At the instigation of Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, TD, a Fingal Covid-19 Community Response Forum is being put in place and will be co-ordinated by Fingal County Council.
A dedicated community support helpline and email address will be established in Fingal 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 confidential phoneline service is being established by the new COVID-19 Fingal 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.
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. Some Fingal County Council staff will be redeployed to co-ordinate the helpline and supports efforts on the ground across the county.
Included in the COVID-19 Fingal Community Response Forum are:
- Fingal County Council
- Mayor of Fingal
- Fingal Local Community Development Committee
- An Post
- Community Welfare Service
- Garda Siochana
- Fingal Volunteer Centre
- Muintir na Tire
- Order of Malta
- Dublin Civil Defence
- Dublin GAA
- Local Link
- Citizens Information
- Fingal Public Participation Network
- TU Dublin
- Fingal Chamber of Commerce
- Fingal Leader Partnership
- Other agencies as required
The helpline is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Fingal County Council, through this group, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county to assist those in need will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.
The Council’s COVID-19 Community Response Forum will 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.
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien 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 Fingal County Council’s role is to provide a targeted, integrated and coordinated approach to the delivery of these much-needed services to our more vulnerable citizens across the county during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “Fingal County 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.”
The contact details of this new service will be promoted on www.fingal.ie and on Fingal County Council’s social media channels. An information leaflet including the number, email address and other information will be distributed around the county, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.