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Befriending Services during Covid

Age Friendly Ireland

AF Clare Full Col 150 dpi

Programme: Clare

WHO Theme: Respect And Social Inclusion, Social Participation

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Positive Mental And Emotional Health

Funding Stream: Community Resilience Fund Covid

Resources Required: Community Support, Financial, Services, Volunteer Staff

Cost: 0-500


Clare Co. Council supported partners through the Community Resilience Fund to provide vital befriending services during Covid. Clare Co. Council and the KeepWell Committee approved funding under the Community Resilience Fund to support 5 agencies around County Clare who were already providing Befriending Services on a voluntary basis. €8500 was approved and split between the 4 Family Resource Centres & Clarecare who were tirelessly providing befriending phone calls, visits to gardens & meals to older people who were rurally, socially & digitally isolated as a result of Covid.

Aim of Initiative

It was mainly isolated older people who were receiving these befriending services.

Who is it aimed at

It was mainly isolated older people who were receiving these befriending services.

Steps critical to success

  1. Funding allowed for greater befriending supports
  2. Volunteers to provide the ongoing service
  3. Phone & transport of volunteers

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. To firstly identify who was providing these services around the county.

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. Over 2000 people around Co. Clare were being provided with befriending supports on a weekly basis
  2. The additional money went towards the provision of meals which mitigated some of the food poverty being suffered by older people.
  3. Volunteering increased due to the willingness of the Community to help during Covid.

Karen Fennessy - Age Friendly Programme Manager, Clare Co. Council,