COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESPONSE – NEW FREEPHONE LINE
PHONE: 1800 807 009
TEXT ‘SUPPORT’ and your NAME to 50555
COVID-19 KERRY COMMUNITY RESPONSE FORUM LEADS THE RESPONSE
INFORMATION LEAFLET BEING DISTRIBUTED TO KERRY HOUSEHOLDS
THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS MOBILISE TO SUPPORT THE VULNERABLE
A new telephone helpline has been launched in Kerry today to assist members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical services and to provide support and advice to people during the current public health emergency.
The free, confidential phoneline service has been established by the new COVID-19 Kerry Community Response Forum which includes over a dozen agencies and organisations who have come together to mobilise and coordinate the community and voluntary response to the current crisis, particularly in responding to the needs of vulnerable households and individuals.
The FREEPHONE number 1800 807 009 is now up and running and will be available from 9am to 5pm seven days a week. A text line (text ‘SUPPORT’ followed by your NAME to 50555) is also available for the hearing impaired or those who require a call-back from the service while requests can also be e-mailed firstname.lastname@example.org.
The helpline, which is manned by trained volunteers, is focussed primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of essential items like groceries, medicine and fuel. Where another agency or organisation can provide more appropriate information or advice, the caller will be connected with other organisations or services if required.
10,000 information leaflets including details of the new freephone number and other information are being distributed around the county over the coming days. This will be done through existing networks like the Kerry Public Participation Network, sporting organisations, local development companies and hundreds of community and voluntary groups across the county.
Included in the COVID-19 Kerry Community Response Forum are:
Health Service Executive
Kerry County Council
An Garda Síochána
Kerry Red Cross
Kerry Civil Defence
Kerry Volunteer Centre
North East and West Kerry Development
South Kerry Development Partnership
Kerry Public Participation Network (representing 700 approx community groups in Kerry)
Kerry Age Friendly Network
Local Link Kerry
St Vincent de Paul Society
Citizens Information Service
Other community, voluntary and sports representatives
The Group came together to complement and reinforce the tremendous work already underway across the county as communities respond to the needs of the community and it aims to ensure that any gaps in existing provision can be addressed and coordinated centrally.
The group is asking members of the public to share the phone number with elderly or vulnerable neighbours.