26 Sept 2022

Amazing voluntary groups respond positively to Covid-19

County Longford PPN: Covid-19 Community Collaboration

Amazing voluntary groups respond positively to Covid-19

Bernie Reilly and Sarah Ni Chasarlaigh from Longford Civil Defence Picture: Shelley Corcoran

As the Covid-19 crisis continues, County Longford Public Participation Network (PPN) is working hard to keep members updated by all communication means possible, phone calls, emails and social media posts.

Siobhán Cronogue, PPN Development Officer who is also part of Longford County Councils Covid-19 Response Forum said, “The Public Participation Network(PPN) which has 410 community group members have been very active in their response to Covid19 from the beginning.”

She went on to say one of the biggest issues facing groups who wanted to help out in the pandemic was the cost of insurance.

Ms Cronogue worked with bhp insurance to ensure that PPN member groups could avail of free insurance so they could assist older people, people with disabilities and those who are the most vulnerable in the community by delivering food shopping, picking up prescriptions, making phone calls etc.

She said that one of the conditions bhp had outlined was that no money would change hands. To ensure groups could access this insurance Siobhán worked with local volunteers to establish themselves as response groups and registered them with Longford PPN.

Ms Cronogue also worked with Paraic McGahey, Red Cross National Development Officer in co-ordinating Nestlé food packages which were delivered to the Civil Defence for distribution last Wednesday, April 29.

Ms Cronogue explained, “As soon as I heard this initiative was available to PPN’s I contacted Paraic immediately so Longford PPN could play some small part in supporting families and members of the community who are struggling.

“I would like to thank Anne Marie Mc Keon, Emma Reid and the Civil Defence team for setting up the drop off location for the delivery and for their support in delivering the food packages to Lus na Gréine in Granard. Eileen Finan and the team in Granard are doing tremendous work in meeting the needs of the community and it was great to work with them and the Civil Defence on this initiative.”

Longford PPN Secretariat (nine member voluntary board who oversee the work of the PPN) are committed to ensuring all members are informed and continue to be supported in every way possible.

Ms Cronogue said “the Secretariat is aware that as the PPN Development Officer, I am receiving numerous calls and messages for a variety of reasons whether its advice, information, one to one supports, referrals or support with funding applications.

“I have been working closely with Longford County Council, Longford’s Community Champion Karen Reilly and various agencies and organisations around the county. I would like to sincerely thank all our amazing voluntary groups for their positive response in helping everyone get through these tough times whether it be shopping, translating information, keeping in touch with each other or planning for the future. It's great to see such kindness and camaraderie in the community.”

Ms Cronogue praised the work of the Covid-19 Response Forum who are led by Longford County Council and said the interagency approach is really working and the health and safety of the community is at the heart of all decision making.

If County Longford PPN can help in anyway please contact Siobhán on 087 261 5583 or email /

Karen Reilly, Longford Community Champion contact details: mobile 086 4183435 or email is –

The COVID-19 Community Call helpline for Longford is open 9am to 5pm seven days a week. The helpline number is 043 33 44255 or 1800 300122

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