Mother and baby home survivors in NI urged to give their view on support services

Mother and baby home survivors in NI urged to give their view on support services

A 69-year-old woman who spent time at the Marianvale home in Newry as a teenager (Niall Carson/PA)

Survivors of mother and baby homes and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland have been urged to have their say in the design of support and services.

Thousands of pregnant women and girls passed through the homes, while others were sent to laundries and other types of workhouses where Stormont-commissioned academic research found many suffered degrading treatment.

The Stormont Executive agreed to establish an investigation into the institutions while the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) has been commissioned by the Department of Health to identify support and services needed for victims and survivors of the institutions.

The VSS is encouraging victims and survivors affected by these institutions to consider participating in a co-design process from June 2021 to September 2021 to help design and develop support and services.

The process will enable service delivery to be developed in way that focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of victims and survivors.

VSS chief executive Margaret Bateson said they want to put the voices of victims and survivors at the heart of the process.

“We welcome the opportunity to commence the co-design process and work alongside victims and survivors of mother and baby institutions, Magdalene Laundries and workhouses,” she said.

“Putting the voices of victims and survivors at the heart of the process will ensure specialist and dedicated support and services are developed and put in place.

“We are committed to listening to victims and survivors to ensure the co-design process is survivor-led, accessible and responsive to the unique needs of each victim and survivor.

“Our dedicated team in VSS will ensure victims and survivors are supported and empowered throughout the process."

Further information can be found on www.victimsservice.org or on 02890 311 678.

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