29 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Cork County Council COVID-19 Community Support Programme has been established to enable the coordination of a multi-agency response in the delivery of much needed services to vulnerable citizens across County Cork.
Leading Ireland’s largest county, Cork County Council, through its programme, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county to assist those in need, will do so in an organized, collaborative and targeted way. The Council’s COVID-19 Community Support Programme will ensure the very best use of the many resources assisting vulnerable persons with their daily needs at this unprecedented time, whether that is by collecting medication, food shopping, social support or making contact at what might be a lonely time for many.
On Sunday 29th March 2020, the Chief Executive of Cork County Council convened (by teleconference) the first meeting of the Cork County Council COVID-19 Community Support Response Forum which committed fully to supporting the Council in delivering on itsCOVID-19 Community Support Programme. This Forum represents a multi-agency approach comprising senior representatives of both Statutory and Voluntary agencies operating across Cork County, and its important work will ensure commitment and consistency in terms of delivery of the Programme.
The reach of the range of organisations involved is county-wide, among them An Garda Siochana, HSE South, local development companies, An Post, the Civil Defence plus many more voluntary groups, whose rich local knowledge and wealth of experience will feed into a single contact point and system, established by Cork County Council.
Set to come into effect from Monday March 30th, 2020, Cork County Council has provided a dedicated FREE contact number 1800 805 819 with lines open from 8.00am to 8.00PM seven days a week. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at (085) 8709010.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, explains “There are a number of agencies currently doing excellent work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people. From Community Gardaí, HSE and An Post to NGOs like ALONE, Meals on Wheels, Volunteer Ireland, GAA and many more. These groups are currently operating independently of each other and Cork County Council’s role 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. Cork County Council, through our Elected Members, our Municipal District and PPN structures, and in collaboration with our three Local Community Development Committees is ideally placed both statutorily and regionally to channel this great work, and provide the governance 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 closure of assets like our libraries, will be a key resource in the management and operation of this community support programme. And the libraries themselves will serve as Community Support Hubs during this time”.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Councillor Ian Doyle, welcomed the move saying “Cork County Council is perfectly placed to mobilise the community coordination needed and to bridge any gaps that might otherwise occur. We can facilitate collaboration between the many groups doing outstanding work to help meet the needs of all of our most vulnerable community members during these challenging times. From North Cork to our islands, Cork County Council’s Covid 19 Community Support Programme will ensure we serve each and every citizen of Cork County.”