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Coronavirus: Communities rally to help vulnerable during outbreak


Al Mennie

Al Mennie

Al Mennie

People across Northern Ireland have been demonstrating real community spirit by pulling together to support those self-isolating over the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those lending a helping hand is a west Belfast football club, which is urging people to check on their elderly neighbours to see if they need support or shopping done.

Posting on social media, St James Swifts FC said club members and residents have teamed up to organise a hamper collection for the elderly and most vulnerable.

They have urged people to give what they can to ensure that no one misses out.

On the north coast Portrush surfer Al Mennie and his partner Sara O'Neill have offered their services to those facing hardship.

He tweeted out that if anyone on the north coast needs a hand in the coming days or has elderly relatives that he can do anything for, they should message him or Sara.

In north Belfast a group of residents have formed a task force following a short online posting on community platform Nextdoor.com on Thursday that was inundated with offers to help. Volunteers have been dropping off groceries at doorsteps, walking dogs, doing vet visits for those self-isolating, chemist runs and other errands.

Journalist Andrea Morrow (50), who lives in the Cavehill area, said she was amazed at the response after she proposed the idea of forming a group.

"I couldn't believe the response. Scores of people offered to help. In a matter of hours, there were more than 100 comments. They were dog owners, drivers, carers and nurses. Many had come home from the supermarket and recounted stories of older people being side-lined and unable to get supplies."

If you need help and live in BT14 or BT15, Andrea can be reached on 07910 281747 or andrea.mckernon@icloud.com.

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