In a statement on behalf of the denomination, Lindsay Conway, Secretary of PCI’s Council for Social Witness, which runs the Church’s 10 homes in Northern Ireland, said, “As a care provider for upwards of 400 people across Northern Ireland, I very much welcome Minister Swann’s announcement today. The support is not only a practical response, but also an acknowledgement of the essential work that frontline staff across the sector are doing. It is vital that we remain vigilant, as the battle is ongoing.
“The extra funding, and other practical measures that the Minister announced, will go a long way in alleviating the stress and anxiety amongst residents, relatives and staff and will contribute greatly to the additional costs that are being incurred daily during these exceptional times. The announcement of increased testing regimes for staff and new admissions is also very welcome and will be critical in keeping our homes virus free.
“As a Church, we are called to demonstrate Jesus’ love for people, which means putting our faith into practical action and simple Christian caring, which is a powerful social witness of the gospel. I would like to pay tribute to the dedication and professionalism of our teams who are caring for our residents, and the understanding shown by those we care for and their loved ones, as we implement the necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
“This is not an easy time for relatives, and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the difficulty and anxiety that the current necessary separation causes, as they are unable be with their loved ones. I would also like to reassure them that we are doing absolutely everything that can be done to minimise the risk posed by this virus.”
Photo: River House in Newcastle, County Down, one of PCI's residential homes of older people, which opened in 1988.
You can find out more about PCI's care homes and support units here, by selecting the category 'Social Witness'.