Ms Ritchie visited the said Friday Folk group in Tobar Mhuire in Crossgar on Friday morning and said she was delighted to visit them. She added: “I have known many of these ladies my whole life and was pleased to meet so many old friends and make many more new ones. The ladies’ tradition of meeting each Friday morning is not only social but provides a good network of support for each other, building strong friendships over the years.
“I was delighted to take part in their social morning advising them of the services my constituency office can offer to assist them and the benefits they may entitled to. I wish to thank Sheila Magee from Downpatrick Citizens Advice Bureau for her assistance this morning and for the very robust presentation she gave on the importance of benefit uptake, eligibility and other schemes including how to keep warm this winter.
“We also enjoyed a very interesting talk from Sister Rita Brennan who has been teaching in Zambia for the past forty years, on the experiences and challenges she has encountered. I wish Sister Rita every success as she returns to the Missions in Zambia next month, and wish to congratulate and thank her sincerely for the good work she undertaken during the last four decades.”
Patricia Quinn, organiser of the Friday Folk also added: “We were delighted to host the Member of Parliament for South Down, Shelia from CAB and Sister Rita Brennan on Friday morning. We truly had a very fun filled, exiting and interesting morning.
“The advice we received from the MP and CAB was very useful. I would encourage all members of the Friday Folk and others to ensure they are receiving their full benefit entitlement, as more and more people are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
“I want to thank Sister Rita Brennan for joining us and telling us about the workings of her convent and school in Zambia. Sister Rita told many heartfelt stories, which touched each and every member of our Club. It was truly an enjoyable morning.”