Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called on neighbours to be vigilant of older neighbours during this difficult time; “I have had a good number of Independent Older People with generally no family support contacting me looking for daily community supports – in terms of grocery or medicine collection. I have contacted the invisible army of community supports in this corner of the city. Many of those who have contacted me are cocooning and have never had to ask for help before, and thus potentially are not on the local community’s vulnerable radar list. Many do not have the internet. Many thanks to the many community groups working with local Gardaí, and individual local volunteers who are all doing trojan community work. There are many local shops as well doing a myriad of deliveries, whilst adhering to social distancing”.
A Covid-19 Community Response Forum (CRF) has now been set up in Cork to ensure that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access vital grocery, medicine and fuel deliveries and social care supports. The new Cork City Covid-19 CRF helpline is 1800-222-226. Support can also be accessed via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dedicated community support helpline is running from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week. 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 by ensuring a coordinated community response. The Council’s COVID-19 CRF will work to ensure that local resources – including social care support and social contact – are targeted at the people who need them most.
Taking part in the Cork City CRF are Cork City Council, the HSE, GAA, Tusla, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton, Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, the Age Friendly Network, Alone, Cork ETB, Migrant Forum, Citizens Information, the Cork City Volunteer Centre, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, An Post and the IFA amongst others. There are many agencies currently doing super work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities and this forum is aimed at building on this, not duplicating it.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “As part of the Community Response Forum, there are 16 teams of people in different areas of the city. There are two in the south east area. People on the other end of the phone are very approachable and will co-ordinate with those on the other end of the phone – the most vulnerable in our community. Ringing on someone’s behalf Without telling them or not co-ordinating with them though will frighten an older person when all of a sudden someone turns up on their door. I remain available as well if people have questions on the proposed support system at 087 6553389”.