Two Fermanagh South Tyrone MLAs are to write to Minister for Health, Robin Swann, regarding funding for the Brighter Futures project, which supported children with disabilities in Fermanagh.

Funding for the service - which was provided by the charity, Positive Futures - ended on March 31.

DUP MLA Deborah Erskine and Sinn Féin MLA Áine Murphy met with Agnes Lunney, Chief Executive of Positive Futures, and a delegation of parents on Thursday, March 28.

Following the meeting, they committed to raising the issue with Minister Swann, with Miss Murphy describing the meeting as “informative”.

She said: “Rather than supporting services which at their heart are about prevention, there continues to be a focus on crisis interventions from the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) and the Department of Health.

“The number of children with a disability requiring additional support is increasing, because families are no longer able to cope.

"It therefore seems counter-intuitive not to make funding available that would take pressure off parents and the health service.

"As we now move forward, I will work with parents and Positive Futures to set out the best case possible to the Western Trust and the Department of Health to fund the programme, long-term."

Mrs. Erskine noted that she had already written to Minister Swann on the issue and expressed her frustration at the loss of the service due to lack of funding.

She said: “The meeting was arranged to see if there was any tangible option left to ensure funding could be secured.

"Myself and Áine Murphy, as the two elected representatives present, decided that we would again write jointly to Minister Swann to ask that he meet us, along with Positive Futures, to see if anything further can be done from his Department.

“It is very frustrating, as the outcomes from the project are huge, and are cost-effective, yet there doesn’t seem to be a willingness of ‘investing to save’ in such projects.

"I made that case at last week’s meeting, and will continue to do so.”

Positive Futures were contacted for comment by The Impartial Reporter, but had not responded by the time of going to print.