Donegal Family Resource Centres will play a vital role in the battle against Covid-19 in the lead up to Halloween

Ten centres in the county have played a key role working on the ground supporting communities

Donegal Family Resource Centres will play a vital role in the battle against Covid-19 in the lead up to Halloween

As the country continues to adapt to Level 5 restrictions, Family Resource Centres in Donegal will continue to play a vital role in promoting important Covid-19 public safety recommendations and advice amongst harder-to-reach communities in the build up to Halloween.

That’s according to the Family Resource Centre National Forum (FRCNF), who this week launched a new report outlining the historical, current, and potential future development of the National Family Resource Centre Programme.

Clare Cashman, chairperson of FRCNF said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the ten Family Resource Centres in Donegal have played a key role working on the ground supporting communities.

"As we have seen in recent weeks, the Covid-19 crisis has not gone away, and the work of Family Resource Centres is critical as the country moves to tighter restrictions.

"Coming up to Halloween, people in Donegal will be tempted to socialise, to let their children have a “normal” Halloween celebration or let their guard fall which may inadvertently result in the spread of Covid-19.

"A key focus for FRCs over the next few weeks will be to help make sure that the public health guidelines and up-to-date restrictions are communicated effectively with all members of society.

“During the initial lockdown period earlier this year, FRCs experienced an increase in the number of people seeking mental health support and food and essential home supplies.

"They received more calls from migrant communities, including those in direct provision. The increase in demand came from many new people who had never used FRC services before, such as older people cocooning and people asking for food.

“FRCs will continue to play a key role in supporting communities by broadening our range of services and responding to the direct needs of some of our most vulnerable in society, we can effectively communicate the changing public health advice and provide vital supports.”

Digital Toolkit for FRCs

The FRCNF have launched the ‘Our Story’ report. The report locates the work of Family Resources Centres within current Government policy and demonstrates how the centres work with individuals, families and communities responding to locally identified needs.

As part of today’s report publication, the FRCNF launched a new digital toolkit aimed at equipping Family Resource Centres with online resources to support our communities to stay safe this Halloween by following Covid-19 guidelines.

Commenting on the toolkit, Clare Cashman said: “The past number of months has cemented the FRCs role as important messengers for public health advice and guidelines in light of Covid-19.

"The digital toolkit we are providing is a helpful resource for all 121 FRCs around the country to enable them to communicate this important information using social media locally to try and keep our communities safe during these difficult times.”

The Family Resource Centre programme has been in operation for over 25 years. Further information is available at www.familyresource.ie.

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