Candidates present before Destined

Destined members and staff pictured back in March before heading to Belfast to protest against a hard border.
Destined members and staff pictured back in March before heading to Belfast to protest against a hard border.
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Some of the candidates standing in the Foyle Westminster election are visiting people with disabilities in the run up to the election on June 8.

DUP candidate, Gary Middleton, earlier this week visited members of Destined at their base Foyle Valley Railway Museum on Foyle Road.

He will be followed on May 24 at 11am by SDLP candidate Mark Durkan, and Elisha McCallion of Sinn Fein on May 31 at 11am.

Speaking about the visits, Dermot O’Hara, manager of Destined, said: “This will give people from the disability sector an opportunity to engage with the candidates.

“Within the sector there are a number of issues facing people with disabilities.

“The out working of Brexit will have a serious impact on the equal rights of people with learning disabilities with the repeal of the Human Rights Act by the British Government after they leave Europe and the withdrawal of EU funding will affect the level of badly needed services that can be offered by disability groups.

“The learning disability community is still experiencing a shortfall in the Health Trust budget of originally £8m annually and this has placed major constraints on services such as social work provision, respite services and day opportunities in the community.

“People with disabilities face high levels of unemployment and almost 98 per cent of Destined members are in receipt of welfare benefits,” Mr O’Hara added.

Everyone has been invited to come along to the remaining discussions.

Back in March, members of Destined travelled to take part in a major protest against a hard border at Stormont. The protest took place as British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50.