At the instigation of Minister Murphy, a Covid-19 Community Response Forum has been put in place for Galway City, co-ordinated by Galway City Council as required. The purpose and role of the Forum which includes over a dozen agencies, organisations and community and voluntary groups is to lead the co-ordination of COVID-19 community supports and resilience and to ensure that there is a co-ordinated community response, enabling all the voluntary and statutory agencies to collaborate in support of our communities and particularly our most vulnerable members.
A dedicated community support helpline and service will be established by Galway City Council to assist at-risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency. A confidential phoneline service is being established by the new COVID-19 Galway City Community Response Forum. The helpline is focused primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels.
Included in the COVID-19 Galway City Community Response Forum are:
· Galway City Council
· Health Service Executive
· An Garda Síochána
· Community Welfare Service, DEASP
· Galway City Partnership
· Galway City Community Network
· Galway Volunteer Centre
· COPE Galway
· Other community, voluntary and sports representatives
The new phoneline 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. Galway City Council, through this group, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the city to assist those in need, will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way. Galway City Council’s COVID-19 Community Response Forum is there to 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.
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, explains “There are a number of agencies currently doing excellent work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities. These groups are currently operating independently of each other and Galway City 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 city during the COVID-19 pandemic. Galway City 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.”
Set to come into effect from Monday 30th March, a dedicated Freephone number will be available in the coming days but in the meantime members of the public can access this new resource by calling Galway City Council on 091 536 400 or by emailing [email protected]
Contact details of this new service will be promoted on www.galwaycity.ie, and through social media on Galway City Council’s and partner organisations’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the city, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.