Good news for One Eighty Restaurant as merger is announced

Staff and trainees at 180 Restaurant pictured in March last year  when the restaurant was in danger of closing.
Staff and trainees at 180 Restaurant pictured in March last year when the restaurant was in danger of closing.

The One Eighty Restaurant, which was at risk of closure just months ago, is to merge with Enable NI, thus safeguarding its future.

The restaurant, in Mandeville Street in Portadown, provides training and work opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and autism.

The news has been welcomed by MLA Doug Beattie, one of the many local people who campaigned on behalf of the restaurant.

The campaign was driven largely by parents of the trainees who said no other similar facility existed in the area for their children.

Mr Beattie said, “I must take this opportunity to express my admiration for Fiona Rowan, chairman of the Step by Step charity, and her small team of staff for guiding Step by Step NI over a difficult 12 months to come to what is a welcome conclusion.

“I hope this new merged environment and collaboration will ensure the long term future of the restaurant and that many more young people with learning disabilities can gain valuable experience while working in One Eighty.

“On a personal note I feel the support of the people of Portadown and the wider Upper Bann community have helped achieve this outcome and I hope they will help once again by using this facility and promoting the young people who work in it.”

Enable NI is a local voluntary organisation that promotes opportunities for people with a learning/intellectual disability and autism across the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.