Marie Macklin CBE

Marie Macklin CBE brings Lift Up Your Hearts campaign to Belfast

As part of her Lift Up Your Hearts campaign in support of vulnerable people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Scottish businesswoman Marie Macklin CBE today (Monday 20th April) announces £10,000 of funding to help communities in Belfast.

In partnership with Belfast City Council, the funding will support a virtual COVID-19 response hub set up for residents who need help with food deliveries or prescription pick-ups.

The money will help voluntary and community groups throughout the city to deliver urgent food provisions to the most vulnerable communities across Belfast. To access the service, residents can call a freephone Belfast Community Helpline number between 9.00am and 5.00pm, seven days a week.

Having seen first-hand how the COVID-19 pandemic is directly affecting the communities of her home town, Kilmarnock, in Scotland, Marie launched the Lift Up Your Hearts campaign there to encourage communities to come together and support each other through this crisis. The campaign has already funded a package of support that will see 20,000 free meals delivered to the most vulnerable people in Kilmarnock and across East Ayrshire.

Marie, who was awarded the prestigious Belfast Ambassador Medal as part of the Belfast International Homecoming event in 2018, is Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company. The first phase of the first HALO project is currently under construction in Kilmarnock and will be the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland, setting the standard for low carbon energy sites across the UK.

Maire said: “The coronavirus pandemic is affecting communities across the globe and it is vital that we come together and support each other.

“Belfast is a city close to my heart. It’s where my Granny Maggie McBride was raised before moving to Scotland in the 1800s, so I truly hope the funding from the Lift Up Your Hearts campaign can help as many people as possible get through these extremely difficult times.

“I’ve been really impressed by Belfast City Council’s COVID-19 response hub and I would urge anyone who feels they can benefit from this service to please call the Belfast Community Helpline.”

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Daniel Baker said: “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people at this time of crisis, and I am really encouraged to see communities pulling together to help and support each other.

“I want to personally thank Dr Macklin for this extremely generous donation which will go towards providing essentials for the most vulnerable in our community.”

Paul Maskey, MP for Belfast West, said: “I would like to thank Marie for her generosity, her gift of £10,000 will go a long way in helping those vulnerable and people suffering during this pandemic.

“This is a great initiative set up by the Belfast Mayor Danny Baker who is making a real difference to people right across the city of Belfast.

“Marie has been a true friend of Belfast over the years and this gift proves that all the more. She was not asked to donate as it was her that made the contact and made the offer of £10,000.

“I would like to thank her for this and I have no doubt when we get to the other side of this pandemic Marie will be visiting Belfast again and we can show our gratitude to her face to face.”

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