A CHILDREN’S charity has revealed that it will not be renewing its contract to support the Rossorry Grove supported accommodation facility. Action for Children stated that it would not be seeking an extension after the current contract expires on March 31, 2023 citing “difficulties in staff recruitment” and “severe budgetary pressures”.
Rossorry Grove, which is based in Enniskillen is a purpose-built 13-apartment supported accommodation facility that provides a service for young people aged between 16 and 24 who were homeless or at risk of becoming so.
The service works with young people aged 16 to 24 years, many of whom have been in care and, along with is commissioned by both the Western Health and Social Care Trust and Supporting People.
However, the facility will have to function without the assistance from Action for Children.
A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Action for Children can confirm that reluctantly it will not be seeking an extension to the contract for the Rossorry Grove supported accommodation service in Enniskillen after March 31, 2023.
“We want to provide high quality housing for young people with the greatest need, but the ongoing challenges of trying to recruit staff in the sector combined with short-term contracting and severe budgetary pressures has made this increasingly difficult.”
Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA, Jemma Dolan, stated that she sympathised with the difficult decision that Action for Children had to take and called for the NI Executive to return to Stormont and help facilities like Rossorry Grove deliver the service that vulnerable people need.
She said: “I’ve seen first hand, on several occasions, the most recent being last Friday, how their staff go above and beyond to ensure the safety of the young residents.
“I’ve seen the staff prepare the residents for job interviews, help them with house viewings and help them pass theory tests. This is more than a residential facility – it is a home for 13 at-risk young people.
“I understand that there are budgetary constraints in all sectors but this is literally a life saving service.
“If we had an Executive, the £1 Billion that Sinn Féin has pledged to the Health Service could help go towards this. Or even the £6 million that the Secretary of State has said an election would cost, would go a long way in funding Rossorry Grove.”
The NI Executive has been approached for comment.
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