The Government has announced that the country's local authorities are to co-ordinate the work of state agencies, charities, private companies and thousands of volunteers to ensure that elderly and vulnerable people get any help they need during the current emergency.

Many local authorities have already established call centres to receive requests for help and re-direct them to the appropriate organisations.

This morning in Dublin, the Government announced that local authorities will now be co-ordinating requests for help from elderly, cocooning and vulnerable people, and directing those requests to people like Bernie who can help.

Speaking at Government Buildings, Assistant Secretary for Social Policy at the Department of the Taoiseach, Liz Canavan, said local authority community response Fora are in place to ensure vulnerable members of the community are helped during the Covid-19 crisis.

She said each forum has set up a helpline for people to contact which will operate from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

She said the Fora are made up of the local authorities, the HSE, County Champions, An Post, An Garda Síochána and other stakeholders.

Bernie Ronan has been a postwoman in Kinsale, Co Cork, for 11 years.

Bernie is on the frontline, implementing the announcement made by Government today.

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Today, Bernie is taking the decision made at national level by Government, and implementing it in a very practical way at local level.

At Robert's Cove in Co Cork, Bernie is reaching out to 86-year-old Margaret Saunders, who is cocooning.

"I don't go out," Margaret tells RTÉ News at her home, "I wasn't out for weeks - we are just doing our bit."

As a postwoman, Bernie's desire to help the people she serves has never been more needed.

"These people might see nobody from one end of the day until the next, so it's really, really important," Bernie says of the Government's initiative.

In a changed world it's about finding new ways to work, and new ways to help.