A Galway nurse has set up a non-profit organisation with fellow health workers to provide practical and psychological support to frontline staff during the pandemic.
Heroes-Aid has already secured over €1.3m which includes a substantial contribution from Irish mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor.
Public health nurse, midwife, and fundraiser, Mary Leahy, wanted to put her area of expertise into practice during Covid-19. She was instrumental in sourcing equipment when supplies ran low.
She set up a WhatsApp group with nurses around the country and assessed shortages in Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) including ICU masks, gloves, visors and hand sanitisers.
Ms Leahy went on to set up a fund called Heroes-Aid and donations have been flowing in.
As well as providing practical support, the Heroes-Aid website will host daily videos from professionals offering advice on how to deal with overwhelming anxiety and long term post traumatic stress in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Finian Fallon is one of the psychotherapists involved. The Irish band, Keywest, have also come on board to support Heroes-Aid.
Their new song ‘Ordinary Superhero’ tells the story of fear and bravery faced everyday by people like our frontline workers.
It is hoped that raising the profile of the new Heroes-Aid organisation will keep funds flowing for vital medical equipment and long term mental health support.