FAMILES Limerick launched their new premises and services at the Pery Best Western Hotel Glentworth Street last Thursday. The press conference was followed by a ribbon cut and tour of the new premises took place at 291 Fr Russell Square, Hyde Road. Familes is a support group for men and women going through separation or divorce or relationship breakdown. The charity sustains a 24/365 helpline, hold mutual support group meetings, one to one meetings, counselling, information, and much more. Delighted at the launch of the new premises, Seamus Scott of Familes tells me, “We are one of a kind because there’s nothing else like what we do all in one place. We offer people counselling and emotional support. We have a helpline and now we are blessed to have our own property. Now we have our own one stop shop where people can come and get help. It’s a very emotional time for people dealing with separation so we try to smoothen the road for them because there is a process you go through. Grief, sorrow, hurt, blame, there is many emotions so with professionals that we have and facilitators and volunteers we help guide people through that.” Familes were delighted with the support of the council as it is difficult to do all the work within the community with so little funding. The Centre received a small amount of funding from the HSE and from Regeneration that will go a long way in helping the local community, but in order to keep the services running much more funding is necessary and donations or offers to fundraise for the organisation are always welcome.
Familes support centre is a much needed base for the work which has been ongoing for many years , Familes started out as a dedicated men’s group called Miles 12 years ago, and has moved many times but has finally found a home thanks to some wonderful people. Familes is a non-profit charity run by dedicated volunteers and has professionals like counsellors working voluntarily within the group. Familes is still dedicated and specializes in helping men cope with separation; however Familes have recently launched a Mutual Women’s support group every Wednesday evening at the new centre.
Familes offer counselling and information to help bring solutions to reduce the trauma and costs currently associated with separation and divorce. Common issues we help with are mediation, Guardianship, Advocacy, Custody, Child Access, Maintenance, Separation and Divorce.
The family law system all around Ireland is bursting at the seams with significant delays in the courts and with the Legal Aid board, just like A&E in any hospital there are people waiting a long time just to get a hearing so they can get access to their children or much needed maintenance and many other issues, there simply are not enough Judges to hear the necessary cases, which leads to long delays and hardship for both parents and children whose lives have been turned upside down. This is one area where Familes support people while they wait and endeavor to help them through these difficult times, unfortunately suicide has crossed the door of Miles and Familes through the years where parents could no longer cope with the difficulties presented in their life changing situations. Familes have saved many lived through the great work the volunteers have done.
Many who benefit are those who cannot afford the legal fees, and are currently forced to either wait many months for State supported legal aid or mediation, or act as a lay litigant and represent themselves in court. Support and legal information is available and also help to manage their cases, Familes do not give legal advice as we don’t yet have a voluntary legal advisor or solicitor with us but we would be open to anyone who would like to offer their services.
Familes primary aim is to help the community so things can run as smoothly as possible when the unfortunate event of a relationship happens, emotional support and having someone to talk to and listen in a safe confidential environment means that it will reduce the trauma and some costs currently associated with separation and divorce.
If you or anyone you know is having difficulties in this area call the helpline at 0872603603, see www.familes.ie for more information.