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Lurgan’s ‘Quarantine Baker’ on mission to help buy spirometers for Cystic Fibrosis patients

Clarke turns fundraising attentions to CF after Armagh I article highlighted petition by local sufferer who says Northern Ireland is being left behind

Lurgan’s very own ‘Quarantine Baker’ has turned his attention to helping those suffering from Cystic Fibrosis in the county.

Clarke Halliday set up a stall at his front door selling freshly baked goods including loaves, farls, pancakes and cookies near the start of lockdown to raise money for the NHS.

To date Clarke has raised over £7,000 towards PPE.

But with lockdown easing and the demand for these items dropping, the Lurgan man was looking for suggestions.

Last week Armagh I published an article regarding a petition made by Portadown man, Aaron Corkin.

Aaron, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at just six weeks old, pleaded for Northern Ireland patients not to be left behind.

This came after the announcement that all sufferers in England aged over six will be given hand-held testing kits, which will allow them to check their health at home.

Clarke was contacted by a friend of Aaron, who also has a daughter who suffers from the condition.

Speaking to Armagh I, Clarke said: “The people have guided me through this. It has always been a ‘support local’ initiative.

“If someone wants to do this for their community they can work away, I am only one man and I can only stretch so far, County Armagh is my limit.

“It was a lady who happens to know Aaron that contacted me. Her daughter has Cystic Fibrosis and they haven’t been able to receive the care they need.

“I didn’t know what a spirometer was until the weekend, but just happened to see your article shared by a friend and read it.”

Clarke then spoke with Aaron to begin fundraising and just by pure coincidence and luck this is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week.

He said: “I told Aaron that I am going to push big this Friday and Saturday. I want to get £1,800. That is going to buy us 20 spirometers – 10 for adults and 10 for children – in the County Armagh community.

“I want him to decide who gets these and I would like them to make an appearance, social distancing and shielding in place, I want a big turn out.

“I couldn’t do what I have done without the support of the community and a special thanks goes to Ballyrashane Creamery and Geoprint for their continued support.”

So it is set to be a big event and Clarke has encouraged all to wear yellow.

As well as plenty of tasty food on offer, there will also be old school games including How Many Sweets in the Jar, Throw a Sponge at The Baker, Baker’s Dozen Raffle and Baker’s Bingo Raffle.

To find out more visit The Quarantine Baker on Facebook.

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