Covid-19 restrictions pose difficulties for charities

Covid-19 restrictions pose difficulties for charities

The latest restrictions imposed by the Government will help reduce the impact of Covid-19 but will make life harder for some of Ireland’s charities.

The Down Syndrome Centre Cork had to postpone its biggest annual fundraiser, Rock Your Socks.

Established in 2017 by a group of parents eager to supply vital supports to all children with Down Syndrome in the Cork region, the centre provides early intervention services at a heavily subsidised rate.

Every year the Down Syndrome Centre Cork runs Rock Your Socks where students and staff from schools make a small donation and wear colorful socks/tights for the day.

A spokesperson said: “We receive no government support and are entirely dependent on community donations.

"The centre is also closed to protect the clients who would be immunosuppressed. As no services can be provided at this time there is no income coming in either.”

A GoFundMe page www.gofundme.com/rockyoursocks is asking people to post pictures of their odd socks and donate.

Meanwhile, the Irish Men’s Sheds Association has had to close its 450-plus sheds around the country. There are over 40 in Cork alone.

The reason the sheds were set up was to reduce isolation for men in the community.

To counteract that isolation that the current restrictions bring, Men’s Sheds is asking people to think of those who may be isolated and call them and their families up for a chat over a cuppa.

CEO Barry Sheridan said: “Today the Irish Men's Sheds Association launched our #CallThemForACuppa campaign.

"We always say ‘the kettle is the most important tool in the shed'. That’s where the best work is done, when we’re all gathered around the table, having a cup of tea and chat.

“Whether it's a shedder, neighbour, family member or friend, pick up the phone and call someone for a chat and cup of tea.

"You'd be surprised at what the sound of a familiar voice can do during times like these.”

Jigsaw, the national organisation that provides a range of free mental health supports for young people, has repurposed and refocused its supports over the past 12 days.

Spokesperson Kate Longmate said: “We have launched a range of new online supports and ways that we are there for people in these challenging times - our challenge now is to let people know that we are there for them.

“As an organisation this has also has a huge impact on our fundraising, and like every other charity we are cancelling events, seeing an impact on donations and wondering what this means for the future, but right now we are focused on trying to play our part and support the nation as we face this uncertain time.”

Online supports are available here.

CRY Ireland (Cardiac Risk in the Young), which offers free screening services and emotional support to families who have lost a young person to SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death), has been deeply affected by the fallout.

CRY was due to hold its annual Pure Style fashion event fundraiser this month which has now been postponed.

It also receives a huge support from those participating in the VHI Mini Marathon, an event which has also been postponed.

Kerry GAA five-time All-Ireland winner and CRY ambassador Aidan O’Mahony is due to walk the Camino in aid of CRY in September and those signing up to join him will now be significantly reduced.

A spokesperson said: “A number of regional fundraisers have been cancelled. Not only does this incur a loss of revenue for CRY, these events are usually held by families who have been affected by SCD and offer an opportunity for grieving communities to come together to support one another.”

CRY has closed its screening centre but is still operating a virtual clinic for emotional support.

Donations are hugely appreciated and can be made online here.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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