Following the announcement from the NI Executive that face coverings will become mandatory on public transport from 10 July, the Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, who made the proposal to government, has endorsed an exciting community initiative to provide face coverings to those who need them most in our local communities.
“I am delighted to support the Big Community Sew initiative that will provide 20,000 free face coverings to the most vulnerable in our society, through a network of family hubs, food banks, pharmacies and schools”, Nichola Mallon said.
“Whilst not a substitute for social distancing and hand hygiene, the evidence suggests that we can reduce our risk of spreading the virus using face coverings. This is another example of communities and local businesses continuing to work together to help the most vulnerable in our society.”
Angeline Murphy from the NI Big Community Sew explains: “The stitching mission all started with NI Scrubs, where over 26,000 scrubs were produced for frontline NHS and care staff. The volunteer army of stitchers met the demand for scrubs and filled the stopgap that existed at the time.”
“With some money remaining, we are looking towards the vulnerable in the community and we want to get face coverings to those in most need. I am a great believer in sewing and the benefits of working with your hands for improving your mental health. I truly believe that using our hands may actually be key to maintaining a healthy mind.”
“Our SPAR and EUROSPAR Supermarkets are in the heart of every community in Northern Ireland, with each one a hub for their local area. We support our neighbours throughout the year, however in the past few months we have developed new initiatives which have helped local charities and organisations adjust through this challenging time with our Community Cashback Grant, which saw 16 organisations receive a share of £20,000”, says Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing, SPAR NI partner Henderson Group.
“Utilising some of our Post Offices as pick up and drop off points makes this collaboration even easier to navigate for everyone involved. It’s an honour to help and be part of this very important initiative for our local communities.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Business Response Network in Northern Ireland has connected more than 90 requests for support from local community groups, schools, and charities with business support to meet their urgent needs during the crisis.
Packs for stitchers will be available at Post Offices in the following SPAR and EUROSPAR stores from Wednesday 1 July 2020: Cullybackey; Dunclug; Dromore Road, Banbridge; Abbeyhill; Clough; Millburn; Dromara; Cohannon; Viking Lodge; Longstone Street, Garvey; Rossdowney; Loughview; Glenavy Road; Glenwell, Glengormley; Donaghadee Road; Brownstowne Road; Hillcrest, Dhu Varren; Tandragee. For store locations and more information, please visit www.facebook.com/NIBigCommunitySew
Source: SPAR UK
About SPAR UK
The UK became a member of SPAR in 1956 when a group of independent wholesalers was granted the SPAR licence by SPAR International. There are five regional partners in the UK with strategically placed Distribution Centres in each region. A central office, located in London, provides national marketing and buying services for the group and supports the development of the brand.
SPAR has led the convenience market in the UK for many years but has faced increasing competition. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. Throughout the UK, a combination of independently-owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores can be found, spanning forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhoods.