Age Action and Irish Red Cross launch COVID-19 Hardship Fund

Full information on Age Action Ireland website.

Helping Older People who are Most In-Need

What: Age Action has launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in conjunction with the Irish Red Cross to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Why: Age Action and the Irish Red Cross know that some older people in vulnerable situation and at the highest risk of the corona virus will need additional supports over the coming weeks, particularly as they are now required to cocoon to protect themselves and others. This scheme is designed to provide immediate practical relief to assist in alleviating the hardships they experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How: Age Action and the Irish Red Cross has raised funds to provide additional assistance to older and vulnerable people around Ireland who are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by making once-off grants, up to a maximum of €500, per person/household affected.

Who Can Apply: Older people in need of assistance, family members supporting an older person and carers of older people, social workers and local voluntary organisations or community groups providing direct assistance to individuals within this target group.

What Can I Apply For: Any practical needs that are adding to your hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased social distancing restrictions of cocooning for over 70s. This can include costs of the following examples and other needs as they arise within the scope of this fund;

  • Small household maintenance, repairs and safety improvements
  • Food and basic provisions and associated delivery costs
  • Upgraded or New Small Appliances (fridge, freezer, washing machine, TV, cooker, etc.)
  • Providing Digital Technology Equipment, for example smart phones or tablets
  • Contribution towards increased energy costs or telephone bills
  • Contribution towards additional home or personal security costs
  • Contribution towards additional travel costs for essential reasons (medical appointments, etc.)

How Do I Apply: The COVID-19 Hardship Fund Application Form is available HERE or you can contact our offices to request a form by contacting us at;

Email: hardship2020@redcross.ie

Phone: Irish Red Cross at 01 6424600 or Age Action at 01 475 6989

Please ensure that you clearly outline the need for which you are applying, how the grant will alleviate hardship and what it will be used for and details of the costs (up to a maximum of €500).

Posted in Community Alerts, COVID-19 | Leave a comment

Survey of voluntary, community and sporting groups

A dedicated community support helpline of 1800 250 185 and email contact covidsupport@waterfordcouncil.ie have been established in Waterford City and County to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency.

To that end, we are requesting voluntary, community and sporting  groups who are providing services to vulnerable citizens to complete this online survey:

This will provide us with a complete database of groups across city & county who are providing services to assist the most vulnerable in Waterford City & County.

The information will enable us to link citizens with groups providing essential services and to identify where the gaps in services are. Our aim is to ensure that all our vulnerable citizens are looked after in these difficult times.  If you are already providing a service in your local community or parish or mobilising to start such a service, we would be grateful if you would complete the survey now.

Please note that information submitted will only be used for the purposes of co-ordinating community volunteers during the Covid 19 crisis. Any queries regarding the use of personal data should be referred to dataprotection@waterfordcouncil.ie 

A sincere thank you for your ongoing work and especially to those providing services to those most in need at this time.

Posted in Community Alerts, Council News, COVID-19, Expressions of Interest Sought | Leave a comment

Survey of voluntary, community and sporting groups

A dedicated community support helpline of 1800 250 185 and email contact covidsupport@waterfordcouncil.ie have been established in Waterford City and County to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency.

To that end, we are requesting voluntary, community and sporting  groups who are providing services to vulnerable citizens to complete this online survey:

This will provide us with a complete database of groups across city & county who are providing services to assist the most vulnerable in Waterford City & County.

The information will enable us to link citizens with groups providing essential services and to identify where the gaps in services are. Our aim is to ensure that all our vulnerable citizens are looked after in these difficult times.  If you are already providing a service in your local community or parish or mobilising to start such a service, we would be grateful if you would complete the survey now.

Please note that information submitted will only be used for the purposes of co-ordinating community volunteers during the Covid 19 crisis. Any queries regarding the use of personal data should be referred to dataprotection@waterfordcouncil.ie 

A sincere thank you for your ongoing work and especially to those providing services to those most in need at this time.

Posted in Community Alerts, Council News, COVID-19, Expressions of Interest Sought | Leave a comment

EIRE signs during “The Emergency”

During the Emergency period of World War II,  several ÉIRE signs were constructed with painted stones to alert pilots from either side that they were flying over neutral Ireland.

A great website to show these locations has been created and is available at http://eiremarkings.org/

The Heritage Council have also just launched a new Eire signs map on www.heritagemaps.ie, which features a map of Lookout Posts (LOPs).

Check back tomorrow at 8pm for another built heritage article featuring the “Lookout posts of County Waterford”.

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Free Parking available for Essential and Front-line services

In our efforts to support all people who are providing essential services in Waterford City Centre and Dungarvan Town Centre, all Waterford City & County Council operated parking facilities will be free of charge until midnight of 11th April 2020.

We ask people to park responsibly, to continue to obey normal parking rules and never to impede emergency vehicle access.

Posted in Community Alerts, COVID-19, Roads / Parking | Leave a comment

Clarification on the operation of Planning System during COVID-19 Emergency

CONTINUITY OF PLANNING SERVICES

Despite the current COVID 19 emergency, Waterford City & County Council continues to provide a range of planning services including the processing and determining of planning applications, as well as associated public submissions/observations.

To enable the continued delivery of planning services, and to facilitate public engagement in the process during the COVID 19 emergency, changes have now been made to planning legislation to provide for a three week extension of time for already commenced public consultation periods, for compliance with any requests/directions made by the planning authority and for the determination of all current planning applications. These new legislative provisions are modelled on an existing and long-established provision of the Act which applies in normal circumstances every year over the Christmas period.

It is important to stress that the effect of the activation of this provision does not freeze the planning system, rather it extends the timelines within which public submissions can be received and within which planning decisions can be made.

While our public counters have been temporarily closed on the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team, applicants can continue to lodge planning applications by post and the public can view those applications online at: http://www.waterfordcouncil.ie/departments/planning/planning-enquiries/online-planning-enquiries.htm

Members of the public can continue to make submissions by post or by email using the following email address: planning@waterfordcouncil.ie and should in all instances provide contact telephone numbers to enable the planning authority to verify their submissions and to make arrangements for the payment of any associated fees.

In addition, submissions by applicants for planning permission (such as responses to requests for further information) that would normally be presented at the public counters can now be submitted by email and will then be processed in the normal way.

Face-to-face pre-planning meetings with prospective applicants have been temporarily suspended but our District Planners will continue to engage in pre-planning consultations by email and telephone with those who have completed and submitted the form which is available on our website at: http://www.waterfordcouncil.ie/media/forms/planning/English/PDF/PrePlanningApplicationForm-2020.pdf

TEMPORARY PLANNING EXEMPTIONS

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has also introduced two specific temporary planning exemptions to deal with issues arising specifically as a result of the current COVID 19 emergency. These are:

a) For the period of the emergency, the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and the associated Regulations will not apply to certain classes of development by or on behalf of a State authority. This may include the change of use and repurposing of existing buildings and facilities, and/or the provision of temporary new-build accommodation and structures to address the COVID-19 civil emergency.

b) A change in use from a premises selling food for consumption on the premises to one providing food for consumption off the premises, during the period of the emergency, will be considered an exempt development.

USEFUL LINKS AND FURTHER DETAILED CLARIFICATION

The following documents provide clarifications on the operation of the planning system during the current COVID-19 emergency:-

Posted in Council Business, COVID-19, Planning | Leave a comment

Business Continuity Voucher with LEO Waterford

Minister Humphreys introduces new measure as part of COVID-19 Business Supports Package

The new Business Continuity Voucher is now available through Local Enterprise Offices and is open to sole traders and companies across every business sector that employ up to 50 people, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. has announced (March 25).

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

Making the announcement, Minister Humphreys T.D. said: “I know this is still a very worrying time for all businesses. And as part of the package of supports that I announced earlier in the month, I am making a €2,500 voucher available through the Local Enterprise Offices from today to enable enterprises to avail of vital business continuity advice, to assist them with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. “

She added, “The voucher will give companies access to contingency planning advice that will help them continue trading through this crisis and to be ready for the recovery phase, when it comes. This voucher will also assist enterprises to prepare a business case for application to emergency financial interventions that are available through the Banks, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland or through Microfinance Ireland”.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, welcomed the new support package. “This is a critical time for small businesses. While businesses are, understandably, caught up in the here and now, this scheme will support companies to make sound, informed decisions on the immediate measures needed to continue to trade in this challenging environment and develop a strategy to assure future business viability.”

“Amongst other things, the Business Continuity Voucher will also include measures such as preparing a business case for application to emergency funding, reducing costs, implementing remote working procedures and exploring supply chain financing options. I would urge small business in Waterford, regardless of their industry or sector, to apply for this voucher. Local Enterprise Office Waterford will work with all businesses to provide practical and pragmatic contingency planning advice.”

The scheme is open to all types of businesses that employ up to 50 people. To apply, companies or sole traders fill out a short application form and submit it directly to Local Enterprise Office Waterford. When a company is issued with a voucher for third party consultancy, they begin working directly with a qualified expert, selected from existing Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland panels.

To apply for the Business Continuity Voucher, companies submit a short application form to their Local Enterprise Office. Forms are available to download from www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Response

Details of other business supports available from the Department of Enterprise, Business and Innovation can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/

ENDS

For further information:

Karen Cheevers
B2B Communications, 086 2300700

About the Business Continuity Voucher (through Local Enterprise Offices)

Sole traders and businesses*, employing up to 50 staff, are eligible to apply for a Business Continuity Voucher to the value of €2,500 towards third party consultancy costs to assist with developing short-term and long-term strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the voucher is to provide contingency planning advice to assist enterprises to continue trading through the crisis.

The primary aim of the scheme will be to support companies make informed decisions on the immediate measures needed to continue trading in the current environment while securing the safety of all employees and future business viability through identification of remedial actions.

The Business Continuity Voucher is available to support businesses:

i. Develop a business continuity plan

ii. Assess current financial needs in the short term to medium term

iii. Reduce variable costs, overheads and expenses,

iv. Review and explore supply chain financing options

v. Implement remote working processes or procedures

vi. Leverage HR expertise

vii. Leverage ICT expertise

viii. Prepare a business case for application to emergency financial interventions available through Banks, SBCI (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland) and Microfinance Ireland.

Application forms are available from www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Response and completed forms are submitted to the relevant Local Enterprise Office by e-mail.

Please note: The Business Continuity Voucher is available to all businesses employing up to 50 across all sectors. The applicant must be an Irish-owned enterprise with up to 50 employees. An application must be submitted in the name of a company registered with the Companies Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. Applications will also be accepted from Sole Traders and Partnerships.

Posted in Community Alerts, Departmental Press Release, Economic Development | Leave a comment

Dedicated Waterford Community Response Forum helpline now available

At the instigation of Minister Murphy, a Covid-19 Community Response Forum will be put in place for each City and County, and be coordinated by the Local Authority in each case.  The role of the forum is to ensure that there is a coordinated community response and to enable all voluntary statutory agencies to collaborate in support of our communities and particularly of our most vulnerable members.

A dedicated community support helpline of 1800 250 185 and email contact covidsupport@waterfordcouncil.ie have been established in Waterford City and County to assist at risk members of the public in accessing non-emergency and non-medical supports and advice during the current public health emergency.

The confidential phone service has been established by the new COVID-19 Waterford Community Response Forum (WRCF), which includes over a dozen agencies and organisations. The helpline is focused primarily on ensuring that vulnerable members of the community or those living alone can access deliveries of groceries, medicine and fuels.

Included in the COVID-19 Waterford Community Response Forum are:

  • Waterford City and County Council
  • Health Service Executive
  • An Garda Síochána
  • Waterford Area Partnership
  • Waterford Leader Partnership
  • ALONE
  • Waterford Age Friendly Alliance
  • Waterford Traveller CDP
  • Irish Farmers Association
  • Waterford Local Link
  • Waterford Age Friendly Alliance
  • Waterford Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • Waterford GAA County Board
  • An Post
  • Citizens Information Board
  • Red Cross
  • St Vincent de Paul

The new phone line 1800 250 185 is just one aspect of the Forum’s work. Its core aim is contributing to the community-wide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Waterford City and County Council, through this group, will ensure that the wide variety of groups working across the county and city to assist those in need, will do so in an organised, collaborative and targeted way.

Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council, Michael Walsh, explains “There are a number of agencies currently doing excellent work in delivering care to older and vulnerable people in our communities.These groups are currently operating independently of each other and our role in Waterford Council is to provide a targeted, integrated and coordinated approach to the delivery of these much needed services to our more vulnerable citizens across the City and County of Waterford during the COVID-19 pandemic. Waterford Council is ideally placed both statutorily and regionally to channel this great work and provide the governance structure in partnership with all stakeholders. This public health crisis has changed life for so many, and we are there to help with that change. Our own staff whose day-jobs have changed due to this crisis, will be a key resource in the management and operation of this community support programme along with our partner agencies/groups. Set to come into effect from Monday 30th March, we are providing a dedicated contact centre through our main contact number 1800 250 185 and covidsupport@waterfordcouncil.ie with the lines open from 8:00am to 8:00pm seven days a week.”.

Contact details of this new service will be promoted on all Waterford local newspapers, WLR, Garda Text Alerts, Waterford Council website www.waterfordcouncil.ie and our Twitter, MapAlerter service and Facebook pages. An information leaflet including the new freephone number and other information will be distributed around the city and county, particularly to vulnerable households, over the coming days.

ENDS

Posted in Community Alerts, Council News, COVID-19 | Leave a comment

Waterford Integrated Homeless Services update

Waterford Integrated Homeless Services (WIHS), based at 28 Parnell Street, Waterford will remain open during normal business hours to deal with homeless emergencies.

WIHS can be contacted directly at homelessservicesteam@waterfordcouncil.ie or on 0761 10 2499.

Posted in Community Alerts, Council News, COVID-19, Housing | Leave a comment