A

Languages

Community

Thanks to all the Covid-19 Volunteers

Date 
Monday, June 22, 2020
Location 
dlr County
Intro Text 

Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis our county’s strong community spirit has shone through. People from all walks of life took the time and effort to provide assistance to those who were the most vulnerable during the darkest days of the pandemic. The services provided by these volunteers have been essential and always welcome. Volunteers took time out from their own lives and concerns and provided lifelines to our vulnerable citizens, especially elderly cocooners. They delivered groceries, pharmacy medicines, books, provided companionship from a distance and even dog walking!

Volunteers were co-ordinated through the Council ‘dlr Community Call’ platform, which answered calls 7 days a week reaching over 5,000 total calls by June and by a weekly Community Response Forum. This one-stop resource for people in need throughout the county ensured that no-one was left waiting for assistance during the height of the pandemic lockdown. A huge cast of participants from across the volunteer spectrum, state agencies and local clubs helped to coordinate the response with the Council. 

Special mention should go to the GAA local clubs in particular Cuala, Ballinteer St. Johns, Geraldine Morans, Kilmacud Crokes, Stars of Erin, Shankill GAA and Naomh Olaf who provided a wealth of volunteer spirit and expertise, working tirelessly with the Council every day and lead with the on the ground response in the shopping for and delivering of groceries to hundreds of elderly people in every corner of the county who were cocooning since the middle of March. This public health crisis has changed life for so many and the GAA clubs were there to help ease the burden on individuals. 

Scouting Ireland provided much needed assistance through their local lodges in the vital delivery of pharmacy prescriptions to cocooners. Their energy and organisational skills helped many to access vital prescriptions and medicine during this time.

Southside Traveller Action Group worked with the Council on ensuring that all their community programmes were kept running and that additional physical distancing resources were provided to people in the Travelling Community in their area. Serve the City worked with dlr Volunteer Centre and assisted in providing grocery delivery to cocooners across the county, recruiting a new army of volunteers who were looking to help where they could.

Making Connections volunteer agency worked on the ground with Airfield Estate to delivery over 2,000 hot meals to those who need them, help collect pensions for those unable to leave their homes and provided a voice and an ear to people suffering from social isolation, providing information and support.

Care and Repair Service were very responsive where there were requests from cocooners for minor repairs as well as the family resource centre who continued to engage with vulnerable families in very creative ways. Southside Partnership, HSE, Order of Malta and other agencies all provided invaluable coordination and information assistance from the very start of the crisis, with unique insights that assisted the response as a whole. dlr staff also put their hands up and worked on their own time to operate alongside these volunteers in providing much needed support. Though the worst has now thankfully passed and we find ourselves more comfortable in our reopening, many of the established volunteers groups are still working with the elderly and vulnerable. Many things have changed but volunteering is still a great way to connect with one another and causes we care about.

Agencies like the dlr Volunteers Centre and their Volunteer From Home initiative and Making Connections who specialise in linking in with the elderly, continue to provide assistance in a variety of ways and if you want to help, you can contact them at www.volunteerdlr.ie and makingconnections.ie

During this unprecedented time, despite all the challenges, the volunteers, organisations, agencies and the Council have come together and ensured that those who were most vulnerable living in our communities were the ones that were protected the most. As we move through the reopening phases into brighter days we do so in the knowledge that this county’s community spirit is something to be really proud of and be reassured to know that it can be relied on even at the most challenging of times.

Back