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Helpline receives more than 5,000 calls in first week

A dedicated phone helpline is operational in every county.

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Community Call forums were set up in every local authority across the country (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Community Call forums were set up in every local authority across the country (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Community Call forums were set up in every local authority across the country (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A helpline set up to provide support for vulnerable and elderly people received more than 5,000 calls in its first week.

Last week Community Call forums were set up in every local authority across the country.

The forums work with state agencies and community and voluntary groups to provide support or services.

It was disclosed today that in its first five days, they received an estimated 5,051 calls, made about 2,198 follow-up calls, provided 1,871 collection and delivery services, 686 social isolation services and 218 meal services.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said: “Right now, there is a tremendous amount of community spirit throughout the country.

“People were volunteering their help to others from the very beginning.

“I want to thank local authorities across the country for the speed in which they responded to the emergency by establishing forums in their areas to marshal and co-ordinate all available resources from within the community.”

“The helplines and contact email addresses established for those needing help accessing basic physical and social supports have been very effective.

“The helplines are also taking calls from those who know someone who needs help and those who would like to offer help.

“Local authorities, the relevant state agencies and community groups on the ground are working together to deliver services to people in need, be it the delivery of a meal, fuel or medicine.

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(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

“I want to thank and pay tribute to all involved for their hard work and incredible commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Alone, the national charity for older people, is partnering with each Community Call forum.

After the Government launched its Community Call last Thursday, Alone received 3,121 calls in four days.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, said: “Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of government, local authority and voluntary resources to provide help to those in our communities that need it during this crisis.

“The clear message I want to convey to those who are vulnerable is that help is there and you should not hesitate to ask for it.

“Our wonderful community and voluntary organisations are on hand to support people, including those who are socially isolating, through delivering essential items like food, fuel and medicine.”

A dedicated phone helpline is operational in every county and the national number 0818 222 024 is also now in operation.

PA