Lenity NI – Member in Focus #47

Interview with Christine Kelly from Lenity NI

Tell us a bit about yourself and/or your organisation.

My name is Christine and I run Lenity NI, a non-profit organisation based in Waringstown. I’m passionate about providing practical assistance to people in need. At the moment, most of our resources go to helping local families. We also support a couple of projects in Uganda (a school in a very rural area and a centre for children with disabilities).

How well have you/your organisation adapted to the pandemic?

We acquired premises in June 2020 with a view to opening a charity shop. We put that on hold and focused our energies on providing food and clothing to local families that were struggling financially. We are currently using the shop premises for storage but hope to open in the next few weeks. This will provide vital funding as we do not receive any financial assistance.

How well have people/organisations in your area collaborated throughout the pandemic?
I live and work in an area which has a good community spirit. We usually have people willing to donate most of what we give out to families in need. We receive referrals from and refer to other organisations in our area and have plans to make contact with even more local organisations to determine how we can work together.
What key needs are becoming apparent and/or are likely to arise this year?

Businesses are still closing and I would expect that when furlough payments cease in September, we might well see another surge of people requiring assistance. The number of people we’re helping is rising every week and shows no signs of abating. We are trying to plan ahead and to build up a reserve of clothes and food.

ASK: What do you need, right now, that the members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community may be able to help you with?
We always seem to have a shortage of clothes for older children and men so any donations of that sort would be gratefully received. Any non-perishable food, toiletries, nappies, wipes and cleaning products would be great to add to our reserves.
Because we spend so much of our time doing the practical things, we don’t have a lot of time left over for admin. If anyone has any bookkeeping or website building knowledge and could offer their services, that would be a dream come true!
👋 If you would like to respond to this ask, please follow the link below and enter “Lenity NI” to the first field.

OFFER: What support are you currently offering and are you open to members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community making contact?

We mainly supply food, toiletries and clothing to families in need but we also provide any other help we can. If the family asks for something they need, we do our best to obtain it. We’ve collected furniture, electrical goods and toys to give to families, for example. We also try to make sure the families are receiving all the benefits they’re entitled to and make them aware of other organisations in the area that may be helpful. 

👋 If you would like to be connected with this offer of support, please follow the link below and enter “Lenity NI” to the first field.

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