The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has paid tribute to volunteers who continue to offer crucial help and support within their communities.
Alderman Mark Fielding praised the sustained response which is evident across the Borough as coronavirus restrictions continue.
This includes the Portrush-based Reach group, who with support from local businesses and generous donations, provide a meal delivery service and a foodbank facility for local families.
Its community work began in 2017 but demand for its services has escalated since the onset of the pandemic. It now provides a weekly meal and a Friday treat to 114 households in the town alongside its ‘Great Fish Supper Runs’ which are delivered to as many as 180 families intermittently.
The Mayor visited the group this week to see its good work for himself, and speaking afterwards he said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the Reach volunteers and their supporters, along with all others involved in community responses in their areas, for the services they provide.
“Their overall contribution is immeasurable, helping to protect the wellbeing of the most vulnerable through their practical and social support. As Mayor, I want to relay my gratitude to all those who selflessly devote their time and skills, along with those who have made donations of food, essential items and money which collectively make such a positive impact on the lives of those in need.”
Val McDonald from Team Reach said: “Our services are subsidised through support within the community and funding from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, the Co-Op, the Kathleen Graham Trust and the National Lottery Awards for All scheme, with our weekly meals cooked by the chef at the Adelphi Hotel. But it’s not just about food deliveries – it’s about providing our recipients with a point of contact and someone calling to their door to ask how they are doing which is just as important. For those who are isolating, especially those who live by themselves, it can be such a lonely experience and we are helping to address this and ensure they know they are not alone.
“The meals we deliver gives them something to look forward to during the week and the response we get is amazing. This wouldn’t happen without the input of everybody at Team Reach and I want to say a big thank you to all our volunteers, supporters and funders who make our work possible.”
The Mayor added: “The voluntary sector is an invaluable asset within Causeway Coast and Glens and the community spirit in action through Reach and other groups is something to be very proud off.”
You can find out more about Reach Portrush on its Facebook page or ring 07929369228.
For information about community response initiatives near you go to https://www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/live/community-services/covid-19-community-support.date
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