Monday 21 August 2017 08:43:20 PM

Home-Start and PIPS Benefit From Council Charity Golf Day
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TWO charities were presented with cheques worth over £2,000 from funds raised by Down District Council’s Golf Charity Tournament.

At a presentation on Monday 3 September, Council Chairperson Councillor Mickey Coogan presented the funds on behalf of Council employees to representatives from Home-Start and the Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide (PIPS).

Speaking at the presentation Councillor Coogan said: “It was a tough challenge but an enjoyable one for the 80 golfers who entered Down District Council’s charity golf tournament in aid of two local charities.  I wish to convey my thanks to the golfers and to our sponsors, Pulse Fitness and Atlas Communications.  Through their combines efforts we have raised much needed cash for two of our local charities.  These donations will have a positive impact on our local community.”

The event was hosted by Down District Council employees at Downpatrick Golf Club on Friday  3 August  which was also supported by financial donations from Down District Council’s suppliers.

At the cheque presentation at the Down District Council offices following the golf fundraiser were Joe Deegan, Council event organiser, Maureen King, Newcastle PIPS organiser, Down District Council Chairman Councillor Mickey Coogan, Sharon Robson, Newcastle Home-Start organiser, Dorothy McMullan, Homestart co-ordinator, and Barbara Ennis, Council event organiser.

Newcastle PIPS Branch Organiser Maureen King said: “I am delighted to receive these funds. They will go a long way into helping us challenge the rising need for suicide awareness across the area. In Ireland last year there were 187 suicide deaths which represents an huge amount of trauma in our society. We need to do all we can to address this dilemma.”

Home-Start Trying to Meet Increasing Demand on Services

Down District Home-Start helps families across Down District to cope with post-natal illness, isolation, bereavement, disability and domestic violence and generally combat the practical and emotional difficulties faced in everyday life.

Imelda Hynds, Ballynahinch Organiser, said: “Home-start is currently facing an increase in demand for its services. Despite having to close our Newcastle and Ballynahinch premises due to financial constraints, we have still managed to maintain our office in Ballynahinch and our main office at the Down Business Centre.

“We received stop gap funding from government and have no ongoing funding. We are constantly having to fundraise to make ends meet. “Families are under increasing pressure because of the economic climate and we are operating on a shoe string trying to do our best for them.

“A wide range of issues such as young people being affected by housing policy, fuel poverty, mortgage negative equity and payment problems, are just some of the issues we help our client families address.

“We are currently havinga recruiting drive and a new course for volunteers commences on 8 October. Please contact our Downpatrick office at 028 44 615727 if you are interested in this.

“Also, we have organised a fundraising abseil down the Europa Building in Belfast and all the places this Saturday are filled up and there are a few vacancies for the 23 October. We have around a 100 brave people so far abseiling to help us raise valuable funds.

“We really appreciate the efforts by staff at Down District Council to fundraise for Home-Start in the recent golf open competition. It is just an ongoing battle but our team are dedicated and determined to support the needy families across the district.”