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Press Release for Immediate Release – 11th April 2020


Carlow County Council Covid-19 local response update – Council reports immediate response to freephone community support helpline

“We are here to help” – Council Cathaoirleach, John Pender

Cathaoirleach pays tribute to all those leading the response

A dedicated freephone community support helpline established by Carlow County Council to assist at-risk members of the public during the coronavirus crisis is proving a useful support to vulnerable people, Council Cathaoirleach, John Pender said today.

Councillor Pender was commenting as part of the Council’s update on supports it is providing to people in the county as part of the local and national response to the Covid-19/coronavirus crisis.

A coronavirus community response team has been established, overseen by Carlow County Council, for the duration of the current restrictions. In line with government guidance, the team includes representatives from 20 key organisations that provide crucial community services across the county (see details below).

Councillor Pender commended the local response to the coronavirus restrictions, saying people, communities and businesses throughout the county are putting the health and welfare of neighbours first.

Councillor Pender said: “These are unprecedented times with all of us impacted in a way that we never could have imagined. The restrictions we all now face are a challenge, but it is one that everyone is stepping-up to”.

“Not being able to do the everyday things that we all take for granted like visiting family and friends, travel, socialising and more is difficult. The community response and responsibility everyone is taking has been fantastic. It is making a difference. We can all continue to play our part in the fight against this pandemic by continuing to follow the national advice to stay at home, wash our hands and abide by expert recommendations.”

Commenting following the announcement of the nationwide extension of current restrictions to 5 May, Councillor Pender said the Council led local response team will continue to proactively action the response throughout this phase of the crisis.

He said: “The local response team includes representatives from each of the key community services. We have been engaging daily to ensure we play a meaningful part in helping people at this time. Guided by the national response, we will continue to offer help and support. In particular, we are here to help those that most need it, not least the most vulnerable members of our communities throughout the county”.

“The freephone helpline we established in the early days of the crisis has already proven to be a practical support to many people. It has enabled us to help people from across the county with important, everyday supports like grocery shopping, medical prescriptions, heating fuels and more. It has also served to give reassurance and guidance to vulnerable people, in particular the elderly and those living alone”.

“The freephone number is 1800 814 300 and is open from 8am-8pm seven days a week. It will continue to be there for the duration of the crisis.”

In addition to commending the response of people, communities and businesses, Councillor Pender also recognised the contribution of those leading the local response.

He said: “We have an even greater appreciation of the important role so many in the community play in our lives. Nurses, home carers, nursing home staff, doctors, pharmacists, teams in essential services like shops and supermarkets, cleaning experts, religious leaders moving online and more – these are among the many people who are there for us at this time.

“The local services have come together to collaboratively ensure we are doing everything we can and should to help those we serve during this challenging period. These are not normal times, making work more complex. Under the facilitation of Kathleen Holohan and the wider Council team, everyone is committed for the period ahead.”