#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

Welcome to the Irish Examiner's #CoronavirusSolidarity diary.

In the days and weeks ahead we will be highlighting for posterity those stories which capture the unique community spirit of Ireland's repsonse to the ongoing crisis. Please let us know about community initiatives which have been set up to offer support to those most impacted by the crisis or examples of people who are going above and beyond the call of duty. Tag us at @irishexaminer and use #CoronavirusSolidarity.

Monday, March 23

Forget me not

"For the first time in 26 years we are not here to see you," read the note on a table full of flowers at Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday.

Due to social distancing requirements, a florist, local to the well-known cemetery, was unable to open their shop so in a bid to put a smile of the faces of those who maybe visiting their Mother's graves, they decided to give flower away free of charge.

"This filled my heart.There are no words," tweeted one touched passerby.

Sunday, March 22

Two weeks in, #selfisolationhelp is going strong

Almost 8,000 volunteers have signed up to a support system designed to mobilise members of the community to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.

What began less than a fortnight ago as the Twitter hashtag #selfisolationhelp has mushroomed to such a degree that volunteers are making themselves available all over the country via the website www.localsupport.ie to carry out simple everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions, on behalf of those forced to self isolate.

Former BBC One executive and former director of RTÉ TV Helen O’Rahilly, who is one of the key people behind the movement, said they are in for the long haul.

“This is not some self-referential Twitter nonsense, this is a genuine effort to put in another layer of support on top of all the effort that’s already going on,” Ms O’Rahilly said.

Ms O’Rahilly, who recently returned home after 30 years in London, said she was inspired by the spirit of volunteering evident in Ireland and by a tweet from social media manager Samantha Kelly, aka @tweetinggoddess, who had started the hashtag #selfisolationhelp last Thursday week.

The reaction on Twitter was so positive that Ms O’Rahilly felt its potential could be tapped.

She asked her friend, actor Chris O’Dowd, to re-tweet (he has 785,000 Twitter followers) “and by the next morning, it had gone into sixth gear”, Ms O’Rahilly said.

A number of fellow-professionals such as Gráinne Dwyer of Stori Creative in Skibbereen and freelance journalist Cóilín Duffy came on board, as well as Dave Bolger of Devhaus software company, leading to the development of the website www.localsupport.ie where people can now go to either register their offer of help or register a request for assistance.

Mr Duffy said they pair volunteers with people in need of help in the neighbourhood. He said the website also advises on best practice and HSE guidelines in terms of following social distancing and hand hygiene requirements when carrying out volunteer tasks.

Ms O’Rahilly said the movement is now attracting overseas interest.

She said herself and the small team running the operation are doing so between 7am and 11pm everyday, operating two to three hour shifts.

“I’m fully aware that there are already terrific volunteer groups out there, this is simply another layer,” she said.

“In my previous jobs I was used to dealing with crises, I’m a bit gobby, I’m here (in Ireland) and I have time, so I am in for the long haul.”

The team has also created a text service/voice messaging service for those who are not on line (contact: 087 3658233).

Mr Duffy said anyone willing to display graphics to spread the word about the service - such as supermarkets - should get in touch through the website.

A reminder: Libraries are still open online

For the duration of the crisis, Libraries Ireland are allowing new registrants to use online services from their local library, before finalising their applications at their local branch.

Online borrowing of ebooks with the BorrowBox app, use of free digital copies of popular magazines, and lots of other services are available to all library members, regardless of location.

For more information and to register, head to the self-registration website for a PIN, then head to Libraries Ireland's eServices site.

1,000 and counting: Cards ensure boy (9) will have dream birthday

Jack and his ever growing mountain of cards
Jack and his ever growing mountain of cards

A boy with a rare disease, who had to cancel his birthday party due to Covid-19, has had over 1,000 cards posted to him after his mother made an appeal for people to mail him, writes Elaine Keogh.

Ruth Beattie asked people to send cards to her son Jack, who is (9) tomorrow after his party had to be called off.

It would have been his first party in three years - the last two years he was not able to have one as a result of having surgery related to having Osteogenesis Imperfacta or brittle bone disease.

Ruth said it broke her heart when she had to tell him his party this year could not go ahead and instead she appealed for people to post him birthday cards.

“The response has been unbelievable,” she said.

The latest count has over 1,000 cards, including one for Ruth, and some have come from as far away as France and Switzerland as well as Ireland and the UK.

She said the response means he has having “a birthday he will never forget.”

The family live in Raphoe, county Donegal and Ruth said, “We have had cards and parcels from Dublin , Carlow, Mayo, Donegal, Monaghan, Derry and London and that’s not even half of them opened.”

“I’d like to thank each and everyone that took the time to make/send a card/parcel to Jack. It has been a very emotional and overwhelming few days to watch the delight in Jack’s face. This will be a birthday never to forget.”

Jack and his mum
Jack and his mum

'Surrogate' gran wins kids hearts with online bedtime stories

Maire Hughes is quickly gaining a following for her storytelling. She started online because of social distancing measures. File picture.
Maire Hughes is quickly gaining a following for her storytelling. She started online because of social distancing measures. File picture.

A loving gran who can't see her grandchildren because of Covid-19's social distancing has started reading them online bedtime stories - and other kids are fast adopting her as their own surrogate nan.

Maire Hughes from Ahascragh, Galway was missing her grandchildren so much that she asked her daughter Aisling to film her reading the younger ones a bedtime story on her Instagram page, The Irish Horse Life, last Thursday.

But the sprightly native of Clontarf in Dublin is already gaining a big following from other kids who are tuning in to her vivid and engaging storytelling -which is partly down to her drama background.

Saturday, March 21

Covid Community Response announces emergency text and call lines

Volunteer group Covid Community Response today announced the release of their national support helpline. Members of the public seeking assistance can now do so via text (086 180 0256) or phone call (021 237 7809).

Speaking about the campaign, software engineer Danny O’Donovan, said, “Our helpline is a very big step forward – we have managed to set up a professional helpline operated entirely by volunteers.. As we know, many communities are doing extraordinary work around the country, and we are just adding to this by creating a coordinated system to make sure nobody is without support. Our helpline is available between the hours 9.00 am and 9.00pm, and volunteers can register at any time on our website.’

Fast-food boss serves up comfort on the streets and for our hospital staff

The proprietor of Cork's beloved Istanbul and PizzAmore fast-food restaurants has been on the streets, handing out free pizzas and making deliveries to the staff of Cork University Hospital.

Earlier today, Hawre and his team called up to Marymount Hospice with some freshly-made comfort fare.

The deliveries are the latest in a series of food donations to frontline healthcare staff, working in the prevailing conditions.

Cork Miscarriage reaches out to those grieving pregnancy loss

Pregnancy loss is a difficult and painful experience, and social distancing in the current circumstances may compound feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The HSE, in association with Cork Miscarriage, has issued guidelines and supports for people and families dealing with pregnancy loss at this time.

If you have been affected by pregnancy loss, and require support at this time, visit Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Cork Miscarriage for more information and further support.

UCC radio station offers documentaries to keep house-bound listeners company

University College Cork's campus radio station, UCC 98.3FM, is dedicating its entire day to local documentary programming, specifically for elderly radio listeners who use the medium as company in their homes.

In a tweet sent out yesterday, the station, run by the college and volunteer-staffed entirely by students, staff and alumni, has said the day's programming is designed 'to help us still feel connected to our city'.

The station is available in the city centre on 98.3FM, and online at UCC's website (click the 'Listen Live' button).

Kids become penpals of care home residents

The operators of a Cork nursing home have launched a novel scheme that they hope will be taken up nationwide whereby care home patients become penpals with school children.

St Luke’s Nursing Home in Mahon put out a Facebook request earlier this week for children to correspond with its residents and, on the first day received 200 letters and 100 emails.

They want to promote a link between the generations during these difficult times where they can be of mutual help to each other.

The idea came from Lisa Howard, the activities manager at the nursing home, which is celebrating 25 years in its Mahon base this year, although it has been providing care for the elderly in Cork for 123 years.

The nursing home has 128 residents ranging in age from 60 to 101. Ms Howard said she hoped that many of the residents would be able to write back to the children and build friendships.

“At this time, it would be nice for the kids to tell us how they are feeling too,” Ms Howard said.

“It will also lift the spirits of our patients.

I’m hoping that other nursing homes around the country will follow suit. Hopefully this will create a lot of new penpals.

Ms Howard said that residents would prefer to get letters rather than emails “because they’re more authentic”.

“Children could use some sellotape as an alternative way of sealing the envelope and remember to keep washing and sanitising their hands,” she said.

However, Ms Howard said she realised under the current circumstances that some people would prefer to email letters and provide pictures of themselves, which staff will print off for the patients.

Children are being urged to write to St Luke’s Nursing Home Activity Team, Castle Road, Mahon, Cork. Alternatively, they can email lisa. howard@stlukeshome.ie.

Friday, March 20

Dublin residents organise the most unique Bingo game you'll ever see

Dublin residents have organised the most unique and uplifting game of Bingo you'll ever see.

In a move that's been described as one of "the most Irish things ever", residents in a set of flats in Ringsend set up a loud speaker on a roof and began calling bingo numbers for the people living locally.

Watch the video below yourself.

Send love to someone special with free An Post postcards

An Post is giving every household free postcards to write personal messages for posting on, free-of-charge, to family and friends across the country to help them stay connected in the weeks ahead as more people socially isolate and become ‘cocooned’.

5,000,000 postage-paid postcards have been produced by An Post to enable people of all ages to post a message of love and support to special people in their lives.

Waterford farmer giving free eggs to neighbours who need them

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

Dunhill farmer Eddie Murphy is offering free eggs to those in the area who wish to collect them from him.

Eddie is a commercial egg supplier and doesn't want to see the eggs go to waste.

Self-isolation volunteer network localsupport.ie grows to 7,000 members

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

A website for coronavirus volunteers has grown to over 7,000 volunteers.

The initiative to coordinate grassroots help for self-isolated people received support from Irish comedian Sir Stevo Timothy.

Volunteers are urged to contact the organisation so they can be matched with a person in their local area who needs assistance.

The initiative is being driven by Helen O'Rahilly and Johnathan Randall.

Virtual Mother's Day campaign launched

This Mother's day is set to be like no other.

Just like St Patrick's day, the coronavirus outbreak has affected another special day spent closely with family.

With many older people staying at home and children and young adults unable to visit their mothers and grandmothers, this unique day for Irish mothers will be celebrated differently to say the least.

RTÉ have launched a campaign to capture this. #RTELoveOurMammies wants to see all your photos and videos of the day and how you celebrated your mother.

Virtual coffee morning held for Irish Cancer Society

This year's Daffodil Day - a major annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society - had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead, virtual coffee mornings held in kitchens across Ireland raised funds in support of the charity.

Participants tweeted their coffees under the hashtag #virtualcoffeemorning as part of #DigitalDaffodilDay.

Other groups have tried to help the charity and BGR Fitness has been live-streaming workouts each evening.

Their Facebook group, has a few hundred members and last night they raised €600 for the cancer charity.

Healthcare professionals answer Ireland's call

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

40,000 applicants have signed up for the HSE's 'On Call For Ireland' initiative so far.

Any healthcare professional who is not already working in the public health service is being asked to help out in the fight against coronavirus here.

It is anticipated that many additional hospital and care beds will be needed to deal with this outbreak.

View this post on Instagram

For the past few days I’ve been scrambling around gathering all of my paperwork, and rooting out my uniforms, after I received a call from a friend to come back and help on the frontline.🏥❤️🦠 Tonight I seen a plea from our Minister of health to recruit as many healthcare professionals as possible to help deal with Covid19 and I want to help spread the word 🙏💕 If you have a healthcare background and can help please apply at HSE.ie/oncall We’ve got this......Shoulder to shoulder☘️ Let’s do this 💪🏻💕🏥 (Now can someone please tell me how to remove these nails without a nail tech😂🤪) #wevegotthis #shouldertoshoulder ☘️ #beoncallforireland #covid19

A post shared by Terrie McEvoy Fitzpatrick (@terriemcevoy) on

Overwhelming response

Feed The Heroes has raised over €230k to give cooked meals to frontline healthcare staff since it was set up on Sunday.

Founder of the drive Cian O'Flaherty says there is now enough money to be adaptable for whatever is needed:

"We are building as we go. We're figuring it out as we go along and we'll do our best. The pressures that are coming down the line on the teams will mean gaps will open up and we are going to be ready there to plug them.

We're in a position to spend €10k to €20k over the next period of time. If it's three months, as the Taoiseach indicated, we stand ready to keep that going and to keep the operations on the road.

Mr O'Flaherty says the donations have also helped to keep restaurants in business.

Thursday, March 19

Cork charities and health workers to benefit as fruit and veg seller gives away warehouse of stock

St Vincent de Paul chef John Noonan, right, with Barra Sweetnam and Noel Ryan of AllFresh wholesale fruit and veg at Little Island, who are donating €60,000 of stock to Cork charities, frontline medical staff, and direct provision centres. Pictures: Dan Linehan
St Vincent de Paul chef John Noonan, right, with Barra Sweetnam and Noel Ryan of AllFresh wholesale fruit and veg at Little Island, who are donating €60,000 of stock to Cork charities, frontline medical staff, and direct provision centres. Pictures: Dan Linehan

A businessman with a warehouse full of fruit and veg is giving it away wholesale before it rots as businesses in Cork City promise they’ll be ‘back soon’.

Homeless charities, frontline medical staff, nursing homes, and residents of some direct provision centres are now set to benefit from the generosity of AllFresh fruit and veg wholesaler Barra Sweetnam.

He joked that he hopes someone with a recipe that requires hundreds of lemons and limes, or a few hundred asparagus and pomegranate, will come forward to ensure the food doesn’t go to waste.

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery
A quiet in St Patrick's St, Cork. Pictures: Denis Minihane.

“I might as well give it away to people who can do something with it than leave it here in the warehouse to rot,” he said.

Working out for Irish Cancer Society

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

A fitness company based in Dublin and Athlone have come up with an idea to help people stay fit and active while raising much-needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society at the same time.

This year's Daffodil Day - a major annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society - had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In an effort to help the charity raise some extra money, BGR Fitness, has been live streaming workouts each evening.

Their Facebook group, has a few hundred members and last night they raised €600 for the cancer charity.

Pictured is Grace Deasy for a previous Daffodil Day campaign
Pictured is Grace Deasy for a previous Daffodil Day campaign

Men, women and children got involved with some getting extra creative and using their children or pets as weights!

Ben and Gary are hoping they can continue to generate some positive energy while improving people's health.

Aussies offer a hand of friendship

One of Ireland's mental health charities, GROW Mental Health Recovery, has been forced to suspend their weekly support meetings due to the coronavirus restrictions in place.

The meetings offer members a practical path out of mental and emotional issues by empowering them to construct their own recovery.

The current crisis is particularly difficult for people with mental health challenges and many people will be looking for supports and someone to talk to during the coming weeks.


Now, GROW members and those with mental health issues have been given the opportunity to continue with their meetings by joining an online group in Australia.

More details can be found here.

#BeOnCallForIreland

More than 30,000 people have responded to a massive recruitment drive across the health service to tackle Covid-19.

The “Be on call for Ireland” campaign launched on Tuesday to seek help from healthcare professionals who are not already working in the public health service.

Volunteers have been taking to their social media accounts to back the initiative, some travelling from as far as Canada to help.

The recruitment call came with the message: “Your country needs you.”

Promotion positive exercise and mindfulness

A Dublin yoga teacher is promoting positive exercise and mental health by holding free classes on Instagram.

Maura Rath, whose yoga classes normally take place in Blackrock market, has been holding them online as many people are left working from home or social distancing.

She holds the classes at 8am and 5pm every day via Instagram live on her account @Yogawithmaura.

View this post on Instagram

We are all feeling tangled but don’t let it get your spirits down we are in this together! I have decided to stream my classes LIVE & FREE for the next few weeks 🙏 . My classes are about unity coming together, having fun and finding a little space in our bodies and minds🤗 . Let’s flow from the safety of our own homes - a little movement routine is key 💫 . Classes will be streamed live from Instagram and available on YouTube later that day Timetable: Monday - Friday 8am & 5pm . Tag #movingwithmaura your bestie and tune in from your phone, laptop or whatever screen you can find. We can flow together, tell your friends virtual hang & yoga together tag spread the positive word👌🙏

A post shared by Maura Rath | Yoga Teacher (@yogawithmaura) on

Wednesday, March 18

Better together: Irish teachers offer support to parents and children taking classes at home

Teachers across Ireland have offered their help to parents and children taking classes online. File picture.
Teachers across Ireland have offered their help to parents and children taking classes online. File picture.

Irish teachers have published social media posts offering assistance to parents and children taking lessons at home due to the schools' shutdown.

Posting under the title: "Better together" teachers offer help with their subject of expertise or else state the school curriculum they instruct.


Last week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced a two-week-long shutdown of schools, colleges and childcare facilities in an early morning press conference in Washington DC.

Schools in the UK are to close from Friday this week in a similar measure to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Cork village rallies to keep Meals on Wheels rolling

A Cork village has rallied to help to keep one of Ireland’s silent services on the road.

Dozens of volunteers, including many who have lost their jobs in recent days, have signed up to ensure that the operation of Blarney’s Meals on Wheels continues to deliver hot meals to the elderly and other vulnerable people in the world-famous tourist village in Co Cork.

Many of those who run the Meals on Wheels service normally are now unable to do so because of the coronavirus outbreak. However, some of the new volunteers say that does not mean the service can stop.

Plans to coordinate grassroots response for vulnerable during coronavirus

A nationwide initiative is underway to harness and coordinate the massive grassroots response to the Covid-19 crisis.

As community groups and volunteers around the country mobilise to help the vulnerable in their neighbourhoods, a national Covid Community Response (CCR) campaign has been set up to encourage collaboration and to provide focus to their efforts.

It is hoped that by standardising communication and campaigns, and by sharing resources, the initiative will help to coordinate the various local community initiatives with the ongoing national response to the virus outbreak.

Feed The Heroes campaign gets 'incredible' response

Pic: Feed the Heroes GoFundMe campaign.
Pic: Feed the Heroes GoFundMe campaign.

A fundraising campaign to feed hospital and emergency workers has raised almost €190,000 in just three days.

Businessman Cian O’’Flaherty, one of the founders of the Feed The Heroes GoFundMe page, described the public response as ’’incredible’’, adding that donations "went bananas" once the campaign was picked up on social media.

Based in Blackrock in Dublin, Mr O’’Flaherty set the page up with Tad McAllister with the aim of paying for food deliveries to hospitals for frontline staff who are putting in extra hours during the coronavirus outbreak.

Helping bored kids get crafty

Vibes and Scribes’ craft outlet on Cork’s Bridge St have been putting together craft kits for distribution online.

Owner Joan Lucey said:

We have been coming up with ideas for different age ranges and seeing what things might occupy a five-year-old or give an 11-year-old something to get stuck into. You can get a lot of ‘little bits’ for even a fiver.

The craft bags from Vibes and Scribes have already proven popular online. These feature a craft book with 10 projects and the kit comes with the materials needed to complete three of these projects.

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

Donations

Sean Drugan, chef at The Vintage Kitchen in Dublin, cooked and packeted a variety of dishes to deliver to anyone who may need them.

After the offer received over 2k likes, he decided to dish the spread out between Dublin paramedics and the Beaumount hospital.

Volunteers

The head of a homeless charity says they have more offers of volunteer help than they know what to do with.

Inner City Helping Homeless chief executive Anthony Flynn says they are currently "inundated" with requests from volunteers looking to support their efforts.

Mr Flynn said that they have a huge volunteer base and they are working with them while ensuring that they follow HSE guidelines.

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

Tuesday, March 17

Going Green

As the public is urged to remain indoors to limit the spread of Covid-19, buildings all around the country have gone green to mark St Patrick's Day.

Cork City Hall lit up to celebrate St.Patricks day. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork City Hall lit up to celebrate St.Patricks day. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

De Barraka Plays On

Although there is no St Patrick's Parade through Cork city today, that didn't stop one member of a Cork institution from performing at home.

Alan Ashman of the Barrack Street Band dusted off his trombone for a mini-performance in his garden.

Brilliant!


Car Parades

The Ballinhassig Village Association threw a 'Stay in your car St. Patrick’s Day parade' at Kirby’s Korner, Ballinhassig, Cork.

Virtual Parades,

Whilst adhering to social distancing, people have been throwing their own parades and celebrations and sharing them on social media using the tag #VirtualParade.

#StPatricksDayAbhaile

We ask you to send us in pictures and video of and your families celebrating St. Patrick's Day indoors.

Aideen O'Donoghue sent us this video of Roisin and Sean, who want to keep peoples spirits up and just like St. Patrick banished the snakes out of Ireland, they will too help banish this virus.

#CreateDontContaminate

Kodaline, The Script, Picture This, the Coronas, and Lottie Ryan are among some of the names who today launched a RTÉ 2FM campaign to encourage young people to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and create content from their homes in the process.

Called #CreateDontContaminate, it is hoped the RTÉ project will kickstart a movement to keep young people’s energy and spirits up while keeping their families and communities safe.

Each day over the next 14 days, RTÉ'S team of presenters and influencers, also including James Kavanagh, Greg O’Shea, Doireann Garrihy and Eoghan McDermott, will share a new challenge, that will get young people creating while maintaining social distance.

Young people are encouraged to make content from anywhere in their house - with creative challenges in music, comedy, dance, art, story-telling, fashion or beauty.

Draw your favourite Irish person challenge

Will Sliney has tweeted a special 'Paddy's Day' challenge for the kids getting involved in his #wewilldraw initiative.

The Marvel artist has asked his followers to draw their favourite Irish person, whether it's a sports star, a historical figure or family member and stick the drawing on their window for people to see.

From Donegal footballer, Michael Murphy to Irish Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane, responses have been flowing in with Irish pride.

Irish take to social media to wish each other a happy St Patrick’s Day

Covid-19 has not stopped Irish people at home and abroad from taking to social media and wishing each other a happy St Patrick’s Day ... with characteristic good humour.

Despite the worldwide disruption to St Patrick’s Day the University of Limerick has celebrated the spirit of the day with a stunning new video that marks the occasion in a digital sense.

Monday - March 16, 2020

East Cork community group set up to support elderly and healthcare workers

In east Cork a community support group has been set up for the elderly and healthcare workers from the area.

Organiser Emma Kelly revelaed how they already have a team of 80 volunteers, shop owners, chemist workers and others ready to go.

"We have strict hygiene and risk management protocol in place to limit the spread of the virus and ensure safety of everyone involved. We'd love to hear form anyone who wants to help"

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

- Reporting by Dolan O'Hagan

Local GAA clubs mobilise

Local GAA clubs throughout the country are mobilising to help elderly neighbours and people in isolation.

Club committee officers in many areas are coordinating volunteer efforts.

Lara O'Brien, PRO with Killarney Legion GAA club, says all the local clubs in East Kerry have stepped up.

"We have a number of volunters on stand by to do deliveries, collect people or prescriptions, do shoping or do anything that needs to be done.

"And even if they just want to talk, we just want people to know they have someone to talk to.

- Reporting by Dolan O'Hagan

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

#CovideoParty: Irish comedian starts trend to help people watch films together online

An Irish comedian has been organising online group film screenings so people can watch movies together, while at home alone.

With authorities calling for social distancing and self-isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Alison Spittle's #CovideoParty has seen people come together on Twitter to watch films as an online community while following advice from health officials.

So far, the online group has watched films such as Clueless and Matilda and tonight, they plan to watch Jumanji, starring Robin Williams.

- Reporting by Steve Neville

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

Supermarkets bring in priority shopping times for elderly

Lidl, Iceland and Tesco are implementing priority shopping hours for the elderly due to the coronavirus.

Lidll is prioritising older shoppers at stores nationwide from 9am until 11am every day from now on.

Tesco is offering over 65-year-olds and family carers a dedicated time for them to do their shopping.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting this Wednesday, March 18, these customers will have dedicated access to all Tesco stores up to 9am. Tesco stores open at 7am or 8am, every morning, depending on location.

Iceland Ireland will be opening its 27 stores between 8am and 9am each day to customers who are over 65 from Wednesday.

- Reporting by Digital Desk

#CoronavirusSolidarity diary: Florist gives flowers 'free of charge' to Glasnevin Cemetery

March 8-15, 2020

- Reporting by Ciaran Sunderland

What started yesterday as a Twitter trend: #selfisolationhelp is now a website.

Building on Helen O'Rahilly's work on twitter, Johnathan Randall has developed a website to link self-isolation volunteers.

The website shows people where assistance is available and highlights towns and counties missing volunteers.

The public's great work has continued as different community organisations lend a hand.

Members of Glenville GAA club are volunteering to help those in need.

A Skerries volunteer group are helping people with their shopping.

Irish Examiner journalist Anna O'Donoghue has urged people to support creative artists with disrupted work.

Offers of childcare support are rolling in.

While communities as widespread as Aranmore are doing their part.

Another common thme is the offer is to do people's groceries for them, especially for the elderly.

Others are offering conversation (over the phone) to those who are feeling lonely in quarantine.

Many businesses are struggling, but are still doing their part to assist members of the public to carry on with their lives as normal.

The Townhouse O D’s in Schull Co Cork, for example, has offered delivery to elderly customers.

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