Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Enniskillen bar behind viral Christmas ad launches clothing to tackle loneliness

Una Burns (left), manager of Charlie’s Bar Enniskillen and Sarah Thompson (right), founder of embroidery company Ted & Stitch with Siobhan Casey from Age NI (Fiona Brown Communications/PA)
Una Burns (left), manager of Charlie’s Bar Enniskillen and Sarah Thompson (right), founder of embroidery company Ted & Stitch with Siobhan Casey from Age NI (Fiona Brown Communications/PA)

The Enniskillen bar that created a viral Christmas advert is launching a range of clothing to help tackle loneliness in older people.

Charlie’s Bar Enniskillen has teamed up with local embroidery company Ted & Stitch to create a limited edition jumper, T-shirt, hat and bandana.

All profits from the sales in December will go to Age NI and the South West Age Partnership.

The ad, which has amassed millions of views, features an elderly man walking through town alone until he enters the bar and is joined by a couple who sit down, have a drink and talk to him.

Una Burns, manager and third generation of family to own Charlie’s Bar Enniskillen said the team are “over the moon” at the success of the advert.

“Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined the response we have received from around the world,” she said.

“Sadly, thousands of people across Northern Ireland experience loneliness and this is only heightened at Christmastime – which is why it is so important to show kindness, as our ad showed a smile or a simple hello can go a long way.

“It’s hard to believe that the advert only launched a week ago – in this time over 10 million people have viewed our social media channels and we’ve had over 20,000 new followers.

“We’ve had visitors from Donegal, Westport, Cork, Dublin, Co Mayo and even Norway on Saturday.

“We’ve received so many postcards, letters and phone calls from around the world, as far away as Los Angeles and Canada. It’s been incredible.”

Una Burns (left), manager of Charlie’s Bar Enniskillen and Sarah Thompson (right), founder of Ted & Stitch, with Siobhan Casey, director of marketing and business development at Age NI (Fiona Brown Communications/PA)

Ms Burns said they wanted to use their momentum on social media to help raise money for older people.

“This has inspired us to see what else we could do to continue to harness the power of community and storytelling to help make positive change,” she said.

“We are delighted to partner with Ted & Stitch, another family-run Northern Ireland business, to create a wonderful range of merchandise to give the people the chance to have their own part of Charlie’s Bar and help us raise much-needed funds to support people in our communities.”

Age NI helps thousands of people every year by providing companionship, advice and support for older people, while the South West Age Partnership represents 70 smaller local age sector groups across the Omagh and Fermanagh area and delivers community services and activities to older people.

Festive advert
Charlie’s Bar in Enniskillen in their festive advert (Charlie’s Bar/PA) 

Siobhan Casey, director of marketing and business development at Age NI, said the charity was “delighted” to be involved in the campaign at a time when older people were increasingly facing financial stress and social isolation.

“We are delighted that Charlie’s Bar has shone a spotlight on the devastating impact of loneliness on the lives of older people across Northern Ireland which has been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis,” she said.

“Almost 80,000 people over 65 live alone in Northern Ireland, one in five over 55s are experiencing high levels of loneliness and we are hearing daily from callers to our advice line about their anxiety over heating their homes and having enough money.

“We are extremely grateful to Charlie’s Bar for helping raise awareness of this issue at a global level.

Festive advert
Charlie’s Bar in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, went viral with their Christmas ad (Charlie’s Bar/PA) 

“Their message was simple and demonstrates how small gestures can touch people’s hearts. Every year we ask people to look out for their older family, friends and neighbours, particularly during winter.

“An extra meal, a trip to the shops, de-icing driveways, taking out bins, or a quick chat can make a huge difference.”

A dedicated GoFundMe page has also been set-up to enable people to make a direct donation until Monday January 1 2024 – www.gofundme.com/f/charliesbar