LocalSupport.ie
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About

This is a temporary website created to support the community as people adjust to COVID-19 ("Coronavirus").

It is intended to highlight how individuals, organisations and businesses are all doing their bit to help with what is, for many, a difficult time.

This website was created quickly, so if there are any issues, please report them.

When will this website be removed?

The website will be removed and all its data purged once the worst of this virus is over.

Why did you create this website?

On 4th March, Samantha Kelly (@tweetinggoddess) used the hashtag #selfisolation on Twitter, asking her followers to bear in mind their elderly and vulnerable neighbours and support them as they self-isolated. Helen O'Rahilly (@HelenORahilly) followed up, within minutes, with the first offer of practical help and launching the new hashtag #selfisolationhelp, intending to generate volunteers around the country, with requests to add your town, village or city to the end of the hashtag: e.g. #selfisolationhelpRUSH was the first one used by Helen. She asked actor Chris O'Dowd (@BigBoyler who has 780,000 followers on Twitter) to retweet this hashtag and the 'Happy Virus' of volunteering started to spread throughout Ireland and beyond.

Person in wheelchair

What powers the map?

The map data is displayed on top of OpenStreetMap. It was created quickly with thanks to OpenLayers and Semantic-MediaWiki.

Doesn't this defeat the point of self-isolation?

We ask that everybody considers their own safety and respects the health advice, which currently suggests keeping a physical distance from other people.

There are plenty of ways you can help your neighbours without the risk of spreading the virus.

I can't find myself on the map!

If it said you were able to add yourself OK, then you should be on there! Your icon won't be exactly where you said you were, but could be anywhere within a half-mile radius.

Occasionally your phone or laptop will provide us with wrong location information, which can cause your icon to appear anywhere in the world. If you think that's what happened to you, let me know, ideally with your ID or email address.

The post on the map doesn't make any sense!

This is a first draft of the website, and for technical reasons it is trimming your post before it places you on the map, which can make some messages hard to read - especially if they contain a link.

The good news is if you tap the 'reply' button, you will then be given the FULL version of the message, with everything included.

How do I change my post?

Currently it's not possible to change your post. However, it is easy to delete your post, and you can then create a new post exactly how you want it.

Old Person

How do I get my volunteer group on the map?

Where a volunteer group (or business - see below) has already been formed, we should be encouraging people to join them.

Add yourself to the map as an individual, and then contact me with your report ID, and I will highlight your post.

What sort of businesses are you willing to work with?

I appreciate that as far as work and business is concerned, this is a very tough time for a lot of people.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be fair if we allowed the map to fill up with people advertising their services and businesses.

If a business or freelancer is doing something above-and-beyond, such as offering free goods or services or heading out of your way to help your neighbours, then you deserve to go on the map and are welcome to add yourself.

Why do all the icons create a funny pattern?

We don't place the icon exactly where you are, but move it about a little, to protect the privacy of people in more rural areas.

The formula we use to do this can create some strange patterns.

Why are there icons in the middle of the sea?

Our map now contains thousands of volunteers and while most of these are recorded accurately, a few have gone astray.

If you know an icon which is in the wrong place, let us know and we can fix it.

We did speak to one person who added themselves while they were on the ferry. That's great but you will need to use the "map not right" option at the end of the process, otherwise your location will be traced back to the sea!

Issues with location tracking should be made easier once you can add yourself by address. This is something we're working on.

What happens to my data?

An important question.

Firstly, this website does not set any cookies itself. It does use third-party software Google Analytics to collect anonymous analytical data (as do the majority of websites these days).

When you add yourself to the map, we ask you for your email address, your location and a message. We warn you that this message will be shared publicly and should not contain any personal information.

Your location is required so you can be placed on the map, but we modify it slightly first. These days your phone will try to tell us exactly where you are right now, but we don't want that much detail, so we modify your coordinates before we save them.

In this instance, your email address is kept private and not shared with anybody. We only use it to get in contact with you if somebody replies to you. We don't give that person your details - it's up to you to choose whether you will reply to them.

If you are replying to an existing message, your email address and any other contact details you provide will be passed over to the person you're replying to - that's clear and necessary - but will not be shared publicly by us or passed on to anybody else.

If you use the contact form or try to report an issue, we will ask for an email address from you. This is so that we can reply to you, and it will not be stored or passed on to anybody else, unless we were required to do so by law.

This is all the information this website collects.