Posted 21 July 2021
Caroline Mullan Beggs, coordinator with Kildress Wolfe Tones tells how the COVID-19 virus has brought the community together through for formation of the Sew it Seams group.
What impact is COVID-19 having on your organisation and the street or community where you live?
We are all only too aware of the disadvantages of living in rural Ireland however during lockdown we have all been reminded of the privilege it is to call Kildress home and that living in a countryside like ours has proven to be priceless in these times.
What actions have taken place at a local level during this pandemic? Have you been directly involved yourself?
I am the Health & Well-being officer within our club and have been heavily involved in the setup of both these initiatives, I am also coordinating our sewing group alongside Grace McCullagh.
With shortage of PPE we decided to get a team together and try to help out. We formed a group of 26 ladies and named it ‘Sew it Seams’.
We meet on a weekly basis providing those who sew with everything they need; this is done while carrying out all social distance guidance. Grace and I source the material, cut out templates and deliver our scrubs and masks to where they need to be. Our sewers work within their own homes, using their own utilities and are always willing and ready to take on any requests we have for them. To date our team has produced over 300 sets of scrubs complete with laundry bags and just under 2000 face masks. These have been distributed to hospitals, care homes, homecare staff & community nurses, we are also providing our local community with facemasks.
Kildress GFC has always played a vital role in our community and even more so now. As well as our ‘Sew it Seams’ group we have set up our ‘Kildress Crisis Team’. This team provides a collection/delivery service of medicines, groceries, heating fuel etc. We have collaborated with Kildress Health Matters, SVP Cookstown & Advice NI and all our details have all been registered with Mid Ulster District Council to promote these services.
Have you an example of positive good relations at a local level?
I do feel the pandemic has brought our community closer together albeit while staying apart, the age group of our volunteers vary greatly and many of our paths may not have crossed otherwise.
What are the challenges facing communities during this time?
The biggest challenge we have faced as a group is at times getting our heads around the reality of the situation and of course the social distancing.
What are your hopes for the future?
Moving beyond this virus I believe the ‘Sew its Seams’ group will play a forever roll in our Club.