The Rotary Club of Enniskillen – an organisation which likes to give back to its community – have taken the opportunity to express their gratitude to the many people across the county who have supported them in the past at various events organised throughout the year.

“I thank you for your continuing support of our work,” acknowledged Heather Ellis, Rotary President Elect, who noted: “This year will be a very different Rotary year and already the Covid-19 fund which we set up recently will have been supported by many of you.”

Among those supporting the current work of the Rotary Club of Enniskillen in a partnership is the Masonic Province of Tyrone and Fermanagh.

Provincial Grand Master, Johnny Woods, commented: “It is gratifying to be involved in the Covid–19 Action Group in Fermanagh and to witness the work being undertaken by the Group and to be working alongside the Rotary Club of Enniskillen under the Presidency of Jisbinder Sembhi and President Elect Heather Ellis.”

Heather Ellis explained: “The Rotary Club of Enniskillen and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Tyrone and Fermanagh have been in touch recently with the managers of all care staff in the county. We understand that domiciliary carers often go the extra mile for our families and friends at this challenging time when a pandemic is hitting our community.

Therefore we have decided to procure a personal gift pack for all domiciliary care staff to enable us to say a big thankyou to you those carers who visit people in their own homes day and daily in the county to bring care, fellowship, friendship and conversation.”

Heather expressed appreciation of the Western Trust’s distribution centre at Drumcoo for their support with this project. (473 gift packs were distributed).

“Positive feedback” in relation to the gift packs has already been received, according to Heather, who mentioned that recipients loved the packs, especially the handcream.

She went on to speak further about the work of the Covid-19 Group and noted that it has included “PPE provision in the community including the South West Acute Hospital and nursing and residential homes and support for five operational foodbanks.”

Another venture which the Covid-19 Group has become involved in is ‘Grants for Care Homes’ – which Enniskillen Rotarian Hugh Mills explains was “the provision of a small grant to purchase arts and crafts, gardening materials and plants, board games and jigsaws and Tablets to assist communications between residents and their relatives.”

He outlined: “Applications for the grants have been received and funds are being allocated to help care homes support their residents. This fund is also supported by Fermanagh Trust.”

Heather Ellis, going on to look towards the Covid-19 Group’s next phase, acknowledged: “We look forward to the public’s continued support as we roll out the next stage of our outreach to the charities and other organisations of Co. Fermanagh. Mental Health support will be a key need as we ease lockdown arrangements in the following weeks and months.”

Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Province of Tyrone and Fermanagh, Mr. Johnny Woods, speaking about the Covid-19 Action Group in Fermanagh, commented: “In these unprecedented times the Covid-19 Action Group has really embraced the need to be involved at a grass roots level in assisting in the community.”

Sharing Heather Ellis’s sentiments, he said: “It is very important to demonstrate to the people who work and volunteer in these sectors that we wholeheartedly support them and we appreciate the sacrifices that they make and the work that they do on behalf of our communities.”

Messages of thanks received by the Covid-19 Action Group include gratitude from Paula Cox, office supervisor at Care Plus, based at Lackaboy in Enniskillen, who commented on the provision of support packs for domiciliary carers.

Also expressing thanks was Sandra Murray, head of operations, Praxis Care, who commented: “Thank you for your generous grant gifts and supply of PPE to our residential schemes in Kesh.

This is greatly appreciated and will be used for therapeutic horticultural activities for the schemes which will be of great benefit to all service users.

“A big thank you from myself, staff team and service users from Praxis Care (Kesh).”

Summing up, Enniskillen Rotary President Jisbinder Sembhi commented: “Covid-19 is bigger than all of us and has been a very challenging time. Rotary has Joined together to help the local community.”

He concluded: “May I take this opportunity to congratulate all the club members, on their vision and commitment to all that they have undertaken.”

Jisbinder also expressed gratitude on behalf of Enniskillen Rotary Club to the Masonic Province of Tyrone and Fermanagh for its support and involvement in the activities of the Covid-19 Action Group.