Community Communications Network Conference
A Conference is being held on this Friday October 15th aimed at developing a Community Communications Network throughout Kerry.
The Conference, which is being held in the Meadowlands Hotel, aims at establishing a community network to keep all members of each of Kerry’s communities informed of vital news and events, particularly during emergency situations.
“The severe weather the county experienced last year, with flooding, snow and ice saw a terrific community response, particularly in ensuring that those in need of medical help, the elderly and those with special requirements, were looked after,” Siobhan Griffin of the Kerry Community & Voluntary Forum explained.
“Arising out of that, it was felt that a formal communications network could be established between Kerry County Council, the Town Councils, the emergency services, and the local communities to disseminate essential information to hard-to-reach, vulnerable residents within our county.
“Kerry County Council recognise that without the information and assistance of community-based agencies serving vulnerable individuals and communities, notification efforts will not be successful.”
Friday’s conference will review the response in the county during last winter’s severe weather emergency, and in doing so will examine what worked well and where the challenges are.
There will be presentations from service providers on the responses and challenges posed by the weather emergency. These include Kerry County Council, the Gárdaí, and HSE, the Directorate for Fire and Emergency Planning who will give an overview of the national situation and two local community groups.
“The aim of the project is quite simple,” Siobhan explained. “It is to ensure that in the event of a similar situation, or other emergency, that communication channels are formally in place. This will allow communities to check on vulnerable people in their own areas, and if issues arise, there are agreed procedures and channels to alert the emergency services and other agencies.”
Efforts are being focused on partnering with community based organisations that serve groups with particular needs or those that are most vulnerable. In this regard the Social Inclusion Division of the Dept of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs is assisting the Kerry Community and Voluntary Forum towards the expenses on this Friday.
Valuable contacts already exist including Kerry Community Transport, Local Development Groups, Hello Kerry, Rural Social Scheme, Community Alert and the Immigrants Forum and other groups on the County’s register of community and voluntary groups.
Those interested in attending can contact the Community and Enterprise Department at Kerry County Council at 066 7183680.