The newly appointed Executive Director of PIPS has talked of plans to expand the charity’s service reach following a “significant increase” in demand.
Former Environmental Health Officer, Renee Quinn, took up the Executive Director role some six weeks ago and has undoubtedly hit the ground running in that short period.
Having been trained to look holistically at people’s wellbeing, Renee said taking up a post a PIPS was a “natural step next step in to helping and protecting public health.”
“I love what PIPS do,” she said.
“They have an open door, walk-in approach, which I think is absolutely vital given that you can’t ask people to but on their mental health or distress.
“I like the way PIPS treats every individual with care and compassion and that’s what I saw when I walked through the doors.”
Since the beginning of lockdown PIPS have seen a “significant increase” in demand for their services. Renee estimates demand has risen by at least 23 per cent. With that in mind, she told the Belfast Media Group about aims to expand the charity’s reach.
“I know there is a massive need out there and looking at that the need is right across the north,” she explained.
“We have clients in Strabane, Omagh, Enniskillen – even into the south, Donegal, as far as Dublin. So, there are opportunities there for our services to reach out further.
“I would like to explore the demographics of that a little bit further and continue with our open-door policy and offer that support right across the north.”
I would like to explore the demographics of that a little bit further and continue with our open-door policy and offer that support right across the north.”
Last Thursday (September 10), Renee and the PIPS team passed their first big milestone under her direction as they marked World Suicide Prevention Day.
Renee said the day was important for galvanising people across the world “towards a common cause” and, of course, PIPS were delighted to play a part.
“We decorated the outside of our building and we had our candles lit at eight o’clock, so anyone coming down the Antrim Road would’ve been able to see that,” she said.
“We also had a lot of social media activity on the day.
“I was also delighted that our charity partner, Fintru also worked with us on the day. We provided support to them and vice-versa to put out a video for World Suicide Prevention Day, so feel free to check it our on our social media channels.”
PIPS Charity is open 9am-9pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
If you or someone you know needs support contact the charity at:
281 Antrim Road,
Belfast BT15 2HE
Mobile: 0800 088 6042