A new website aimed at helping vulnerable people in Holywood who need support during the coronavirus pandemic has been launched by a number of businesses in the town.

Holywood Connects is a free, online directory designed to connect local vulnerable people in need with organisations and groups that can support them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services include essential grocery shops, prescription pick-ups and over the phone counselling sessions.

Holywood Connects is a charity project led by Holywood Shared Town, cloud solutions firm 3EN Group Ltd. and PR agency, Clearbox.

The launch of the website follows research by Holywood Shared Town among businesses, groups and organisations in the community to understand the impact of social distancing and self-isolation measures that were put in place by the UK Government two weeks ago.

The survey revealed a need for a one-stop shop of information on services that are available to people in need and Holywood Connects was born.

The website provides information on organisations, groups and businesses who can offer support and who can facilitate community communications. Holywood Connects’ ultimate aim is to encourage a joint effort to assist the town’s most vulnerable. The website features contact information for people in isolation if they need help or they’d like to simply talk to someone.

In addition to the launch of the website, Holywood Shared Town has partnered with local call centre mplContact to offer a free helpline for people who have limited or no internet access.

Speaking on the project, John Woods from Holywood Shared Town, said: “We are committed to supporting the community of Holywood   by building closer connection, so when we discovered there was a need for this website, we were determined to help. It is incredibly important that no members of our society, especially vulnerable individuals, are left to struggle during this crisis. We are grateful to both 3EN Group Ltd and Clearbox for supporting us in our efforts and want to say a huge thank you to those businesses, organisations and groups who are being so generous to the community at this time.”

Dale Cree CEO at 3EN Group Ltd, said: “When we learned that a community organisation on our doorstep needed help to build a website, we jumped at the chance to get involved. It’s been a pleasure to lend some of our expertise to the creation of Holywood Connects. We hope that it proves useful to our community in this time of uncertainty by offering its most vulnerable members easy access to support that will improve their quality of life during this time of isolation.”

John Megaughin, Director at Clearbox, added: “The Holywood community has always supported us and now it’s our turn to support them. We hope that the website will help anyone who needs support during a time when so many are struggling. 3EN Group Ltd. and Holywood Shared Town deserve endless credit for the speed in turning this round and we hope it’s a valuable resource for the town as we all try to beat this virus.”

Further information is available on the Holywood Connects website.

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