The article that was written in response to my interview with the NCBI!

Here’s the article that the lady who interviewed me yesterday wrote. It is going to be on the NCBI’S facebook page. I think its fab. I am delighted with it. I hope you enjoy it.

Volunteering during Covid19.
NCBI service user Shirley Healy has been busy listening, supporting and encouraging hundreds of vulnerable people during Covid19. Shirley, a regular volunteer in Cork based organisation Friendly Call, has increased her time volunteering to five days week making daily phone calls to those living alone and are elderly, or have a disability or chronic illness.
These daily calls have increased since Covid19 due to the closure of day centres so it is really important that we check in on these vulnerable people and be able to listen to how their day is going and if they need advice or anything. I never know what response Ill get as everyones situation is different, some calls only last a few minutes while others are much longer if the person needs to talk.
I get a lot from volunteering with Friendly Call, I enjoy the social aspects with colleagues and giving back to those who need support. As a result of doing this voluntary work, I completed a Diploma in Mental Health and Community in UCC and have found this has helped significantly especially for those callers that require emotional support, said Shirley.
Shirley is blind and has been involved with NCBI since childhood availing of mobility training, online technology tutorials and also participates actively in the weekly peer support group.
For more information about Friendly Call, please call Brenda 087 6366407 or 021 4301700.

What do you miss the most in these trying times?

What do you miss the most in these times of crisis?

I miss seeing people. Socialising. I miss going out and about, I’m not used to being so cooped up. I am used to seeing my mom and sister almost daily. NowI am lucky to see my sister once a week, and I do see mom on the weekends, by choice, as I am choosing to go to her house, but its a bit risky to do it.

I miss seeing my work colleagues, going in to the office, and I miss all of the banter that goes on in there. Being in the office was a fantastic way of meeting people, as a lot of people used to come in, for information, support, and when they’d come in we’d chat and it was so nice to talk to them all.

I miss life as I knew it. I hope this lockdown wont go on for months on end. I’m ready for it to be over with now.



Loneliness, isolation
It feels so surreal
Each day my clients tell me
How they feel
Each day I listen
While on the phone
To their worries
And their fears
They tell me
It helps to talk
I am glad to be able to be there
To help them through
I feel lonely too
But I dont tell them that
I keep it hidden
Keep it to myself
Isolation is a horrible feeling
I dont tell them
That I too am vulnerable
I too have both a disability
And a mental illness
Just like many of my clients
I too have issues
But I have to keep them separate
So I can continue to work effectively
Hard as that is
Its necessary


We’re in lockdown now!

Well it has happened! We are now officially in lockdown!

The government made an announcement early this evening.

All schools are closed, they said until April 19th, but I’m pretty sure it will be for longer than that.

We’re not allowed to gather in groups of more than 4 people!

All non essential businesses are closed! Restaurants, cafe’s, everything is shut down!

Grocery stores are staying open, but we arent allowed to go out unless its absolutely essential.

They said we’re in this for the long haul. This could go on for months is what they said.

There is a law now that if your in a taxi, you have to sit in the back seat. You cant sit in the front.

Police are on the streets, manning the public parks, and other amenities.

I’ll be staying home, not gonna go to my parents. My PA said she’s still working, and unless that changes, I’ll be staying put.

I need access to good wifi, to do therapy, and my conference calls for slimming world.

So thats where things are at. I am anxious, very, very anxious. My anxiety has hit an entirely new level.

The only thing we can do now is sit tight, and wait, wait for this to pass, and as our local media here keeps saying, it will pass. It wont go on forever.


If your in cork in ireland and need help during the corona virus, get in touch with friendly call!

I work for an organisation called friendly call. It is an organisation here in cork. Its run by the cork city partnership. The idea is that we ring those who live alone, are vulnerable or isolated, chronically or mentally ill, or elderly. We ring them each day Monday to friday to check in with them. At the moment there are over 200 clients recieving a dily phone call from the volunteers and we have around 30 volunteers. We’re working from home right now due to the corona outbreak. We can also go shopping and get stuff for our client if they need it. If you are living in cork, you can either self refer or you can have your gp, public health nurse, family or friends refer you to the service. Dont worry, its confidential. You are not alone. If you need help, or to chat to someone, give brenda Barry a call, Brenda is the boss and she is in charge of the friendly call service. Go ahead and call her. Her number is
She’d be happy to set you up with a daily call straight away!
We’re here to help!
Dont feel you have to do it alone! We all need to be there for each other at this hard time!


Who won the week? March 15th 2020

I am participating in fandangos challenge of who won the week!
For me, this week, my supervisor from friendly call won the week!
Why? Because she’s doing so much work in the community to help vulnerable people!
Due to corona virus, we’re all self isolating, and working from home. My supervisor has asked us to ask all of our clients when we talk to them, if they need anything, and if they do, she’s asked us to contact her and she’ll get whatever they need to them!
So that means going shopping, braving the crazy lines, crazy stores to get whatever they may need!
She’s a saint, IMO!
She just wants to make sure the elderly and vulnerable people in our community are ok! I commend her for that!
We all need to try harder to be more neighbourly and less about me me me all of the time!