THE Andersonstown Social Club (PD) is preparing to distribute essential items to the vulnerable and elderly this week in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

After obtaining a range of much-needed supplies, including toilet rolls and hand sanitisers, staff have been busy sorting items, which will be delivered in the coming days and weeks.

The popular local club, which led the way in closing its doors to the public as the Coronavirus crisis took hold, has been repurposed as a community distribution centre. 

Commenting on the initiative, PD Manager Sean McCrudden said: “We have been flat out all week getting the club ready as a community resource to help in the fight against Covid-19.

“We are concentrating on the most at risk in terms of the elderly and those with underlying condition.

“We are currently making up sanitary parcels – toilet rolls, sanitisers, boxes of vitamins, soaps and disinfectants – and starting today, we’re also sourcing food items in our attempts to cover some of the basics for people. We will be doing what we can.

“The PD started up in 1972 in response to internment to provide resources for prisoners’ families. Similarly today our community needs all the help it can get and we want to play our part no matter how big or small that is in the grand scheme of things.

“Since we closed, our staff have been brilliant in terms of helping with this work, which is no surprise to me.

“We have also had help from a number of local businesses including Coopers Pharmacy and Shannon Road Markings who have both been very supportive. We picked up 500 units of disinfectant from Cooper’s yesterday and they’re sending vitamin packs today. Shannon Road Markings have lent us a van and a driver to help with deliveries. The goodwill and helpfulness by people is first class but, again, that’s no surprise in West Belfast either. 

“As far as we in the PD is concerned, this is what we are here for. If the club is not about people it’s not worth anything.”

The PD will be making its first deliveries in the coming days. Any other businesses or groups who would like to help are being urged to contact the club on 02890-600479 between 11am and 5pm daily.

Video and photos by Thomas McMullan, Belfast Media Group.