The Community Call, a major initiative that links local and national government with the community and voluntary sectors, was officially announced today by Government. The Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of both state and voluntary resources to combat the effects of Covid-19.
The purpose of the Community Call is to coordinate community activity, direct community assistance to where it is needed, and marshal the volunteering energy of the country.
The immediate focus is on the elderly and the most vulnerable and mobilising rapid response in every county to make sure everyone is looked after.
Earlier this week, Cathaoirleach Micheál Carrigy announced the dedicated community support helpline which has been established to assist at-risk older or vulnerable people who are recommended to cocoon and remain in their homes during this current period of the public health emergency. Assistance will be provided in accessing essential non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the emergency.
The confidential phoneline service, which was established by the new Covid-19 Longford Community Response Forum, will focus primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels. The helpline has been operational since Monday morning 30th March 2020.
Micheál explained “The role of the Forum is to ensure that there is a coordinated community response and to enable all voluntary statutory agencies to collaborate in support of our communities and particularly of our most vulnerable members. The new phoneline is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.”
Paddy Mahon, Chief Executive of Longford County Council, said “Since the very start of this emergency, the community and voluntary sector has been working very hard to support the most vulnerable in our society. In Longford, we recognise the excellent support networks which are already operating in the County. The Forum, by working together, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county to assist those in need, will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way. Its focus is to ensure that vulnerable people receive assistance with their daily needs, whether that is shopping, fuel delivery or collecting medicines.”
Longford County Council has also developed an interactive COVID-19 Community Group Response Map which is available to view online at the following link - https://bit.ly/2JvJp4f. This map identifies many of the resources available in the County to support people in these unprecedented times. It will be updated as more volunteer groups are identified through the Forum.
The Forum will continue to meet on a regular basis, by teleconference, to assess the evolving needs within the county.
Longford County Council has now arranged for a Freephone number for people to contact the helpline.
The Helpline can be contacted on:
Call 043 3344255 or 1800 300 122