Our History

1995 saw the formation of Ballymena Women’s Aid.  It was affiliated to NIWAF (Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation). During 1996 the building of the present day refuge commenced.  Around this time volunteers started promotion and awareness-raising in Ballymena and surrounding areas. 

The first members of staff for the refuge were recruited a short time before the official opening. They included a full time Team Leader and a Refuge Worker, and in November 1998 the refuge officially opened. This was the realisation of a long-term goal for the voluntary Management Committee. Ballymena Women's Aid was now able to offer a temporary place of safety to women and children who needed to escape from abuse within the home.

1999 saw the growth of the staff team with the employment of an Administrator, a Child Worker and a Family Support and Resettlement Worker. Between October 1999 and May 2000  funding was acquired for a full time Development Worker and a part-time Clerical Worker, and an office was opened in Antrim. In 2002 the opening of two Resource Centres took place, situated at 8-10 John Street in Ballymena and 38 Church Street in Antrim. These centres were available to all women and not just victims of Domestic Violence.

Naomi Centre

The Antrim Resource Centre  closed in September 2005, with all services, apart from drop-in, continuing in various community settings.  We have now opened a new centre in Ballymena, replacing the old resource centre in John Street. Our new centre is called the Naomi Centre and is based at 2 Cullybackey Road, Ballymena (opposite Ballentine Solicitors, the Pentagon, Ballymena).