Advice Centre staff 'deflated' by heartless theft of donations box

Thursday, 27 July 2017

THE staff at Omagh Independent Advice Services (OIAS) have been left feeling "shocked and deflated" following the recent theft of a donations box from their waiting area.
Staff of the local charity, based in Omagh Community House who have been serving the local community since 1995, discovered the theft last week.
Police have said they are "aware of a reported theft from an advice centre in the Omagh area and are reviewing this matter".
Manager, Michael Roddy, said that whilst the box "probably contained only a small amount of money", the act itself has significantly impacted on staff morale.
OIAS has been providing a free and independent advice service for over 20 years and during this time has helped thousands of vulnerable people to deal with complex problems around benefits, housing, debt, employment law and many other issues.
"This year alone our staff have dealt with over 7,000 enquiries and assisted clients to attain 1.8 million via benefit claims, tribunal representation and employment cases," Mr Roddy said.
"Demand for our services remains very high and this is expected to significantly increase in the next few years with the full implementation of Welfare Reform. Our staff are dedicated to helping people with very complex and difficult cases and the donations box was only introduced after some of our clients wanted to show appreciation for the assistance they received by the way of a small donation.
"The theft came as a great shock to staff because it appears that someone who has received free help and advice from OIAS has stolen funds that would have been used to help sustain the future of the service."
Omagh Independent Advice Services is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
For more information on their services, call 028 822 43252.


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