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by Dominique McMullan
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Irish people are known for their altruism and ability to pull together in a crisis, but the kindness and actions taken by the Irish people in the last month have been exceptional. Volunteer Ireland have been inundated with people from all over the country coming forward to help in any way they can. At a time when so many people are vulnerable,  help and community spirit is making all the difference.

Before considering volunteering ask yourself – Am I well enough to volunteer?

1)Volunteer with the HSE

Our health service is preparing to care for an estimated 15,000 people infected by Covid-19. The HSE is asking healthcare professionals from all disciplines who are not already working in the public health service; and all retired or a student healthcare professionals to register to be on call for Ireland. This will be to work in existing or newly set up facilities, to provide, organise and support the care that’s needed.

If you are not a healthcare professional but you have other skills to offer, the HSE are still interested in hearing from you.

Register here

2) Volunteer informally in your own community

If you know people in your community who may be vulnerable and can contact them safely (e.g. phone call, WhatsApp, drop a note into the door), just let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping etc.

Do not assume that someone needs help or call directly to someone’s house unannounced, as some people may be very anxious about making face to face contact, particularly if they have a medical condition or are living alone.

3) Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres

Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres are working collectively with all relevant government Departments, national organisations and local community groups to support the response to the management of COVID-19. 

If you wish to volunteer with them you need to contact and register with your local Volunteer Centre. The network of Volunteer Centres across Ireland are expecting many COVID-19 related roles registering on in the coming days and some roles will be directly related to COVID 19 support. Other roles for volunteers may be related to helping community organisations to keep normal services running. You can also contact your local Volunteer Centre directly to speak to someone about what is needed most in your own area

Volunteer here

4) Covid Community Response

Covid Community Response is bringing communities together by coordinating the delivering of essentials to those at risk. Through an easy to use form you can register your location and interest in volunteering. 

Volunteer here

5) The Crisis Cover Initiative 

A number of homeless and disability charities have issued an urgent appeal to ask members of the public to register as COVID-19 emergency staff.

The charities are asking the public to become ‘ordinary heroes’ to prevent services to vulnerable people from having to shut their doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteer here

Your safety and limiting the spread of the coronavirus is the main priority, Volunteer Centres continue to encourage you to adhere to HSE instructions on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home.

Read more: The 10 stages of surviving being stuck home with the kids (and himself)

Read more: 5 podcasts to help your mental health while in self-isolation

Read more: Coronavirus fact check: from the safety of ibuprofen to Covid-19’s impact on pregnancy

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