28 Jan 2022

Irish Red Cross appeal for volunteers as demand for services increase

The organisation say they have seen a 7,500% increase in demand for services due to the pandemic.

Irish Red Cross appeal for volunteers as demand for services increase

At the Irish Red Cross call for new volunteers were in front Justine Bellew, at back Kate Traynor, Graham Ross charity partner Lottoland Ireland and Aaron Taylor

Irish Red Cross is appealing to volunteers in Tipperary for their family and community services.

The organisation say they have seen a 7,500% increase in demand for services due to the pandemic.

The demand is primarily in rural areas for home visits to the elderly and vulnerable households.

Chair of the Irish Red Cross, Pat Carey, said volunteers are essential to meeting the demand.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Irish Red Cross, connecting communities all across Ireland. We couldn't continue our work without their vital contribution," said Mr Carey.

The Irish Red Cross have 134 volunteers in Tipperary.

In the community, volunteers do home visits and take people for Covid-19 testing and transport for non-emergency care like chemotherapy and dental appointments.

They also provide first aid training, youth services migration, lake and mountain rescue and humanitarian relief overseas.

The Irish Red Cross has made almost 1,000 patient transfers nationwide since March 2020.

"By giving their time and skills to helping provide essential services in times of crisis, they impact the lives of so many vulnerable people every year. We are calling on the public now, to join us in our efforts, and ask you to please contact the Irish Red Cross today about becoming a volunteer", said Mr Carey.

Before the pandemic, home visit demand was a few hundred a year but has reached 15,000 since March 2020.

In 2022, the Irish Red Cross expects to exceed 268,000 volunteer hours for essential community support work since the pandemic's start.

This is the equivalent of over 11,000 days or 30 years of dedicated volunteer time.

Ireland Country Manager for Lottoland, Graham Ross, says Lottoland are proud to support Irish Red Cross.

"To see people of all ages and backgrounds give of themselves so selflessly in delivering the array of services provided is humbling and heart-warming. Clearly the pandemic has created a whole new set of logistical challenges that the charity has risen magnificently to meet, but additional donations and especially volunteers, are critical to continuing to meet these challenges into 2022.

"We’re proud to directly support the charity with up to 20% of the sales from our various charity products including the Win-Win Charity Lotto & Scratch Card, plus the standalone Irish Red Cross Scratch Card, but we know much more is needed to keep helping those who need it most at this uniquely challenging time for Irish society, said Mr Ross”

Irish Red Cross asks anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to contact them.

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