NW groups benefit from probation funding

LONDONDERRY community groups benefited from share of £153,851 in funding approved by the Probation Board in December.

Amongst 39 groups to benefit were Age Concern Derry, Northwest Counselling D&A and Northwest Lifelong Learning.

The Board has already allocated well over £1million in 2012 to community development funding of which £211,461 alone was dedicated to the provision of alcohol and drugs services for offenders.

Director of Probation Brian McCaughey stated: “The aim of the Probation Board is to make local communities safer by challenging and changing offenders` behaviour.

“Throughout the year we work closely with partners including those in the community to assist us in delivering programmes to turn the lives of offenders around and make local areas safer.

“In December the Board approved additional monies to groups such as Dunlewey Substance Advice, NorthWest Counselling and Breakthru which deal with alcohol and drug addictions and raise awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse.

“At this time of year, in particular, the counselling services of groups such as these are greatly needed. Over 70 per cent offenders supervised by PBNI misuse drugs and alcohol.

“We have also provided additional funding to many of our community service partners that enable us to effectively supervise community service orders and provide placements to offenders which help them give something back to communities.

“We hope that this additional money will go some way in enabling community and voluntary groups to expand the good work they already carry out in conjunction with PBNI to make communities safer.”