A Craigavon charity that offers practical support to people by providing them with essential everyday items is benefiting from a £1,000 cash donation through Power NI’s Brighter Communities programme.
From its head office at Waringstown in County Down, representatives from Lenity NI help to distribute food, toiletries and clothing to those individuals and families that have been referred to them for help. At any one time, they can assist 20 families – and the money from Power NI ensures this can continue.
This life-changing work has been taking place for the last four years and extends to the local charity collaborating with other groups, bodies and organisations that operate right across Northern Ireland.
This includes Brownlow Midwives in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the maternity ward at Craigavon Area Hospital who help to distribute pre-made baby bags. An animal rescue centre also receives significant contributions from Lenity NI, as does a school in the East African country of Uganda.
Lenity NI also equips people and families with essential life skills from basic budgeting to cooking – yet another important service that is delivered by a dedicated band of volunteers, according to its founder.
“It still amazes me to think how much Lenity has grown in four short years from one person giving up a couple of hours a week to a registered charity with two shops and 14 volunteers. I am really excited to see what will happen to Lenity in the next four years,” said Christine Kelly. “We are also very proud of the fact that we have no paid staff, so all of the funds raised go back to helping those that need it.”
“Lenity means ‘act of kindness’ and I would love it if everyone did one random act of kindness over the course of the next week, whether that be complimenting someone, buying a suspended coffee, or letting someone go in front of you at the checkout. A little bit of kindness can mean so much.”
Power NI launched the Brighter Communities initiative in April 2018 and has since helped a wide range of specialised groups and clubs, including wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, and young cheerleaders.
Announcing Lenity NI as the June winner of the £1,000 grant, Power NI’s Ashleigh O’Neill said: “The ongoing cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, so it is vitally important that we get support to community organisations like Lenity NI who are making a real difference to the most vulnerable in our society.”
Find out more on how Power NI is energising local communities.