Thank You To Volunteers From Mayo Community Response Forum
The Community Response Forum was brought together by Mayo County Council in February to provide a collaborative interagency response to the Covid-19 Emergency. The group has active representatives from Mayo Volunteer Centre, An Post, Mayo County Council, An Garda Siochána, Túsla, Civil Defence, GAA, IFA, PPN, Citizens Information Centre, Alone, Migrant Forum, Local Link, Local Development Companies and Age Friendly Mayo.
This group coordinates the provision of targeted responses to the challenges presented by Covid-19. These include the Covid-19 Helpline, sectoral supports (Volunteering, Transport, Community Security and Social Inclusion), advice on restart grants to businesses, supports and information to vulnerable groups.
Essential to the Community Response Forum was the mobilisation of local community and voluntary groups and the engagement of volunteers. There are over 800 Community Groups are registered with Mayo’s Public Participation Network. All these groups are involved in helping support the people in their area. These groups show great leadership in their communities and ensure the most vulnerable and isolated are well looked after as well as those cocooning.
400 additional volunteers registered with the Mayo Volunteer Centre in response to the crisis, and additional support was provided by these volunteers, aiding people in their area. The volunteers took the lead in meeting the basic needs of those cocooning, living alone etc. in their area. The supports provided by volunteers ranged from collection/delivery of shopping and or prescriptions, gardai related, medical help needs, arranging transport to medical appointments, delivery of meals, to befriending phone calls, and mowing lawns.
New relationships have been formed between Mayo Volunteer Centre and important community groups and organisations, e.g., Irish Red Cross, GAA, Order of Malta, Family Resource Centres . Strong associations have been developed with Local Link who continue to work closely with volunteers and the MVC distributing shopping, prescriptions and bring people to and from medical appointments. An estimated 7,500 of collect and deliveries has been recorded. Several volunteers assisted Mayo Meals on Wheels, an organisation which was heavily in demand throughout Covid.
National Volunteering Week 2020 takes place from 21st – 27th September - the Community Response Forum would like to take this opportunity to highlight, acknowledge and thank all the volunteers for effort and work provided during Covid.
The goodwill, great support and drive expressed by local Communities and Volunteers in Mayo; the dedicated willingness and commitment demonstrated by all those involved is a tribute and testament to Mayo as a County.
Ní neart go cur lé chéile (There’s no strength without unity).