Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today reiterated calls for a solution to be found to help meet the long term funding needs of the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation in Donegal Town.
The centre which, since its establishment in 2006 has provided training and supports to service users with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities and their families, continues to rely almost exclusively on fundraising initiatives and donations from the public to sustain its services.
The centre, which is run largely by volunteers, was awarded a once off grant aid payment of €36,000 from the HSE to enable it to continue its work right up to year end.
The money provided some much-needed relief to the Bluestack Committee, but Deputy Doherty says a more long-term solution needs to be found for the future.
Deputy Doherty said: “Having myself visited the centre along with my colleague Cllr Noel Jordan last spring, I am acutely aware of the great work being done by the centre and its volunteers to help transform and enhance the lives of children with disabilities and their families.
“Since then I have continued to raise this issue with the Minister, and following a meeting between the HSE and centre management which took place in July, an application for funding was submitted to the HSE for approval.
“Last week, I again sought an update from the Minister for Health in respect of this application and I have now been advised this week by the HSE that the centre’s application will be included as part of the estimates process for 2019.
“While a final decision in respect of the application has yet to be made, it’s crucial that both the Minister and the HSE make the necessary funding available to the Bluestack Foundation to sustain these important services into the future.
“I pledge to continue to work closely with the Bluestack Committee to ensure that the maximum pressure is put on the Minister and his officials to resolve this matter and to enable the facility to continue to carry out its work in transforming the lives of all its service users.”Tags: