Support service for Irish survivors of institutional abuse in Britain to close for good

Support service for Irish survivors of institutional abuse in Britain to close for good

A NETWORK offering vital support services for Irish survivors of institutional abuse is set to close for good next week.

Co-founded in 2001 by Sally Mulready and Phyllis Morgan, the Irish Women Survivors Support Network (IWSSN) was set up to "support, campaign and advise on behalf of" survivors of Ireland's institutional care system who attended institutions between the 1930s and 1990s but now live in Britain.

The not-for-profit organisation has been largely funded through grants from the Irish Government during that time, but also received donations from the Ireland Fund of Great Britain and St Stephen’s Green Trust in Dublin.

This week the board of trustees announced “with much sadness and regret” that they had decided to close the organisation as “future sustainability concerns” had left them “no choice”.

They have set the date of closure as Tuesday, October 31, claiming any survivors currently being served by the charity would be redirected to other services to access support.

“We are currently talking to our partners and other organisations to make sure that the needs of our Survivor communities continue to be met,” they said.

“The Board of Trustees and staff are working hard to ensure that anyone that is still receiving services from IWSSN from either their London or Manchester office, will be directly communicated with and given information of where they can continue to receive support from.”

They added: “We are also working to ensure that all our records and files containing personal information will either be transferred confidentially, with your consent, or stored safely for seven years.”

In 2014 the organisation received special funding from the Irish Government to expand its operation, to reach more survivors across Britain.

This saw The Whispering Hope Centre set up in Kentish Town, which became the new home for the IWSSN.

Later that year tensions flared within the organisation when some of its members hit out at the group claiming it was not providing adequate support.

For further information about the closure click here