Laois Community Champion in place to help

Laois Community Champion in place to help


Following the launch of the Local Authority Community Call initiative, last Thursday 2nd April by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, The Wheel and Irish Rural link’s COVID-19 Community Outreach (CCO) Champions are now working as part of this Local Authority initiative and sit on the Local Authority COVID-19 Community Response Forum.

It is now over a week since the new measures on ‘cocooning’ were introduced and people are adjusting to this new way of life.  It is a difficult adjustment for many people over 70, who are normally quite active in their local community. Indeed, many of them providing the services where our Champions are now helping out.

The key role of the local Community Champion is to ensure that no area or household in Co. Laois is left behind during the COVID-19 crisis.  Working with existing organisations, state agencies, and local authorities, the Champion will help to streamline our community response.  At this time, it is imperative that we ALL work together in partnership to ensure that we join the existing dots, not add more dots.  Above all else it is vital that at the end of this crisis when we look back, that we can say with conviction, that our united efforts ensured that NOBODY was left behind.

Bernie Moloney, Rathdowney Centre; Paddy Buggy, MDA, Mountmellick, and now Laois Comnunity Champion, and Pradip Verma, Travel Consultant at the official launch of the Laois Chamber of Commerce in The Heritage, Killenard.
Photo: Alf Harvey, no reproduction fee.

The aim of COVID-19 Community Outreach is to make sure that vulnerable people — such as older people, people with long-term medical conditions, and people with additional needs — have access to the highest quality information and support in the safety of their homes.  We are urging people who may not have a family member living nearby or a neighbour that they can call upon, to get in touch with their Local Champion and they will link the person with the service that they need.  Also, if family or friends are concerned about a relative, in another part of the country, they should also get in touch.

We all have to take responsibility for the health and safety of others and we are pleading with people to stay where they normally reside and not to travel to other parts of the country to Cocoon or self-isolate.

Commenting on people adjusting to the new ‘cocooning’ measures, Seamus Boland, CEO of Irish Rural link said, “There are a lot of community groups, voluntary organisations and people in Co. Laois helping and willing to help at this time so for those who have to Cocoon and may not have family living close by, do not be afraid to ask for help.”

Deirdre Garvey CEO of The Wheel added, “We want to ensure that every person, regardless of where they live in the country is connected to the necessary help and supports to meet their needs at this time”.

“Charities, community and voluntary organisations that are currently supporting vulnerable people in the community, or are planning to do so, are advised to contact their local Community Champion as soon as possible,” said Deirdre Garvey.

The Community Champion for Co. Laois is Paddy Buggy, you can contact him on 087 6238268.