Channelling Optimism Vitality & Information Daily

Hello from all of the team here at NIRWN         
I am delighted to be able to launch our first Ezine today and it has been designed with you in mind; a platform to share what is going on and resources to support you at home.  It is our sincere hope that this Ezine finds you safe and well and our team of three; myself, Paula and Fidelma are working from home and really want to do our best to support you at this time.

We want this Ezine to be a way of connecting with you when we can’t get out to see you so your feedback on what we are doing well or not so well will be appreciated.  Our job is to respond to your needs and we will always do our best to meet your expectations.  I'd like to thank The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for supporting us to produce this ezine through their Coronavirus Community Fund.  We expect that as the situation evolves, your needs as members will change too and we plan to be with you to support you.  If there are features or information you would like to see in the future let us know by emailing 
We know that everyone is feeling more anxious than usual and if there is something you feel we could do to support you or advocate for you, that function of our organisation remains the same; contact us and we will do what we can to help or find you the right person with the right specialism. 

In response to our membership we have introduced a health and wellness focus on our social media platforms; this is following the proven Take5 Steps to Wellbeing  approach; our Facebook page is http://@nirwnorg and our Twitter feed is http://@nirwnnews  Please interact with our posts and have a chat with us; our Direct Messaging functions are also open if you need a private word.

I know it isn’t easy for lots of you at the minute and you are juggling your own needs and worries with those who you care about and care for.  We will adapt to this temporary new normal and as always our strength is in our togetherness.

Until our next edition; wishing you and yours the best of health.

Louise Coyle
Director, NIRWN
Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing  
It’s Good to Talk                                                  
AgeNI are now offering a free check-in-and-chat telephone service for the over 60s in Northern Ireland who feel isolated during this time.
Tel: 0808 808 7575

For Booklovers
If you live, work or study in Northern Ireland you can download a range of popular eBooks and eMagazines to your mobile phone or tablet for FREE from Libraries NI and they are available on the same day as the shops. 
If you’re not a member you can join here

Check out some great Podcasts for book lovers too

Be Active
Get up and Get Moving  
This is hugely important and whilst our sofas might be comfy and our houses nice and warm we also need to remember to get up and stretch our legs.  If you are fit and able, go for a walk around your local area while practicing social distancing.   Have a walk around your garden if you have one to get your blood pumping or even do an exercise class at home.

There are plenty of free exercise classes online - check out the following websites:
Davina McCall is offering her online classes free for 30 days
The Body Coach workout with Joe Wicks

But I’m bored Mum!”
MumsNI Blog - Make sure to check out the blog for a list of all the FREE Kids classes to keep the wee ones entertained during the Covid19 Lockdown.

Take Notice
Backyard Biodiversity Campaign
Fermanagh & Omagh Council have launched an innovative new campaign to encourage everyone to learn more about the wildlife in our gardens and it is an opportune time as we spend more time at home. The resources can be used wherever you live.
For more info & activity sheets click on the following link

Appreciate the Simple Things
Have you noticed how quiet it has been lately? Less cars on the road, less people on the street and in the shops. Use this quietness as a time to listen; listen to the birds singing, listen to the sound of the wind whistling through the trees, enjoy the peace and quiet as this may never happen again.  We are always surrounded by so much noise that now is the time to sit, reflect and enjoy the quietness and beauty of nature.

Action for Happiness have created a wonderful Coping Calendar to help us look after ourselves through this difficult and unsettling time. Sometimes the smallest of actions can make a huge difference.

Helping Others
During this period of uncertainty and heightened anxiety it is vitally important that we look after our own health and that of our families.  However if you are not self isolating and you feel well enough, is it possible to check in on a neighbour? Maybe someone in your street/community has just had a baby and needs something? Maybe an older couple would love some help or even just a phone call? These are amazing ways to also take notice, to learn, to be active, as well as to give.

For information and volunteering opportunities visit the Volunteer Now website:

Food Parcel Service 
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA has announced that in the coming days a new weekly service will see 10,000 food boxes being delivered to the most vulnerable in society during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A weekly box of mainly non-perishable goods will be delivered directly to the door of vulnerable people who have been notified to shield by their GPs and who do not have access to local support networks.

If you would like to avail of this service or recommend someone else for it please contact Advice NI  
T: 0808 802 0020 (Open 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week)


Keep Learning 
Furloughing - What does it mean? 

Furloughing is designed to support firms that have been badly hit by coronavirus and to prevent mass unemployment.  Being furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll, even though they aren't working. Businesses can claim 80% of their employees' wages from the government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per person, per month before tax. 

The Government has updated the furlough rules to include those who have caring responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus (COVID-19); for example employees that need to look after children can be furloughed.

For more information follow this link:
No Better Time to Get Online
Learn how to keep in touch online using social media apps with free internet texting, phoning and video call services whether you're new to the internet or wish to improve your basic digital skills. These step by step training guides make it easy for you.

Go ON NI highlights the benefits of being online. It brings together all the wonderful initiatives, places and tools to help and encourage off-liners to become internet beginners.

Member Focus             
HERe NI is a community organisation and registered charity based in Belfast.  It was established to support lesbian and bisexual women and their families across Northern Ireland.  It does this in lots of different ways: through providing information; peer support; facilitating training; lobbying government and agencies and offering a community space for meetings and much more.

Although their office is currently closed due to the ongoing Covid19 crisis they are still supporting people through email, social media, phone & video chat.  They also have a range of online events for lesbian  and bisexual women.  This includes a Virtual Coffee Hour, Storytime Online and a Beginners' Irish Class or join their 'Here NI Keep in Touch' Facebook group.

For further information and contact details: 


Tel: 028 9024 9452           
How are you dealing with the Coronavirus Crisis?
If you would like to be featured in our Member Focus email us a photo and some details:
Funding Support

Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland - Small and Medium Grants Programmes
Any Covid-19 related applications designed to support the community at this time of crisis will be prioritised and turned around as quickly as possible.

National Lottery Awards for All Northern Ireland (New COVID-19 Restriction)
This funding is restricted to: (a) Activities specifically geared to supporting communities through this crisis, and (b Helping organisations overcome any liquidity issues caused by COVID-19.

Community Foundation NI’s (CFNI) Coronavirus Community Fund
Grants of £1,000 are available however, applications for up to £2,500 of emergency funding to community organisations working with older people (aged 50 and over) to help them to deliver support around emerging issues relating to the virus, will be considered.

Remember to also check your local Council for grants
Top Tip
How to make a face mask without using a sewing machine
The Coronavirus pandemic has created a global mass shortage of face masks so here's how to make your own face mask without a sewing machine.

Homemade face masks will not protect you from Covid19 virus but are generally considered to be better than no mask at all.

If you have a Top Tip that you'd like to share please email it to me
There will be a small prize for every tip printed 
Keep Connected
As we are spending increasing amounts of time online these days here are some of our top recommendations for you:

Top 3 Facebook Pages

Top 3 Twitter Pages

Top 3 Webpages
...and remember
This project has been supported by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
through the Coronavirus Community Fund 
Copyright © 2020 NIRWN All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Unit 13A, Ballysaggart Business Complex
8 Beechvalley Way, Dungannon, Co.Tyrone. BT70 1BS

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*NIRWN is registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105725