Kilkenny FRCs play vital role in battle against Covid in Halloween lead-up

The four Family Resource Centres in Kilkenny have played a key role working on the ground in communities

Kilkenny People

Reporter:

Kilkenny People

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

Halloween Graphic from the Family Resource Centre National Forum

With the country under Level 5 restrictions, Family Resource Centres in Kilkenny will continue to play a vital role in promoting important Covid-19 public safety recommendations and advice amongst harder-to-reach communities in the build up to Hallowe'en.

That’s according to the Family Resource Centre National Forum (FRCNF), who this week launched a new report outlining the historical, current, and potential future development of the National Family Resource Centre Programme.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the four Family Resource Centres in Kilkenny have played a key role working on the ground supporting communities," says Clare Cashman, Chairperson of FRCNF.

"As we have seen in recent weeks, the Covid-19 crisis has not gone away, and the work of Family Resource Centres is critical as the country moves to tighter restrictions. Coming up to Halloween, people in Kilkenny will be tempted to socialise, to let their children have a 'normal' Hallowe'en celebration or let their guard fall which may inadvertently result in the spread of Covid-19. A key focus for FRCs over the next few weeks will be to help make sure that the public health guidelines and up-to-date restrictions are communicated effectively with all members of society.

“During the initial lockdown period earlier this year, FRCs experienced an increase in the number of people seeking mental health support and food and essential home supplies. They received more calls from migrant communities, including those in direct provision. The increase in demand came from many new people who had never used FRC services before, such as older people cocooning and people asking for food.

“FRCs will continue to play a key role in supporting communities by broadening our range of services and responding to the direct needs of some of our most vulnerable in society, we can effectively communicate the changing public health advice and provide vital supports.”

Digital Toolkit for FRCs
The FRCNF today launched the ‘Our Story’ report. The Report locates the work of Family Resources Centres within current Government policy and demonstrates how the centres work with individuals, families and communities responding to locally identified needs.

As part of today’s report publication, the FRCNF launched a new digital toolkit aimed at equipping Family Resource Centres with online resources to support our communities to stay safe this Halloween by following Covid-19 guidelines.

“The past number of months has cemented the FRCs role as important messengers for public health advice and guidelines in light of Covid-19.  The digital toolkit we are providing is a helpful resource for all 121 FRCs around the country to enable them to communicate this important information using social media locally to try and keep our communities safe during these difficult times," says Clare Cashman.

The Family Resource Centre programme has been in operation for over 25 years. Further information is available at www.familyresource.ie.