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Pictured with details of the winners of the ‘County Clare 2020: A Day in My Life’ Clare County Library creative writing competition are (l-r): Patricia Fitzgerald, Executive Librarian, Helen Walsh, County Librarian, Cultural Services, and Cora Gunter, Senior Executive Librarian. The innovative work carried out by the staff of Clare County Council during the Covid-19 crisis will be highlighted on #yourcouncilday, which takes place on Wednesday July 1.

#YourCouncilDay celebrates Covid-19 response in Clare

The innovative work carried out by the staff of Clare County Council during the Covid-19 crisis will be highlighted on #YourCouncilDay, which takes place on Wednesday, July 1.
Clare’s swift reaction to the demands of lockdown saw the Library Service introduce several initiatives including a contact and collect service, a cocooning book delivery service and more than 40 online story-time, drawing and craft workshops for children.
The library also offered its 75-piece toy and sensory collection to parents of children with complex needs, and distributed 500 wellbeing packs to those that are cocooning.
A writing competition for children and teenagers was launched on May 4 and more than 100 entries were submitted under the theme ‘County Clare 2020: A Day in My Life’.
The competition was offered as an alternative creative activity for children and teenagers by the Clare Library Service after the schools were closed on March 15.
The winning and highly commended stories were selected by award-winning children’s writer Patricia Forde.
#YourCouncilDay will showcase what is happening throughout the council and also highlight the innovation shown by local authorities in supporting the community through the lockdown.
Social media users throughout the community are also asked to post their experiences of council initiatives using the hashtag #YourCouncilDay.
“The current crisis has highlighted the true nature of public service in communities across the country,” said Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council.
“The unique circumstances of Covid-19 prompted councils to innovate in how they provided both day-to-day services and additional supports to the public.
“Faced with the challenge of social distancing, and with many of their own staff working from home, local authorities brought novel solutions to the complex problems posed by the new realities of lockdown.
“Thousands of public servants adopted new skills and devised innovative ways of delivering services to those who needed them most.
“All local authorities established Community Support Programmes to co-ordinate a multi-agency response to deliver services while Covid-19 restrictions are in force.
“Councils moved to support those faced with isolation, activating befriending services with regular phone calls, starting local radio shows and organising book and even musical instrument deliveries to combat loneliness.
“Vital services moved online bringing a range of virtual supports into people’s homes such as inclusive exercise classes for all ages and adapted exercises for older people in self-isolation.
“We have seen live-streamed storytelling, virtual Zoom book clubs and online choirs supporting community spirits through dark days.”

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