Council sets up FREE helpline for at risk citizens

Sunday March 29, 2020
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Council takes lead in bringing together local organisations to assist at risk citizens during COVID-19 crisis.

Set to come into effect from Monday 30th March, Donegal County Council is providing a dedicated FREE helpline [1800-928-982] and e-mail available from 9am to 5pm

AT THE instigation of Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, Donegal County Council has set up a Covid-19 Community Response Forum.

A dedicated community support helpline has been established by the new COVID-19 Donegal Community Response Forum, which includes over twenty agencies and organisations.

The new helpline is to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency and is focused primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels.

The new phone line 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.

The role of the new The COVID-19 Community Response 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 forum will ensure the very best use of the many resources assisting vulnerable persons with their daily needs at this unprecedented time, whether that is collecting medication, food shopping, social support and contact.

Mr Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, said: “There are a number of agencies currently doing excellent work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities.

“The council’s role, through this forum is to provide a targeted, integrated and coordinated approach to the delivery of these much needed services to our more vulnerable citizens across the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Donegal County Council is ideally placed both statutorily and regionally to channel this great work and provide the governance structure in partnership with all stakeholders.

“This public health crisis has changed life for so many, and we are there to help with that change.  Our own staff whose day-jobs have changed due to this crisis, will be a key resource in the management and operation of this community support programme along with our partner agencies/groups.”

An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the county/city, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.

Included in the COVID-19 Donegal Community Response Forum are: Donegal County Council, Health Service Executive, An Garda Síochána, Community Welfare Service of DEASP, Údarás na Gaeltachta, TUSLA, Donegal Local Development Company, Inishowen Development Partnership, Donegal Local Volunteer Centre, Red Cross – Donegal, Civil Defence  – Donegal, Irish Farmers Association – Donegal, Donegal GAA, Age Friendly Alliance, Public Participation Network, Local Link – Donegal, Citizens Information Service, ALONE, Donegal Travellers Project, Intercultural Platform and Religious Leaders representing the Catholic Church, Church of Ireland and the Presbyterian Church.

The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny is proudly funded by Donegal County Council and Arts Council Ireland.