Ballyclare businessman urges peers to help NI's charities more than ever

  • James Hagan, founder of Hagan Homes building firm is calling on his business peers to support charities who are facing their own crisis during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

    The Ballyclare businessman has been working with two charities – Age NI and Cash for Kids - after discovering they were operating on deficits of tens of thousands of pounds following the cancellation of planned fundraising activities.

    Age NI will be working with older people’s networks across Northern Ireland to provide emotional and practical support, food supplies, activity ideas and more during the pandemic.

    Cool FM’s Cash for Kids charity supports children from birth up until 18 years of age who are considered vulnerable, from disadvantaged backgrounds and those living with illness or disabilities.

    It also provides grants to other charities, organisations and community groups as well as funding life-saving equipment. Through its new appeal during the coronavirus it will give 100% of all monies raised to families in Northern Ireland.

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    James Hagan has donated £40,000 to each charity to date.

    Speaking about Cash for Kids, he said: “£40,000 given to this charity will support 1142 children, children who are considered most vulnerable during this epidemic, but we need more. We need a continuous flow of funds to enable Cash for Kids NI to support all the young people here who need support and speed is of the essence.

    “The organisation has set up an Emergency Appeal to fund Basic Family Essentials, which amounts to £35 per child and will help families affected by poverty due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Further funds are needed to continue this initiative and to help as many children as possible.

    “I know there are businesses out there who want to help and I am calling on my peers to give what they can now to ensure our most vulnerable are protected and our most valuable charities are supported during what is one of the most anxious times during our lifetime.”

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    Linda Robinson, chief executive at Age NI added: “Age NI is very grateful to Mr Hagan for his profound generosity at this worrying time for our community. Older people are particularly at risk during these challenging times, given that many, around 80,000, are living alone.

    “Charities like ourselves need to work differently, working from our homes, supporting older people in new ways, maintaining vital care services and linking in with community groups and volunteers, many who are older themselves. 

    “Age NI is committed to being here for those vulnerable older people who need support, practical or emotional and funding support like this helps us to continue to do this. 

    “Just yesterday, we had a caller who was living with a terminal illness who was totally isolated and really anxious about his prognosis. The gentleman was reassured by the fact that Age NI continues to be in regular contact telling us ‘while I am home alone, I am not alone, it’s great to know you are here for me’.”


    Some of Age NI's day centre residents

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    For further information or to donate please click on the following links:

    Age NI: https://www.ageni.org/donate/covid19appeal

    Cash for Kids: www.coolfm.co.uk/appeal

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    Source: Written from press release

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