Carla Lockhart said,
“Sadly many children and young people find themselves needing support from the NSPCC. Indeed, the services provided by the NSPCC in both Craigavon and Londonderry have been so important to many children and young people. It is no exaggeration to say it has helped to heal and save lives. Their commitment and expertise in helping children and young people subjected to child sexual abuse is be commended.
The proposal now being put forward is that the one-to-one therapeutic support programmes provided at these local centres, be replaced with what is described as a preventative model, operated from one regional centre in Belfast.
While a focus on prevention is welcome, it is wrong to cease the recovery programmes for victims who need these existing services.”
Gary Middleton said,
“We believe this is a retrograde step and will leave a void that will be detrimental to children and young people, and their families. The need exists for both these aspects of service, with the prevention of new victims and the needs of victims being met.
Having met with the NSPCC we stressed upon them the need to reconsider this decision and if they continue on this closure trajectory they need to ensure that children already receiving assistance continue to get it. Our continued hope is that the NSPCC will look again at this plan and build upon existing services rather than replace them. We will also be speaking with the Health Minister to ensure that this gap in service is provided for by the local Trusts.”