District Electoral Areas Host Coffee and Connect Events
During the Covid-19 lockdown many people experienced isolation and suffered emotional anguish. To alleviate this within the district, County Down Rural Community Network in partnership with Downpatrick, Rowallane and Slieve Croob DEA’s organised four outdoor ‘Coffee and Connect’ events. The events were funded by the Big Lottery’s People and Communities fund and held across the three District Electoral Areas.
All the outdoor events adhered to current Covid-19 regulations, ensuring participants maintained 2 metres distance at all times. Contact details were also recorded by the event organisers for track and trace purposes. Following event registration participants walked around open parks/spaces and finished up with a socially distant coffee and a chat.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “During this pandemic people have been working from home, been separated from friends and family and this has had a negative impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Events such as these Coffee and Connect walks have provided an opportunity for people to reconnect over a coffee, have a chat, enjoy a short walk all provided in a well-controlled and safe environment. Human interaction and connection is important to most people and being isolated can result in emotional distress and poor mental health.”
She continued, “Events such as these can have a positive impact on everyone who participates. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is keen to reconnect with our residents and help them cope with the pressures of this pandemic and events such as this are to be welcomed.”
The four events provided an opportunity for residents across the three District Electoral Areas to socially interact and enjoy some outdoor exercise in a safe environment and to help improve their overall mental health and physical well-being.