A VITAL programme for victims of terrorism has been saved at the eleventh hour.
Staff at The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace feared the Survivors for Peace programme would not be able to continue its good work beyond April this year after National Lottery cash dried up.
But the charity received a Budget boost after it was announced today, Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne is committing £150,000, a full year’s funding, for the cause’s victims’ work to continue and the Government will work with the charity to find a long-term solution to funding.
Warrington South MP David Mowat said: “I’m delighted that the Chancellor has recognised the excellent work being done in Warrington to support victims of terrorism.
“The foundation is the only organisation offering these services in the United Kingdom and it is vital that they continue.
“I have lobbied hard to get the Government to fund this important programme because I believe it will save money in the long run.”
Mr Mowat, Colin and Wendy Parry will also meet with Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of March to discuss the foundation’s work and funding issues.
Peace Centre chief executive Nick Taylor said they were very grateful for Mr Mowat’s efforts obtaining the funding and the commitment to ensure funding is continued long-term sends a ‘strong message of reassurance to people affected by violent conflict.’
The news came during a particularly poignant week for the cause and founders Colin and Wendy Parry as they mark the 21st anniversary of their son Tim’s death tomorrow, Thursday.
A one minute silence will be held on Bridge Street at 12.27pm, the time an IRA bomb ripped through the town centre killing 12-year-old Tim and three-year-old Johnathan Ball and injuring many others.
The Mayor of Warrington councillor Peter Carey and representatives from the council and charity will meet at the River of Life to pay their respects and lay flowers.
Colin Parry added: “The day of the bombing, Christmas, Tim’s birthday and five days after the explosion when Tim lost his fight are all dates in our hearts and minds and we reflect on memories and images of what a lovely boy he was and how much he was a key part of our family.
“It’s incredible 21 years have gone by and hard to comprehend so much time has passed but we have managed to keep Tim and Johnathan’s memory alive in a brilliant way with fantastically unique work which has been a source of great pride.
“However none of that will ever replace losing Tim.”
Commenting on the Budget, Labour parliamentary candidate Nick Bent said: "The Government has now done the right thing and this vital project will flourish with the cross-party support it deserves."