CROSS-COMMUNITY victims' group WAVE Trauma Centre recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

WAVE was established in 1991 in Belfast, as a voluntary, cross-community charitable organisation that offers care and support to anyone bereaved, traumatised or injured as a result of the Troubles.

The philosophy and ethos of the organisation is one of inclusiveness, providing care for anyone irrespective of religious, cultural or political belief.

WAVE promotes a respect for life and an understanding of difference that is seen as enhancing rather than threatening.

The corporate logo of a lighthouse was chosen as a beacon of light for many people coping in the aftermath of traumatic bereavement or injury.

Today WAVE is the largest cross-community victims group in Northern Ireland.

WAVE first arrived in Omagh in September 1998 after the Omagh atrocity, and the centre was located at the First Trust Bank.

After a number of years there, the centre was relocated to the Bridge centre. From there it moved to Old Market Yard.

On October 13, 2005, WAVE Trauma Centre relocated to Holmview Avenue.

This provided more opportunities for clients and staff, in an area that was quiet and confidential.

As WAVE expanded its services and staff, Holmview Avenue became too small to properly meet the needs of our clients.

In April 2021 the group moved in and made Holmlea house their new home.

"Holmlea house has provided us with a great opportunity to expand the services we provide to clients in Tyrone and Fermanagh," said a spokesperson.

"Before we moved into the premises in April we spent time painting, updating lighting and electrical equipment and sanding floors. We also added a wood-burning stove to the workshop. From May we were able to resume face to face services.

"Our work includes;

l Outreach services - offering support and a comprehensive assessment of need.

l health and wellbeing support - focuses on building and fostering resilience through access to tailored programmes and grants to meet individual needs.

l psychotherapy - one to one service for those who need extra help coming to terms with trauma or the impact of a life-changing event.

l complementary therapies - assist with physical and mental pain management. Treatments include reflexology, aromatherapy and massage.

l welfare advice - confidential advice on a range of issues, including social security benefits. Universal credits and tribunal representation.

l advocacy- support guidance and assistance is available through a dedicated service.

trauma education - raise awareness of the needs of traumatised individuals and provided trauma education opportunities.

l social support - to enhance personal development and help reduce isolation.

"This has included a weekly horticulture group, beekeeping with our own hive, Upcycling and tone up Tuesdays. We hosted a number of different art programmes - suncatchers, bookbinding, mosaic workshop and a 10 week drawing with colour course. We held a six-week cook-it programme which was a real hit with clients.

"We have been busy putting plans in place for the months leading up to Christmas. The Horticulture, knit and natter and newly arranged men’s weekly programmes will continue to meet weekly, new clients are very welcome to join. We have workshops on decorative wreaths and table centres using foliage from the many trees, shrubs and bushes around the gardens, as well as other craft workshops. A new programme we are running is a winter warmer slow cooker class.

We have organised a Christmas craft fair for November 26 and 27, this house is the ideal setting to share the Christmas spirit. A variety of stalls will be present for all your decoration and gift needs, as well as a visit to Santa in our grotto for the children.

"You can follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening @Wave Omagh.

"When planning the opening we were pondering on who meant the most to the friends and family of WAVE Omagh.

"There was no doubt in our mind who this would be, no other than our very own Jean. Jean has a special place in the heart of WAVE Omagh.

"Jean was an outstanding Outreach caseworker who supported clients across Northern Ireland for over 22 years.

"Jean’s knowledge, care and compassion touched so many hearts and minds during her service to the clients of WAVE.

"This has made a difference to so many lives across Tyrone and Fermanagh, with so many fond memories.

"In March 2020 just as we started our first Covid-19 lockdown, Jean started her retirement. Not the retirement Jean was expecting or one that we had hoped for Jean. Plans had to be cancelled with no idea of when restrictions would be lifted. "

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