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– Over 5,000 calls during first week of COVID-19 Community Call Fora
– 3,121 calls to ALONE during the first four days after the Government launched ‘Community Call’
– Fora providing assistance to those needing help with physical and social supports
The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, T.D., today commended the local authorities for their speed in establishing a COVID-19 Community Call Forum in every local authority area and their engagement with communities during the fora’s first week of operating helplines. Each local authority has established a Community Call Forum, which works with State agencies and community and voluntary groups to provide supports or services to any vulnerable person who needs them.
Between Monday 30 March and Sunday 05 April, the 31 fora:
- received an estimated 5,051 calls
- made an estimated 2,198 follow-up calls
- provided 1,871 collection and delivery services
- provided 686 social isolation services, and
- 218 meal services
Minister Murphy said: “Right now, there is a tremendous amount of community spirit throughout the country. People were volunteering their help to others from the very beginning. I want to thank local authorities across the country for the speed in which they responded to the emergency by establishing Forums in their areas to marshal and coordinate all available resources from within the community.”
“The helplines and contact email addresses established for those needing help accessing basic physical and social supports have been very effective. The helplines are also taking calls from those who know someone who needs help and those who would like to offer help. Local authorities, the relevant State agencies and community groups on the ground are working together to deliver services to people in need, be it the delivery of a meal, fuel or medicine. I want to thank and pay tribute to all involved for their hard work and incredible commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities.
“Many people are feeling anxious at this difficult time. Each Forum is offering important support to those experiencing social isolation or who are ‘cocooning’. Each Forum is also engaging with people who would like to offer help in a voluntary capacity.”
ALONE, the national charity for older people, is partnering each COVID-19 Community Call Forum. After the Government launched ‘Community Call’ – a major initiative that links local and national government with the community and voluntary sectors – last Thursday, it received 3,121 calls in four days. Minister Murphy said: “I want to thank ALONE for their work on this initiative and their collaboration with the local authorities. Their national helpline and support for those needing information, reassurance or someone to talk to, compliments the local authorities’ work on the ground.”
Minister Ring said: “Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of Government, Local Authority and voluntary resources to provide help to those in our communities that need it during this crisis.”
“The clear message I want to convey to those who are vulnerable is that help is there and you should not hesitate to ask for it. Our wonderful community and voluntary organisations are on hand to support people, including those who are socially isolating, through delivering essential items like food, fuel and medicine.”
“There is a Community Call Forum in each county to coordinate and connect the wide range of services and supports that are available. A dedicated phone helpline is operational in every county and the national number 0818 222 024 is also now in operation. You can find your local helpline number on www.Gov.ie”
“Many community volunteers are older and are now socially isolating so we need those who are in a position to help out to do so. I urge them to volunteer through their local volunteering centre or through www.Volunteering.ie.”
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