Samaritans Ireland appeals for donations; ALONE welcomes banking supports for elderly

Major and minor fundraising events have been cancelled and curtailed, while volunteering and other efforts are restricted due to physical distancing.
Samaritans Ireland appeals for donations; ALONE welcomes banking supports for elderly
The charity like many others has seen its fundraising severely disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak. File picture.

Samaritans Ireland has appealed for donations to help ensure its volunteers can continue to support people struggling to cope.

The charity, like many others in Ireland, has been badly hit during the coronavirus outbreak.

It has now issued an urgent appeal to sustain its critical service. Samaritans Ireland answered almost three million calls in the last five years.

Now, more than ever, it says the service is needed. The charity is making every effort to ensure that it is able to provide emotional support to anyone in crisis.

However, Covid-19 has put its services under increased strain.

Samaritans Ireland is now calling on the generosity of the Irish public to help us ensure that it can continue to be there for anyone who needs support.

Executive Director of Samaritans Ireland, Niall Mulligan said: "For more than 50 years, Samaritans has provided a listening ear to anyone

who needs support, which has been possible through the public’s kind donations.

"A donation as little as €5 will help volunteers to answer a call for help from someone struggling to cope and be there when people need support the most.

"To make a donation and find out other ways you can support Samaritans please visit: https://www.samaritans.org/ireland/samaritans-ireland/."

The Wheel, the group which represents some 1,700 charities, community and voluntary organisations in Ireland, said the collapse

in traditional fundraising events due to the virus outbreak could have drastic consequences for the sector.

Major and minor fundraising events have been cancelled and curtailed, while volunteering and other efforts are restricted due to physical distancing.

It has previously noted that the Irish Cancer Society lost a projected €4 million due to the cancellation of Daffodil Day, while Pieta House cancelled its primary fundraiser, the Darkness into Light event, which is worth approximately €6 million to the charity.

Meanwhile, ALONE has welcomed the introduction of banking supports for older people restricted by cocooning measures.

The country's five main banks have introduced free phone numbers to offer assistance and advice to older customers required to stay at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan said: "This is an extraordinarily difficult time for older people with regard to their finances and ensuring they remain secure, and we welcome this booklet from BPFI to support those who are cocooning to carry out their banking safely in what is currently a restrictive environment.

"We welcome the steps taken by the BPFI to provide solutions to support older people to protect their finances, and we recognise that these options are limited by the current restrictions with regard to cocooning.

"These additional supports are necessary and will support anyone who has independently managed their finances up until now to continue to do so.”

ALONE has recommended that where possible older people use phone and internet banking, make payments over the phone, to ask for support from their bank and organisations like ALONE when needed, and only use the option to nominate someone to help with their banking if they have no alternative.

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