October 29, 2020
Business News

‘You are not alone’ – Waterford Council sets up special Covid-19 helpline

Waterford City and County Council has set up a special Covid-19 helpline to assist anyone in need throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

The new helpline will come into effect from tomorrow morning at 9am. The lines will be open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week from then on for the duration of the emergency.

Waterford Council said people can reach its new dedicated contact centre by calling freephone 0761 102020.

The community support helpline has been set up to help at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the public health emergency.

The confidential phoneline service is being established by the new COVID-19 Waterford Community Response Forum, which includes over a dozen agencies and organisations.

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.

A council spokesperson said: “The role of the Forum is to ensure that there is a co-ordinated community response and to enable all voluntary statutory agencies to collaborate in support of our communities and particularly of our most vulnerable members.”

The following groups are included in the COVID-19 Waterford Community Response Forum:

  • Waterford City and County Council
  • Health Service Executive
  • An Garda Síochána
  • Waterford Area Partnership
  • Waterford Leader Partnership
  • ALONE
  • Waterford Local Link
  • Waterford Age Friendly Alliance
  • Waterford Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • Waterford GAA County Board
  • An Post
  • Other community, voluntary and sports representatives

The council stressed that the new phoneline “is just one aspect” of the Forum’s work.

It added: “Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Waterford City and County Council, through this group, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county and city to assist those in need, will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.

“The 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.”

Waterford City and County Council chief executive Michael Walsh said: “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 our role in Waterford Council 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 and County of Waterford during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Waterford 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.”

More details are available on the Waterford Council website: http://www.waterfordcouncil.ie . An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the city and county, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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