APPROXIMATELY £10,000 worth in donations of essential items for patients collected by a Strabane community group have been delivered to Altnagelvin Hospital.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hospital had launched an appeal to ensure a supply of essential toiletries for each patient as there was no opportunity for their families to visit and bring their personal effects.
Last month Fountain Street Community Centre, one of the community groups part of the 'Strabane Together Against Covid-19' grouping, opened its doors to facilitate a drop-off point for the appeal.
Several generous local residents and businesses answered the call in donating hundreds of items with countless donations of toiletries such as shower gel, deodorants, sanitary products, creams etc and nightwear.
Recently the committee of Fountain Street assisted by members of Strabane Community Rescue Service and Melmount Community Forum travelled to the hospital to deliver dozens upon dozens of boxes of items.
"The staff and committee of Fountain Street Community Development Association wish to extend a massive word of thanks to everyone who donated to their Altnagelvin Hospital Appeal Fund," a spokesperson said.
"Approximately £10,000 worth of goods left the centre to be officially handed over to the hospital.
"A special word of thanks also to Strabane Community Rescue Service and Melmount Community Forum for their help in partnership to deliver the goods.
"The people of Strabane and the surrounding areas should feel extremely proud of their generous donations. Well done to everyone."
Joining the group to deliver the donations was Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, councillor Michaela Boyle.
She said she was absolutely delighted to join the group in handing over the donations at the Western Trust's drop-off point at the U3A Foyle building in Gransha.
"I want to say a huge well done to Lynn Maguire, Mary Deery and all at Fountain Street Community Association for their contribution in the organising and supporting of the Altnagelvin COVID-19 appeal for non-perishable items," she said.
"I joined members of the association and along with the assistance of Strabane Community Search and Rescue we delivered a significant number of much-needed items to the drop off depot.
"A representative of the hospital who met with us was overwhelmed and paid tribute to the generosity of the people of Strabane for their kind donations, which will go a long way in helping both patients and staff within the Western Trust."
The Mayor added: "I am heartened but not surprised at the kindness and support shown by the folk of Strabane in this time of crisis. The people of the town have suffered their own hardships down through the years, but nothing on this scale.
"And yet, the unity and the responsiveness of everyone coming together in a compassionate and caring way has been second to none. People reaching out to those most in need is exactly how we can overcome this pandemic together."