Older people on their own to be sent festive treats

OLDER people in Fermanagh who will be on their own this Christmas are to be sent a “small token”, possibly chocolates and mince pies, to help spread a little festive spirit locally. 
The ‘Christmas Cheer’ initiative is part of a range of measures being taken by the Council to support the local community during what they termed “the ongoing emergency” of Covid.  With some of the central funding that had been available during the first lockdown now ended, the Council is currently working closely with the community and voluntary sector to provide as much support as it can. 
Concentrating on the areas of fuel poverty, access to food and medicine, maintaining social contact and community support, and providing general advice to the public, a report to a recent meeting of the Council’s regeneration and community committee listed a range of planned initiatives, including the Christmas Cheer plan. 
“Many people may chose not to travel home this Christmas,” the report stated. “This may exacerbate the sense of isolation for older people within the district. 
“It is proposed that the Council considers developing a ‘Christmas Cheer’ initiative, in partnership with the community and voluntary sector to provide a small token, for example a box of chocolates and mince pies, to those aged over 65 who will be alone or are caring on their own over the Christmas period.” 
Councillors on the committee backed the plan.
“I think it’s very creative, and it’s so kind and it’s wholly thoughtful,” said Cllr  Bernice Swift. “It might be a very small gesture but I know anyone at the receiving end of that would just absolutely love it.” 
Other Council plans to support the community include entering service level agreements with the likes of local food banks, Fermanagh Community Transport, and organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul (SVP). This is to provide support for the work these organisations already do. For example, the Council will be supporting a fuel voucher scheme through the SVP and similar organisations. 
Committee members, including Cllr Chris McCaffrey, pictured far left, and Cllr Donal O’Cofaigh, pictured left, praised the hard work of the Council staff and the local voluntary sector for their efforts supporting the community this year.

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