*Providing telephone sypport for the Clare Community Response Helpline is David Bennett and Helen Moloney of Clare County Council’s Rural Development Directorate.

A dedicated community support helpline has been set up in Co Clare to assist members of the public during the current public health emergency.

At the instigation of Minister Eoghan Murphy TD, a Covid-19 Community Response Forum has been put in place for each City and County where it will be co-ordinated by the Local Authority.

In Clare, the County Council has opted to set up a community support helpline which will be available Monday to Sunday from 8am to 8pm. The line can be reached by phoning 1890 252 943. It is to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. A supporting email, covidsupport@clarecoco.ie has also been created.

Established by the COVID-19 Clare Community Support Response Forum, the confidential phoneline is focused primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels.

More than a dozen agencies and organisations are involved in the Clare Community Support Response Forum. Its objective is to have a co-ordinated community response and to enable all voluntary statutory agencies to collaborate in support of communities and its most vulnerable members.

Clare County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, An Post, Community Welfare Service, Community Champion, Tusla, Clare Volunteer Centre, Clare Local Development Company, Red Cross, Civil Defence, GAA, Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Clare PPN, Age Friendly Alliance Network, Clare Local Link, Citizen’s Information, Alone, Migrant Forum and Religious groups are among those involved in the Forum.

Council Chief Executive, Pat Dowling is Chair of the Forum. He said they plan “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”.

Mayor of Clare, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) stated, “I am heartened to see the positive response from many more organisations and the Minister’s endorsement of our response here in Clare”.

She is of the view that the local authority is ideally placed to channel such a response. “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, are a key resource in the management and operation of this community support programme along with our partner agencies/groups”.

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