Volunteers who selflessly gave their time to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic have been recognised by the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan, Manager of the Cork Volunteer Centre Adam Lacy and Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey with more than 120 guests in attendance at a very special event to coincide with National Volunteer Week 2022.
Cork County Council joined local authorities from across the country in a series of nationwide events to promote and highlight the unique value and contribution of volunteers to Irish society.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said, “It was amazing to see how quickly communities, groups and individual volunteers came together in March of 2020. They ensured that the most vulnerable and those in need received support despite the risk posed by the virus. The volunteers we are recognising provided a most critical role on the ground in every town and village in County Cork. They queued outside supermarkets picking up the weekly shopping for neighbours, they delivered food parcels, fuel and meals-on-wheels, and became a vital lifeline for those who were cocooning or living alone.”
Local authorities, Public Participation Networks and volunteer organisations were asked to nominate the people from their communities who made a contribution during the pandemic through a dedicated Volunteer Ireland nomination web portal established by Minister of State in the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’ Brien TD. A wide range of nominations were received on behalf of individuals and groups including sports clubs, meals on wheels, branches of the Red Cross and Civil Defence. The event also included representatives from Cork County Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Programme, a multi-agency forum bringing together representatives of both Statutory and Voluntary agencies operating across Cork County, established early in the pandemic to provide commitment and consistency in terms of service delivery for those most in need.
Manager of the Cork Volunteer Centre Adam Lacy, who joined Mayor Coughlan in presenting special commemorative pins and letters of recognition to the nominated volunteers said, "While the pandemic presented a plethora of new challenges for community groups across Cork, we also saw a tremendous number of people stepping up to offer their support. We applaud all volunteers for their efforts through these trying times, and our thanks go to Cork County Council, and the Department of Rural and Community Development for recognising the efforts of these worthy volunteers."
The event was held at Cork County Hall and was organised in conjunction with the Cork Volunteer Centre with support from the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “Our Covid-19 Community Support Programme was incredibly effective throughout the pandemic. It brought together a wide variety of statutory and voluntary groups in County Cork to help those in need in a collaborative and targeted way. Almost 10,000 requests were made to the support programme with people looking for assistance with collecting groceries, meals, medical and health needs, social isolation and delivering library books. The volunteers who answered the call and stepped up were central to its success and once again shows what can be achieved when we all work together.”