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Sinn Féin Appleby Trust Concerns

21 February, 2008

Announcement that Centre which caters for those with learning disabilities has been forced to take the decision to close the company on the 30th of April.

Newry Armagh Sinn Féin Cathal Boylan MLA has expressed his concern on the threatened closure of the Appleby Trust.

Mr Boylan said:

"This is a much needed service which finds employment for those with learning disabilities. I am greatly concerned that they are the only such body in the Armagh and Dungannon area and they are now being told there is no funding to ensure their continued work.

"My colleague, Councillor Cathy Rafferty, and I are at present seeking information on how future funding can be provided and to this end I have asked the Health Minister what plans if any the Health Service have to give the funding necessary to the Appleby Trust and also for a meeting with the Health Trusts chief executive."

Sinn Féin councillor Cathy Rafferty said:

"There are at present over 50 people who receive help from Appleby and there are numerous others over the years who are now in full time employment through their endeavours.

"I know the hard work put in by the 6 staff now under threat and how much they care for those they assist into work, it would be a disaster for all those they are helping and all those others who in the future will not have the opportunities the Appleby Trust provide if it is allowed to go for the want of some foresight by the Health Department." ENDS

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