Approximately 54,000 calls taken in just over four months. Government commends The Community Call fora.
- Community Call helplines and contact emails still available for those in need of social supports due to the Pandemic
The Government has commended local authorities, State agencies and bodies and the community and voluntary sector for their ongoing work as part of the Community Call Fora. The Community Call Fora have been providing vital practical supports, such as the collection and delivery of essential food and medicines to those cocooning, as well as support for those experiencing isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Community Call Forum exists in each local authority area.
Since 31 March, the thirty-one Community Call Fora have:
- answered approximately 54,000 calls
- made approximately 21,000 follow-up calls to citizens
- held over 460 meetings in total
Calls to dedicated helplines have related to the collection and delivery of essential items, health services, social isolation, meals and other issues.
Since 9 March, the national charity ALONE, which has partnered each COVID-19 Community Call Forum, has received over 29,000 calls and provided various supports. These have included approximately 1,200 collections and deliveries of food and about 1,400 social isolation supports.
Reflecting on the work done to date, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien, T.D., said: “Since the Community Call Fora were established in late March, at the height of the crisis, local authorities, State agencies, the community and voluntary sector and others have responded with great energy and a cooperative spirit to provide vital supports to people in need in our communities. Whether it was an isolated individual needing a meal delivered to them, someone in a remote part of the country needing transport or a vulnerable person living alone needing a reassuring voice at the other end of the phone, the Community Call Fora have responded. I want to acknowledge and thank all for their work. I also want to thank the charity ALONE for the incredible work they do year round, but particularly in helping vulnerable people across Ireland throughout this crisis.”
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, T.D., said: “Volunteers have been an essential part of the response to COVID-19. Day-in, day-out, they provided vital supports to the most vulnerable in their communities. The community & voluntary sector have put themselves forward to deal with each and every task from providing shopping services to working at test centres. Volunteers are there to support everyone so if you find yourself in need of help, please call your local volunteer centre or the Community Call fora helplines.”
The Minister for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, T.D., added: “The speed with which these fora were established and the service provided by each local authority has shown the true value of local government in Ireland. Staff have worked night and day to help citizens and ensure nobody was left behind during some difficult days. I want to remind all who may need help or support – particularly those over 70, the medically vulnerable and those in Kildare, Laois and Offaly who currently face restrictions – that the Community Call fora helplines are open to help.”
More information on the work done by the Community Call Fora (including data at forum – local authority area - level), ALONE and other partners, is available on the Community Call data hub: https://community-call-covid-19-geohive.hub.arcgis.com/