A CUP of tea has always provided the members of the Killyclogher Senior Citizens Club with the chance to meet up and have a chat about their latest activities or local news of interest.
But like so many other organisations, its activities have had to be abandoned during the past six months due to the pandemic.
Club Secretary, Kathleen Thomas, is well aware of the impact that the suspension of activities has been having on the older people of the area, many of whom would be considered in the categories vulnerable for the coronavirus.
“At the start people were understandably afraid about what might happen.
“Our main priority was to ensure the health and safety of our members which is why all activities were immediately cancelled,” Kathleen said.
“One of the things that was missed most was the weekly opportunity for people to sit down with a cup of tea and have a chat.
“The importance of this in terms of reducing social isolation cannot be over-emphasised because I know of many people who really looked forward to meeting up every Thursday.
“Initially, after the pandemic was declared, we phoned the various members on a weekly basis to see how they were getting on.
“Restrictions have eased and people are getting out and about a little more. But there’s still no real sign of us being able to resume our full programme of events and activities.”
Kathleen admits that the club members are disappointed that they can’t meet up but efforts are being made to facilitate small-scale activities
“We had lots of activities planned between March and the end of our year in June and everyone was very disappointed that these weren’t able to be held,” she said.
“There’s always a break in July and August and then the club resumes in September.
“But that’s not going to be the case this year and we still don’t know what’s going to happen with regard to Christmas events.
“However, the South West Age Partnership has been very supportive and we’re going to meet soon to discuss ways of getting things going even on a small scale, and with all the necessary social distancing regulations being adhered to.”