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Bank blitzes backyards to help older people

Published 14/07/2017

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Age Action and Bank of Ireland today took part in the Great Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz, which will see hundreds of bank volunteers swapping their calculators for watering cans and their spreadsheets for spades to give their older neighbours a ‘dig out’ in the garden.

Bank of Ireland volunteers ready for the Backyard Blitz
Bank of Ireland volunteers ready for the Backyard Blitz

The gardening bonanza matches up bank employees with local older people who need a bit of help keeping their gardens maintained.

During the two-day initiative, hedge-trimming, hoe-wielding, flower-planting teams of volunteers will swarm over a staggering 125 gardens in Dublin, Cork and Galway. No job is too big or too small for the 300 plus volunteers who will be taking part in the gardening blitz.

Every weed pulled, flower planted and gate painted means a lot to older people who are very proud of their gardens, but often struggle to keep them maintained.

Bank of Ireland is delighted that Age Action is one of their three flagship charity partners and the Backyard Blitz is one of a programme of initiatives on which the bank will support Age Action.

The wider programme combines volunteering, fundraising and financial support, as well as providing teaching on the basics of the internet and digital world through Tea & Teach sessions.

Blitz by the numbers

Speaking on the initiative, Backyard Blitz Ambassador Alan Brogan said, “I am delighted to be the Ambassador for the Great Bank of Ireland Backyard Blitz initiative.

Over the two days, there will be some great work done to help older people in the community who may not be able to manage the upkeep of their gardens themselves.

It’s great to see employees come together to make a difference and I’ve no doubt it will be a very successful two days.”

Commenting on Backyard Blitz, Justin Moran, Age Action said; “We are delighted to be teaming up with Bank of Ireland.  The demand from our members and clients has been unbelievable.

There’s already huge excitement about teams of volunteers coming to help out and I can guarantee they’re going to get a really warm welcome.”

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Summer Raffle Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our Summer Raffle. We're so grateful to everyone who participated and who raised more than 18,000 euro to support older people in Ireland.

This year's winners were:

1st Prize winner €1,500

S Deegan, Dublin

2nd Prize winner €1,000

A Parks, Dublin

3rd Prize winner €500

M Dangerfield, Dublin

And the winner of our Sellers Prize was:

Sellers Prize €100

M Kane, Galway, €100

Thank you to all who supported the raffle, this is one of our biggest and most reliable fundraisers, so your support makes all the difference.

 

Top tips for staying cool

  • Keep out of the heat. Stay inside during the hottest time of the day – late morning to mid-afternoon. If you do go out, wear a hat and keep to the shade as much as possible. It’s very important to use sun screen of at least factor 15.
  • If you are travelling by car or public transport always take a bottle of water.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and limit activities like housework and gardening to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.
  • When inside, try to stay in the coolest parts of your home. Keep curtains and blinds closed in rooms that catch the sun. Remember that lights generate heat. Keep windows shut while it’s cooler inside than out and open them when it gets hotter inside. If it’s safe, you could leave a window open at night when it’s cooler. Fans can help sweat evaporate but do not cool the air itself.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-coloured cotton clothing.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Splash your face with cold water or place a damp cloth or scarf on the back of your neck to help you cool off.
  • Drink lots of fluid – even if you’re not thirsty. Limit drinks with caffeine (like coffee and cola) and avoid alcohol as it can increase dehydration.
  • Eat normally but try to have more cold foods, particularly salads and fruit as they contain a lot of water.

Dehydration and overheating

Extreme heat and humidity can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs: particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, pale skin, heavy sweating and a high temperature.

If you have any of these symptoms you must:

  • find a cool place and loosen tight clothes
  • drink plenty of water or fruit juice
  • sponge yourself with cold water or have a cool shower.

If you’re having difficulty, or your symptoms persist for several hours, seek medical advice. Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated - but it can also develop suddenly and without warning. The symptoms of heatstroke include hot and red skin, headaches, nausea, intense thirst, raised temperature, confusion, aggression and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition.

So if you or someone else shows symptoms:

  • call 999 immediately or 112 if you are in the European Union (you can call 112 from a mobile for free). If you have a community or personal alarm press the button on your pendant to call for help.
  • while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given above for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.

Further information

If you live alone consider asking a relative or friend to visit or phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.

  • If you know a neighbour who lives alone, check they are ok.
  •  Check for weather forecasts and temperature warnings on TV and radio, and online at  https://www.met.ie/warnings
  • If you have breathing problems or a heart condition your symptoms might get worse when it’s very hot.
  • For further advice about heat-related illness contact your GP.