It is with great regret that I am making this announcement today, that unfortunately due to severe cut backs in available funding we will have to reduce drastically the available services that we have been providing for the past 15 years. From March 10th HURT will no longer be a drop-in centre we will no longer have the funding to provide free services to all callers and will have to redirect them on to other organizations that are funded through the PHA contracts.
To individuals that we are able to support through the available funding this will be: Older people over 60 (until October this year.) Victims and Survivors (dependant on funding outcome) and some young people covered through the Comic Relief program aged 18 to 25
15 years ago after the death of my son Tony from a drug overdose I opened the doors of HURT to help people who were struggling with their addiction, parents who were at a loss as to where to go for support, the average person in the street could call in for a friendly bit of advice, to be honest I never thought it would have grown to where we are now. There are 12 trained professional staff supported by a number of volunteers in two centres working 5 days a week to provide essential services for the hundreds of people who call through our doors seeking advice intervention or support to address their own or loved ones addiction issues.
The long hard days and nights were worth it when you knew you have helped save a life or turn their lives around. I think only people working in this field will understand how hard it is to build up a professionalism of so many staff who were dedicated, knowledgeable and hard working devoting their long hours without question, I would like to thank every one of them because their work was not in public view, it was hard sometimes frustrating and of course challenging.
We worked with the very young to people in their 70s, all with their own issues and pain, lots of these people had mental health problems and feeling suicidal, we worked with schools, youth workers and the whole community; we took the stigma away from addiction looking at the whole person and not making judgment on any one. We reconnected love ones with their families and their community we helped keep parents and children together, we worked with young offenders and when the “Lethal highs” came into our town we saw more and more young people become addicted to these substances. Often they would present with paranoia and psychotic episodes which could lead to violent acts of self-harm and thoughts of suicide.
I would like to thank the Big Lottery for their support over the past 9 years, without them our work would not have been possible, I would also like to thank all the other funders that funded a range of programs working across all age ranges and issues.
Can I say a big thank you to Raymond Mc Cartney who has always had our back and did what he could to help us there are so many good people that have helped throughout the years, from bag packing, climbing mountains, running marathons coffee mornings to help fund the essential work of the charity.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you all.
It goes without saying that there has not been any stone unturned or door that we have not knocked on asking for support. I don’t know what more could have done. HURT are passionate about providing awareness raising and educational programs to our young people and believe that early intervention is essential in helping to shape the attitudes and beliefs to help them be able to face the challenges of life. In the past 5 years HURT has delivered accredited education programmes to over 600 young people on the dangers of substance misuse. We have provided information session with over 1300 young people raising awareness of drugs and alcohol use.
I believe our children will not be protected our streets are not safe unless someone steps up and takes responsibility. Let me ask a question? Do you think we have a Drug problem? Do we have an Alcohol problem, do we have a prescription drug problem, how many suicides are drug or alcohol related, Think about it. How many of our young people still say they believe Marijuana is totally harmless.
Drugs are everywhere in the smaller villages, rich towns, towns, cities and outskirts. If you want it, it’s there,” we are not getting away from it;
Two Years ago I launched a Remember Me book which has 31 young people within our town who lost their lives to Addiction & Suicide. This book was so personal to every beautiful person in it, it was not a book of condolence, it was to show that we appreciated each person and their contribution to our life, they were the future.
I hope that those in government and statutory agencies can address the gaps that will inevitably occur once we reduce the open door policy currently used. In the past 5 years over 2,000 individuals and family members have called to avail of the free services where they could get immediate support with no waiting time. Our children are presenting with more physical, mental and other underlying problems and will struggle to get the immediate help that many of them need.
HURT are not closing we will focus more on developing the educational programmes and will continue to support those people that we have some funding for but will now pass on to the relevant organisation for referral the majority of callers who would have been helped here.
Thank you once again for you continuing support.
Sadie O Reilly Founder of HURT