Back to ‘normal’ or time for radical change? Send us your views and win a prize

Back to ‘normal’ or time for radical change? Send us your views and win a prize

Back to ‘normal’ or time for radical change? Send us your views and win a prize

What would you say to the parties forming the next government?

New deadline of Friday, May 29th at 5pm – see below

 

By William Hederman

As politicians from three parties sit down in a room in Dublin this week – socially distanced – to thrash out a programme for government, it’s likely there will be a big focus on getting things ‘back to normal’ as quickly as public health considerations will allow. But is a return to the old normal what we need? Or is this a once-in-a-generation opportunity to find new ways of organising our society and economy?

The Covid-19 crisis has been traumatic, bringing tragedy and distress to many people. But the crisis and the lockdown have also brought changes that may be worth holding on to. As Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party try to plan our collective futures, Clare PPN would like to hear your views on what they or any other grouping that emerges should be prioritising. We will publish submissions and there will be prizes of €50 vouchers for meals from local restaurants. Read on to find out more.

Covid-19 has transformed Ireland and Clare like nothing in living memory. The tourism and hospitality sectors, and much of retail, have shut down. Huge numbers of people in Clare have lost their jobs. This is a very stressful and difficult time for many, especially those who have lost loved ones, those who have lost their jobs or businesses and people living in isolation or in direct provision. There is huge uncertainty about what the future holds – for tourism, live music, sport. Some businesses may not reopen. Many of us will have to retrain.

Are there silver linings?
However, without in any way minimising the huge stresses, fears and grief this crisis has caused, there have been some silver linings around the dark cloud of Covid-19. The crisis has brought us together and has revealed the great strength in community. People are learning new technologies and finding new ways to do things. Many more people are growing their own food – organisations such as Irish Seed Savers in Scariff have been overwhelmed with orders.

The pandemic has also forced society to recognise the huge value of the work done by those in the health sector, carers, shop workers and others. It has also revealed that things we were told were impossible are possible after all – the use of private hospitals for public healthcare being just one example.

The global lockdown has also had huge environmental benefits. Cleaner air resulted in some 11,000 fewer deaths from pollution in Europe in April. Greenhouse gas emissions have fallen dramatically and wildlife is returning to areas they had fled long ago. The Government’s decisive response to Covid-19 has been contrasted to its years of foot-dragging on climate action. It turns out we can follow scientific warnings and take radical action to save lives, even if that means less economic output.

What the parties have proposed
Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s joint document published in mid-April commits to working “towards a consensus on a united island”; plans for affordable housing and a new deal for renters; expanded universal healthcare; no rises in income tax or USC and no cuts to core social welfare rates.

Among the Green Party’s ‘red lines’ for entering government talks is a yearly reduction of 7% in greenhouse gas emissions, which climate scientists have warned is needed to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. The party has also demanded the scrapping of the Shannon LNG fracked gas terminal on the Shannon Estuary.

Sinn Féin’s general election manifesto proposed abolishing Universal Social Charge on the first €30,000 earned; building 100,000 council homes over five years; opening 1,500 hospital beds and providing free GP care; giving people the right to retire at 65; and cutting the cost of childcare.

Solidary-People Before Profit pledged to hold a referendum to make housing a constitutional right, to build 100,000 homes over five years and a rent freeze; to push for a health service that is free at the point of use; free public transport for all and to shift the carbon tax towards big polluters.

Labour’s manifesto proposed building 80,000 homes over five years, a rent cap and rent freeze; the roll-out of Sláintecare and free GP care for under-18s; introducing more protections for casual workers and converting the minimum wage to a living wage.

Sláintecare was also central to the Social Democrats’ manifesto, as well abolishing home care waiting lists; building 100,000 homes over five years; trialling a four-day working week; ending the State subsidy for fee-paying schools; and encouraging community energy schemes.

What would you do?
So, if you could sit down – socially distanced – with the negotiators from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party, or the other parties if they end up around the table what would you say to them? What new measures would you like to see in response to the crisis? Should they be striving to return things as close to the old ‘normal’ as possible or is this the time for a major rethink? What are the positive aspects of the lockdown and of the response to the crisis you’d like to see maintained?

Hundreds of thousands of people have switched to remote working – should this be continued? Could a four-day week become the new normal? Should Shannon Airport be bailed out and supported or should Clare be preparing for a post-air travel world by diversifying into new industries? Is it time for a universal basic income? Should we get rid of the Leaving Cert for good?

Even before coronavirus, sectors such as farming were already in crisis. Can a new approach to agriculture give farmers a decent living, protect the environment and make Ireland more food secure?

What about Clare’s musicians and arts sector? They have already been organising events, exhibitions and workshops online – what does the future look like for them? Any ideas?

Please send us your views on what Clare – and Ireland – needs now. Tell us what you would like to say to the parties forming a government or what you think is worth keeping from our experiences during this crisis.

Please keep your submissions to less than 350 words. Alternatively, you can submit a video of no more than 2 minutes. We’ve extended the deadline – email us by 5pm on Friday, May 29th, at newsletter@clareppn.ie

We will publish submissions on our website and social media and they will go into a draw for prizes. For Clare PPN meetings, we usually pay for refreshments or room hire and we get to hear what people think of whats happening in the world. We‘re really missing those interactions and so on this occasion, for each of the four people drawn out of a hat, we’ll buy a €50 voucher at a local restaurant or takeaway of your choice – helping to support local business.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Message from Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support – 11th May

Update for PPN Members

This is another note to let you know that there are a few communications updates for you.

Research – Public Opinion Survey

Some interesting insights to share in the attached link conducted by the Department of Health – here is a link to a report on this published yesterday

https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/6b4401-view-the-amarach-public-opinion-survey/

HoldFirm – the HSE’s new campaign
Information on the HSE’s new campaign called HoldFirm, launching tomorrow (9th May 2020, just before 6pm) can be found here including details on how you and your organisation can help support the campaign and share the message. Campaign assets are also available here filed under HoldFirm assets’.

Wellbeing ‘In This Together’
The campaign this week incorporates a Leaving Certificate wellbeing page.  We appreciate your continued support of this campaign under the #InThisTogether

Other Resources/Campaigns:

The Government’s roadmap for reopening society and business can be found here.

The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) urges anyone with signs and symptoms of cancer to telephone their GP in this new video available here.

The Irish Hospice Foundation Covid-19 Care & Inform Hub includes a range of information resources and videos focusing on the themes of grief, funerals in exceptional times, planning ahead and a suite of resources for healthcare professionals. It can be found here.

Cancer awareness campaign for anyone with potential signs and symptoms of cancer – The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) launched a campaign urging anyone with potential signs and symptoms of cancer to telephone their GP to check them out. The number of patients being referred to cancer diagnostic services has decreased since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic which is a cause of concern for the NCCP as it indicates that people with symptoms of cancer are delaying seeking medical advice. A video was developed urging people with signs and symptoms of cancer to telephone their GP and have them checked out.

Men and COVID-19’ Webinar – an invitation – The Engage National Men’s Health Training Programme partners have invited Alan White, Emeritus Professor of Men’s Health at Leeds Beckett University, to present insights into ‘Men and experience of COVID-19’.   The presentation will include current evidence and a Q&A afterwards.  To book a place, send an email to Colin Fowler at colin@mhfi.org    Places are limited and offered on a first-come-first-served basis. one hour online webinar will take place on Wednesday 13th May 2020 at 11.00am.

AMRIC Education Programme On the 1st May 2020, the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Home Visits webinar took place. Information for this webinar, as well as other webinars can be found here.

Dusk Chorus – Creative Aging International have come together with Sing Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy of Music to bring you Dusk Chorus. The idea is simple, easy and free and may involve a neighbourhood group or joining a local choir and connection through song. There is an opportunity to rehearse online, on the phone, at the front gate, or on the local street.  Part of the Bealtaine Festival – events and full programme here 

Age & Opportunity To help during the pandemic, Age & Opportunity developed a range of resources on building resilience, keeping active and getting creative which can be found on: https://ageandopportunity.ie/covid/

Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s National Helpline – this helpline is expanding with a new free call-back service which offers people with dementia and family carers from anywhere in Ireland the opportunity to book a 1:1 session with a Dementia Nurse or a Dementia Adviser during the COVID-19 public health emergency. People with dementia and their family carers who want to avail of this new service can contact the National Helpline to make an appointment which is open six days a week Monday to Friday 10am–5pm and Saturday 10am–4pm on 1800 341 341

 

If your organisation has any specific requests in relation to COVID-19 public health information materials, please email us at Partner.Pack@hse.ie to let us know.

Invitation to AMRIC Team  COVID-19 IPC  webinar

  • Topic: COVID-19  Infection Control guidance for Vulnerable Group Settings
  • Presented by: Prof.  Martin Cormican  (National HCAI Clinical Lead) & Mary McKenna,  IPC (Nursing Lead AMRIC Team)
  • Date and time : Thursday, May 14th from  5pm – 6.15pm

Pre-register for the event by copying the attached link to internet browser  and follow the instructions:  You can listen to the webinar over the computer but sound quality is better over the phone:  Irish dial in number by telephone: 015260058 Access code:  952371938

Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

Message from Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support – 22nd April

Update for PPN Members

We wish to thank you for your ongoing support in helping to share information about COVID-19. This is a note to let you know of a few communications updates.

Cocooning video
We have added a video explaining cocooning which can be easily shared to our video resources.

15 minutes of daily activity and fitness – running daily
In support of people cocooning at this time, RTE has launched a 15 minute programme to help older people to keep active at home. It will be broadcast daily on RTÉ One at 2.20pm. It will help viewers who are at home and some in self-isolation or cocooning and will offer tips, especially to older viewers, on how to keep healthy and happy.  Fitness 15 will be hosted Monday to Friday at 2.20 PM on with Ray Lally, the Today Show fitness expert, and Dáithí Ó Sé.

Resources for people with dementia, their families and carers
Online resources for people dementia, their families and carers and a booklet of activities which can be carried out at home have also been added.

Irish sign language videos
Irish Sign Language videos are available online here . There are five videos, each covering a different section of the COVID-19 information booklet.

Mental Wellbeing Campaign
Also, a reminder about the Mental Wellbeing campaign recently launched. The campaign offers support and resources for people to help deal with the stress, isolation and helps people maintain wellbeing and cope at home during this time. The campaign is running on all National and Local radio channels, as well as across social and digital platforms. The website is www.gov.ie/together and the hashtag is #Together. We welcome your support on this and branding is available to all stakeholders creating messages in this space. The link to the radio ads is here: https://soundcloud.com/user-992575667/sets/getting-through-covid-19-together

Staying Well Apart
RTE are producing a 4 week programme series of Operation Transformation Staying Well Apart going out on Wednesday evenings at 9.30 in RTE 1 as a response to the need to help people cope with staying at home/cocooning at this time. The Gov.ie/together campaign is linking in with RTE to assist with this strategy and messaging.

We would be grateful if you would let us know if your organisation has any specific requests or urgent needs in relation to Coronavirus COVID-19 public health information materials.  If you do, please email us at Partner.Pack@hse.ie to let us know. Thank you to those of you who have already been in touch.  Thank you again in advance for your support at this important time.

Covid-19 Health Communications Stakeholder Support

Covid-19 Domestic Abuse Response

Covid 19 – Domestic Abuse Response – Clare

Covid 19 – Domestic Abuse Response – Clare

The lockdown has sadly led to an increase in reports of domestic abuse. Below is some useful information and contact details, from Clare Women’s Network.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

2km restrictions on movement do not apply to a person seeking safety from harm or essential services – further information available at: http://www.justice.ie/en/jelr/pages/pr20000055

CLARE HAVEN

Clare Haven Services 24 Hour Helpline: 065 6822435

Outreach Clinics for Shannon, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Killaloe and Scariff are now taking place over the phone. Email: clientcare@clarehaven.ie to make an appointment

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA

Ennis Garda Station: 065 6848100

If someone is in immediate danger call Gardaí on 999 or 112

WOMEN’S AID

National 24 Hour Freephone Helpline 1800 341900

Language Interpretation Services 1800 341900

Women’s Aid Online Chat – womensaid.ie

For Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing Women 8am – 8pm Text 087 9597980

SAFE IRELAND

Access To Helplines And Services Throughout Ireland
https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/

Safe Ireland – Safety Information
https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/safety-information/

Safe Ireland – Types Of Supports Available
https://www.safeireland.ie/get-help/what-types-of-support-are-available/

Information on services and supports available at
https://www.stillhere.ie/