A TYRONE family have praised the “outstanding” help they received from a local victims’ group throughout the long months of lockdown.
David Newell, who lives with his wife and two children in McClay Park, Omagh, said the service provided by the members of the South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) had been “second-to-none”.
Set up more than two decades ago to assist innocent the victims of terrorism in south-east Fermanagh, the group has steadily grown over the years and has extended its services into Tyrone as well.
Mr Newell has been involved with SEFF for the last two years and his family is just one of around 120 locally to have received help from the group during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As well as receiving a home computer to help with their children’s school and college work, groceries worth £50 were delivered to their door and, on another occasion, the family were also able to claim £50 back from their shopping bill.
Mr Newell said, “To tell you the truth, because of Covid, the money situation wasn’t great and we found that bit of groceries we got was a massive help.
“The computer provided by SEFF made a big difference for my children, for online learning and coursework. Before that, we didn’t have access to a computer or tablet. The only thing I had was the phone I’m talking on now!”
The family also received £50 of home heating oil from SEFF, as well as weekly phone calls from the group to check if everything was all right.
Mr Newell said, “It gave us more of a sense of security. They were always looking out for us.”
He added, “They have been outstanding, really. These people really need commended for the work they are doing.”
Kenny Donaldson, SEFF’s director of services, said that, over the last four months, the Fermanagh-based group had supported 575 families in need with grocery drops, over 200 with energy top-ups and 15 low-income families with computers or laptops.
Other help provided by SEFF included book drops and a hospital transportation support service.
Its craft group made masks for frontline health workers, while £1,000 was donated to the Western Health Trust.
“Our online presence also increased substantially with range of initiatives,” Mr Donaldson added.