Culture Night 2020

Westside Writers' Group will be launching their "Write-on Anthology 2021" on Culture Night, Friday 18th September, from 6pm. This event is supported by Westside Arts Festival 2020.

The anthology is a collection of short stories, poems, songs and other writings from the Westside Writer’s Group and even contains a COVID-19 section which captures in story and verse the reality of the pandemic.

You can expect a delightful evening of music, songs, poems and stories from the group’s creative artists, both local and from abroad. Authors will read from their works and songwriters will perform their original songs: a literary and musical feast of creative writing.

The event is open to all and will take the form of a Zoom webinar. To register for the event, please click on the following link:

Join the event from 6 o'clock... very special guests expected.

cover of Write-On Anthology 2021

June update

The Department of Health has updated its public health information. The most up-to-date information from the HSE is available here


Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades - Online Registrations Open

The online registration for Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades opened on Tuesday 26th May. All Leaving Certificate and Leaving Certificate Applied students should register on this page


Advice for Renters Whose Tenancies Are Affected by COVID-19 Measures

Tenancies are being impacted by the current pandemic in a number of different ways. Making rent payments is not the only difficulty being faced by renters: those living in house-shares are also being impacted by self-isolation and social distancing requirements. You can contact Threshold if you need advice, need their help in contacting your landlord to protect your tenancy or engaging with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Their helpline is open from 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday and can be reached at 1800 454 454. Alternatively, you can contact Threshold online. They have also created a dedicated freephone helpline to support workers in the hospitality sector impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. If you are worried about making rent payments, you can contact them for advice on 1800 778 899.


Aware - Zoom support and self care group

Aware have announced a Zoom Support & Self Care group in addition to the conference call Phone In groups which were introduced recently. The Zoom Support & Self Care group is for people experiencing anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other mood-related conditions – who would like to see others on video. Good wifi is necessary. The purpose of these groups is for people to give and receive support and coping skills in relation to their mood-related condition and feelings. Book a place on either the Zoom or the Phone In group.


Family Carers Free Counselling Sessions

Family carers sometimes have difficulty coping with their emotional well-being and their mental health and are more likely to struggle with stress, anxiety and depression than the general population. As a carer, there are times when you may find yourself struggling with your mental health and emotional wellbeing due to a combination of the demands of your caring role, and the additional challenges you might be facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Family Carers Ireland offer help to family carers, as they believe no one should have to care alone. They have developed a free, short-term online and phone counselling service for family carers and will connect carers with a qualified counsellor from a panel of approved professionals. The service can be accessed through the Family Carers Ireland website or through the National Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24.


Age Action - Using digital Technology

Age Action have developed 'How to' guides on using digital technology such as downloading Apps to your phone, using Zoom, using WhatsApp etc. These are all great ways to keep in touch with family and friends. You can also call Age Action on 01 8730372, leave your name and address and Age Action will post the Guides to you within 10 days. Check the guides at the links below:
How to download apps to your smartphone
How to set up an email account on your smartphone
How to use Facetime on your smart device
How to use WhatsApp to make video calls on your smartphone
How to use Zoom on your smartphone and laptop
How to avoid false information about COVID-19


Let's Play Ireland

Let’s Play Ireland is a government-led initiative aimed at promoting play for all children living in Ireland during the COVID-19 emergency. See the Let's Play Ireland website for more details.

Useful information

The government has issued a roadmap for the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Link: Government Roadmap

The Irish Hospice Foundation Covid-19 Care & Inform Hub includes a range of information resources and videos focusing on the themes of grief, funerals in exceptional times, planning ahead and a suite of resources for healthcare professionals. Link: Irish Hospice Foundation

Galway City Council encourages people to support local restaurants and food producers with the #GalwayEatsLocal challenge: a: Order from local restaurants b: Shop for seasonal products at local shops c: Buy/drink/eat locally-produced food and drinks The PorterShed has put together a list of Galway businesses that are open for collection or delivery. Link: Local Food Outlets

Inclusion Ireland and Enable Ireland have produced easy-to-read, printable resources on COVID-19 to support people with disabilities and their families.

Useful Information for the COVID-19 Lockdown

Stress Control Programme Online

HSE Health and Wellbeing are offering a free Stress Control programme online via from the 13th April. Stress Control is an evidence-based programme that teaches you practical skills to deal with stress.
The programme helps participants recognise the signs of stress. It covers topics including how stress affects our bodies and our thoughts. It teaches skills to overcome panicky feelings and tips to getting a good night's sleep.

How to Participate

Visit and follow the instructions on how to 'Subscribe' to Stress Control's YouTube page.
You will then receive notifications when a new session is available. You can also follow this link: StressControl's YouTube Channel

Content and Dates

There are six free 90 minutes sessions available to the public. Each session will play twice a day (at 2pm and repeated at 8.30 pm) on Mondays and Thursdays beginning on the 13th April and will be led by Dr Jim White, consultant clinical psychologist. Participants are encouraged to watch all sessions. The six sessions will cover different topics as follows:

                  Session                               Date               1st Showing           Repeated     
1: What is stress? Mon, 13th April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm
2: Controlling your body Thurs, 16th April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm
3: Controlling your thoughts Mon, 20th April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm
4: Controlling your actions Thurs, 23rd April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm
5: Controlling panicky feelings
Getting a good night's sleep
Mon, 27th April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm
6: Boosting your wellbeing
Tying it all together
Controlling your future
Thurs, 30th April 2 – 3.30pm 8.30 – 10pm

See HSE website for the outline of the programme here.
See outline of various supports provided by HSE Mental Health at this time here.
Download the Stress Control Briefing Note here.

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Getting Through COVID-19 Together

Mental health and wellbeing initiative to
support people during COVID-19

The Department of Health and HSE, in collaboration with a range of cross-Government partners, have launched a mental health and wellbeing initiative that offers support and resources to help deal with the stress, anxiety and isolation currently experienced by many in Ireland during COVID-19. is a new online resource that will offer advice to help people cope at home and that will promote the mental health supports and resources available on the HSE's YourMentalHealth.
Also, extra support is available in this period on the phone or online.

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Public Awareness Campaign on
Domestic Violence during COVID-19

A major new TV, Radio and Social Media Campaign tackling the serious issue of domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 measures was launched on April 15th. The campaign seeks to reassure victims that services are 'still here', and that victims are being prioritised.

It is important to know that the 2km restrictions on movement do not apply to a person escaping from a risk of harm or seeking to access essential services.

Read more here
Watch the campaign here
Information on services and supports for victims is now available on a new website

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How to Keep Focused and Motivated

Working From Home During COVID-19

Charities Careers Ireland CCI have put together a list of tips on how to keep focused and motivated and how to maintain your wellbeing while working from home during Covid-19. Read more here.

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Information for Families

Guidelines to Help Parents Parenting Alone

One Family have put together a series of guidelines to help parents parenting alone during COVID-19.
Parenting during Covid-19 - read here. One-Parent Families and Covid-19 - read here. Caring for your children if you get sick - read here. Talking to your child about becoming seriously ill - read here.

Online Safety For Children

While schools are closed and restrictions are in place, it is likely that online activity will have increased in the home for both learning and entertainment purposes. Parents and guardians are reminded that it is important to have a conversation with their child about being safe online.
Webwise offers information, practical advice and free education resources addressing a range of internet safety issues and concerns, including the latest online safety advice in relation to COVID-19.
BeSafeOnline is the Government's campaign to highlight ways to help you stay safe online. This webpage provides access to a wide range of Online Safety resources, to support online safety for all.

Free Playbook

An Post partnered with Children's Books Ireland to launch the 'ImagineNation' playbook, encouraging kids across Ireland to get creative during the COVID-19 alert.
Top artists like the legendary Don Conroy, Niall Breslin, Sarah Crossan, Sheena Dempsey and many more have all contributed to the 24-page book, filled with activities including drawing, writing and mindfulness exercises. Download the playbook here.

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Practical Information and Resources

Mortgage Payment Break for Local Authority Borrowers

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr. Eoghan Murphy TD confirmed on April 14th that forbearance arrangements have been put in place for local authority mortgage products. Read more here.
Galway City Council loan customers can apply for a Mortgage Payment Break of up to three months, under the COVID-19 emergency measures, if they have experienced a reduction (or anticipate suffering a reduction) in income arising from the COVID-19 emergency, and will be unable to make repayments on their home loan. Read more here.

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eWorking and Home Workers Tax Relief

Did you know you can claim tax relief if you work from home? As a result of the Covid-19 crisis thousands of people have been asked to work from home, many of whom will never have operated from home up to now, and are likely to be unaware that they can claim a special tax relief called E-Worker Relief. Read more on the Revenue website and in this article.

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Guidance Document on COVID-19 Supports for Landlords and Tenants

Following the emergency measures introduced on March 27th, 2020 to protect tenants during the three-month COVID-19 emergency period a new Guidance Document on COVID-19 Supports for Landlords and Tenants was launched, including details on the new measures, income supports available for certain people living in private rental accommodation and more. Read more here.

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Update to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

An update to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme was announced on April 15th, 2020 to ensure greater staff retention and links between employer and employee. Read more here.

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Government Updates

Further COVID-19 Supports for Direct Provision Residents

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., and the Minister of State with responsibility for Immigration, Integration and Equality, David Stanton, T.D., have announced on April 9th further measures to protect and support Direct Provision residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Read more here.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection

A new Frequently Asked Questions document about the impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection has been published recently. Read more here.

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Westside Resource Centre COVID-19 Precautions

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Westside Resource Centre has been adhering to the official advice on public health and social distancing. We had a plan in place which would have allowed the Centre to remain operating in the weeks ahead but with reduced numbers of staff and with restricted opening times etc. We were very much focused on protecting the health and wellbeing of our clients and our staff whilst keeping our service running.

However, following the updated guidance issued by the government on 24th March 2020, Westside Resource Centre is no longer in a position to continue and will cease all normal operations until 19th April 2020. We are greatly saddened to have to make this announcement but we believe that the battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19 ranks above our usual activity and that the wellbeing of our community is of foremost importance.

We wish you all well during the days ahead and we look forward to returning to full operations as soon as possible.

Please keep in contact… leave a message by phone at 091 528325… or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


James and all at WRC.

P.S. Galway City Council has established a help desk for vulnerable people in the city. The service is open 7 days a week from 8:00am to 8:00pm. More details on the city council website

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