Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan, has commended the fantastic support of local volunteers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the call for people to sign up to support the community response to COVID 19 in Kilkenny went out in March, just under 200 people from the area have registered to volunteer through the I-VOL app.
Deputy Phelan said: “Volunteers in our counties have been directly linked by the local Volunteer Centre(s) to local organisations responding to COVID-19, conducting a wide range of very important work - from delivering food and medicines to older people who are self-isolating, to volunteering in COVID test centres.
“There are also many more volunteers on the ground, helping out family, friends and neighbours.
“I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for the invaluable work being carried out by volunteers in both Kilkenny and Carlow during the Covid-19 emergency.
“The response to the COVID crisis shows once again what a fantastic resource we have in our volunteers and the wonderful community spirit that prevails here in Carlow and Kilkenny even during these challenging times.”
Deputy Phelan continued: “We have always depended greatly on the cohort of volunteers that give so generously of their time and energy year in year out.
“Unfortunately, many of our volunteers are older people who have been confined to their homes as a result of the COVID 19 crisis. Back in March as the crisis was emerging, we called on people to help meet the significant needs at community level and the response has been magnificent.”
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, said: “I am very happy to be in a position to provide the necessary supports to underpin this important work through my Department’s collaboration with Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres. Together, we will ensure that the work of these volunteers results in a permanent legacy for the benefit of our communities.
“During the crisis, the Department has introduced a number of additional measures to provide extra support, including additional funding of €500,000 to Volunteer Centres to support the COVID-19 volunteer efforts, a COVID-19 Communication Pack for Communities, a collection of seven leaflets offering practical advice and information on topics ranging from sensible volunteering to vulnerable persons to the prevention of fraud and theft; a €2.5 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund for local authorities to administer to community groups partaking in the ‘Community Call’, as well as €40 million support package of supports for Community and Voluntary Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises.”