Throughout the COVID-19 health pandemic, there have been many examples of our communities responding to the exceptional circumstances to help those in need. Here, a number of groups from Omagh share their story.

In Fintona several community organisations offered their services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fintona District Orange Cultural Group and Barr Pipe Band
Fintona District Orange Cultural Group and Barr Pipe Band provided support throughout the crisis by registering on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Register of Community & Voluntary organisations available to assist those who were shielding, vulnerable or isolated. Both groups were available to offer whatever assistance was required including delivery of groceries and prescriptions. Fintona District Orange Cultural Group, which covers the Fintona, Dromore and Trillick areas, also donated Personal Protective equipment to the Medical Centres in each of these areas.

St Lawrence’s
The Fintona branch of St. Vincent de Paul, St Lawrence’s, continued to offer personal assistance, aware that those who might normally struggle with food or fuel poverty may be finding it even more difficult to manage due to the economic impacts of the lockdown. Food parcels were targeted at those in need, fuel vouchers were issued, and electrical goods were sourced as those isolating without family support were unable to access these essential items. One can only imagine the lifeline the above organisations provided to the Fintona community and even if one did not require their services, there was undoubtedly a reassurance in knowing they were on call if needed. Indeed, it is holding out this hand of friendship in the time of crises that is a true measure of the strength of a community.

*Fermanagh and Omagh District Council was pleased to provide St. Lawrence’s with £500 of funding support. 

Fintona Pearse’s GFC
At a time when normal activity such as training and games had to be cancelled, Fintona Pearse’s GFC also offered assistance to the Fintona community during COVID-19. In a bid to engage members in an alternative way they launched a Time Capsule project inviting members to create a letter for a Time Capsule which will be buried in the grounds and opened again in 2040. This gave members the opportunity to document what it was like to live during this unprecedented lockdown, what they did to pass the time, what they missed and what they were looking forward to as well as including a photo of themselves and/or their family. Fintona Pearse’s Ladies GFC organised an online family quiz.

Ann O’ Hagan
Fintona lady, Ann O’ Hagan, decided to honour her late father’s sixteenth anniversary by organising a community clean up. Abiding to strict social distancing guidelines, she coordinated a team of willing volunteers in the Fintona community and they collected an astonishing 850kg of rubbish. All age groups participated with families getting out in their own road or area to make a difference to the environment. Fermanagh and Omagh District council facilitated the clean-up by collecting the rubbish. Ann is passionate about taking pride in the local area and believes that as more people were enjoying their own local environment during lockdown, the time was right to encourage people to act. Ann is inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s mantra that, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”