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Mayo County Council Covid-19 innovations highlighted on ‘Your Council Day’

Date: 30-06-2020

The innovative work carried out by local authorities across the country during the Covid-19 crisis will be highlighted during Your Council Day, Wednesday, July 1st.

Across social media, #YourCouncilDay will showcase numerous people who have made a difference in supporting their communities through the vital work carried out by councils during lockdown.

Local authorities will also provide a ‘behind the scenes’ look at a typical day in the council and highlight the many services councils and their dedicated employees provide.

Social media users throughout the community are also asked to post their experiences of council initiatives using the hashtag #YourCouncilDay.

Making face masks for frontline heroes in Castlebar and Ballina libraries are among the innovations by the staff of Mayo County Council highlighted on #YourCouncilDay,

Face masks and how to source them became an issue after the pandemic struck but some innovative thinking in Mayo came to the rescue.

Library staff worked with Surfbox Ltd to produce the badly-needed masks using 3D printers in Ballina and Castlebar Library.

They were used to support frontline heroes in hospitals, care homes and health facilities around the county.

Despite having two thirds of staff redeployed for vital contact tracing training duties, the county library still managed to provide a range of services.

Online library membership surged during the crisis with an estimated 80% increase in eBook borrowing.

At one stage almost every ebook was on loan but the library added lots of extra titles to cater for demand. Staff even found time to provide live story hours for children on Facebook.

And while technology made it all possible, Mayo people were still keen to be informed about the past.

Local history stories posted online proved popular and there were plenty of queries from abroad from people looking for family and local history information

When locals in Castlebar didn’t want the pandemic to get in the way of their regular book club and were delighted to meet up virtually on video meetings organised by Mayo County Library

The online book club provided a welcome respite from the family for some of the participants, with one even taking part from the car to get a badly needed break from the kids!

Library staff in Mayo also made sure to provide a service for clients who were isolating in the county.  They teamed up with the Irish Wheelchair Association to deliver books, DVDs and CDs, leaving them outside homes and calling the clients to tell them they’d arrived.

Local Link Mayo also lent a hand in getting library materials to those who were cocooning or housebound.

The current crisis highlighted the true nature of public service in communities across the country,said Peter Duggan, Chief Executive (Interim) , Mayo County Council

The unique circumstances of Covid-19 prompted councils to innovate in how they provided both day-to-day services and additional supports to the public.

Faced with the challenge of social distancing, and with many of our staff working from home, local authorities brought novel solutions to the complex problems posed by the new realities of lockdown.

Mayo County Council like other local authorities established Community Support Programmes to co-ordinate a multi-agency response to deliver services while Covid-19 restrictions are in force

#YourCouncilDay will showcase what is happening on the day throughout the council and also highlight the innovation shown by local authorities in supporting the community through the lockdown.

Social media users throughout the community are encouraged to post their experiences of council initiatives using the hashtag #YourCouncilDay.

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