SIXTEEN local area teams that formed part of Cork City Council’s Community Response Forum (CRF) during the Covid-19 pandemic are being reconvened to “proactively reach out and co-ordinate responses to the most vulnerable people at local level” this winter.
The CRF proved a lifeline during the pandemic ensuring that vulnerable people or those living alone could access vital grocery, medicine, and fuel deliveries and social care supports.
After the pandemic, the forum extended its remit and began to support displaced Ukrainians relocating to Cork City.
Ahead of Monday night’s meeting of Cork City Council, Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent submitted a question asking if the council could report on the current work of the CRF and how it could assist members of the public going into the winter months.
In a written response to the question, Adrienne Rodgers, the council’s director of community, culture and placemaking, explained that the CRF has continued to meet throughout 2022.
“The needs of vulnerable members of the public in the coming winter has been raised by forum members over the past two meetings and in response the forum has convened a meeting of the Food Distribution Task Group, established during Covid to co-ordinate the responses of the relevant charities and agencies to food needs,” she continued.
Key members of this task group, Ms Rodgers said, include St Vincent de Paul, Penny Dinners, Feed Cork, Foodcloud, Meals on Wheels, and agencies including HSE, Cork City Council, Tusla, Cork ETB, Cork City Partnership, and An Garda Síochána.
“As these members are best placed to play a key role, the group will be asked to add fuel poverty to their remit and to exchange current responses and identified additional needs, to prepare for a co-ordinated effort in winter 2022-2023.
“In addition, the 16 area-based teams combining local groups, community representatives and supports, working closely with statutory agency representatives, is being reconvened to proactively reach out and co-ordinate responses to the most vulnerable people at local level.
“The Community Response Forum and area response teams retains a flexible and focussed approach to co-ordinate efforts, to ensure that: Duplication is avoided, good practice by local partners is supported and built upon, and organisations add value to each other’s efforts,” Ms Rodgers continued.
More in this section