Longford County Council takes the lead

Longford County Council takes the lead in joining together local organisations to assist citizens during Covid-19

Dedicated community support helpline to be available from Monday

At The instigation of Minister Murphy a Covid-19 Community Response Forum will be put in place for each City/County and co-ordinated by the Local Authority in each case.

A dedicated community support helpline will be established in Longford County Council 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 Longford 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.

Included in the COVID-19 Longford Community Response Forum are:

·       Longford County Council

·       Health Service Executive

·       An Garda Síochána

·       Age Friendly Alliance

·       Alone

·       An Post

·       Community Champion

·       Community Welfare Service, Dept. of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

·       Irish Farmers’ Association, Longford

·       Local Link

·       Longford Civil Defence

·       Longford Community Resources clg

·       Longford GAA County Board

·       Longford Public Participation Network (PPN representing over 400 voluntary and community groups in County Longford)

·       Longford PPN Intercultural Forum

·       Longford Sports Partnership

·       Longford Volunteer Centre

·       Longford Womens Link

·       Tusla


Many other community, voluntary, religious and sporting organisations, as well as businesses and individuals, are actively involved in the community support effort throughout Longford.

The new phoneline 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. Longford 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 is there to 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.

Cathaoirleach Micheál Carrigy explains “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 Longford 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.

Chief Executive of Longford County Council, Paddy Mahon said “Longford 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.  Set to come into effect from Monday 30th March, Longford County Council is providing a dedicated FREE contact number with the lines open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.

The Community Support helpline can also be contacted on covidsupport@longfordcoco.ie

Contact details of this new service will be promoted on www.longfordcoco.ie, Facebook, Twitter and through local media.  An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the County, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.