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James Lafferty Irish Red Cross Clare Area Treasurer & Campaign Coordinator. Photograph by John Kelly.

Red Cross in Clare appeal for support to keep the wheels moving

VOLUNTEERS with the Irish Red Cross in Clare completed more than 8,000 hours helping the people of Clare last year, with the organisation vowing to continue supporting those in need into 2021 despite Covid-19,
However, in order to achieve this the Irish Red Cross will need the people of Clare to help them, with the organisation making a renewed appeal for support in their ongoing fundraising efforts.
An online fundraising campaign has been launched aiming to raise €20,000 for the Red Cross in Clare, with just over €2,200 pledged so far. James Lafferty, Irish Red Cross Clare Area Treasurer and Community Support Officer paid tribute to the organisation’s volunteers and loyal supporters as he urged members of the public and local businesses to get behind the Red Cross.
“Despite Covid-19  which hit all of us in March 2020 and which is getting a whole lot worse at this time at the start of 2021 we plan to continue supporting the people of County Clare. In 2020 we completed a total of 256 community transport, travelling to all corners of County Clare to hospitals all over Ireland free of charge to the people of Clare for medical appointments. Our volunteers completed at total of 8,119 hours in 2020 despite Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions. All our drivers and carers are volunteers given their time in support of the people of County Clare.”
Playing a “vital role” in the Irish Red Cross’ work in Clare has been the community transport service carried out by volunteers. 
“The number of young and old, disabled and able bodied, people just living alone, people that have no family and members of the general public that rely on our great volunteers of the Irish Red Cross Clare to get them to hospital appointments, doctors visits, tests, and a whole range of reasons that they may need to come to us is astounding. Sometimes their day can start at 3am and not finish before midnight that same day. That same person will be brought from their door to their destination to attend their appointment and brought home to their family when all is done.
The people of Clare should be very proud of the volunteers army in Clare and especially proud of the small but ever growing army of Red Cross volunteers.”
This year the organisation expect to add to their fleet of vehicles with a second community support vehicle which is been part fund by a CLAR grant of €42,685. It is anticipated this will be in place this summer and James paid tribute to all who have supported the grant application. He appealed to people to support the go fund me page set up to support the Irish Red Cross in Clare’s community services alongside donating to counter top boxes which are in shops, chemists and some pubs throughout the county.
He outlined that the new training unit and ambulance centre cost, including interest and charges the sum of €359,640.55. This has been reduced to €201,697.20 in two and half years through “generous donations” from Clare businesses and the Tour of Clare fundraiser.
“In 2020 we were to complete 56 collection points, but due to Covid-19 we could only do 14 collection points. The plan for 2021 is to start in April and work through to December 2021 provided we are not on Level 5.  It is in god’s hands.
“No matter what we have to move forward take what comes and keep to our plan to clear our debt by March 2028 with the support of the Clare public and businesses.
The work of our volunteers over the last nine years has been amazing sitting outside Clare businesses in all types of weather from 8.30am to 6pm. A special thank you to all our volunteers who have supported our new training unit and ambulance centre project.  A lot has been done and there is more to do. We also plan to carry out works to our new building in line with our planning permission starting in the next two years all going well.” He urged businesses in the county to show their support of the Irish Red Cross in Clare’s efforts to reduce the debt on the building.
“The Irish Red Cross in Clare need the support of the Clare public so we can continue the good work been done on the ground supporting the people of County Clare. Please donate and keep the wheels rolling.” Donations to the organisation can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/irish-red-cross-clare-area-community-services
while businesses who want to get involved in showing support can contact 086 8323456.


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