St Croans offering valuable service in Roscommon
By Cian O'Connell
Throughout the country GAA clubs continue to serve their communities in important ways. In Roscommon St Croans, situated in Ballymoe and Ballintubber, have been busy carrying out vital and relevant work serving all generations.
A response team was quickly stitched together, but St Croans Healthy Club Officer Gail Murray acknowledges the importance of maintaining people's wellbeing.
"There is an awful lot of fear out there, stress and pressure," Murray admits. "We are just trying to keep that connectedness with people, to try to combat their fears.
"We want to try to make sure that they are looking after themselves, that they are staying away from social media, keeping a really positive outlook, as much as we can.
"We are trying to reassure people that we are here to support them, whether that means a phonecall, getting their shopping if they are afraid to do that. We are also going to be doing phonecalls in case people are self isolating or lonely, that we can just have a chat about anything."
It is only a numbers of weeks ago since the Roscommon GAA Health & Wellbeing committee presented clubs in the county with signs.
"It was an initiative ran with Healthy Ireland and Roscommon County Council," Murray explains.
"The key messages on it, the five ways to wellbeing just popped out and are really relevant to now.
"I just thought it was good to emphasise about taking notice and connecting with people, giving, and being active. While isolating they are very relevant I think for self care and wellbeing in the next couple of weeks."
One source of comfort has been the manner in which GAA clubs are trying to assist those in need.
"Even locally all the GAA clubs are reaching out to their local community," Murray says.
"The local community they are reaching out to mightn't necessarily have been GAA players. It is emphasising that the GAA is bigger than what you are doing on the football or hurling field. It spans out to social interaction and the community at a wider level. That is really evident now at the moment."
It isn't merely about helping club members either, Murray stresses the value of providing assistance for anybody in need.
"While it might have been initially through the Healthy Club initiative we put the notion of forming a community response out there we have 31 volunteers," she adds.
"Some of them aren't part of the club and weren't GAA players, but they are very much about supporting our own local community. People are ringing us have nothing to do with the GAA club, we may have never met them before.
"Just doing the deliveries to those doors can be a bit heartbreaking, just seeing the older people waving out the window to say thanks, but they know we are here to reassure them and to support them. It is definitely wider than the GAA members and the club.
"We try to get those messages out through all the mediums, we acknowledge that everyone isn't on social media.
"So we will send text messages through the community alert groups, that type of stuff to make sure the older people and generations are getting those key messages."