Leading all-Ireland local social justice charity Extern has been named as charity partner of the year for 2019/20 by Newtownards and Belfast-based Worthingtons Solicitors.

Founded in Northern Ireland in 1978, Extern has grown to become a leading provider of mental health and suicide prevention services, as well as working with young people and families, and those facing homelessness or tackling problem drug and alcohol use. The charity also provides employability and refugee resettlement programmes.

Extern now operates projects in 40 locations across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, supporting around 20,000 people each year to change their lives.

Staff from Worthingtons will be fundraising for Extern over the next year, aiming to raise awareness and funds for Extern’s diverse range of services through a busy programme of activities.

Catherine Cooney, Partner from Worthingtons, said: “As a firm Worthingtons embrace our responsibility to the local community and we are delighted to launch our charity partnership with Extern for the next year. We are excited about our new fundraising plans to enable Extern to continue to transform lives.

Extern CEO Charlie Mack said: “We are delighted that the highly regarded legal experts at Worthingtons have chosen us as their charity partners for 2019/20. Prestigious relationships such as these play an important part in helping not only to secure vital funds for our services, but also in helping to encourage people to seek help and in raising awareness of the life-changing work that we do each day to transform the lives of 20,000 of the most vulnerable in our society. We look forward to a successful year of working together and the many positive outcomes this will bring for our service users.”