Health Minister Robin Swann, along with UUP party colleagues, Councillor David Taylor and Councillor Jill Macauley, visited Women’s Aid Armagh Down (WAAD) headquarters on Downshire Road in Newry.
The Minister was briefed on the new ELEOS Project which aims to deliver a holistic support centre at the city centre site to help prevent revictimization and break the cycle of intergenerational abuse.
The Minister was also briefed on the positive impact the DoH funded Mental Health programme – ‘Building Resilience and Hope, Wellbeing Programme’ starting next month, will have for service users.
It was particularly poignant to have the Minister visit the service on International Women’s Day when Women’s Aid is struggling to keep up with demand for their services locally.
WAAD senior managers Helen Cranney and Gillian McAllister met the delegation while Eileen Murphy, CEO joined the meeting virtually.
Eileen Murphy, CEO WAAD said, “We were delighted to welcome the Minister and his local colleagues to see first-hand the pressure that Women’s Aid services are under, here in our local area. We have unfortunately seen unprecedented demand for our services in the last two years with more women and children than ever, in danger in their own homes.
“It was great to get the opportunity to present our plans for ELEOS, a new intervention centre in Newry which will make a significant difference in the lives of many women in our community. This centre aims to provide training, support, and skills to help victims of domestic violence acquire a level of confidence and financial stability to prevent a return to a dangerous situation.
“We hope that over the course of this year that we will be able to raise the £900,000 required to complete the funding for this centre, which will be an absolute lifeline for many families.”
To find out more about how you can avail of Women’s Aid services or to support the organisation please log onto womensaidarmaghdown.org .