SINN Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said local health charities need emergency financial assistance to deal with the disruption caused to by the the Covid-19 pandemic.
The South Down MP was speaking after writing to Health Minister Robin Swann in an effort to secure emergency financial assistance for local health charities.
Chris Hazzard said:
"Many of our local health charities rely heavily on fundraising as their core income stream in the delivery of their lifesaving services.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic they’ve now been forced to cancel all upcoming fundraising events; putting them in severe financial difficulty.
"Moreover, many of the corporate and community supporters who have been instrumental in fundraising activities are now no longer in a position to help with community funding initiatives for the foreseeable future.
“One of the local health charities I have been worked with is the Cancer Fund for Children, and their world class Daisy Lodge facility in Newcastle.
“The Cancer Fund for Children’s unique service delivery of restorative practical and emotional support provided by a specialist services team at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle has helped more than 2500 families in the past five years. This represents an annual contribution of £2.4million in our local families.
“Like so many of our local health charities and voluntary organisations, the Cancer Fund for Children and Daisy Lodge, will face unprecedented financial difficulties in the months ahead.
“I've asked the Health Minister Robin Swann to urgently step in and provide emergency funding to help mitigate the devastating consequences for those health charities and voluntary organisations who make a remarkable contribution towards the health and wellbeing of our society.
“The Department of Health must help them now in their hour of need.”