The family of Larne man Ally McCrellis, who died suddenly a year ago, have donated over £3,500 to Extern in his memory.

Former chef Ally (32) died last year following a battle with addiction. A fundraising dance and social evening was held recently in his memory at McAuley’s Bridge Inn in Carnlough. Organised by family friend Charlie Magill, the event raised an incredible £3,505 thanks to donations from guests and supporters of the family.

The generous funding will be used to support Extern’s work in the East Antrim area. Extern currently offers a number of community-based mental health and wellbeing services across the area, including counselling, training and awareness-raising events.

Ally’s family hope that this donation in his name will enable others to access potentially life-saving services across the area.

Ally’s mother Eileen said: “Ally had great difficulty getting any help with his addiction from the health services. The only real help he received in the final years before his death came from Extern and Ali Barry, who is a local volunteer with the Stronger Together support group. Ali Barry in particular was a fantastic support for Ally and both continue to support us as a family through our grief. So when Charlie offered to organise this fundraising event, I asked if the money raised could go towards the work they do.

“As a family we want to thank everyone for the time and effort they have put into this event, and for being so generous with their donations. We hope that this money will be able to help others who need access to the important services which helped me and my family when Ally passed away.”

Extern Fundraising Manager Grace O’Neill said: “We are very grateful and humbled to receive such a generous donation for our services in the area. This will allow us to make a real difference to the lives of others who may be facing challenges at this time.

“Thank you so much to everyone who helped to raise these funds. We look forward to using these to help us in our work to transform lives for the better.”

For details on Extern’s range of services, including downloadable digital resources, please visit, or follow us on social media @Extern_Charity.