Local Authority’s join national ‘Community Call’ initiative

Customer Service staff at Meath County Council

The Community Call, a major initiative that links local and national government with the community and voluntary sectors, was announced today by Government.

The Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of both state and voluntary resources to combat the effects of Covid-19.

The purpose of the Community Call is to coordinate community activity, direct community assistance to where it is needed, and marshal the volunteering energy of the country.

The immediate focus is on the elderly and the most vulnerable, and mobilising rapid response in every country to make sure everyone is looked after. In the coming weeks the focus will expand to broader the wellbeing of our society and how communities can work together to help the country through the Covid-19 crisis.

The Community call was announced today by the Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring TD, the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan TD, and the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly who represented the Local Authorities. Speaking at the launch this morning, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD said:

“We are all finding it very strange to be home and to be keeping away from our family and community. But those that are vulnerable or in need of a bit of help need to know that they are not alone. The government is tapping into the reach of our local authorities in every corner of Ireland as well as the extraordinary dedication of a legion of voluntary groups and charities. For those who need some help, it is there for you.”

Speaking at today’s event, Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, praised the outstanding contribution of the community and voluntary sector to the national effort to address the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Since the very start of this emergency, the community and voluntary sector has been working on the ground and also at national level with my Department, to prepare for the Community Response which we are outlining today.  One of our greatest assets in this country is the strength of our local, community and voluntary networks”, the Minister said.

“We are now asking that those networks – formal and informal – be mobilised so that everyone in our communities can look after each other.  If your neighbours or relatives are required to stay at home – check with them to see if they need supports.  And if you are in that category yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help – whether it’s with shopping, fuel delivery, collecting medicines or any other necessities of daily life.  The Local Authority helpline is there as a safety net, to ensure that everyone is looked after.”

For more information, go to Gov.ie

Customer Service staff at Meath County Council

At National level, Community Call will be overseen by a group from the Department of An Taoiseach, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Department of Health, and the County and City Management Association.

The Community Call will be overseen and managed locally by our Local Authorities, led by the county Chief Executives.  The CEOs, the most senior public official in every county, have been tasked with making this work, and are leading a dedicated community Forum in each county to coordinate and connect the wide range of services and supports that area available.  The forum involves an extensive list of state and voluntary organisations.  A dedicated phone line is now operational in every county, details at. gov.ie and the national number 0818 222 024 is also now in operation.

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