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Businessman Hagan donates £80k to two charities hit by lockdown

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James Hagan of Hagan Homes

James Hagan of Hagan Homes

James Hagan of Hagan Homes

A Northern Ireland businessman has donated £80,000 to two charities hit by the coronavirus crisis.

James Hagan stepped in after discovering many charities were operating on deficits of tens of thousands of pounds following the cancellation of dozens of planned fundraising activities.

Mr Hagan, from Ballyclare, has called on other business owners to support charities affected by the pandemic.

Hagan Homes, which has built over 4,000 homes across Northern Ireland over its 30-year history, has been working with two local charities - Age NI and Cash for Kids - to help them through the current period of uncertainty. Both charities are working directly with vulnerable people affected by the virus.

Age NI will be helping older people's networks across Northern Ireland to provide emotional and practical support, food supplies, activity ideas and more during the pandemic.

Mr Hagan said: "There are countless charities out there who have been serving vulnerable people in the community for many years, even decades but today they too face a crisis in sourcing funds to continue that support. This has come about through the cancellation of many scheduled fundraising events on which they heavily rely, so I am urging my business peers to help them continue their exemplary work which is needed now more than ever."

Welcoming the announcement Linda Robinson, the chief executive of Age NI, said: "Age NI is very grateful to Mr Hagan for his profound generosity at this worrying time for our community.

"Older people are particularly at risk during these challenging times, given that many, around 80,000, are living alone.

"Charities like ourselves need to work differently, working from our homes, supporting older people in new ways, maintaining vital care services and linking in with community groups and volunteers, many who are older themselves. "

Mr Hagan has donated £40,000 to Age NI and a further £40,000 to CoolFM/Downtown/Downtown Country's Cash for Kids charity, which has set up a new appeal to help children who are vulnerable because of the crisis.

Mr Hagan added: "£40,000 given to this charity will support 1,142 children - children who are considered most vulnerable during this epidemic, but we need more.

"We need a continuous flow of funds to enable Cash for Kids NI to support all of the young people here who need support and speed is of the essence.

"The organisation has set up an emergency appeal to fund basic family essentials, which amounts to £35 per child and will help families affected by poverty due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Further funds are needed to continue this initiative and to help as many children as possible.

"I know there are businesses out there who want to help and I am calling on my peers to give what they can now to ensure our most vulnerable are protected and our most valuable charities are supported during what is one of the most anxious times during our lifetime."

Sally Aitchison of Cash for Kids adds: "We have all been affected by the Covid-19 situation in some way.

"However right now those on low incomes or who are living in or on the brink of poverty will be really feeling the pressure.

"With one in four children living in poverty in Northern Ireland, the impact of the current situation is sure to see that number increase.

"I would like to extend a huge thank you to Hagan Homes for the generosity shown in such challenging times. This kind donation will enable us to help more than 1,100 of the most vulnerable children in our community."

Belfast Telegraph