Community Response Forum and how it can help you

Local community and voluntary groups around the country have been mobilising in recent weeks to welcome into their communities people who are fleeing Ukraine.

As the new arrivals begin to settle in, each local authority has established a Community Response Forum to provide a co-ordination point for the community and voluntary response in their area.

Building on structures and relationships which were highly effective during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Community Response Forum will enable all those involved to work together under the stewardship of the local authority.

Meath County Council has established the Community Response Forum to co-ordinate the community-led response to provide assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees as they are accommodated in Co Meath, and is it is chaired by Jackie Maguire, the Chief Executive of Meath County Council. The Forum brings together state (e.g., Department of Social Protection, HSE), private, community and voluntary organisations acting at local level.

The Forum co-ordinates the provision of local supports required by refugees, including liaising with local service providers, identifying service gaps and solutions and encouraging collaboration among service providers.

It also helps provide information for the refugees to guide them to the relevant services and supports needed, such as from Child Care Committees, local health, education, social and other integration needs.

If you would like further information or assistance, please email or visit



People that arrive in Ireland from Ukraine can get support from the Irish State. This includes a place to stay, financial support (social welfare), the right to work, and healthcare services. Ukrainians coming to Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive are entitled to a medical card, which allows visits to a doctor for free, access other health services and free medicines that a doctor prescribes.

In some cases, the hospital or health clinic can provide an interpreter, so inform the medical staff and ask if they can arrange an interpreter. Information about health care services in Ireland can be viewed on the HSE website or for general information about health services, the HSE contact centre (HSE Live) can be called on 1800 700 700.

Dept of Social Protection

Fiona Penollar is the Regional Manager for the Department of Social Protection and says the most vital services they can assist those arriving in from the Ukraine is the issuing of Permission to Remain letters assigning PPS numbers and offering financial assistance as required as quickly as possible.

"Another question we constantly are asked is how to get jobs so we use our resources across the country to see how we can help and offer employment supports and we have case workers who will make sure they are getting the right payments and assistance."

For further information please visit Navan, Trim or Kells Intreo offices or the Department’s website

Meath Partnership

“Meath Partnership is currently providing a range of services to Ukrainians arriving in and taking up accommodation in Co Meath," says Monica Nelson, Meath Wellness Hub & SICAP Programme Manager with Meath Partnership.

“Meath Partnership has employed both the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme and the services of the Meath Volunteer Centre to reach out to those in need. In order to address real need and to streamline services, SICAP staff are conducting a needs analysis in direct conversation with all individual refugees, making referrals where required or providing services through direct action. Such services include job search, CV preparation and training if necessary.

From a humanitarian point of view assistance with medical appointments, specific medication needs, access to schooling, need for specific information, urgent travel requirements and assistance with the drawdown of state aid all form part of the ongoing service provided by Meath Partnership. The Meath Partnership Wellness Hub through fully qualified professionals is offering a personal wellness service which is in strong demand.

Flexibus Local Link

Miriam McKenna says that under the Meath Community Response Forum, Flexibus Local Link Louth Meath Fingal are responding to the transport needs of our Ukrainian families.

Local Link provide transport to local towns and villages, and support family groups to meet other families in the area in Louth Meath & Fingal funded by National Transport Authority. Contact 046 9074830, 0861744260 or email


LMETB are a key part of the local co-ordinated response to assist displaced Ukrainian refugees arriving in Co Meath.

LMETB Adult Learning Services and LMETB’s Guidance, Information and Recruitment Services working together, are being facilitated by the Council to meet the refugees to assess their level of  English  language  ability; organise their participation in  English classes; provide information on the Irish education system, and on recognition of qualifications and advice on employment related queries.

LMETB have put in place a panel of ESOL Tutors to assist with the demand for the service and for which, recruitment is ongoing. Information on the Realt service provided by LMETB for Ukrainian refugees who are in need of a school placement is also provided. LMETB REALT can be contacted at 086-1036571.