“The Strength and Compassion of Local Communities”.

In the difficult and uncertain times we’re currently facing, it is easy to become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and feelings but where there is hardship there is hope and across Ireland, local communities are pulling together to support each other and their families against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a number of compassionate, thought provoking and inspiring ways.

Volunteers from all over the Island are signing up as self-isolation helpers. Offering to visit the vulnerable and the ill, carrying out essential tasks such as food shopping and picking up medicine, taking their pets out for a walk, or simply keeping someone company with a friendly phone call.

Local yoga and fitness instructors are hosting a range of free video classes on their Facebook and YouTube channels, inviting communities to get involved and stay mentally and physically active during their period of isolation. Teachers are offering to explain homework and projects to parents if they are struggling to understand their children’s curriculum as well as offering helpful advice on home schooling for all ages. Community members are sharing their favourite recipes for pantry basics such as oven-baked bread, along with top tips and inspiration on getting your kids involved in the kitchen in both a fun and educational way.

Small business owners are sharing the latest news and updates on the business support and grant options available from the government, whilst local tradesmen are offering to fix boilers and other household appliance issues in the homes of the vulnerable and the elderly absolutely free of charge. Nursing homes on both sides of the lough are encouraging families and their children to draw pictures, and write letters to share with the elderly individuals in their care. Brightening their day by keeping them updated with how they’re spending their time out of school and telling them what they want to be when they grow up.

Community groups are operating make shift food banks and working alongside local businesses that are opening their doors to facilitate as drop off centres, with care packages including toilet roll, hand wash, cleaning products and long life food being bundled up and delivered to those who need them most. A select number of convenience stores and customer savvy supermarkets are opening their doors one hour earlier than usual to allow the elderly to do their shopping before the rest of the community, to reduce the risk of catching the virus and ensuring they have easy access to everything they need on the shelves.

There are even plans in place to bring a drive in cinema to Newcastle, Castlewellan and Dundalk to help battle the boredom during the Covid-19 lockdown. The Big Drive Inn has promised the details are coming soon and can be found on their Facebook page.

If you would like to find out more about the amazing work being carried out in your community and the surrounding area, or if you would like to get involved in some of the wonderful initiatives mentioned above, you can join your local coronavirus support group on Facebook by clicking on the links below.

Coronavirus Community Support Groups on Facebook

Belfast | Camlough | Causeway | Cork | Downpatrick | Dublin | Dundonald | Galway | Kilkeel | Kingscourt | Larne | Limerick | Louth | Meath | Newcastle | Northern Ireland

As a community service, we would like to reassure customers that the Carlingford Lough Ferry will continue to operate in line with public health guidelines and we are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and crew. Tickets can be pre-purchased online to limit one to one contact.

The journey itself, from boarding to disembarking the ferry can be enjoyed without leaving the comfort of your own car. And should you wish to stretch your legs, admire the scenic views and soak in some fresh sea air during your time on board with us, you can be confident in the knowledge that our crew are disinfecting all touch points and public areas regularly between sailings and hand sanitiser is available to all customers.

Stay safe and well and in good health everyone. We can get through this together.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/carlingfordloughferry/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/FerryLough

Instagram –  https://www.instagram.com/carlingfordloughferry

Link to ticket purchasing page – https://tickets.carlingfordferry.com