Stories from the Frontline: I considered it a blessing to be able to help those who needed it

The South Dublin County Volunteer Centre, in partnership with South Dublin County Council, is running a campaign called Stories from the Frontline in recognition of all those who volunteered or are still volunteering during COVID-19

My name is Peter Malone and I have been a volunteer with the Tallaght Branch of the Irish Red Cross for nine years now, and I’m currently the Unit Officer.

In my time as a volunteer, most of what I do is to help provide medical cover for local community events.

Stories from the Frontline Peter Malone 1

Peter Malone is a volunteer with the Red Cross for nine years

We could have 20 to 30 such events per year as well as 10 to 15 South County Dublin events, all of which is a very important financial resource for our branch.

However, this year has been different, and more rewarding on a personal community level.

When the Pandemic hit, no one realised how important our non-medical community work would be.

We had a great team of volunteers at our disposal, led by our intrepid Community Support Officer, who had built up great relationships with several local charities.

 I was furloughed from work fairly early on in the pandemic, which allowed me to get really involved in supporting our community during this most difficult time.

Initially, we spent time in the community connecting with local people, letting them know we were here for them if required, and doing leaflet drops on how to cope with the stress and isolation of this period in time.

We offered help to the vulnerable and self-isolating people in our community, with shopping collections and prescription deliveries.

Sometimes it was just to be a voice on the end of the phone for people.

We did social welfare checks on people and helped point them in the direction of the appropriate resources.

We were out and about six days a week and it was great to be able to interact with local people.

I live in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow, and there was quite a few times that I received a phone call from a pharmacy in Tallaght, asking if I could drop some prescriptions off to people who were either self-isolating or cocooning.

This is a 70km round trip for me but not once did I ever consider it a burden...I considered it a blessing to be able to help those who needed it most.

One of my regular prescription drops was to an elderly gentleman who lived alone.

His wife passed away several years previous and his children were living overseas.

He said to me, on one of my visits, that I was the only person he had seen in four months as he was afraid to go out.

That was the defining moment of this pandemic for me...I suddenly realised that what we were doing was making such a difference to this gentleman’s life.

To be able to have that effect in a person’s life is such a rewarding feeling, and is why I will continue to be of service to my community.

Be safe people.

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev ‘I’m inundated with people struggling’
Next ‘It’s so important to recognise what people are doing in the community’
  • Light House in Kilnamanagh gets decorated for Easter
  • Scrap yard fire Greenhills Road
  • A Happy St Patrick’s Day from Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Happy St Patrick's Day 2021
  • Food table in Tallaght

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.