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Elderly and vulnerable reach out as helplines receive 8,000 calls for assistance

ALONE charity received 3,121 calls in four days.

Image: Shutterstock/nito

OVER 5,000 CALLS were made to the government’s Community Call helpline and over 3,000 calls to ALONE since the appeal was launched last Thursday. 

Community Call project is a partnership with national and local government, which involves the community and voluntary sectors that help the vulnerable.

ALONE, the national charity for older people, is partnering each Covid-19 Community Call Forum. 

Each local authority has established a Community Call Forum to provide supports or services to any vulnerable person who needs them.

Between Monday 30 March and Sunday 5 April, the 31 local authorities has received an estimated 5,051 calls and made an estimated 2,198 follow-up calls. 

The project has provided 1,871 collection and delivery services and provided 686 social isolation services, and 218 meal services. 

ALONE received 3,121 calls in four days.

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy said there is a tremendous amount of community spirit throughout the country during the public health emergency.

He said the helplines and contact email addresses established for those needing help accessing basic physical and social supports have been very effective.

“The helplines are also taking calls from those who know someone who needs help and those who would like to offer help. Local authorities, the relevant State agencies and community groups on the ground are working together to deliver services to people in need, be it the delivery of a meal, fuel or medicine. I want to thank and pay tribute to all involved for their hard work and incredible commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities,” he said. 

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“Many people are feeling anxious at this difficult time. Each forum is offering important support to those experiencing social isolation or who are ‘cocooning’. Each forum is also engaging with people who would like to offer help in a voluntary capacity,” he said.

Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring said he wanted to convey a message to those who are vulnerable, stating “help is there and you should not hesitate to ask for it”.

A dedicated phone helpline is operational in every county and the national number 0818 222 024 is also now in operation.

You can find your local authorities helpline here

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