COVID 19 March 2020 Update

We will be using this page to promote sources of support, local and national, in alignment with our usual work. All of our staff are currently working from home and we will endeavour to deliver our services remotely as far as we can. If you need any help accessing these supports online, or you know someone who does, we can be contacted on the phone.

Contact Our Team

Office – 02770998 Mobile: 0831599748

Aideen – Supports for Older People & Care Ring 0860560319

Claire – 0860223398

Natalie – Family Support 0867806093

Social Welfare Links and Contacts

Covid 19 Illness Payment If you are self isolating on the recomendation of your doctor or you are ill with Covid 19 and therefore not going to work this will apply to you.

If you have been laid off due to the economic impact pandemic but you are not symptomatic or self isolating you should complete the one page form. This applies to casual workers and those who are self employed, students and non EEA nationals are also eligible for this emergency, flat rate, 6-week payment of 350 euro/week.

The above forms are also available in hard copy from the Post Office in Castletownbere. You can also contact the DEASP who have a specific helpline for calls concerning Coivd-19. The DEASP are now recommending that those applying for this payment also complete the UP1 form if they have been laid off.

If your working hours have been reduced due to the economic impact of the pandemic you may be eligible for Short Time Work Support which is a form of unemployment benefit and can be applied for via the UP1.

DEASP Income Support Helpline for COVID-19

This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by COVID-19. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances and provide information on how to make an application.Phone:012481398,  1890800024

Note–:The rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary.

Citizens Information are operating from their base in Bantry – they are continuing to deal with queries on the phone via their helpline and will post forms out to you. 0761076390 or email:

Managing your money during the crisis will be a cause of concern to many and there are evolving supports being put in place by the government. MABS have an excellent guide and a blog their National Helpline is 0761076000

Businesses and Farms

Do you run a local business? Contact your Local Enterprise Office for emergency business advice, mentoring and supports around Covid-19. Sign up for online trainings to help your business innovate and avail of the available government supports. 02243235/0238834700 are posting very regular updates on news that pertains to farmers as the situation is changing swiftly.

The IFA have a comprehensive guide relating to COVID-19 and specialist contacts ready to take your questions.

Self Isolating?

If you are required to self-isolate and you need practical help or a listening ear in isolation, our staff can help. One of our regular services to combat rural isolation, especially amonst older people, is our Care Ring. If you have a friend, family member or neighbour who is perhaps less confident online and may appreciate a regualr, friendly and reassuring call from a support worker, call or text Aideen on 086056031

Beara West Family Resource Centre are in touch with voluntary agencies including the Castletownbere Development Association, St. Vincent De Paul, Beara, Bere Island Projects, and GAA clubs in Castletownbere and Urhan who may also be able to offer you support. Local Link Cork are offering delivery services from pharmacies.

The CDA have volunteers supporting Supervalu’s delivery service across Beara. Anyone restricted in any way due to COVID19 may contact them on facebook.
Anyone who wants to help- send your number to Viktorija on 0862510312 and we’ll add you to our volunteer WhatsApp group.

There is a great offer of community help and local essential busnesses, retailers, pharmacies, restaurants/takeaways are doing an incredible job to make sure we can all continue to access what we need and keep well, even if we have to remain in our homes. If you are unsure of who to approach for help, give us a call. 02770998

Minding Your Mental Health

These are unsettling times and we could probably all do with some tips to navigate them and try to keep ourselves well. The HSE have clear advice here Mind Your Mental Health Again, if you feel like you need a listening ear, call our office number on 02770998 – the principles of confidentiality that apply to our face-to-face service remain when speaking on the phone. National Supports are collated on the poster to download below.

Local Things To Do!

Although we are socially distanced there is a huge variety of local initiatives to keep adults and children occupied, supplied by local businesses and individuals innovating! We are in the process of finishing our Wellbeing Newsletter and will be updating information regularly. Being involved in local communities, online, will help us feel together when we are physically apart.

Talking to Young Children About Covid-19

This is a fabulous resource for small children who will be detecting the general anxiety as the situation evolves.

If you can safely facilitate them seeing their friends and extended family on videocalls this is ideal.

Remember, unstructured play and physical activity (2 hours/day for the under 10s) is important, not every moment has to be organised, but having a broad plan or routine will help everyone stay occupied and less anxious.

Why not get the kids to write your new home school rules – they could come up with some great ideas and get to practice putting it in their own words!

If you have primary school-age children … learning at home might be the new normal until the summer! Why not get them to name your homeschool and design a logo, and get them to think with you what the learning day might look like and what some of the ground rules might be!?