Community Stories from the Republic of Ireland

Community members all over Ireland have been finding ways to give back and maintain a sense of community spirit. Here are some that lifted ours.

Community Members Upskill to Help Fight Pandemic

Students have been going to colleges to upskill and train to help reduce the threat posed by the coronavirus. Before the crisis, Hank Trayor was involved in providing safety training on building sites. Today, he’s helping to teach these courses at his local further education college. He said: ‘Our business is closed at the moment, there’s no safety training going on, so I thought this would give me a skill to do my bit in a nursing home, hospital or healthcare centre.’ Read more.

Hospital Carer Hands Out Goodie Bags

Valerie Quirke, a carer in St James’ Hospital, Dublin, has handed out over 200 goody bags filled with toiletries, snacks and even children’s drawings to coronavirus patients. Donated by the public, the goodie bags have been designed to put a smile on the faces of COVID-19 patients. Initially just asking her own friends to donate, the campaign rapidly grew. Valerie said: ‘I came across a gentleman in a ward who had a little battery-operated radio and it was his only point of contact to the outside world. I brought him in some juice drinks, chocolate and batteries the next day and he was delighted. That kind of upset me the following day and I couldn’t really sleep, thinking of how many people like that are in the hospital.’ Find out more.

Teenage Olympic Hopeful Continues to Train at Home in Dublin

Long-distance swimmer Mia Whelan-O’Connor has been using a back-garden plunge pool to help keep her Olympic dream alive despite the disruption presented by the current lockdown. Using just an inflatable pool, a swimming parachute and a bungee cord attached to the wall, the 15 year old has continued to train despite her club facilities being off-limits. Mia said: I was just desperate to get back in the pool because I missed swimming so much and my brother came up with the idea.’ Read more.

Dubliner Raises Money for Ventilators using Fitness Challenge

Dubliner Brian McDermott has devised the Step up Stay put challenge to help raise money for ventilators, much-needed by hospitals during the current crisis. The challenge calls on people to get 10,000 steps into their day and donate 10 pounds to either the suggested charity, the ‘Keep Breathing Campaign’, or one of the participant’s choice. Designed to ensure that people are still staying active and engaging with others, it also provides charities much-needed support, as many have been negatively impacted by the current lockdown measures. Brian said: ‘It was an idea we came up with based on trying to keep everyone active in a cool amateur sort of way, whilst in lockdown.’ Find out more.

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