Inishowen’s domestic violence service, ‘Lifeline Inishowen’ is set to continue for the foreseeable future due to the pressure and demand from the local community.
There had been fears in recent months that the service would close at the end of March due to a lack of funding support from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
A public meeting took place and Lifeline’s committee called for support from the local community.
The service began the process of ‘winding down’ from January, but speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, manager Mary Doherty said they would “still be here for the families of Inishowen.”
She added that Lifeline Inishowen will continue to provide services and from next week, April 4th, will refer clients, when necessary, to Donegal Domestic Violence Service.
Ms Doherty disclosed that the Lifeline committee held a meeting with representatives from DDVS recently, who said that before there was “any committement to working together they would refer back to TUSLA.”
She said that Lifeline have agreed to continue with the clients they have already been supporting, as well as continuing with their awareness raising programmes, with training and with their programmes in local schools.
Ms Doherty said the helpline number for Lifeline Inishowen - 0749373232 - would remain open for calls during their hours and said Tusla want them to begin referring clients to DDVS from this Monday.
She added they were “very willing” to working with DDVS “to ensure the safety and well being of the families.”
While Lifeline Inishowen is set to continue in this vein, they are still faced with the issue of funding.
Ms Doherty said they have been overwhelmed by the support of the local community, with funding recently coming from a Jigs and Reels event organised by Carndonagh GAA, the Redcastle New Year’s Day Swim, as well as a young couple who are undertaking a charity cycle and a forthcoming music night with local musicians in the Arch Inn, Carndonagh on April 9th. Other donations have also been received.
Ms Doherty said they greatly welcomed the support of the community and asked that people “put pressure on politicians” to ensure the future of Lifeline “so that we can continue to support and help families in Inishowen.”
She added: “We can’t just walk away from families. It’s very wrong that the needs of families and the requirement of this service in Inishowen is not being recognised.”
You can find out more about Lifeline Inishowen on www.ldvs.org