Council Chair Cllr Laura Devlin Thanks Food Hub Volunteers

Chairperson Extends Thanks to COVID-19 Food Parcel Delivery Hub Volunteers.

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Chairperson Extends Thanks to COVID-19 Food Parcel Delivery Hub Volunteers.

Ballykinlar GAC delivers to local residents. From left, Karen Cunningham, resident Barney Russell, and Maria McKeating.

Following the conclusion of the emergency Community Hub food parcel deliveries, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin has thanked the Community and Voluntary sector, sporting bodies and individual members of the public who rose to the challenge of COVID-19.

During the 17 weeks of shielding a total of 18,407 food boxes were delivered with the assistance of 144 organisations and individuals throughout the Council area.

In the busiest week, 1902 food boxes were delivered to the most vulnerable residents. As well as food parcels being delivered, isolated residents received medical supplies and the opportunity for social connection.

Emma Speers from Kilkeel, a volunteer at the Community Hub through Volunteer Now.

Chairperson Councillor Laura Devlin said: “When faced with the complex and challenging issues of protecting our most vulnerable and isolated residents we were overwhelmed by the support offered.

“On behalf of Newry Mourne and Down District Council I wish to personally offer my sincere thanks to all who provided assistance in our time of crisis and for all that you have done to ensure our most vulnerable residents were kept safe. The contributions made by all have been truly remarkable.

“As restrictions are eased the Council wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable summer confident in the knowledge that we have the capacity to work in partnership and face any new challenges in the coming months with confidence. 

“The Council also encourages everyone to play their part by continuing to follow the Government guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Rowallane DEA Extends Thanks to COVID-19 Food Parcel Delivery Hub Volunteers

Rowallane District Electoral Area (DEA) has extended thanks to all who assisted with its emergency food parcel deliveries.

With the help of Down Community Transport and local community groups, more than 80 food parcels from the Department for Communities were delivered weekly over the shielding period. Volunteers from local community groups not only delivered food parcels, but also collected and delivered prescriptions and groceries for those shielding and provided befriending services.

The Chairperson of Rowallane DEA, Councillor Kathryn Owen said there had been an enthusiastic response from the local community, which had proved invaluable during the COVID-19 response.

“Without hesitation, during the pandemic local community groups immediately offered any help they could to protect those most vulnerable in our area,”

She said. “These volunteers willingly gave up precious family time to respond effectively and quickly to the emerging crisis. I wish to personally thank each and every individual involved and to acknowledge that we could not have managed an effective response without their help. 

“More locally, Rowallane DEA Forum has continued to deliver for its residents, conducting Skype meetings to ensure the identified priorities in our district continue to be responded to effectively.

“The Forum is actively working on finding creative methods of engaging and delivering to our community, such as the development of a range of activities with Clanrye Group for families and individuals that are being delivered virtually.

“Rowallane DEA would like to pay tribute not only to the volunteers, but also to each and every Rowallane Forum member who has helped respond effectively to COVID-19, often out of office hours and at weekends.

“They have demonstrated their genuine commitment to making life better in Rowallane for each resident and visitor.

“We face challenging times ahead but I feel sure, having worked so effectively as a team during this recent crisis, we are well placed to meet them.”