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Mayor praises vital work of community response teams

18 April 2020
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council has praised the vital work being done by local community and voluntary groups, who are working on the ground to deliver essential aid across Derry and Strabane.
Councillor Michaela Boyle has been visiting groups across the City and District to see for herself the remarkable community effort that has mobilised since the outbreak of the COVID-19 emergency. These groups are working closely with Council to address a range of needs for those who have been identified as most vulnerable.
This week saw the delivery of hundreds of food boxes for people shielding due to health concerns, who have not been able to access delivery services, and those in critical need of food for financial reasons. The scheme has been designed and funded by the Department for Communities, and Council is working with local community and voluntary organisations who are delivering the food boxes in their communities.
Speaking today Mayor Boyle said she was overwhelmed by the level of work being done by the local community and voluntary sector. "This has been my first opportunity this week to really see for myself how the community has rallied to protect and support the most vulnerable. We have groups and volunteers who are working around the clock to provide a lifeline to those who need it most, working effectively with Council officers, the Health Trust, the Department for Communities and other agencies.
"This is a difficult job to do, and these groups are best placed to assist through their own established networks. I want to take this opportunity to extend my own gratitude and to speak on behalf of the people of Derry and Strabane when I say you have our total support, our appreciation and our good will. Please keep up the good work."
Any constituted groups who need additional support to deliver services can apply for grant aid through the Community Foundation NI, up to £2,500 is available from Council’s £50,000 of localised funding for small scale emergency support. Grants of up to £10,000 are also available from the NI wide scheme.
A special webpage has now gone live on the Council website providing a range of information about support available to the both the public and community and voluntary organisations. The page includes information on available funding for groups, emergency support for individuals, health and wellbeing advice and information and important contact numbers for a range of agencies. You can access the page at www.derrystrabane.com/communitysupport  
Anyone who is at risk of food poverty at this time, for health or financial reasons, who has not already been contacted to arrange a food box delivery can contact the COVID-19 Community Helpline Freephone Number on 0808 802 0020. You can also get in touch by email and text message: email: [email protected]; text: ACTION to 81025
Updated information on any COVID-19 impacts on all Council services can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/coronavirus