Members of Magheragall Mothers’ Union have been unable to meet in person since March, but the pandemic did not stop them from supporting the annual Barnardo’s Christmas Hamper Appeal.
Throughout the year, members were able to continue some projects remotely, and as they approached Christmas, the branch committee decided it really wanted to complete the Christmas hampers.
The charity Barnardo’s distribute them in Lisburn to homes where there is real need, and given the impact of the pandemic this was an initiative the MU members were determined would happen in 2020.
The hampers needed to be ready for early December and with churches once again closed, it looked like the project might have to be shelved. Thankfully, the regulations permitted church halls to be used for the provision of food relief. With the green light, the MU got down to business and appealed to the parish for food donations which were delivered to the hall.
To keep the people involved in the packing process to a minimum, there were two separate shifts – shift one was Shirley and Georgie and shift two was Bronwen and Susan. Alongside the donations to the hall, some members made up hampers at home. The MU also collected toiletries for emergency washbags for local hospitals and for the women’s refuge, and these bags have been put together by Ray in her own home.
When the work in the church hall came to a close on December 2, there were 23 hampers ready for households in Lisburn.
Susan Donaghy, branch secretary, said: “Thank you so much to every member who donated food or money to buy food items along with toiletries which will go to Women’s Aid and the Lagan Valley Hospital. Also a big thank you to our church family who also donated food, toys and beautiful knitted hedgehogs. It will go towards helping so many families in the Lisburn area that are struggling due to illness or job loss.”