ADHD charity faces funding crisis

A charity which helps children and adults with the behavioural disorder, ADHD, may have to close because they have no money.

NI-ADD says the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust refuses to give them any more funding.

Jim Wells, head of the Assembly health committee said this was “very serious”.

“Fifty-four per cent of NI-ADD’s referrals come from the Belfast Trust who aren’t contributing a single penny towards this charity,” he said.

“Without some kind of funding from the major generator of work for the organisation, then the future looks quite bleak.”

NI-ADD, set up in Northern Ireland in 1997, charity says that its number of referrals is actually rising.

About 714 children have been helped. Research suggests that treating the condition early stems the chance of further problems in adulthood.

Sarah Salters, charity director with NI-ADD, said its current financial situation was untenable.

“From June 2007 to June 2009 we provided 214 services to Belfast Trust,” she explained.

“In terms of the money that we as an organisation have had to secure, that equates to £139,000. Of that, Belfast Trust has given us nothing.”

In a statement Belfast Trust said that it was not in a position to provide the charity with funding.

The charity does receive £25,000 from the Department of Health.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder affects about 10% of school age children.