Coronavirus: New initiative aims to answer needs of vulnerable

Community Call aims to marshal volunteering energy to help elderly and isolated

Simon Coveney: ‘We are all finding it very strange to be home and to be keeping away from our family and community.’ Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall

Simon Coveney: ‘We are all finding it very strange to be home and to be keeping away from our family and community.’ Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall

 

A major initiative that links local and national government with the community and voluntary sectors has been announced to help people during the Covid-19 crisis.

The purpose of Community Call is to co-ordinate community activity, direct community assistance to where it is needed, and marshal the volunteering energy of the country, with an initial focus on the elderly and the most vulnerable.

Special helplines, at national and county level, have been set up to link people who are in need of support with a range of services from volunteers and community groups.

“We are all finding it very strange to be home and to be keeping away from our family and community,” Tánaiste Simon Coveney said at the launch of the initiative.

“But those that are vulnerable or in need of a bit of help need to know that they are not alone. The Government is tapping into the reach of our local authorities in every corner of Ireland, as well as the extraordinary dedication of a legion of voluntary groups and charities. For those who need some help, it is there for you.”

Contribution

Also speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Community Affairs Michael Ring praised the outstanding contribution of the community and voluntary sector to the national effort to address the Covid-19 crisis.

If your neighbours or relatives are required to stay at home – check with them to see if they need supports

In the coming weeks, the focus of the initiative will expand to the broader wellbeing of society and how communities can work together to help the country through the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Ring said the Government was asking local, community and voluntary networks – formal and informal – to mobilise so that everyone in the community can look after each other.

“If your neighbours or relatives are required to stay at home – check with them to see if they need supports. And if you are in that category yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help.”

More information about Community Call can be found at Gov.ie, or by calling 0818-222024.