11th hour reprieve for city street drinkers’ haven

The Foyle Haven entrance, John Street.

The Foyle Haven entrance, John Street.

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An eleventh hour reprieve for a vital haven for street drinkers and people battling alcohol dependence and addiction in Londonderry has been welcomed by local politicians and trade unions.

De Paul Ireland’s Foyle Haven Service in John Street has been given a life-line with a rescue package to allow the service to continue to operate.

Joe McCusker, UNISON Regional Organiser, stated: “I’m delighted with the news that the Foyle Haven has obtained the funding to continue to provide this much needed and essential service.

“I’m also relieved for the 11 staff at the Haven who are no longer facing redundancy.

“This is a good day for the workers, service users and the city of Derry”.

He explained how the Haven had been facing closure due to Big Lottery funding ending, with all 11 staff at the Haven on protective notice for redundancy.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly said: “I welcome the positive series of discussions convened by Council with statutory agencies to help this worthy charity which provides a vital service in our city.

“Foyle Haven provides a service which cuts across a range of government departments and this funding that has been secured will keep their doors open and allow time for the charity to explore further funding avenues.”