Portrush charity’s work a cod-send for shielding residents

A local charity, REACH Portrush, is currently celebrating the success of their “Great Fish Supper Run”, which delivered over 150 fish suppers to some of those isolated or shielding in the town.

The initiative, which took place on 8th October, saw meals delivered all over Portrush to those most vulnerable and lonely, particularly those having to shield for health reasons.

Kraken Fish and Chips, a local takeaway in Lansdowne Crescent, made all the suppers themselves on the night, asking only for cost of ingredients from the event organisers.

There was even a rainbow out for the two COVID Heroes, Val and Stuart

Val McDonald, one of the groups founders, said that for many of the people they called out to, the biggest thing wasn’t even the delivered hot meal, rather that it’s just “nice to get a knock on the door when you haven’t seen anybody all week”.

REACH was started four years ago by Val and her husband Stuart, when they organised a Christmas dinner, in Portrush Town Hall, for those who otherwise would be alone for the festive season. Over the first lockdown period, the McDonalds, and other volunteers of REACH, dropped groceries to those unable to leave the house.

And the charity, which is currently working through a £5,500 grant they received in June from the National Lottery Community Fund for their work in the months prior, has more plans on the horizon.

Next on the calendar for the volunteers will be delivering near 100 packages to those who would appreciate both the support and some visitors, a plan that will be repeated for a few weeks to come. According to Mrs McDonald, each package will come in a “hand-painted paper bag, with a frozen meal from the Adelphi Hotel”, and “some sort of treat”, which this week is a jam and cream scone.

With these plans and the huge success of the “Great Fish Supper Run”, REACH is keeping up its work in making Portrush a better plaice to be for those that are lonely in this difficult time. Anyone looking to learn more about the charity, or get involved, should contact them on 07929 369 228, or visit their Facebook page “REACH Portrush”.