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Public meeting to discuss ways to reduce alcohol harm

A PUBLIC meeting will take place tonight in the Public Services Centre in Letterkenny which will explore ways to reduce alcohol harm in the town. The meeting has been jointly called by the Alcohol Forum and the Students’ Union in Letterkenny Institute of Technology to provide an update following the launch of the community action plan on alcohol in March and to seek public opinion on what actions should be taken over the next six months. President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) , Lorna Fitzpatrick will be the guest speaker at the event.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Siobhan Howe, the President of the Students Union in LYIT said; ‘We’re delighted that Lorna is coming to Donegal for the event, it’s a recognition of the student well-being work we have been doing here to reduce alcohol harm. We recently received a national award for this work and its nice to be able to let the whole community know about the work in a public meeting like this’. The night promises to be a break from the traditional style of public meeting; there will be a short film, attendees can enjoy Mocktails while listening to updates on the different pieces of work and we’re really hoping that new people will come along and join the conversation.”

Cllr Gerry McMonagle, who chairs Community Action on Alcohol, Letterkenny explains ‘We launched a plan to build a safer and healthier Letterkenny back in March of this year and now six months in we want to update the community and hear from the community about what their priorities are’.
At the meeting the Inaugural Community Action on Alcohol Volunteer of the Year Awards will also take place. There will be a number of awards presented to individuals who have made a huge contribution to preventing and reducing alcohol harm to individuals, families and communities.

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Kieran Doherty the CEO of the Alcohol Forum is keen to highlight the fact that the charity has grown, with the support of volunteers, from a small local group over a decade ago, to an organisation that delivers family programmes across Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal and works with communities across the country.
“The reach of our work is only made possible through the commitment, collaboration and activism of all of our volunteers,” said Mr Doherty.
“While we are, at this event, focusing on community activism, our Strengthening Families and M-PACT programmes have always been co-facilitated by volunteers who have build up huge expertise over the years. There are so many families across the north west whose lives have been changed positively because of the supports provided by volunteers on these programmes.”

The meeting will take place at the Public Services Centre tonight from 7.30pm to 9pm and all are welcome to attend.

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