Downpatrick Charity Scoops £144,920

Life Changes Changes Lives (LCCL), a Downpatrick-based health charity, has been awarded £144,920 from the Assets Recovery Community Scheme (ABRS).

Manus and Ailish Teague who founded LCCL said: “We are absolutely delighted with securing this substantial award. It will help us to continue our work and meet the increasing demand for the services we provide to our members who benefit from the therapeutic environment we have created in the areas of mental health and addiction.”

Members of LCCL with founder Manus Teague, third right.

The LCCL group have scooped the award for their project ‘No Lost Cause‘ which aims to reduce offending through inter-generational diversionary and therapeutic community programmes, including counselling for addictions and working with offenders and victims of crime.

LCCL engages with its members in developing their ability to enter paid employment by building up their self-esteem and confidence. Training programmes include basic food hygiene, Introduction to Cookery. NVQ Level 1 Cookery, OCN Level 2 Hospitality Services. Members also have branded work wear, away days, and peer mentoring, counselling and a harm reduction programme are also ongoing.


Life Changes Changes Lives voluntary director Kieran Casement with member Marie Coyle who has upcycled a small side board and Manus Teague, founder of LCCL.

Manus Teague added: “It has been a long road since our beginning back four years ago. We first located in the former Xtravision premises in The Grove. Initially my wife Ailish and I had a group of people we were working with. There were eight in total. We began to upcycle furniture and for the first six months numbers were low. But the sound of laughter resounded through the shopping centre and before long the numbers swelled and eventually we found that the premises just was not big enough.

“We needed to move to a High Street location. Not just to have a shop window to sell off our products of upcycled items but to let people in Downpatrick know where we were and what we were doing. We did not want to be closed off up some quiet side alley.

“The quality of the work produced has increased a lot and it is really amazing the artistic talent that some of our members have. They put their unique stamp on the items they are working with.

“We moved into our new premises in Market Street in 2018. We have around 56 members currently and on any one day we could have 25 people attending in different activities. And we provide 20 lunches on a daily basis through the week.

“Our main aims are to help improve the mental health of our members, to reduce the level of social isolation they experience, and address the scourge of suicide in our society. To date we have trained 25 members in suicide prevention through SDZ0000 and will be training more going forward. ”

Manus said that LCCL is a charity run “by the community for the community”. And an example of this is one of the founder members, Kieran Casement, who has been a appointed as one of the six directors.

Why not call in and view the upcycled furniture and other items on display at 41 Market Street Downpatrick.


The Department of Justice announced the windfall on Monday creating an overall windfall of over £1.8million for local groups across Northern Ireland to projects aimed at tackling crime and the fear of crime across Northern Ireland. This takes the total funding support through ARCS to over £5 million since the scheme began in 2012. The ARCS budget comes from the payment of criminal confiscation orders collected by the courts.

For the first time bids could be made for longer term initiatives up to 31 March 2021. The £1.8 million allocation runs from Dec 2018 to March 2021.

The 50 ARCS successful projects will help to address a range of issues in support of individuals, families, young people, older people and wider communities across Northern Ireland. Projects include educating older people about scams, support for offenders, training and mentoring programmes for young people and people with addictions, interventions and diversionary activities for young people and support for law enforcement to deliver community safety awareness and help people feel safer in their homes.

There were 187 applications received for the limited pot of funding.