Compass Advocacy Network’s CAN-DO ambitions realised with support from Community Finance Ireland
Project: Compass Advocacy Network
Location: Ballymoney, Co. Antrim
Sector: Health and Social Care
Ballymoney-based, Compass Advocacy Network has purchased and developed a social farm which provides training and leisure opportunities for over 50 people with learning disabilities each weekday, with support from social finance providers, Community Finance Ireland. A total loan value of £350,000 enabled the purchase of the 11-acre site and farmhouse outside Ballymoney, and the subsequent installation of phase-3 electricity and upgrade of the farm’s outbuildings.
The Compass Advocacy Group was established in 1997 to provide education, learning and employment opportunities to vulnerable adults. CAN’s bases provide social and leisure opportunities for over 50 people with learning disabilities per day, 5 days a week in Ballymoney, Ballymena and Coleraine.
“As a user-led organisation, the people we support are at the heart of our decision making. As well as social and leisure opportunities, our social enterprises which include recycling, upcycling and retail, give our users real work-based training towards employment.
The social finance support and advice from the team at Community Finance Ireland that allowed us to purchase and carry out improvement works at Lislagan Farm, has been invaluable. Peter and the team really understand and encourage our plans for growth and development. We couldn’t have made our plans for the farm a reality without them.”
Janet Schofield, Chief Executive, Compass Advocacy Network