About The Community Call
This is a major initiative from the Department of Rural and Community Development that was launched on 2nd April to links local and national government with the community and voluntary sectors. The Community Call is an unprecedented mobilisation of both state and voluntary resources to combat the effects of Covid-19.
The purpose of the Community Call is to coordinate community activity, direct community assistance to where it is needed, and marshal the volunteering energy of the country.
Speaking at the launch An Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD said:
We are all finding it very strange to be home and to be keeping away from our family and community. But those that are vulnerable or in need of a bit of help need to know that they are not alone. The government is tapping into the reach of our local authorities in every corner of Ireland as well as the extraordinary dedication of a legion of voluntary groups and charities. For those who need some help, it is there for you.
Image courtesy of The Irish Times.
The Community Call is being overseen and managed locally by Local Authorities, led by the county Chief Executives who are leading a dedicated community Forum in each county to coordinate and connect the wide range of state and voluntary services and supports that are available.
Opening lines of Communication
Each local authority has a dedicated helpline phone numbers during the Covid health emergency. The full list is available here and the national number 0818 222 024 is also now in operation.
Some of the county councils are also providing SMS response numbers in addition to the landline numbers.
One example is Sligo County Council who are offering a Freetext SMS response service set up by Púca to assist at-risk members of the public.
Jimmy O’Brien, Information Systems Project Leader at Sligo County Council commented on why Sligo decided to add SMS into the communication mix;
“This is an important community initiative and we saw SMS as a key channel for inbound enquiries from those in need. Púca were very helpful in setting up the SMS enquiry service at short notice”.
SMS Response – Simple but Effective
SMS is widely available, doesn’t rely on broadband, and is quick to set up. It is a convenient and discreet way for members to the public to request assistance, or opt in to community or health programmes. County councils and other organisations are also finding outbound SMS to be an effective way of sending time-sensitive information and alerts both internally and to the public.
If you are interested in setting up an SMS response or alerts service please get in touch.