Lineup confirmed for Aisling Centre conference of Hope

ON Saturday, some of Fermanagh’s most inspirational people will share their story on how they overcame adversity and how they found faith during the darkest of times.
The annual ‘Hope, Healing and Growth Day of Inspiration’ is set to take place at the Crest Centre at the South West College in Enniskillen on Saturday, January 7.
The event will start with an introduction by Aisling Centre patron, Adrian Dunbar.
The Enniskillen actor feels it is important that people are given the opportunity to talk openly about the challenges and difficulties that they have faced, and especially mental health troubles.
“In rural areas, isolation has long been a problem and the pandemic I believe has given us all a taste of how debilitating the lack of human contact can truly be,” said the Line of Duty star.
“The day of Hope, Healing and Growth is open to all, with wonderful uplifting testimonies from those of us who have been to difficult places and those who just want to share the possibilities of renewal.”
Following Dunbar’s introduction, a well-known psychologist Shane Martin will then take to the floor to offer some advice to people who are struggling with mental health conditions.
The Aisling Centre, which is running the Hope, Healing and Growth Day of Inspiration, provides counseling, help, support and advice to mental health sufferers in Fermanagh.
Three modern day ‘inspirations’ will then take part in a panel discussion under the theme, ‘there is hope after…’. Each participant will tell their own story about how they found hope.
In 2012, Emma Spence lost her father Noel and brothers Nevin and Graham in a farming accident.
Emma was herself injured in the accident and spent many weeks in hospital. She will tell those in attendance about how she found hope in the face of adversity.
Kinawley’s Connor McBarron is also set to talk at the event. The former Art & Design teacher at St Michael’s College was diagnosed with a rare and severe form of bone cancer in 2020. He had to undergo cancer therapy, and following this, he held a charity fundraiser in Enniskillen, raising over £10,000 for the Cancer Fund for Children Ireland charity.
The final participant in the group discussion is Una Leonard. During her early career, the celebrity baker suffered from many eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia.
She told her story in a cook book, ‘Sweet Therapy’.
Maynooth University lecturer Dr Lorna Gold will lead a talk on ‘Climate Generation’.
The Economic Geography PhD graduate will inform those in attendance abut the severe issue that is climate change and global warming, as well as offering tips on how people can protect the environment.
Nathalie Truelove and Amy Bogue from The Find [FIND] Centre, a non-profit youth support organisation in Fermanagh, are set to lead a presentation on the struggles that young people face in today’s world and how parents and older people can support the youth in the county.
The event will then conclude with a talk from Richard Moore and Janet Devlin.
In 1972, a 10-year-old, Richard Moore from Derry, was left blind after he was hit by a rubber bullet from a British soldier on his way home from school.
The author later developed the organisation ‘Children in Crossfire’, which provides help and support to vulnerable children.
The final speaker will be former X Factor contestant Janet Devlin. The singer-songwriter rose to fame following her appearance on the ITV talent show.
Recently she revealed that she has been suffering from alcoholism, borderline personality disorder and bipolar.
Tickets for the in-person event costs £25 and can be purchased on EventBrite.
There is also a free Zoom link available for people who can’t attend the talk in-person.

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