Full Council: 21 September 2020
Councillor Vanessa Liston: That the council consult with community groups that participated in The Community Call during the first phase of the national Covid-19 response to gain an understanding of their experiences, what worked well and what could be improved on, and how this network, services and social infrastructure can be strengthened for future needs.
Report: The Community Call was established in March of this year in association with the Community Response Forum to assist many people in gaining access to services whilst cocooning. Most of the difficulties experienced stemmed from the fact that there was a loss of existing services to people who were accustomed to same and therefore needed help from the call. The call deals with issues including providing transport to medical appointments, arranging to have shopping collected and delivered, providing advice to callers to assist in issues as a result of being isolated and forwarding issues to the Gardai. A feature that emerged from the call was the provision of a library service to people who were cocooning.
The call also provides a platform for people to volunteer to provide assistance and these are directed to the volunteer network. The contacts forged between Kildare County Council and all the community services has been invaluable and will assist Kildare County Council in responding to any similar type of emergency should it be required.
There is continuous interaction with the various groups providing the services to help in developing ways of assisting the public where necessary. It should be noted that external services have been steadily coming back on stream and the number of callers to the helpline is decreasing accordingly. The Helpline continues to operate from Monday to Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m each day. Any particular areas that the members wish to highlight can be brought to the attention of the forum groups for attention.
Issued by: Mr Liam Dunne, Senior Executive Officer, Community and Culture Department.