Usually myself and Alex Maskey use Friday's as our constituency day, I float between the Short Strand Community Centre and our constituency office on the Lower Ormeau Road.
It was when I called into the office this morning that I saw some literature from TAR ANALL, the support group for Republican Ex-Prisoners and their families.
TAR ANALL is engaged in some brilliant and often over-looked projects and work; from cross community work to youth outreach, to providing educational opportunities for Ex-POWs and their families as well providing brilliant courses for it's 50+ Group.
This particular literature however focused on the darker side of life post imprisonment, and that is that many of our former prisoners suffer detrimental effects as a result of British imprisonment. This can involved post traumatic stress, depression, drink or drugs dependency, as well as being up against all forms of discrimination in employment, insurance and adoption opportunities as a result of their time spent imprisoned.
The theme of the latest support course is "Still Imprisoned? There is hope. There is help."
A Republican community like the Short Strand that suffered so much as a result of British oppression and fought so valiantly against it, no doubt has one of the highest amounts of Ex-POWs per head of population of any area throughout Ireland. I would urge anyone who feels they need to avail of this service to do so. TAR ANALL provides a professional, expert and confidential service. You can call them on 02890323631 or the outreach helpline on 07598875152