A lifeline for Lifeline

 

Lifeline Inishowen in Carn survives on community goodwill and dedicated volunteers. Pictured here, from left, are: Catherine O'Donnell, support worker, Mary Doherty, coordinator, Susan Donaghy, administration, and Cathal Monaghan, development worker.

Lifeline Inishowen in Carn survives on community goodwill and dedicated volunteers. Pictured here, from left, are: Catherine O’Donnell, support worker, Mary Doherty, coordinator, Susan Donaghy, administration, and Cathal Monaghan, development worker.

Inishowen’s only domestic violence centre survives for now on goodwill of local community

The coordinator of Lifeline Inishowen, Inishowen’s only domestic violence centre, says an ‘amazing community response’ has helped stave off the threat of closure.

The Carn centre has helped hundreds of families affected by violence in its twenty-year history but has been repeatedly forced to the brink of closure in recent years after the HSE pulled its funding, in favour of centralising the service to Letterkenny.

Lifeline continues to receive less than €4,000 in annual funding – from State child and family agency Tusla – and survives on a shoestring budget, but local donations have secured its future, at least for the short-term.

“The community response has been absolutely amazing. We thought we were going to have to close down at the end of March but local donations have saved us – and they’re continuing to keep us going,” says Mary Doherty, Lifeline’s chief volunteer.

Money flooded in to save the service. Some concerned citizens personally donated sums of cash, local companies held workplace fundraisers, sports groups, including the ladies darts league and Carn GAA club, made financial contributions as did businesses in the area.

The response has been overwhelmingly, particularly for those involved in Lifeline.

“I think the way that people in Inishowen have come together to save lifeline is something that should be celebrated.”

“It demonstrates the fantastic community spirit here but it also proves to us that the community is aware of the service Lifeline provides – and how much it is needed in this area,” Mary adds.

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Donna Roddy