A County Armagh charity which specialises in making breast prosthetics for cancer patients has set its sight on opening a new shop and patisserie to help provide and fund vital services.
Knitted Knockers is currently based within Brownlow House, which dates back to the 1830s and is located in Lurgan.
Established in Northern Ireland in 2016, the charity produces hand-made prosthetics for women who have undergone mastectomies or other breast procedures.
These ‘knitted knockers’ – which are soft and more comfortable than a traditional heavy prosthetic – are provided free of charge.
The charity operates from within Brownlow House and it is there that it has set its sights on developing its facilities and services.
An application has been submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for consideration.
The proposed developments would be centred on buildings situated in the rear courtyard at Brownlow House.
The charity intends to fit kitchen units to one multi-purpose room, in order to create a patisserie in two further multi-purpose rooms.
And it is intended too to develop and open a shop in what are currently existing stores.
Knitted Knockers would also install a feature fountain and erect pergolas, together with carrying out associated hard and soft landscaping on site.
According to a design and access statement, the new facilities would be much-needed and used to generate further revenue for the charity’s work.
The application includes the provision of various ground floor rooms offering workshops, counselling and therapy sessions to the cancer patients.
Both the shop and the patisserie will be open to the public.
The design and access statement says: “Any money made in these facilities will be used to offer the free services to cancer patients.
“The outdoor spaces will be used for external seating and meeting for the public, with private therapy gardens to the rear.
“The proposed work includes renovation of the ground floor rooms, hard and soft landscaping to the courtyard and gardens and creating easy access for wheelchair users to all facilities.”
The statement says the proposals will not detract from the “historic quality of the buildings”.
It adds: “The facilities offered are essential to the wellbeing of cancer patients.
“The restoration work and enhancement of the buildings and external areas will benefit the historic building and will complement the use of the main house as a public meeting venue.”
The application is due to be publicly advertised next week with a decision expected in due course.