The Argus

‘Raise Some Dough’ for Acquired Brain Injury fund


ACQUIRED Brain Injury Ireland are inviting communitie­s in Louth to ‘Raise Some Dough’ during Brain Awareness week this March

This annual fundraisin­g event usually takes place within community centres, schools, business and households in Louth and nationwide. However, in the context of Covid-19 and in light of public health guidance, ABII is asking its Louth supporters to take their bake virtual this year by hosting an online event or fundraiser between March 15th and 21st.

‘Bake for Brain Injury’ is an important event on the ABII calendar, enabling the national organisati­on to raise vital funds to support survivors of brain injury as they work to rebuild their lives.

Every year in Ireland an estimated 19,000 people acquire a brain injury, resulting in life-altering, dramatic change. These injuries happen suddenly and are often traumatic, caused by road traffic accidents, stroke, assaults, concussion and viral infections like meningitis. Because each brain injury is entirely unique, every survivor requires dedicated supports and a tailor-made rehabilita­tion plan.

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland offers person-centred rehabilita­tion to an estimated 1,200 people annually, as well as support to their families and carers.

Speaking about the upcoming ‘Bake for Brain Injury’ event Jonathan Power, Head of Fundraisin­g at ABII, said: ‘ The past 12 months have been an enormous challenge for us all, but our teams nationwide have done incredible work throughout the pandemic to keep rehabilita­tion alive for our service-users and to keep everyone safe and well.’

Once participan­ts have organised their virtual bake they are encouraged to set up a fundraisin­g page on the website Justgiving. This will make it easy for others to donate online and show their support for your baking efforts, while also helping Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.

FURTHER increases in women and children contacting domestic violence service in County Louth during second lockdown of 2020

Across the country, including County Louth at least 2,018 women and 550 children received support from a domestic violence service each month from September to December 2020, according to a new report called Tracking the Shadow Pandemic – Lockdown 2.

The report is being launched today by Safe Ireland, the national agency working with 39 frontline domestic violence member services, including Women’s Aid Dundalk.

November was the busiest month of the four-month period. When Ireland was at the height of its second Level 5 lockdown, over 2,180 women and 602 children received support from a dedicated domestic violence service.

Locally, Women’s Aid Dundalk, were contacted by 337 new women in the four month period.

Nationally, the report shows that over 2,445 new women and 486 new children contacted a domestic violence service for the very first time in these four months. This equates to 611 new women and 122 new children every month, or 20 new women and 4 new children every day, who had, as far as is known, never contacted a service before.

The statistics for the latter part of 2020 were higher generally than those reported over the first six months of the pandemic. The first Safe Ireland Tracking the Shadow Pandemic report, which covered the six month period between March and August 2020, showed that at least 1,970 women and 411 children received support each month.

Cara Murphy, Support Co-ordinator at Women’s Aid Dundalk, said that even in an extraordin­ary time of crisis, these numbers were shocking. Adequate resources and creative solutions were needed to respond to the needs of women, but also the needs of the frontline emergency profession­als like those working at Women’s Aid Dundalk, she said.

“Since last March, we have been working under enormous pressure to respond to those fleeing domestic abuse,” she said. “This work cannot stop. It can take no breaks. Our message to survivors remains clear and steadfast. You do not have to live in an oppressive home. You do not have to endure abuse and control. There is profession­al support available right here in your community.”

“However, it is also essential that our services are adequately resourced,” she continued. “At the moment, and as a legacy going back many years, there are significan­t disparitie­s between those working in DSGBV and other social care settings. Parity and respect must be afforded to domestic violence frontline workers.”

She said that multi-annual funding must be establishe­d to enable proper planning and service developmen­t, adding that technocrat­ic processes hamper the urgent work of response and prevention of domestic violence.

The national report shows that helpline calls were also up on average over the second part of the year. Domestic violence services answered 23,336 helpline calls over the period. November was the busiest month of the period, with 6,409 calls answered – that’s 213 a day or nearly 9 calls every hour.

On average 167 women and 265 children stayed in a range of domestic violence accommodat­ion (range of refuge, safe homes and supported housing) each month between September and December. This is slightly down on those in accommodat­ion over the first six months. In total, 808 requests for refuge could not be met in the four months because there was no space. In October, however, 306 requests for refuge could not be met, the highest for the tracked months of 2020.

Tracking the Shadow Pandemic 2 – September to December 2020

On average, 2018 women and 550 children received support from a domestic violence service every month from September to December 2020.

2,445 new women and 496 new children accessed services for the first time.

23,336 helpline calls were answered, an average of 191 calls a day.

November was the busiest month for women (2,180) and December for children (604).

167 women and 265 children stayed in a range of domestic violence accommodat­ion.

808 requests for refuge could not be met due to lack of space.

Services held 18,892 phone support sessions, 166 video support sessions and 8,783 in-person support sessions.

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