Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage has launched a charity driven campaign designed to help raise funds for four incredible charities that work right at the heart of our community.
The Southern Area Hospice, Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Simon Community and Suicide Down To Zero all provide vital support to families across our district and without them the most vulnerable of our residents would have nowhere to turn. At this time, all four charities share the same challenges – the current cost-of-living crisis. This has had a huge impact on the demand for their services locally and has also impacted on their ability to raise funds and donations from the public, as households of all shapes and sizes are being hit by spiralling living costs.
Speaking at today’s launch of the campaign, Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “This campaign has been developed in partnership with the charities to highlight the important physical, mental and emotional support they provide and to ask for your help, which is needed now more than ever.
“Each of these charities work tirelessly all year round, always going the extra mile to assist struggling families and individuals and those most in need. I am appealing to the generosity of our residents and businesses and asking for your help to donate to these charities, so that together we can make a difference. Every contribution however big or small will help each of these charities.”
The Southern Area Hospice cares for patients and their families by offering specialist palliative and end of life care. Last year, the Inpatient Unit, Day Therapy unit, and Community Services teams helped over 1,500 patients and without your ongoing help they could not do what they do.
Chief Executive for Southern Area Hospice Services, Liz Cuddy OBE DL, said, “We are delighted to be part of the Chairperson’s Chosen Charities Campaign, working with Councillor Michael Savage to raise awareness of the vital support and care provided by the Hospice to our patients and their families from all areas of the Newry, Mourne and Down district. The demand for our services continues to increase during incredibly difficult financial times for everyone. The local community has always been very supportive of their Hospice, and we could not provide the care we do without their support. We hope everyone gets behind this fantastic initiative to help raise much needed funds”.
Every week four people die by suicide in Northern Ireland, which is a staggering figure. Suicide Down to Zero tirelessly create awareness of the causes of suicide to help detect early warning signs. They too need our support.
Suicide Down to Zero Chairperson, Pat McGreevy said, “Everyone can contribute to suicide prevention by learning more about suicide and how it can be prevented, from taking the time to learn specific suicide prevention skills, to providing emotional and practical support to those people who have attempted suicide or have lost a loved one to suicide. Together we can bring suicide down to zero.”
With the cost-of-living crisis that we are currently facing, many families locally would be struggling to put food on the table without the help of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul. In the last six months alone there has been a 90% increase in request for support across our district.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Newry and Mourne Area President, Rosemary Cunningham, said, “We are grateful for all the generous donations from everyone as they enable us to provide support to the vulnerable people of this area. Being nominated as one of Councillor Savage’s chosen charities is an honour as donations from this campaign will mean we will be able to extend our reach within the local community to assist those families who are facing impossible choices this winter. If you are experiencing hardship due to the cost-of-living crisis I would appeal to you to get in touch and seek the help Society of St. Vincent De Paul can provide. Whether you are experiencing difficulty in heating your home or putting food on your table, we are only a phone call away.”
The Simon Community actively works to tackle homelessness, but are aware many vulnerable people remain without a roof over their head.
Simon Community Chief Executive, Jim Dennison said, “We are absolutely committed to ending homelessness and believe that everyone has the right to a home where they feel safe and secure. The current cost of living crisis is likely to tip many more people into homelessness, which is why being selected to be part of the Chairperson’s Chosen Charities Campaign will help us make a real difference in our work to provide shelter and support for those individuals and families who need us most.”
Councillor Savage concluded, “I know the compassion and generosity of our residents across Newry, Mourne and Down to support this fundraising appeal will help deliver much needed aid in our community this winter. A dedicated webpage has been set up to support this campaign ensuring that donations can be made quickly and easily. Finally, I would ask the public to please consider making a donation to any of the four charities by visiting www.newrymournedown.org/charities”.