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.
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.
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.