Resilience at Work During a Pandemic
Covid-19 shone a light on the strength of our people at COPE Galway. Our professional, passionate and dedicated staff of over 150 in 2020 showed commitment above and beyond what could be asked. Across our services, staff had to quickly adapt to what soon became our ‘new normal’. They took on new roles and duties, adapted to new models of care and responded to having to work in a peculiarly remote way.
“To see people succeeding in the most challenging of times is amazing and makes it all worth it. I have a renewed and deeper appreciation for my staff team. They have been an incredible support to me and each other this year, while facing so many obstacles and uncertainty.”
Stephanie, Resettlement and Tenancy Support
The Impact of Volunteering
COPE Galway understands and values the unique contribution that volunteers bring to our organisation. From year to year we have an average of 180 people from many backgrounds and ages who volunteer with us across a wide range of roles. We just would not be able to deliver the full range of supports we offer across our services without our volunteers.
Responsiveness, Adaptability & Resilience During Covid-19
Volunteerism is extensive and intrinsic to the social fabric of our daily lives. Volunteering assists people of all ages, social backgrounds and abilities to have a healthier, happier and more inclusive life. At the beginning of 2020 we had 240 volunteers in over 30 different roles – a number that dropped dramatically once the virus hit. The Covid-19 Pandemic has shown us how the national response was supported and driven by volunteers – when large sections of society shut down.
Nothing prepared us for how our lives would change across the country because of this virus. In equal measure, in COPE Galway, we were astounded by the outpouring of community support and solidarity for our organisation.
“The staff at all times were absolutely fabulous. I never had an unpleasant day. It was never a chore. You’d start off and you’d see the drivers and have a chat, and then you’d meet the staff for a bit of banter, and then off we went and that was grand,” Michael said. “I can confidently say that I enjoyed every minute of it. There was always something new, and I had great fun.”
Michael O’Regan, Volunteer Food Delivery
Corporate Engagement Programme
(Helping Hands Projects)
The health, economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for many sectors in our society, including COPE Galway’s activity with our corporate partners in the community, who have participated regularly in our Helping Hands engagement projects over the years.
In the spring of 2020, all our community engagement projects were cancelled, as workplaces adapted to remote working and COPE Galway adopted new safety practices. However, towards the end of the year, we successfully collaborated with Fidelity in a virtual IT Skills Project, and Medtronic and CISCO in our Christmas donations project. We are incredibly grateful to all these employees for volunteering in such challenging times and donating their time and skills with such enthusiasm.