Durrow/Cullohill Community Alert was set up in 1985 in association with Muintir na Tire and the Gardai. Community Alert is a community safety programme organised by an active committee, working with the local Garda’, to make the community a safer place for children, for older people and for vulnerable people. Community Alert is about creating and maintaining a caring community with the aim to allay fear and reduce feelings of isolation. Community Alert is a partnership with the community and the other statutory and voluntary agencies in the area.
The most important element of Community Alert is that local people become more aware of the need to preserve the quality of life of members of their community, in particular the more vulnerable. It is important therefore, to raise the alertness and awareness of everybody to unusual activity and to promote the habit of reporting such issues to the Gardai. Community Alert is dependant on the participation in the scheme by all members of the community through increased neighbourliness and interest in issues affecting the community safety in general.
The Durrow/Cullohill Community Alert committee have secured a number of Grants from the Department of Community Rural & Gaeltach Affairs to assist them in their work. The Committee has arranged for the installation of over 160 personal alarms and secure locks and the fitting of 80 sensor lights in houses in the area. In addition it has arranged Awareness Nights, which were open to all members of the community, to raise awareness of security and safety issues and to highlight the need for vigilance in the community. Representatives from the Gardai, the Fire Service, the Carers Association in Laois and TASK (suppliers and monitors of the alarm systems) were in attendance to provide information and give advice.
The committee also publishes items in the local newsletter and local press, to raise the awareness of the needs of the vulnerable, elderly and those living alone, advising people of the need to check on neighbours. It has also published a reference sheet that was distributed to all houses in the locality. This sheet contained a telephone listing of all the emergency services, local doctors and local clergy.
One of its initial projects was to carry a survey to establish a list of people who were living alone, this list is updated on a regular basis. It was from this exercise that the committee discovered the almost total lack of fire alarms in houses in the locality and started a programme of installing it at a reduced cost. The committee has also taken other measures to secure houses, including the provision of doors and windows in conjunction with the Midland Heath Board/HSE Midlands. The work of the committee is ongoing and it is in the process of compiling a list of people in the area that need new or replacement personal alarms, locking systems or lights. Upon completion of same a submission will be forwarded to the Department of Community Rural & Gaeltach Affairs for additional funding.
Phone: Michael Kells (057) 8737289.
Address: Dereen, Durrow, Co. Laois.