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Ukrainian Refugees Supporting ‘Clean up Week’ In Laois

They will join members from Laois Integration and Portlaoise Tidy Town this evening for the clean up.

Ukrainian refugees living in the midlands are so grateful to Laois Integration Network for opening up a ‘Zero Cost Shop’ in Portlaoise town, that they are coming out in force to help during this week’s ‘Clean up Week’ in Laois.

Karen McHugh, Chairperson of Laois Integration Network said that she and all the LIN Committee were humbled when Ukrainian refugees who are coming into the shop for the past few weeks, asked if they could ‘give back to the community of Laois’. 

This has resulted in Portlaoise Tidy Towns inviting Ukrainians to join them this evening, to help during ‘Laois Clean Up Week’.    

The refugees will join Laois Integration Committee members and Portlaoise Tidy Town members at 6.00pm at Lyster Square, Portlaoise (beside Allbooks Bookshop).  

Gerry Browne, Chairperson of Portlaoise Tidy Towns said that they were delighted when contacted by Laois Integration Network about this offer.  ‘We are always looking for volunteers and this is a lovely gesture from the Ukrainian refugees. We look forward to welcoming them to our Tidy Towns community’, commented Mr Browne. 

Clean Up Week returns to Co. Laois after a two-year break due to Covid-19.   National Spring Clean has been operated by An Taisce since 1999 in partnership with the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government and local authorities throughout the country. Laois County Council and their sponsors Bord na Mona are asking local communities to spring into action and join the fight against litter.  Groups, communities, neighbours and friends are requested to register with the Environment Section to receive packs of bags, gloves and litter pickers and to tackle the issue of litter in their local areas.  The collected litter will be gathered by Bord na Mona during the week commencing 25th April. 

‘We are absolutely humbled’ said Karen McHugh, Chairperson of Laois Integration Network.  ‘It is astounding to think of these people coming from a war-torn country and they genuinely do just want to give back to the community.  Since the opening of our Zero Cost Shop at Bull Lane in Portlaoise, the committee have welcomed hundreds of Ukrainian refugees to the shop.  The refugees are able to take whatever they need during their difficult time and so many are now volunteering in the shop too.  We are so grateful to the donations given to date by the Laois Community, all of which has made such a difference already to the Ukrainian refugees’, commented Ms McHugh. 

The zero-cost shop is located at the Old XtraVision shop on Bull Lane (right around the corner from Mulhall’s Supervalu) in Portlaoise town.   

It is estimated that to date 300 Ukraines have arrived in Laois, with some being housed by families, but most are in temporary accommodation including hotels in Portlaoise, Abbeyleix, Durrow, Clonaslee, Mountmellick and other locations around the county   The zero-cost shop contains everything that will be needed including clothes, food, sanitary products, shoes and toys for children. 

Ms McHugh concluded by saying that if anyone has good quality bikes for children and/or adults, including helmets if possible, please drop them into the Zero Cost Shop during opening hours: Monday and Wednesdays from 4-6.00pm and on Saturdays from 12-4.00pm.  Alternatively, donations can be dropped in by appointment.  People can check out Laois Integration Network on their Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Donations can be made directly to Laois Integration Network Credit Union account.

Account Name:

Laois Integration Network; IBAN: IE62POCO99211710968699  BIC:   POCOIE21

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