The work of the Foyle Haven, the John Street shelter for people with alcohol dependency issues, has been awarded a prestigious prize of £25,000 by pharmaceutical giants Glaxo-Smith-Klein.
The IMPACT award was made in recognition of the reduction in alcohol-related harm and a 50% drop in hospital admissions among users of the centre.
Foyle Haven provides programmes to help users overcome some of the underlying symptoms of addiction. It also helps with personal care and a range of physical and mental health care needs.
Chairperson of Foyle Haven, Sister Catherine Boyle was delighted with the award stating: “This award is very much a validation of what we are doing. It is an encouragement and incentive to continue our work in general.”
The centre has approximately 40 clients who use its facilities on a regular basis. Having opened in 2001, last year it increased service provision to seven days a week until 10pm at night.
Funding from The Big Lottery Fund allowed the centre to double staffing levels to 15 employees. Over the last two years, Foyle Haven has worked with 80 individuals on 12,000 occasions;
Foyle Haven Health Workers have facilitated over 700 medical interventions in the last two years, including registrations with GPs, accompanying people to appointments and referrals to treatment centres.
Sister Boyle said: “Users can enjoy time with us and when they are in here they are not drinking.
“We provide good nutricious meals to aid general well being. The overall health condition of our users can be pretty poor, the last thing most people with alcohol dependency think of is eating well, so while they are here their health tends to improve.”