Grandmother from Lisburn resumes door-to-door collection for her favourite charity
A grandmother originally from Lisburn will resume a door-to-door collection for her favourite charity this week in a sign that life is beginning to return to normal after lockdown.
June McDowell, who began taking part in the annual Christian Aid Week house-to-house collection 15 years ago, had never missed a year until 2020 when coronavirus restrictions forced its cancellation.
Christian Aid’s house-to-house collection is the only nationwide doorstep collection in the UK, and Christian Aid Week, which began in 1957, is the country’s longest-running fundraising drive.
Each May, thousands of volunteers post red collection envelopes through the letterboxes of households around the country and among them is June - a retired head cook who is mother to three grown-up sons and a grandmother of two.
June has continued with her annual collection despite having arthritis in her hip which makes walking painful.
Christian Aid Ireland Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett paid tribute to June:
‘‘Supporters like June have carried out their fundraising work unpaid and uninterrupted for many years. I am inspired by their stoicism as they overlook the ups and downs in their own lives to bring hope to people living in poverty around the world.’’
As well as giving her time to raise funds for Christian Aid, June enjoys helping people with learning disabilities. She volunteers at The Eden Group, a support group for adults with learning disabilities held fortnightly at Edengrove Presbyterian Church on Dromore Street in Ballynahinch. She and the other volunteers organise snacks and activities, such as singing and crafts, for the adults who attend.
Also returning to the doorsteps after lockdown will be Kelvin McCracken, a retired agricultural scientist.
This year’s Christian Aid Week appeal focuses on the theme of climate change and the story of Rose Jonathan (68) who lives in the Kitui region of Kenya where drought and unpredictable rains mean that she must walk for many hours each day to collect water for her family and livestock.
To find out more and to donate to this year’s Christian Aid Week appeal, please visit caweek.ie or you can make a telephone donation by calling 028 9064 8133.