Community Call- Stories from the (Volunteering) Frontline

Oughterard Rugby Football Club (ORFC) are doing great work in response to the #CommunityCall.


ORFC’s Senior Coach Jack Clarke tell us a little bit about his experiences of the volunteering efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic:


‘When I was asked to write a piece that described what Oughterard Rugby Football Club (ORFC) are doing to help the local community, I was hesitant to do so. It was something that I had set up as something small to be able to give back to the community. It wasn’t to get any publicity for the club, just something that I think is very important that organisations that can actually do.


We basically deliver shopping from our two local providers, Joyce’s Supermarket and Keogh’s Centra to people who cannot, for various reasons, get their own shopping. There are a number of people within the club who have volunteered to give up some of their time. There is no cash transaction, just a delivery service so that makes it relatively simple and straightforward.


I have done a few, not as many as others who have volunteered and I must say that it is an eye opener and an experience that is quite humbling. I work and am in relatively good health, but this virus that has hit us, doesn’t care. It affects all people no matter what is going on. Behind each of the doors that we deliver to is a story to be told. It doesn’t care for status in society, for race, for sex and even age. However, if you are unfortunate to be classified as vulnerable, then life really goes on hold.


Starting off, it was just a delivery and after the second, the third and so on, you start to develop a a relationship with the person you are delivering to. Obeying all the physical distancing protocol, you start to hear bits of the story and it goes from just a delivery to a social visit. Because I am lucky enough to be working, the deliveries that I volunteer to take are at weekends.  The process is that either of the supermarkets let us know by WhatsApp that there are deliveries to be picked up. It’s like a session of ‘Love Island’ where they would shout out ‘I’ve a text’, only it’s ‘I’ve a delivery’ and a chance to escape the ‘The Villa’.


We are performing a small bit that hopefully makes a big difference to people who, at this time, need it most. The club gets quite a bit from the local community so it’s good to give something back’.


– Jack Clarke, Senior Coach, ORFC



Micil Distillery and ORFC Chairperson Niall Walsh

Micil Distillery and ORFC Chairperson Niall Walsh

The owner of a small Poitin distillery, ‘Micil Distillery’ has begun producing a brand new hand sanitizer to help keep locals safe and combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

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