Gardaí in West Cork have teamed up with Ballydehob Community Alert Group to give care packs to elderly residents.
Up to 200 elderly people in the community will receive a care pack in a bid to ensure those cocooning are being looked after, and to assist in crime prevention and promote the importance of hand hygiene.
Gardaí from Schull and local community groups have come together to ensure the wellbeing of the high proportion of Mizen residents over the age of 70.
In early April, gardaí engaged with local elderly residents in the community and carried out over 50 deliveries of groceries and medicine per week.
Following the deliveries, Garda Jonathan McCarthy from Schull Garda Station worked with Ballydehob Community Alert to bring about the Care Pack Project, which is part funded by the Cork County Council’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund Scheme.
The scheme was launched as part of Cork City Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Programme and has seen the dedicated fund of €116,277 been used to support one-off costs incurred by community and voluntary groups involved in the response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle noted the invaluable contribution of voluntary groups and said that communities and members of local voluntary groups across Cork have shown “extraordinary solidarity, resilience and cooperation” to meet the needs of local people.
The Care Pack Project packs contain hand sanitiser, antibacterial hand wash and wipes, hi-vis clothing, gloves, a timer switch in line with the Garda Lock Up Light Up initiative, two credit card sleeves which prevents cards being scanned, and crime prevention material advising of scams and home security tips.
Some recipients will have additional items included in their packs, such as books, biscuits and chocolates which are being provided randomly as supplies are limited.
Speaking about the initiative, Crime Prevention Officer Sgt James O’Donovan said: "This initiative is to promote crime prevention and the importance of hand hygiene whilst hopefully raising the confidence of those who have been cocooning for the last number of months.” He said that a lot of elderly people may be hesitant to come out of their homes and ask for help but said that the initiative “is a good way of connecting with those people”.
“If anyone, no matter what their circumstances are, is worried or might need a helping hand, they should call us. We are here to help,” he said.