Life has become increasingly pressurised and troublesome for many people. Stress at work, breakdown in relationships, addictions or dealing with sexual or violent abuse or the effects of traumatic events have taken their toll on many. For some there are not many places to turn to but one that has a proud record of supporting vulnerable people is the Aisling Centre in Enniskillen, which has indicated an increasing need for its services.

25 years after it opened, the Centre says it is experiencing a 100 per cent increase in referrals for its counselling services which covers wide-ranging support for people.

As the only service of its kind in the county, the Aisling Centre has given support and hope to thousands of people over that time. These are people who have suffered some of the most difficult times in their lives.

But unfortunately, this increased demand for its services has placed the Centre under huge pressure because of restricted funding and staffing.

This all points to something which is symptomatic of our times, something which the Aisling Centre has recognised in its work for a quarter of a century.

Again, this is a charitable service which depends on funding and unfortunately that has not matched the increase in demand for their services. Without their specialised counselling, where else are the clients to turn to for help? With increased pressure on people and perhaps the fact that people are now more willing to discuss these issues than before, there has been this huge increase in demand for services.

Charities such as the Aisling Centre don’t just get funding automatically allocated to them so they can offer these services, but must go out and seek more money for future projects as well. They try and come up with fundraising ideas that will appeal to the public.

Now the committee behind the Centre’s fundraising, has launched a new “Give Hope” initiative asking people to sign up to a “50p a day” which will bringing in constant funding for future projects.

Let’s hope the services offered by the Aisling Centre will continue to be fully funded so that people can get the counselling they need to cope with daily living.