With Covid-19 forcing vulnerable people into quarantine, there has been an unprecedented outpouring of community goodwill, with people offering to run errands, deliver groceries, and be of general assistance to their elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
A number of GAA clubs have volunteered their members to assist people in self-isolation. With players no longer participating in training or matches, Ballaghaderreen GAA club’s senior football team decided to get the word out that they are available to help.
Chairman Dermot Dillon said its members have been contacting elderly people, but have yet to be sent out on jobs.
“Some of them are driving, and they really want to help out. They are ready to go,” he said. “We have noticed since we put the message out that some of the other clubs have also started offering. There seems to be a good few, which is great.”
Independent Councillor Anthony Waldron has been assembling a number of kind-hearted community members in the Roscommon Town and Castlerea area who are looking to help others in this time of need. He has asked anyone who can offer help, or who needs assistance themselves, to get in touch on 086 786 6774.
“I am keen to ensure that all are looked after, especially those living alone in more isolated areas locally,” he said. “My goal here is not to cause panic, but to encourage and promote social distancing.”
Mr Waldron said a lot of volunteers have come forward, but he hopes those who need help will also contact him.
Many local grocery stores, butchers, restaurants, and pharmacies have expanded their services to offer home delivery so people can continue to isolate at home.
Jim McCausland, site manager at Caseys Londis in Roscommon Town, said their drive-through and call-and-collect services have “really taken off” since the schools closed. While these services have always been available for the Supermac’s element of their store, they are now also offering it for groceries.
“People are able to collect and not wait in a queue. It is appreciated by people as it really limits contact,” he said.
The shop, along with many other stores across the county, is now also offering home delivery on groceries. The delivery drivers will be leaving the shopping on customers’ doorsteps to eliminate face-to-face contact.
Supermac’s is also offering free meals to emergency services staff in recognition and appreciation of their efforts.