The impact on Covid-19 on individuals and communities was so immediate Frances directed Trustees to be proactive in responding to the needs that the pandemic presented. Funds were quickly made available to a number of organisations in the North West and Belfast areas.
In Sion Mills two projects providing meals to the most vulnerable were identified. A co-operation between the Hidden Pearl Restaurant and The Sion Mills Community Forum delivered 9,600 meals over a 6-week period. There were a number of volunteers involved in this venture and the areas covered included Sion Mills, the Glebe, Clady, Victoria and Douglas Bridges.
A similar project was funded in Castlederg with dinners cooked and delivered in co-operation with the Red Pepper Restaurant. Food packages were also distributed in the Aghayaran area and community projects in the Castlederg area were also funded, one of which delivered a befriending daily service to those living alone.
“Strabane Together Against Covid-19” brought community workers, groups, local charities and volunteers together in a joint initiative in the town of Strabane. A number of different ventures were funded within this umbrella organization including the purchase of PPE for nursing home staff and carers. A donation was made to Strabane Community Project. Supplies were purchased over this period for food parcels and the Food Bank.
Red Pepper Restaurant
Strabane Comminity Project
Sion Mills Community Forum
Strabane District caring Services
The Koram Centre
Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry was provided with supplies of toiletries and clothing and the Mater Hospital in Belfast received 10 electronic tablets to support patients in being able to keep in touch with loved ones during this difficult time.
A substantial donation was also made to Altnagelvin Hospital to support services and staff.
Electronic Tablets Distributed
In total the Trust donated over 100 electronic tablets to hospitals and the community with 40 donated to nine care homes, 10 donated to the hospital and over 50 donated to a variety of community groups.
These were particularly utilised for communication between the sick and elderly and their families and to enable the most vulnerable to be able to stay connected, supporting their emotional and holistic well-being. The distribution of these tablets mirrors a project initiated in England by our sister charity the PFC Trust.
Reach Portrush received funding for the provision of food parcels. More than ten volunteers prepared and delivered around 80 parcels weekly. This group also received four electronic tablets. They were particularly busy throughout the Covid-19 crisis supporting those people who were isolated.
In Belfast the Shankill Women’s Centre received tablets allowing young women supported by the project could continue their school work and keep in touch with friends and family. Staff at the centre were also supplied with much needed laptops to replace slower legacy equipment.
Shankhill Womans Centre
Thanking the Real Heroes – the volunteers!
Frances was keen to ensure that those who had volunteered during the Coronavirus pandemic were publicly acknowledged for their sacrifices. Vouchers to the value of £50 each were purchased in Portrush, Castlederg and Strabane.
A presentation event was held in St Pat’s Hall in Strabane where volunteers received their vouchers, supported by the attendance of the Lord Mayor of Derry and Strabane. In total around 150 vouchers were purchased. The vouchers purchased are redeemable in the area ensuring that the local economy was being supported in this venture.
Teddy bears Picnic
One of the final events funded by the trust was scheduled for the end of September, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Strabane. This is targeted at the younger children ensuring that their needs are not overlooked during this time and that they can still have fun!!
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