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Cash blow for IRA victims in Britain

By Allan Preston

A victims' group representing survivors of IRA attacks in Britain has said it is "heartbroken" after being denied funding for health care support.

Jonathan Ganesh of the Docklands Victims Association (DVA) travelled to Belfast in August to submit an application to the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) on behalf of more than 650 people affected by IRA terrorism.

The funding programme, known as PEACE 4, was supported by EU money and open to all victims of the Troubles in the UK.

But the DVA was informed yesterday by phone its request was unsuccessful.

Mr Ganesh said the group had hoped for funding of £45,000 a year for a full-time case worker to assist victims and ease pressure on volunteers.

He said: "The victims in central London and across Great Britain are heartbroken by this decision.

"We have victims in care homes now - they need help with visits to hospitals and GPs and they're going to suffer because of this decision."

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson called the outcome "deeply disappointing" adding he was happy to support an appeal from the DVA as "I believe their work justifies being funded".

VSS said the funding was granted to groups which could demonstrate their experience in evidence-based health and well-being services, as well as illustrating a need from victims of the Troubles.

On this occasion, the VSS added, further funding was given to two health and well-being caseworkers and an existing advocacy support worker based in London and Warrington.

The organisation added: "This was a competitive call.

"Unsuccessful applicants have received communication and are welcome to appeal this decision.

"In addition, we provide direct support to all individuals who are defined as victims and survivors irrelevant of country of residence.

"Any individual who can identify as such and who requires support should contact our office directly on 028 9027 9100 or"

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