Local council buildings across Northern Ireland will light up blue in November to celebrate the 25th anniversary of local alcohol and drugs charity ASCERT.
Founded in November 1998 by Gary McMichael – who remains the charity’s Chief Executive Officer – ASCERT has grown to become one of Northern Ireland’s foremost regional service providers offering alcohol & drug prevention and intervention services to the public. ASCERT also deliver training services to professionals and practitioners within the voluntary and community sector wanting to develop their knowledge of alcohol, drugs and mental health related topics.
In recognition of ASCERT’s positive impact on local communities over the past 25 years, local councils across Northern Ireland will illuminate their buildings in blue, symbolising the charity’s continued commitment to everyone affected by alcohol or drug use.
The light up schedule is as follows:
Belfast City Council – 1 November; Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – 2 November; Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and Newry, Mourne & Down District Council – 3 November; Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Mid Ulster District Council – 20 November.
Marking a quarter century milestone of dedication and service, Gary McMichael, Chief Executive of ASCERT said “ASCERT has been providing support to people right across Northern Ireland for the past 25 years and I have seen the devastating impact addiction has on individuals, their families and communities. There are significant and enduring issues right across our society and the need for support services such as ours continues to grow.”
“The current cost of living crisis is adding to the pressures people are already feeling and more people are using alcohol or drugs as a way of coping with the stress, strain and adversities in their lives. ASCERT is here to help, providing much needed services across our community to those affected by alcohol or drug use and supporting them to make changes in their lives for the better”
Gary continued “These light up events serve as a visual tribute to ASCERT’s enduring legacy and its contribution to the Northern Ireland community. They also represent a symbol of hope to anyone dealing with addiction, reminding them that help and support are available. ASCERT remains committed to its mission of reducing harm and supporting positive change in our communities for the next 25 years and beyond.”