Parent labels Trust’s actions over Cottages as ‘disgusting’

Parent Patricia Murphy and Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin pictured at Thursday's meeting in Ardnashee School. DER0215MC059
Parent Patricia Murphy and Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin pictured at Thursday's meeting in Ardnashee School. DER0215MC059

Parents of those affected by Western Trust proposals to change the way respite care is facilitated at ‘The Cottages’ unit in the Waterside are calling on the people of Derry to back their campaign.

The Derry Journal was granted exclusive access to the families and carers at a special meeting held at Ardnashee School and College yesterday afternoon.

The proposals put forward by the Western Trust include the possibility that some families, who currently avail of ‘The Cottages’ respite facility, moving their children to a Western Trust facility 40 miles away in Omagh.

The meeting was attended by local MLAs Pat Ramsey, Maeve McLaughlin andMark H. Durkan’s political advisor.

“I would ask the members of the Western Trust responsible for putting us [the parents] through this to walk in our shoes,” said one parent who asked not to be named.

“It’s absolutely disgusting what they are doing to us - have they no morals?

“‘The Cottages’ respite unit is lifeline for both my husband and I. Our son has been going there for 10 years - the staff know him and he loves it there. We’ve built a relationship with the people there and now the Western Trust want us to up sticks and move our child to Omagh and this is all to save money - this is just not on,” the parent added.