In 2020, our corporate partner Danske bank raised a fantastic £75k for Extern and had a real focus on wanting to supporting young people in the local community. With this in mind, £33.5k of the funds raised were allocated to improve Kinahalla, Extern’s respite Centre for young people which is located in the beautiful Mourne Mountains in County Down.

The money is being used to make the main building and grounds a safer and much more welcoming space for young people to stay and to play. As Kinahalla is situated on a busy road with very fast moving traffic directly adjacent to the building, the aim is to install a 2.4m fence all the way along the boundary line to the front of the house and construct 2m secure gates that can be locked when young people are on site and when the site is not in use.

Another key outcome of the injection of funds from Danske will be the renovation of Kinahalla’s sports court in order to facilitate many more activities on site. As well as completely re-developing the current pitch which is not safe to play on, and moving the outside car park towards the entrance of the property to create more free space around the house for young people to enjoy activities.

To make full use of this improved outdoor space, there will also be new outdoor lighting installed, along with a sensory garden, including a colourful pergola structure with coloured flooring and seating areas for young people with any sensory issues.

Kinahalla’s inside spaces will also be developed to provide sensory mood lighting, along with newly decorated bedrooms with sensory lighting and colourful seating areas with touch and feel sensory provision.

When the works are successfully completed, Danske will have supported our vision of making Kinahalla a more accessible, safe environment and a more welcoming home away from home for young people, at which they can seek support for the challenges they are facing.

Danske will leave a legacy for hundreds of young adults and children who visit Kinahalla every year.