Feb 5 2009 By Frank Hurley
AN injection of thousands of pounds to help a cash-strapped Glasgow unit for disturbed children looks likely.
Swift action followed The Glaswegian's exclusive story that the Notre Dame Centre is in desperate need of £250,000 to meet its committments to help children from broken homes face up to life.
The Glaswegian highlighted that while the centre had to make redundancies and turn children away, city clinics treat ing adult drug addicts were being given an extra £1.1 million pounds.
There was public outrage that the centre, which counsels many children with drug addicted parents in Glasgow and the rest of Scotland, had been forgotten.
The amount of grant aid from Glasgow's health board hadn't changed for nine years while money from Glasgow City Council and predecessors has not risen for 14 years. The centre needs £1.5 million-a-year to operate fully.
Centre director Mike O'Connor, told The Glaswegian: "My sincere thanks to you for your well-written, balanced article.
"The juxtaposition of adult funding and child funding was very effective." He added that contacts from concerned people following our story was "very encouraging".
Within days of our story, the head of finance from Children in Need at the BBC contacted Mr O'Connor to offer advice and guidance on fund-raising.
Glasgow MSP Bill Kidd (SNP) is seeking an urgent meeting with Adam Ingram, minister for children and early years, to help reboot the centre's methods of raising cash.
Mr Kidd said: "I was very disturbed to hear about the centre's funding situation.
"The city council has not increased its funding for 14 years and the healthboard nine years.
"In real terms this amounts to a 40 per cent and 30 per cent reduction in income for Notre Dame.
"I'm wri ting to both to insist levels of funding keeps up with the work required at the centre.
"I am anxious to meet with Mr Ingram to find out if there are any other aspects offunding the Government can direct towards Notre Dame."
The centre counsels some 450 children and young people every year who have lost parents whose drink or drug addiction have left them incaple of child care, violence or sexual abuse or bereavement. Many of these children are brought up by grandparents, aunts and uncles who must create a home for them with meagre finances, and also cope with children traumatised by abuse or losing their parents.