'Help at Hand' for most vulnerable as project returns

A PROJECT aimed at helping Strabane’s most vulnerable people through the winter months will run for another year, the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project (NHIP) has confirmed.

‘Help at Hand’ project aims to assist vulnerable residents within the Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal area and is delivered by the Neighbourhood Health Improvement Project (NHIP).

The project has been running the past 13 years, and each year is consistently supported by local companies to help meet the need within the community.

This year, O’Neills Sportswear, Frylite, Strabane and District Caring Services and Boran Mopack have donated once again, while local community organisations are also on board in partnership with the project.

The project is supported by NHIP, funded by Department for Communities, where volunteers from community groups will be on hand to provide help to people in the Neighbourhood Renewal Area.

"This project aims to assist vulnerable residents within the Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal Area over the winter period to ensure they are safe, secure and warm in their own homes," Wendy McGlinchey, Strabane NHIP health worker and Strabane District Caring Services community co-ordinator, explained.

"This year we have been able to purchase 60 winter health boxes that will be distributed around the communities to those who are less fortunate and are in need.

"Each of the winter health boxes contains essential toiletries, warm clothing electric or gas vouchers along with a few luxury items essential items that we take for granted ourselves.

"Frylite and Boran-Mopack have donated monetary value to the winter health initiative which is greatly appreciated and O’ Neill’s have provided ourselves with much needed warm clothing.

"These businesses understand the need and deprivation within Strabane especially at this time of year and the year where we have experienced deprivation more so due to families experiencing job losses and financial losses in many other forms."

Wendy added: "The winter health boxes are designed to and for people in need within our community especially over this Christmas period and in the colder months are particularly welcomed by those at the receiving end.

"It is our intentions to ensure that those in need are warm and feel secure in their own homes over the winter period.

"This coming together of community groups in the area is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when working in partnership and collaborating for the greater good."

If you require any hep during this time, contact you nearest community group: Wendy McGlinchey NHIP Strabane /Strabane & District Caring Services (02871 884986), Jarlath McNulty, Strabane Health Improvement (02871 886824), Damien Gavigan, Lisnafin/Ardnalee Trust (028 71880658), Aodhán Harkin, Fountain Street CDA (02871 885100) and Ursula Gallagher, Strabane Community Project (02871 883102).

"On a last note please can I ask that you look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who could be at risk during the cold weather – especially the elderly and those who are ill," Wendy continued.

"It is Important to prevent people from becoming cold in the first place. Prevention is always easier than cure.

"Use a blanket or shawl to keep yourself warm when sitting down. Put the blanket over your knees or shoulders to help you keep warm when watching TV, reading a book or lying down to rest

"I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from your local community groups within the Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal Area."

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