"You can't lockdown love" is the phrase buzzing about Carndonagh in the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal these days, where they are spreading love for St Valentine's day across the county, the country, and even across the sea.

It is not just love for people's other halves that is being spread - this love is for everyone you care for, especially those you haven't been able to see because of Covid-19 and it's being spread by personalised messages on magnets and postcards produced by a local social enterprise. 

Spraoi agus Spórt began as a parent and toddler group ten years ago, but has grown to become a crucial part of local life, offering a whole range of recreational and educational services, and staff there know how much people are missing their loved ones. 

Before Covid-19, Spraoi was running 60 recreational classes per week to over 700 participants, as well as providing after-school and respite care for 50 teenagers, among other services. 

The work being done there has seen a real economic benefit for the area, as well as improving mental health and reducing isolation, says CEO and Co-Founder Helen Nolan.

When Covid first hit, Spraoi agus Spórt had to close its doors but very rapidly it responded to the new situation, and in time doors could reopen with alternative offerings alongside online services.

Staff, with the help of Transition Year students, put the organisation's charity shop online, and have been dispatching orders all over the country.

Many classes went online, while alternative respite, and care for children of essential workers, has been managed in very small, safe, groups.

A community helpline was one of the first things to be set up, alongside a food bank, established in conjunction with local charities and supermarkets 

Money however has been a problem, and that is where the love comes in.

Over 40% of Spraoi's funding came from fundraising but, like many other organisations, it's taken a big hit due to Covid-19.

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With their services more important than ever, the team at Spraoi got creative and made use of equipment they had recently bought for educational purposes, to make decorations to sell to support their work. 

They began with Christmas decorations which they posted all over Ireland and across the world for people.

Now they have turned their hand to St Valentine’s decorations - personalised magnets and postcards which they will post to people’s Valentine for them. 

Manager Eimear McLaughlin said the thing that has struck them at Spraoi is that people are sending the tokens not just to their boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, but to people who they love and miss, such as family members and friends who they haven't been able to meet up with due to Covid-19.

This is about sharing the love with everyone who means something to you, she said. 

Selling from the Spraoi agus Spórt website and their facebook page, the Valentine's messages will help keep services afloat in Carndonagh but with the pandemic ongoing, the team are already working on personalised messages which people can order for St Patrick's Day and Mother's Day.