Mid Ulster Women’s Aid celebrate 20 years

REPRESENTATIVES from statutory agencies including the PSNI and the Probation Board NI were in attendance at a special event today to mark the 20th anniversary of Women’s Aid in the area.

The organisation, which provides emergency accommodation and other support services to the victims of domestic violence, also officially launched its new title at the event.

Mid Ulster Women's Aid staff at their 20th anniversary celebration

Mid Ulster Women's Aid staff at their 20th anniversary celebration

Now known as Mid Ulster Women’s Aid (formerly Cookstown and Dungannon Women’s Aid), staff at the local refuge provided emergency accommodation to 42 women and 36 children locally during 2013.

Thirteen of those women were from Black and Minority Ethnic Communities, who came from Latvia, Lithuania, East Timor, Portugal, Hungary, Ukraine, and three from the Irish Travelling Community.

Some of the women availed of English language classes provided free of charge by Mid Ulster Women’s Aid.

Unfortunately, due to the refuge being full to capacity, some 37 women and their children were not able to be accommodated locally.

However, 34 of them were supported in obtaining safe alternative accommodation, with the remaining three signposted to services better able to meet their needs.

The Tyrone Times and Mid Ulster Mail spoke to Mid Ulster Women’s Aid Manager, Martina Hemmings, and Refuge Manager, Geraldine Reid, at the 20th anniversary event in Cookstown today.

For more details and pictures from the occasion, check out this week’s editions of both papers.