23 May 2022

Maghera group's appeal to those in need

Maghera group's appeal to those in need

A County Derry community group who appeared on BBC Spotlight last week have said the programme highlighted the 'harsh reality' of poverty in rural areas.

Maghera Cross Community Link were featured on the programme which looked at the financial impact of the pandemic.

Ruth Watterson, chairperson of the local group, said help is available for those in the area who need it.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Maghera food bank has seen a considerable rise in food need and welfare support,” she said.

“We have been signposting clients to agencies for benefit entitlement checks, debt management plans and to other voluntary and community organisations who may be able to assist them.

“People are being forced into poverty with families and children hit the hardest. During the 2020 pandemic year Maghera food bank has distributed approximately 3,800 food parcels

“This has been done with the help of Out and About Services, local community volunteers, business sector, St. Vincent de Paul and Watty Grahams GAC.

“Covid has hit hard in this rural part of Mid Ulster and the staff at Maghera food bank regularly liaise with the Council to help address the poverty needs of Maghera and the surrounding areas.

“For each of these figures there is a person, a family struggling to feed their children, a labourer who can no longer afford to put food on the table, professionals who cannot attain Universal Credit and other benefits and businesses struggling to survive and provide.”

Ruth added that help was available for those in Maghera and the surrounding areas.

“We will continue to provide help and assistance to all within the community who are experiencing hardship,” she said.

“If you or someone you know require support please contact Maghera Cross Community Link privately via social media or contact us on 02879329652.”

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