Kildare GAA are working with the HSE to explore options to promote and co-ordinate the provision of local community volunteer support, across a potential wide range of areas to ensure our community healthcare systems maintain their function during these challenging times.
Cormac Kirwan, Operations Manager, Kildare GAA, in conjunction with the HSE, has asked those with the necessary skill-sets to get involved in this voluntary effort.
The HSE anticipate that their Community Services will experience an unprecedented surge in demand in the coming weeks, and capacity will be stretched within our communities in Kildare.
GAA clubs in Kildare exist in every parish across the county and the membership network is a valuable resource that can be of great assistance to the HSE, and other organisations, who deliver vital services during this challenging time.
Services that this initiative would be seen to support include Long Stay Nursing Units in Athy and Maynooth, home support services for people of all ages living in their own homes, disabilities services for families, mental health services, general community physio, occupational therapy, public health nursing to mention a few.
In particular, the following skills sets have been identified as part of contingency planning requirements: All trades men and women (electrician, plumber, carpentry etc), IT Specialists, cleaners, teachers, Special Needs Assistants, chefs, caterers, drivers, train the trainers qualified personnel.
In addition, retired Military / Gardai and others with a similar background in Crisis Management Operations are being requested for their background and skills in scheduling, mobilisation and co-ordination tasks that may arise.
This is a whole community effort in support of the most vulnerable in our society.
The HSE will take the lead with this initiative and deliver the necessary training online, via webinar and video-tutorials which will cover procedures for hand hygiene, manual handling, and infection control.
It is anticipated that further dialogue will take place over the next 48 hours between the HSE and Kildare GAA when contact numbers and various leadership roles will be explained.