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Tuesday, 08 August 2017

Troubles victims in Great Britain to be focus of special healthcare support

Written by Michael McHugh

Victims of the Northern Ireland conflict living in Great Britain are to be targeted for special healthcare support underpinned by EU money.

The programme aims to improve the well-being of survivors who have suffered as a result of violence.

The IRA bombed cities in Great Britain many times throughout the decades-long Troubles which lasted from the start of the 1970s.

The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) in Northern Ireland is calling for funding applications from community and voluntary organisations under an EU programme known as PEACE 4.

It said: "The aim of the programme is to improve the health and well-being of victims and survivors and will target hard-to-reach and marginalised individuals and communities that have suffered as a result of the Troubles/conflict, through the development of a number of new and innovative initiatives."

During the Troubles, republican bombs exploded in places like Birmingham, Canary Wharf in London, Warrington, Harrods department store in London's Knightsbridge, and elsewhere, killing and injuring many.

The British Government has been urged to ensure that victims of IRA terrorism in Britain are included in any new pension scheme for the most badly injured.

Campaigners have been lobbying for greater support because traumatic attacks often destroyed victims' ability to work and support themselves.

Gaps in health provision have been identified in the north west of Northern Ireland and Ireland; England, Scotland and Wales; West Belfast; South Down/Louth; and South Armagh/Monaghan, the VSS said.

The victims' service is searching for additional health and well-being caseworkers.

It funded 21 positions throughout Northern Ireland last year.

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