BY Ryan McDougall | September 20 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Bishop launches pregnancy support group in Dundee

A NEW Catholic support group for pregnant women and families opened its doors this month in Dundee thanks to the ­generosity of local people.

The Dundee Pregnancy and Parenthood Support group (DPAPS), formed in response to the needs of pregnant women in the Dundee area, celebrated its launch at its new headquarters with Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld, who blessed every room.

DPAPS have also consecrated their cause to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Keen supporters have already given generously, providing the charity with large quantities of baby clothes and items such as cots and buggies.

The items will be given to families in the Dundee area who have, or are due to have, a child.

DPAPS manager Joanne McCourt said: “The support has been great. The phones have been going non-stop and the support from the local papers has really helped.

“People have handed in lots of donations. We’ve already got a beautiful cot, a buggy, clothes and other baby equipment such as toys.
“It’s not just people in Dundee either, as people in places like Perth have also donated to us, so the word’s getting around which is fantastic.”

Mrs McCourt spoke of one of the first families to have received help from the team.

“There was a lady in the city who had her baby early. She ­didn’t have any premature baby clothes at all, so we responded by going out, doing a bit of shopping and giving her all the things she needed,” she said.

“We’ve also been trying to establish links with other groups in Dundee, as there are already a lot of services here for families expecting a child.

“Basically, if we can’t provide what someone needs, we can outsource it from another place. We’re really lucky as we’ve got good links with the Society of St Vincent de Paul here—they have a shop in the city and handed a donation of baby equipment to us. There are a lot of good people in Dundee who want to help.”

A key reason behind the ­setting up of DPAPS was the discovery that 1,170 abortions were carried out in Tayside last year, a rate of 15.5 per 1,000 women aged 15-44.

The charity hopes that their support will help women struggling financially and encourage women to keep their babies.

“At the minute our hope is to encourage people that there are people who care and can help them access the support they need,” Mrs McCourt said. “At the moment we can’t offer counselling, but we would put people in touch with the likes of the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative.”

The charity is also hopeful that there will be opportunities for people, including Caritas pupils, to volunteer or fundraise for them to ensure they can keep up their work.

“We’re taking part in a day at St John’s High School in Dundee for the Caritas Award about service,” she said.

“It will be nice to tell them what we do, and hopefully we’ll be able to have close links with young people who could volunteer with us or fundraise—that’s something we’re very keen to get established as they can help with spreading the word to their own peers, letting them know that we’re here and available.”

With the doors now open at DPAPS, Mrs McCourt asked for the support of all who take an interest in the charity’s work.

She said: “I would ask people to pray that we can make a success of this, change attitudes in our city, empower families and young people so that they can deal with crisis situations and know that we would do everything we can to help them.”

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