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HSE Community Work Department

Age Friendly Ireland

HSE Logo

Programme: Cork County

WHO Theme: Civic Participation And Employment, Communication And Information, Community Support And Health Services, Housing, Outdoor Spaces And Buildings, Respect And Social Inclusion, Social Participation

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Nutrition Eating Well, Physical Activity, Positive Mental And Emotional Health, Staying Connected, Switching Off And Being Creative, Your Body Your Health

Funding Stream: Community Resilience Fund Covid, HSE and Section 39 funding

Resources Required: Community Support, Financial, Paid Staff, Premises, Services, Volunteer Staff, Infrastructure, on an ongoing basis, resourcing community spaces e.g. community resource rooms, comm

Cost: 5000-10000


The HSE Community Work Department for Cork South worked with over a hundred community organisations, groups and associations based in Cork City and Cork County in addition to statutory organisations and institutions throughout Covid. The vast majority, if not all of which were involved in providing age friendly initiatives to support the needs of our vulnerable older population. HSE Community Workers were a part of the Covid 19 Local Authority Helpline. Each area of the city and county were allocated to a HSE Community Worker and a Cork City/County Council staff member. The community and voluntary organisations in each area of the city and county formed part of a community response team and were in weekly/daily contact with the Community Workers in order to resolve the calls that came through from members of the public. Community Workers supported the community and voluntary organisations to continue their regular work through an adapted approach. The organisations expanded their roles to meet the needs of their communities but also continued to deliver their own essential services, all be it through modified means. The initiative’s that we supported included, Meals on Wheels; Phone call services; Transport initiatives; Community response support; Arts for Health West Cork. The evolution and response of community groups in linking & liaising with and supporting people in their communities during Covid especially those that were vulnerable or required more assistance due to their age, health or home environment; Assisting and ensuring that frontline workers and volunteers in the Community received their vaccinations; We also assisted with ensuring that members of minority communities received their vaccinations. The Community Work Department within the HSE/CKCH works to develop innovative programmes which reflect the many factors that determine the health of individuals and communities. The Community Work Department is concerned with developing a collective response to needs within communities, including those experiencing social exclusion. It promotes inclusive ways of working in order to secure concrete improvements in quality of life for communities. Our work focuses on: empowerment, user participation, collective action, partnership and interagency working, being respectful of individuals and their communities, links between poverty and health inequalities, promotion of social inclusion and accountability. Our work is linked to key HSE/CKCH and national strategies across all sectors. As the Community Work Departments (HSE/CKCH), we aim to engage in collaboration and partnership with a range of sectors and we seek to influence these sectors “To play their part in working for better health…… and to assist these sectors in the development and delivery of initiatives that change as people go about their daily lives”.

Aim of Initiative

Who is it aimed at

Residnets and their families and friends

Steps critical to success

  1. Ideas from residents
  2. Volunteer participation.
  3. Voluntary participation by the individuals accessing initiatives.

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Working remotely due to Covid restrictions. Non-direct access unless in extreme circumstances.
  2. Members of the community’s access to and ability to use I.T. hardware and software.
  3. Reimagining and reworking traditional means and methods of engaging and working with members of the community including persons that were first time accessing services. Protecting and maintaining good

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. People in the community were not isolated and as such had improved outcomes for their health and well-being.
  2. Greater Inter-agency and community collaboration to achieve the best possible outcome for individuals and communities during unprecedented times. This included the development of Meals on Wheels to re
  3. Increased community cohesion and appreciation of community development projects and programs that are continually supporting their communities.

Evaluation / Report:

Eleanor Moore (Principal Community Worker)