health and social care services

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Find out about the various services provided by the Irish Red Cross to support communities around Ireland. 

Befriending/Visitation Service

The Irish Red Cross is committed through its network of branches and volunteers to create a friendly and safe befriending service for both service user and volunteer. This service can operate in care facilities, day care centres, emergency reception and orientation centres including private homes enabling our volunteers to improve social inclusion within the local community.

Visits will last no more than two hours, activities range from card playing, book reading, general conversation and therapeutic care to film viewing.

Community Links

The Community Links service aims to ensure that identified vulnerable groups in local communities are offered the opportunity to engage with the Irish Red Cross and are offered an Irish Red Cross Community Links volunteer within their local area. The programme’s overall objective is to promote individual integration and social cohesion at local level, with both the individual and local society gaining greatly from the relationship. Volunteer buddies will provide service users with practical guidance & help open doors to local networks. For the volunteer themselves, participating in the service offers an opportunity to expand their own network, make new friends, learn about different cultures, and make a positive difference to the lives of participants living in Ireland.

Community Transport Service

Many vulnerable groups and community organisations require a reliable transport service. Our volunteers provide a transport service for the elderly or someone in a wheelchair. Quite often they need access to health services, shopping centres, social activities, community centres and other facilities. For older people, accessible transport services can help combat social exclusion and support independent living.

The Irish Red Cross fleet has a number of wheelchair accessible minibuses that can be requested by organisations, community groups and individuals subject to availability of volunteer drivers.

Healthy Community Engagement

Healthy community engagement enables Irish Red Cross branches to promote healthier lifestyles and offer public talks on a variety of health issues. Engaging in a healthier lifestyle by encouraging members of the public to become more active through walking, providing the option to join an Irish Red Cross Healthy Steps walking group or attend a public health talk. 

Skin Camouflage Service

For someone coping with a disfiguring skin condition or scarring, specialist skin camouflage advice offers a way to cope. The Irish Red Cross Skin Camouflage service aims to give people practical and emotional support by enabling them to cope with skin disfigurement and rebuild confidence.

What is the Skin Camouflage Service?

Our trained volunteers select the best colour match for each person's natural skin tone. Then we teach clients how to apply the cover creams to improve the appearance of the affected areas. All camouflage cover creams recommended by the Red Cross provide effective, waterproof cover for wide number of skin conditions, including scarring from burns, accidents, acne, self-harm as well as vitiligo, rosacea, birthmarks, tattoos, leg veins, pigmentation problems and many other skin conditions. The service is open to all and we see men, women and children with all skin conditions.

This service is provided free of charge with clinics held regularly across Ireland. 

Therapeutic Care Service

The Therapeutic Care Service is provided by Irish Red Cross Volunteers who are trained to give a hand, arm, neck or shoulder massage and/or a manicure to both men and women in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, day care centres and in their own homes. The relaxing effect of the massage is very beneficial, especially for those who have painful and stiff joints as it can improve flexibility and suppleness.

Often people who have been ill for a long time can lose interest in their appearance and the manicure can give a great boost to their morale. The treatment is a way to communicate care through touch and the fact that a volunteer spends time with the person can often be the most valuable aspect of the service.

Taking the next step

For further information about our services, please email or call 01-642-4600