Wicklow County Council and its staff have found innovate ways of supporting the community throughout the county during the COVID-19 Lockdown.
Those efforts are being highlighted on Twitter with the hashtag #YourCouncilDay on Wednesday 1st July. This is an initiative that promotes and highlights the projects and services carried out by Wicklow County Council to develop and support our community.
Amongst the projects and services put in place were:
Wicklow Community Call Helpline
Wicklow County Council has set up the County Wicklow Community Call Helpline to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our communities, especially those cocooning. The Response team provided a central point for individuals wishing to volunteer and put in place a robust process to:
- Coordinate community activity
- Direct community assistance to where it is needed
- Ensure that those most vulnerable are enabled to stay safe
Home Schooling Assistance
Wicklow County Library Service has provided two valuable online supports for children in the community who may benefit from extra back-up with their literacy, during this time of Covid-19 school closures. Both programmes are regularly recommended by educational psychologists and very often cannot be accessed because of the expense involved.
The first of the programmes is TTRS or Touch, Type, Read and Spell which is a multi-sensory online programme, that aims to build literacy skills in children, as they master the art of keyboarding. Users hear, read, type and spell over 5,000 words as part of the programme and as a result improve their literacy and self-esteem.
The second programme is Lexia – again, often prescribed by educational psychologists as an aid for children with a diagnosis of dyslexia or other reading delays. This programme is a reading based programme that offers students the chance to work independently at their own pace, to develop their reading skills.
Bray Positivity Stones
“Positivity Stones” which aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing are being used to drive home this important message on Bray beach. The temporary ground graphics are one of a number of simple actions being implemented across the town to promote the “Unity in the Community” message in these uncertain times
The first positivity stones were added to Bray beach during Connect Ballywaltrim’s 24 Hour Youth Marathon last summer which was hosted by Connect Bray Neighbourhood Youth Project. The initiative is supported by Connect Bray Neighbourhood Youth Project, Be Well Bray, Comhairle na nÓg, Wicklow County Council and Bray.ie.
Cllr Anne Ferris of Bray Municipal District said: “The new ground graphic installations are currently being installed and can be seen throughout some of the main public spaces around the town.”
Dunlavin Fire Brigade Delivery Service
In mid-March Derek Ryan of Dunlavin Fire Brigade, with the permission of Wicklow County Fire Service, set up and runs a delivery service in his fire response area, covering the villages, Dunlavin, Donard, Grangecon, and surrounding areas. Vital medication and grocery supplies are delivered in the fire service van, to coccooners and people that have to isolate, so as to ease any concerns that people may have about a strange vehicle arriving at their homes. To date, over 540 deliveries have been made.
Wicklow Together Apart
A new initiative from Wicklow County Council is setting out to create a “People’s Archive” to capture and share photos, stories and experiences of Wicklow life 2020 and all are invited to participate.
Whether you are at home cocooning, remote working, home-schooling children or providing an essential service to keep society functioning, the “Together Apart: Wicklow 2020 Stories” would love to record your experiences. For many, being compelled to “Stay Home to Stay Safe” has awakened a new curiosity in local heritage, history and nature; others have learned new skills, rediscovered creative talents and taken up new hobbies.
If it is queues at your local supermarket, yoga in the kitchen, wildlife in your garden or proud baking achievements, your photographs and first-hand observations can really capture the moment and create a powerful record for future generations.