Galway City Council is spearheading a new Coronavirus Response Forum to coordinate state agencies, voluntary, and community groups in this crisis.
The Covid-19 coronavirus Community Response Forum was instigated by Galway City Council at the urging of Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy, who has announced similar forums coordinated by local authorities around the country.
The forum in Galway City includes over a dozen bodies, coordinating community supports from voluntary groups, and helping them to coordinate efforts and share information with state agencies.
The forum which came into effect on Monday, March 30, is particularly concerned with supporting the elderly and other vulnerable people.
A dedicated community support helpline and service will be established by Galway City Council to assist at-risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency
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.
Included in the COVID-19 Galway City Community Response Forum are:
• Galway City Council
• Health Service Executive
• An Garda Síochána
• Community Welfare Service, DEASP
• Galway City Partnership
• Galway City Community Network
• Galway Volunteer Centre
• COPE Galway
• Other community, voluntary and sports representatives
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, 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 working independently of each other, and it’s the city council’s role to provide an integrated delivery of essential services to the most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic he explained.
“Galway City 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.”
While a dedicated freephone number is set to be introduced in the coming days, in the meantime people can call Galway City Council on 091 536 400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to access this service.
Contact details of this new service will be promoted on www.galwaycity.ie, and through social media on Galway City Council’s and partner organisations’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.
An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the city, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.