Former GAA star, Michel Duignan, Offaly Community Champion
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has written a letter to Michael Duignan, the COVID-19 Community Outreach Champion for Co. Offaly, in which he thanks Michael for his “hard work, solidarity and active citizenship” during the pandemic.
Michael is one of 34 COVID19-Community Champions who have been deployed across Ireland as part of COVID-19 Community Outreach, a national programme coordinated by The Wheel and Irish Rural Link with support from the Department of Rural and Community Affairs. Michael, and the other the Community Champions, are working closely with local authorities and local community and voluntary groups to make sure that people who need help get it from trusted, experienced sources.
In the letter, President Higgins wrote: “You, and all who have been working with you in COVID-19 Community Outreach over the past weeks and months have answered the call of your communities. You have made an enormous difference and are continuing to perform a vital service as we slowly emerge from the dark of the pandemic and into the light of a better, shared future.”
President Higgins has also recorded a message thanking the Champions and all volunteers and organisations who have come together at this time to ensure no one is excluded. The message is available on https://soundcloud.com/presidentirl/message-from-president-michael-d-higgins-on-the-covid-19-community-outreach/s-kxBtS0XCqPa and As Gaeilge at https://soundcloud.com/presidentirl/teachtaireacht-on-uachtaran-o-huiginn-for-rochtain-an-phobail-maidir-le-covid19/s-KNZlTgIumQw
Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel called on people who need assistance in their homes to contact their local Community Champion: “It is the role of the Community Champions to ‘join the dots’ and ensure that every person, regardless of where they live in the country, is connected to the necessary help and supports to meet their needs at this time,” said Deirdre Garvey.
Your local Community Champion’s contact details are available at www.wheel.ie/champions. Those in need of support can also call the Community Call Helpline on 0818 222 024. This number is available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday.