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Want to help? Volunteer service and website for offers of assistance launched today

A new webpage for businesses seeking to provide supplies or services in support of the national response to Covid-19 is open.

Image: Shutterstock/fizkes

THE GOVERNMENT HAS launched two big initiatives today that will give the public a chance to help others during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Tanaiste Simon Coveney launched the Community Call project today, a partnership with national and local government, which will involve the community and voluntary sectors to help the vulnerable.

Community Call will aim to co-ordinate community activity, direct community assistance and marshal a volunteering response in every town, parish county and city.

Speaking at Government Buildings today, Coveney said that he has an “unshakeable belief” in the resilience of Ireland’s society and in the power of community.

He said the work of Community Call will be focused on specific needs and it will be broad-ranging in its reach and scope.

The focus will be on the elderly, vulnerable communities and people most affected by the new restrictions announced by the Irish government last week.

“Community has never been more important than it is right now,” Coveney said.

“In the end, community is what will get us through this crisis on a local and on a national level. I can’t overstate the importance that the Government attaches to the power of community action in this crisis.

“We’re asking the most senior public servants in every county and every city to oversee a new initiative that we’re announcing today.”

He explained that volunteers will help pick up groceries and collect medicines, and that people will be vetted before being allowed to participate.

“In the coming weeks we will focus on broader well-being issues in our society with a range of new initiatives as the crisis continues,” he said.

At a local level, Community Call will be overseen and managed by the local authorities.

There will be a network of 31 community call offices, stretching from Kerry to Donegal from Dublin to Mayo.

“It’s happening now. and it’s happening everywhere from today,” said Coveney.

“Every local authority has now established a community forum to co-ordinate and connect to a wide range of services and supports.

“The forum involves an extensive lists of state and voluntary and community organisations and sporting organisations.”

The initiative will involve the gardai, local volunteers, local development companies, the Red Cross, Civil Defence, the GAA, the IFA (Irish Farmers Association), the Public Participation Network, age-friendly networks and church organisations.

New website launched

Another initiative launched today is a government website which is open to people who wish to offer help during the crisis. 

The new webpage - gov.ie/covidsupplies - aims to facilitate offers of assistance from businesses and other organisations which the government said have been flooding in.

Since Covid-19 arrived in Ireland, businesses and other organisations have been contacting Government and the HSE to offer their assistance with goods and services. 

This new website will now be used a one central database, so that Government can ensure they are available to the right parts of the public service.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said businesses of all sizes, from right across the country, have come forward to offer help to our public services.

“These offers of assistance have made a key contribution to our efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19 and I want to thank those behind each and every offer received. 

“This new online portal will provide one central repository for all future offers and help ensure that we can direct them as efficiently as possible across the Government system. I would urge any business or organisation that is considering offering assistance to the State, to please register your support on gov.ie/covidsupplies.”

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe:

“In our time of great need, it is encouraging to learn of the extent of goodwill from businesses and organisations who are eager to offer assistance in whatever way they can.”

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