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Support

The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) is available to provide interim emotional support to victims and survivors impacted by Mother and Baby Institutions and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland.

This support is available in confidence, and in a safe and therapeutic way, with access to listening ear support and psychological therapies.

This is a temporary arrangement until permanent support services are in place.


On the 21st June 2021, the VSS commenced a co-design process to design and develop support and services within victims and survivors.  

More information can be found here:  www.victimsservice.org/mother-baby-institutions-magdalene-laundries-workhouses/

You can contact the Victims and Survivors Service on:

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday | Contact: 028 9031 1678 | support@vssni.org


Adopt NI

Adopt NI provide independent services for any adult impacted by the lifelong journey of
adoption, especially those currently affected by the findings in the recent Mother and Baby
Home Research Report.

Adopt NI provide
• Information about post adoption services for adults in Northern Ireland (and those
with links to adoption in NI living away).
• Advice, support and signposting in relation to tracing for adoptees and birth relatives.
• Advocacy service for persons seeking information about their adoption, or the
adoption of a relative from Adoption Agencies in NI, including HSC Trusts.
• Adopt NI will operate an advice line from 9am-1pm from Monday to Thursday every
week. Telephone messages will be picked up outside of these hours. Alternatively, an email address is available and emails will be responded to within a maximum of 2 working days.

Contact details:

Call, SMS or WhatsApp: 07395 040555
Email: advice@adoptni.org

This is an evolving service and will adapt and grow to respond to the needs of its service
users, we welcome feedback at any stage.



Birth Mothers and their children for justice N.I

BMATCFJ was formed in 2013 by a small group of Birth Mothers to give support  and understanding to each other. Slowly more and more people found their way to this group enabling them to tell their life experiences in complete confidentiality and in a safe environment.

They consistently lobbied for an inquiry into the Mother and Baby Institutions and Magdalene Laundries. Meeting with Government Ministers such as Martin McGuiness and Peter Robinson. 

In 2015 the group was told that there would be a scoping exercise carried out, led by Simon Hamilton Dept of Health and later by Michelle O’Neill. This led to the Commission Report by Professor Sean O’Connell, Dr Leanne McCormick, Dr Olivia Dee and Dr John Privilege. University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast. This report was published in January and in the meantime BMATCFJ where involved in the Reference Group with Judith Gillespie. This brings us up to the present day with the Truth and Recovery Panel.

The Birth Mothers where excluded from the HIAI but with a lot of work we managed to get the under 18’s included.

A Facebook Page was set up where people can contact us for advice and support 

The group acquired Charity Status 5/5/2017. 

Our Mission Statement is as follows:

We meet regularly to organise training and events to improve health and well being of members. We provide a listening ear service to Victims and Survivors of the Mother and Baby Institutions where we try to reduce the effects of trauma by those effected directly or indirectly by these Institutions. We engage with Statutory and Voluntary Organisations to address the implications of the injustice to our members.

What the Charity provides 

We offer Mental Health Support by providing a ‘Listening Ear’, ‘Peer Support’, Group and Private conversations and sign-posting people to the relevant statutory and volunteer organisations.  

Advice Advocacy Information 
Signposting to Counselling Support 
Education 
Human Rights Equality 
Victim Support 
For everyone 
We have a Constitution drawn up by a Solicitor 

Below is the link to our private Facebook Page where we can be contacted. We welcome everyone to come join us where you will find support in a safe environment. 

Birth Mothers and their Children For Justice NI – Facebook Group

Oonagh Adele Mechelle 
and the members of BMATCFJ 

Commencing Monday 16 August 2021 you can contact us by phone

Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 2pm

on 07510064606 or 07444567270


Your health

We understand that this process is likely to be difficult for you. Your health and well-being is a priority. Support will be available to you throughout. See details below:

Mental health and counselling support services are available to anyone affected by historical practice in this area. Access to help and support in your locality, including through your GP and specialised healthcare professionals, can be accessed at: 

www.mindingyourhead.info/services

Lifeline is a free, confidential telephone helpline. It is available anytime every day.

Telephone 0808 808 8000
Lifeline

In an emergency dial 999 or contact the emergency department at your local hospital.

We also invite submissions from other interested parties.


Our Goals
We aim to ensure the full implementation of the Truth Recovery Report recommendations for justice and redress as presented to the government on October 5th, 2021.
We seek justice for the thousands of women and their now adult children who are victims and survivors of institutional abuse, coerced adoption, illegal trafficking, family separation, discrimination, denial of information, lost identity, and intergenerational trauma caused by decades-long discrimination.

Our Membership
This is a democratic and inclusive group in which all members have equal rights. The group consists of adults who were adopted or fostered/boarded out as children, mothers, and family members, both biological and adoptive, from varied ethnic, political and religious backgrounds striving to work together on shared justice goals. We also welcome victims/survivors and their families from other jurisdictions with a connection to our cause. The movement of mothers and children across borders makes this an international issue.

Our Mission Statement
We seek to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders in a spirit of mutual support and shared decision-making on helping to establish a representative Consultative Forum to help nominate and assist members of the Independent Panel and the Statutory Panel.

We respect the work of many other victim/survivor groups and actively seek to collaborate with them on common goals.
We will use this platform to coordinate tasks and projects. Those who wish to participate can choose areas best suited to their skills and interests.
We will provide updated information about the ongoing investigative process and try to direct victims/survivors and families to agencies providing information and support.

Our Ethos
Our guiding principles are democracy, equality, and mutual respect.
We honour the inherent importance of personal identity, heritage and family bonds. We engage in friendly discussion, debate, and learning. As there are many paths to justice, we encourage diversity of thought and value a wide range of ideas and perspectives

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the Truth Recovery Panel official website is here to provide important information to all victims and survivors on the work of the Truth Recovery Panel. Within the website there are links provided signposting to supports, websites or resources which are owned by third parties. The Truth Recovery Panel are providing this for information purposes and have no control over the nature, content and availability of those third party websites, and do not have responsibility for the information or content thereon. The inclusion of any links to other websites, supports or information does not imply a recommendation or endorsement of any views expressed within them. The panel are not responsible for the availability of such external websites, Social Media pages (including Facebook and Twitter),or resources and will not be liable for any content, advertising, services, or other materials on or available from such websites or resources.