COPE Galway will launch their #HelpingGalwayCope campaign on Thursday 28 May. The campaign asks people to post a favourite image of Galway on their social media channels and make a donation, as a way to raise vital funds for older persons, homeless and domestic abuse services in the city.
“We are seeking to increase awareness of our services for those who may require them and to request donations which will enable us to continue with our essential support services, which are helping so many others to cope right now,” Jacquie Horan, CEO, COPE Galway said.
With fundraising efforts restricted, donations are now absolutely crucial to the ongoing provision of these supports. Funds go directly toward helping COPE Galway to provide essential services to vulnerable people in Galway. Their frontline teams are actively supporting older people with meals, calls and outreach, individuals and families who are homeless and women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
Sharon Fitzpatrick, Head of Development, COPE Galway said, “We are hugely appreciative of the support that the Galway community has always shown for COPE Galway, and we are asking everyone who can, to please continue to help by sharing this campaign to let people know that our doors are open and that help is at hand for those who need it. Every euro donated to this campaign will be used by COPE Galway to support vulnerable individuals and families in our community during this challenging time.”
Find out more at copegalway.ie/helping-galway-cope/ and follow #HelpingGalwayCope on all social media channels.
More about COPE Galway’s work during COVID-19
Support for Older People
COPE Galway’s Senior Support Service team continues to provide vital support to older people in Galway during this crisis. This includes staffing a helpline, a meal service and practical support such as shopping assistance. They made hundreds of calls to older residents of the city and county when the lockdown was announced, to check on their requirements and to provide assurance that they were on the other end of the phone if they felt lonely, needed medication, shopping, a meal or just a chat.
“We first phoned every older person known to us across our services, over 200, before opening up the helpline up to the public. For the people we’re supporting during the Covid-19 crisis, practical stuff like trying to organise shopping, getting their prescriptions, organising fuel – all these are a real challenge for them. We’ve been picking up and supporting them as much as we can. With the initial call, we gave everyone the option of a weekly check-in call if they wanted that. Now, as well as having the Older People Helpline available to anyone who needs support, we are also regularly phoning over 35-40 people to check-in, chat and see if they need anything, some don’t have family to help.” Noelle Jennings, Community Support Worker, COPE Galway, Senior Support Services.
“At COPE Galway, we support independence, rather than make anyone feel that their independence has been taken from them. In 2019 we delivered over 61,000 fresh ready meals to Galway residents and since the outbreak of Coronavirus, we have been busier than ever. But it is wonderful to be able to help and to know that people who might otherwise not get a good meal are having their nutritional needs supported.” Geraldine Ryan, Manager, Community Catering, COPE Galway.
Domestic Abuse Services
“We want to appeal to anyone who would like support to give us a call. This enforced isolation can help to identify controlling behaviour. If anyone feels uncomfortable or are unsure, just call. Sometimes one phone call can be enough. For anyone who may require refuge, our new premises at Modh Eile House will be available from next week. Self-contained apartments allow for social distancing, there is an outdoor and indoor play area for children, a separate area for teenagers plus a garden where you can go for walks. We will continue to provide full services including one-to-one counselling and a safe place for all families and women of all ages.” Ciara Tyrrell, Senior Childcare Worker, Domestic Abuse Services, COPE Galway.
COPE Galway provides a 24 hour dedicated domestic abuse helpline for anyone in need of free and confidential support (091) 565 985.
You won’t see Dave Byrne in a bright yellow vest patrolling the streets of the city. Dave and his colleagues are out from 7am providing discreet, daily check-ins with those sleeping out during this crisis. They urge people to drop in for a cup of tea or coffee, lunch or just a chat.
“We explain the need for social distancing and reassure them that our door is still open if they’d like assistance or a place to sleep. In our homeless services we provide food, shelter, twice daily temperature checks and have a GP and a nurse available once a week.” Dave Byrne, Homeless Resource Worker, COPE Galway.
“It’s important to keep people calm and safe, let them know that they are not alone and help is at hand. Our team made a decision at the beginning that we are all in this together. We put aside our own worries, put on a happy smile and help clients to feel brave and confident.” Donna O’Neill, Manager, Fairgreen Hostel for Homeless Men, COPE Galway