A CALL for donations of PPE has been made by the West Cork Women Against Violence (WCWAV) project.
Marie Mulholland of the Bantry-based agency, which supports women victims of domestic violence, says the equipment will be needed once face-to-face consultations resume.
The project is currently offering just phone support, but once restrictions are eased in coming months, they will once again be meeting clients in the community.
The organisation is bracing itself for a surge in contacts from women in the months to come, as the phone lines have been unusually quiet in recent weeks.
In an interview on the Southern Star’s Corornavirus Podcast, Ms Mulholland said that while the high-profile publicity campaign reminding women that services are still available to them did prompt a slight increase in calls, the numbers of contacts have still not returned to pre-Covid times.
Due to the pandemic, the WCWAV’s fundraising activities have also been curtailed, but Ms Mulholland said she was also hugely reassured by the incredible generosity of West Cork people, many of whom have continued to offer support and donations.
‘Fundraising is the least of our problems at the moment,’ she said, ‘because people have been so good.’
And she referenced one local restaurant that separated all the money made from customers’ ‘side orders’ and donated it to the project.
But if people did want to help, donations of PPE would be really helpful over the coming months, she said.
‘We don’t want to take from supplies that the emergency services need but I would ask if there are people out there making masks, if we could have some of those, that would be great. I know people need them for frontline services too, but if there were people making additional masks, we will need them for ourselves and for our clients, when we get back to work properly.’
She said she would like to be able to accompany women to court again. ‘We don’t know how the courts in West Cork will work, because they are so small, and I am not sure about social distancing, but if we could get masks, it would help getting us back on track. I know it sounds like quite a small thing, but it’s quite a big thing to us.’
The service can be contacted at 027 53847. The support staff are manning the helpline at 1800 203136 from Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, or see ww.westcorkwomensproject.ie.
To hear the full interview from this weekend, search for Southern Star Coronavirus Podcast or see southernstar.ie