COVID-19: communities coming together to stay part
Although we have to keep our distance, communities around the country are coming together (while staying apart) to help vulnerable people. Here’s a flavour of what’s going on

“In years to come, let them say of us, when things were at their worst, we were at our best.”

Addressing the nation last night, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar acknowledged the uncertain times we live in at present during the COVID-19 outbreak. He also recognised how the people of Ireland are coming together on this issue.

Earlier in the week Irish Country Living put a call out on social media asking people to send in some of the special things groups and individuals in their community are doing to help others locally.

From GAA clubs delivering shopping, to hotels donating meals, restaurants offering up food, an occupational therapist giving free phone consultations and plenty of online fundraisers, right across the country people are pulling together to protect the vulnerable in society.

There are so many initiatives, we could only include a very small amount of what was sent in, but here’s a flavour of what people are doing to help others. These may inspire you with regard to your own community or even just let you know that in tough times good things are happening out there.

Hotel Doolin

Like many other establishments, Hotel Doolin has shut its doors, but the team there are continuing to deliver dinners to elderly people and those with pre-existing medical conditions in and around this coastal village in Co Clare. There is no charge for food or delivery.

There has been a big demand, the hotel says, as some people’s relatives are quarantining for various reasons and cannot visit them. Speaking to them over the phone, a call is coming in, so they must go.

Handsome Burger

Popular Galway city burger joint, Handsome Burger, took a big delivery from their suppliers last Saturday. The following day, Sunday, they decided to close to protect staff and customers.

Not to let food go to waste, they decided to donate and deliver the produce to people who need it most. Co-owner Rory McCormack says they put a call out on their social media and got a huge response; much of which was from young people who couldn’t visit their grandparents, but wanted to help them.

They delivered bags of potatoes, beef, bacon and vegetables, leaving them outside people’s doors. Speaking to Irish Country Living, they are heading off to deliver the last of the goods around Galway city on Wednesday evening.

Handsome Burger in Galway are delivering their unused ingredients to elderly people in the community.

Dunderry GAA

Dunderry GAA club in Co Meath were one of the very first to link in with their local shop and pharmacy in delivering food and medicine to elderly and vulnerable people in their community.

After their efforts were featured on the RTÉ Six-One News last week, GAA clubs right across the country have followed suit. In most parishes, a GAA club or other community group are operating a similar service.

Vanessa Butler, occupational therapist

Vanessa Butler is a private occupational therapist (OT) from Oughterard, Co Galway. She recently moved home from London and says she felt a much stronger community spirit in Galway and wanted to contribute.

She is offering free phone consultations to the older population of Galway. With the strain our health service is to come under, she feels older people who may not be able to attend appointments may need to avail of her services. Much of her work is dealing with keeping patients safe at home; including fall management and staying independent.

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I will be offering Free occupational therapy phone consultations to the older population of Galway. We have been asked to socially distance ourselves to help slow down the spread of Covid-19 and this leaves alot of vulnerable people being socially isolated and at risk of becoming very lonely. My heart breaks when I think about our older population, especially those who live alone and have no one to share their thoughts and fears with during this time of emergency. Over the coming weeks and months there will be a strain on our Health services and in times like this we the people need to stick together (from a distance). If you have an elderly friend, family member or know of anyone who would benefit from a phone call from an OT then please pass on my details (Link in bio for contact details) ?? Lets do what we can to look after one another. Together we can stop the spike of cases in Ireland ???? Vanessa VBOT . . ?? the very talented @revelatori

A post shared by Vanessa Butler OT (@occupationaltherapy_travels) on

Ireland Simpsons Fans

This light-hearted Facebook and Twitter page has garnered thousands of fans with funny posts about The Simpsons. However, when events across Ireland begun to get cancelled en masse, including the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day fundraiser, they got serious and have used their reach to raise €11,000 so far for the charity. Their aim is to raise €15,000.

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