Family Fund reprieve welcomed by Ramsey

Pat Ramsey former Mayor of Derry and MLA since 2003. Pat is married to Chris and they have 3 daughters and a son.

Pat Ramsey former Mayor of Derry and MLA since 2003. Pat is married to Chris and they have 3 daughters and a son.

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Pat Ramsey, MLA for Foyle has warmly welcomed the reprieve granted to the Family Fund.

After fears for its future, the fund has been granted £0.8million by the Department of Health in the November Monitoring Round.

This secures a vital service utilised by some 4,000 families who care for a disabled loved one in Northern Ireland, in excess of 300 of them live in Foyle.

Mr. Ramsey, chairperson of both the All Party Group on Disability and the All Party Group on Learning Disability, said: “This announcement by the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is to be warmly welcomed.

“I am delighted that he listened to and responded to the genuine fears of my and indeed his own constituents. This is an issue I have been working on for some time and it certainly caused large degrees of consternation for those constituents who describe it as vital to them and their children.”

In excess of 300 families in Mr. Ramsey’s constituency of Foyle avail of the fund annually.

The charity, The Family Fund assists over 4000 families with a disabled child in meeting the cost of essential living needs. Living costs for those living with a disability are roughly three times that of those living without.

Mr. Ramsey criticised the Department previously after it had withheld an expected payment of £750, 000 to the group.

“This in fact marks an increase in the financial support previously given to the charity and therefore to those most detached from society,” he said.

“It is important that we continually work to ensure those living with pronounced difficulties do not suffer unduly as a result of Departmental decisions. This is something I have dedicated my political career to doing.

“I warmly welcome the Ministers announcement that he will also bring forward extra funding in order to address the numbers of those awaiting an insulin pump. This is an issue I have addressed with him on behalf of many constituents and I am delighted with the good news.”