Advocacy & Awareness

Advocacy during the time of COVID-19

Like most other aspects of COPE Galway’s activities over the course of 2020, our work in the area of advocacy was similarly dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The proverb ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ never rang truer than during this time when we saw positive changes occur in areas we at COPE Galway had long sought. The moratorium on evictions and the freezing of rent levels contributed towards the prevention of homelessness. The rollout of the ‘Still Here’ awareness campaign and the Garda Operation Faoiseamh in response to domestic abuse were among measures we would have considered extremely difficult to achieve at the start of 2020 but which came to pass over the course of the year. The pandemic also generated new initiatives to address negative narratives and attitudes around ageing, which were compounded during this time.

Communication Campaigns During a Pandemic

When the pandemic restrictions activated in March and as we adjusted to a new way of living and working, our main focus was to keep all stakeholders informed of important updates to service operations. We immediately developed new marketing resources and executed extended media campaigns to publicise our emergency numbers and to inform the community that our domestic abuse, senior support and homeless services remained open and operational within strict safety protocols. 

In June, we held one of the first online annual report launches in Ireland, with keynote speaker, Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin launching our 2019 report live from Minnesota. 

Positive Ageing Week 2020

Positive Ageing Week 2020 was a high point of our advocacy work in this area, allowing us an opportunity to draw attention to the valuable work older people contribute to our communities across Galway. We worked together with Age Action and other local agencies to identify and share stories of some of the many older people in our communities who epitomise healthy and active ageing. Their stories featured in local media as well as some letters written by children to their grandparents and other older people who inspired them. 

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