‘It’s been a pleasure to call with residents and deliver food parcels’

The continuing disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a massive community spirit across Derry that is helping many through these unusual times.

Housing Executive staff are regularly contacting tenants throughout the city to make sure they are safe in their home and providing advice and assistance when needed.

Community groups and agencies are stepping up for their local residents by delivering food parcels so that no-one is hungry and they are not too lonely.

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Housing Executive staff are also helping in many areas by keeping in touch with community representatives and providing assistance to deliver much needed food parcels.

One area the Housing Executive has assisted in is Nelson Drive in the Waterside.

The Caw/Nelson Drive Community Action Group is delivering food parcels to local residents in the area.

Housing Executive Neighbourhood Officer Carly King and Patch Manager Paula Maguire learned of the group’s plans and offered their help to deliver the parcels using their own cars.

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Carly said: “When I heard the local community group were delivering food parcels to residents it was a ‘no-brainer’ for Paula and I to offer to help deliver them across this large estate.

“Times are difficult for everyone, and when I told my children what I was doing, Noah (6) and Ayla (4) offered to paint rainbows for the residents so they could show their support for the National Health Service (NHS) by hanging the paintings in their windows.

“Working with the community group has been amazing.”

She said it was really rewarding work and that her own children loved getting involved during lockdown.

“ It’s very heart-warming to see residents faces when they are reassured local people are looking out for them, providing food and a child’s picture.

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“My children enjoyed doing the paintings and the residents really appreciated them.

“Linda Watson from Caw/Nelson Drive Community Action Group rang me the next day, and we now have a list of orders for more pictures, they’re delighted!”

Patch Manager, Paula, said: “It’s been a pleasure to call with residents and help to deliver food parcels.

“As Patch Manager I have been working closely with local community groups over the last number of weeks to help residents, and CNDAG have been brilliant.”

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Linda Watson, Co-Ordinator at Caw/Nelson Drive Community Action Group, is extremely pleased at the help and community support that has been offered during COVID-19.

She said: “We have an excellent community network here, and we were absolutely delighted when staff from the Waterside Housing Executive office offered to help with the deliveries.

“We’re receiving help from many different agencies, and it really does go a long way to help residents who may be struggling at this unprecedented time. Thank you.”

If you are a Housing Executive tenant and need advice or assistance, please contact us on 03448 920 900.

Alternatively you can check out the website www.nihe.gov.uk for more details.

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