Heartwarming response to Winter Woolies Rally competition 

10th December 2021

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Fermanagh and Omagh District Council recently put out a call for residents to get crafty and pick up their knitting needles to support those in the community who may be feeling lonely and isolated at this time of year.

The “Winter Woolies” Rally competition was aimed at encouraging residents to get knitting with a prize for the most cheerful winter wooly. The competition closed for entries on 3 December which coincided with Fuel Poverty Awareness day. More than 200 items of knitwear were submitted including, hats, scarves, gloves, blankets and mitts.

While there was a competitive element to the Winter Woolies Rally, additionally each submitted article of knitwear will be individually gift wrapped and donated to an older person living in the community and will be distributed by South West Age Partnership.

Speaking about the response, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, said:

“Keeping warm in winter can be difficult for many, particularly those who are more affected by the plummeting temperatures, such as our beloved older population. Many of our family, friends and neighbours have restricted their movements for a considerable length of time, and the thought of winters shorter days and chilly nights is daunting for many.

The response to the Rally was amazing not only in the quantity of the submissions but also the quality. While I have to say “hats” off to the community for their “warm” response, I was not entirely surprised by the large number of items received as the pandemic has highlighted the inherent goodness and generosity of the people of the district in providing support and assistance to those who may be struggling or feeling isolated and this is just one more demonstration of the generosity and charitable nature of the people of the Fermanagh and Omagh district.

I would like to pay tribute to the Council’s Health Improvement team who devised and coordinated the competition. It is a wonderful initiative and I am delighted to say that the Rally will run again next year.”

The competition was adjudicated by a panel from South West Age Partnership and 5 winners were selected from all the entries. The items will be distributed with the winter 2021 edition of the Happy at Home publication.

Anyone who is concerned about heating their home this winter can contact Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Health Improvement Team by telephone on 0300 303 1777 for energy efficiency information and advice.

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