A former client of Derry based charity HURT (Have Your Tomorrows) is concerned that recent cuts in funding will have a negative impact on the organisation.
In recent days HURT, which works with people affected by drug and alcohol misuse, announced that, due to funding constraints, it would no longer be able to support anyone aged over 25 and under 60 with drug and/or alcohol problems and who is not recognised as a ‘Victim’ and a ‘Survivor of the Troubles.’
Stephen, not his real name, struggled with alcohol and drugs problems for years but was able to change his life around because of HURT.
“I am in a much better place now because of HURT,” said Stephen.
“I can’t understand why funding for a service that literally saves lives would be cut. When I read about how much politicians are paid and how much is spent jetting them all over the world, I can’t help but think that society has its priorities all wrong,” he added.
SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H. Durkan, has urged the Health Minister to ensure that those affected by alcohol and substance misuse in the North West receive adequate and timely support..
“Local charity, HURT, has been providing services in the North West since 2002. It recently announced that, due to a reduction in funding, it, unfortunately, now has to restrict services to those specified in the criteria of their current funding contracts. This means that anyone over 25 and under 60 and not recognised as a Victim and Survivor of the Conflict who is seeking support for addiction issues will have to be referred to other organisations.
“I have concerns about the impact that this will have on users of this much needed service. Given the vital and quality service that HURT provided up until now, it is fundamental that transition to a new provider for those affected is seamless so that they can continue to receive effective support.”
Mr. Durkan went on to call on those responsible for the funding of such services to ensure that the service currently available to the people of the North West is maintained and protected.
“It would be in the best interests of all that funding be identified in order to maintain the high level of services that HURT provide,” he said.
“I have written to the Health Minister to request that he ensures the Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team within the Western Trust area meets these demands, and to identify any potential funding that might assist HURT in maintaining the high level of services it provides in the North West,” said Mr. Durkan.