, housing, relationships, finance, isolation and so on, that people find so overwhelming, and that they need someone to talk to and unburden their worries and fears.

The mantra for Oasis is 'Caring in Action' and Susan explained the wide range of services the centre provides. Apart from the drop-in centre, they offer one-to-one support; mentoring; counselling; practical courses in life, living, health and confidence. And on top of all that, they provide and emergency food storehouse.

Oasis is part funded by the Department of Social Development and voluntary contributions from 'friends' and other fund giving bodies. Although the centre is non-denominational, the 1st Coleraine Presbyterian Church have been a big and valued supporter of their work, as are the other local churches with their support. The centre has only one 30 hour a week paid worker, who has a background in Psychology, and another 12 hour a week office worker. All the rest of the helpers (including the Manager) are volunteers, all 20 of them!

Members of the club were surprised to hear about such a busy, well organised and practically useful help within the community, and one that they may not have known of before - they certainly won't forget Oasis, and the clear, entertaining and thoughtful talk given by Susan Lyons.

For more information about Coleraine's Oasis Trust, 'Click' the logo below (this will open in a new window)