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CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Derry households asked to 'light up' to show solidarity against coronavirus

Fairy lights will be used to symbolise hope and gratitude across the city

xmas lights

The lights will be beacon of hope.

A Derry mental health practitioner has developed a simple well being initiative to help lift people's spirits during the dark days of the coronavirus crisis.
Kathleen Doherty, a private counsellor based at the Gate Lodge, has asked people across the city to place a string of Christmas lights in their window as a symbol of solidarity and a thank you to all our front line workers.
"This is a very difficult and uncertain time for everyone with widespread fear and panic and a sense of collective anxiety which is making it almost impossible for people to remain emotionally healthy," explained Ms Doherty.
"I came up with an idea for an initiative to try to promote a more positive perspective for people at what feels like a very dark time for everyone.
"It's my suggestion that, while we remain in this time of social distancing, people place a set of Christmas lights in a front window of their home to promote a feeling of togetherness, mutual support and as a gesture of gratitude for all those who are out there still working to help all us through this difficult time."
She believes this simple gesture could have a powerful effect, especially for children.
"At night when we look out and see the lights twinkling from our neighbour's windows, we'll be reminded that we're all in this together and united in our support for one another.
"It will also be symbolic of our hope and a reminder that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

"This message and initiative is particularly important for children who, while they seem to be relatively unaffected by this virus health-wise, can be massively affected by anxiety, both their own and that of the people around them."
Ms Doherty has set up an instagram page 'Light Up Initiative' where people have already been sharing pictures of their lit up windows.
"It's such an important message so I'm encouraging everyone to continue share the light @lightupinitiative," she added. 

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