A KIND-hearted Strabane man has helped bring a little cheer to frontline workers across the district following his latest venture.
Eamon Cooke, who is a talented artist, has been inspired by local domiciliary and care home workers who worked tirelessly throughout the past 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic.
He had been keen to find a way of showing appreciation for their dedication so last month he began collecting Easter eggs in the hope of presenting each one with a chocolate treat.
The appeal was a huge success with the Springhill man managing to collect over 650 eggs thanks to the support of the community and local businesses.
Armed with car loads of chocolate, he spent Friday delivering the eggs to care homes and organisations across the town, with the donations coming complete with a special note of thanks in appreciation for the work they are doing and continue to do throughout these unprecedented times.
Those receiving the goodies included Melmount Manor Care Home, Greenfield Residential Home, Woodmount Nursing Home and Iona House.
Staff at Strabane/Riverside Health Centre and Mourneside Medical Centre also received a donation, as did the local ambulance crews, and domiciliary care providers, Glen Caring, the Western Health and Social Care Trust and Strabane and District Caring Services.
It's not the first time that Eamon's kind gestures have brought smiles to the faces of health and care workers.
For Christmas last year he delivered hampers full of sweet treats and goodies to hospital staff as a way of saying 'thank you' to NHS workers.
He made and began selling festive decorations featuring the message 'Thank you NHS. Christmas 2020' complete with a Superman and rainbow logo, to raise money to make the hampers.
Eamon managed to raise a grand total of £630.50 to help fund his charitable efforts and subsequently delivered 32 hampers to Altnagelvin Hospital - one for each ward.
Explaining all about his latest efforts, Eamon said: "On February 5, I started an Easter egg appeal to show appreciation to all care home staff and domiciliary care workers in the Strabane area.
"Why did I do this? Well at Christmas I had also hoped to give hampers into the care home staff in Strabane but due to funds I couldn't.
"By doing this Easter egg appeal I can now say I'm happy. Not only have I covered the care homes but also our domiciliary nurses etc."
For Eamon, the endeavour could not have been possible without the support of the people of Strabane and surrounding areas, as well as businesses.
"Through the generosity of the people of Strabane, Omagh and even Fermanagh and through the generosity from local businesses and community organisations I collected 653 eggs," he added.
Eamon would like to say thanks to all those who helped make his appeal a success.
These include: Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association and Brian McNamee who helped with the delivery of the eggs as well as offering the centre centre as a drop-off point, Matthew Tracey and Asda, Lidl NI, SuperValu Strabane, McBride's Spar, Dolan's Nisa Local, Garden Aid, Doran's Costcutters and Killyliss Lodge, Fermanagh.
He would also like to thank local photographer, Sean Crawford for all his help as well as his girlfriend and family, including his nephew, Sam, who assisted with the deliveries.
Since delivering the eggs, Eamon has been inundated with messages of gratitude from health and social care workers who have been enjoying the treats.
To view Eamon's wonderful creations, log on to https://www.facebook.com/CookeArt/