Covid pod puts minds at ease in St Munchin’s refugee centre

The Covid isolation pod being delivered to St Munchin's Community Centre.

A LIMERICK accommodation centre for Ukrainian refugees has received a donation that will help allay fears of a Covid outbreak.

With 28 refugees sharing the building, staff, volunteers and the manager at St Munchin’s Community Enterprise Centre, Linda Ledger, have been very concerned about what might happen if there was an outbreak of the virus.

Located on the site of St Lelia’s School in Kileely, the emergency accommodation opened its doors to the displaced families at the start of April.

Now they have been given a Covid isolation pod rent-free, by the Limerick company, Modulaac.

The centre has bought two further pods, which are entirely self contained, including shower facilities, and can be used by up to three people. These have been put to work to create shower facilities and extra space for some of the families as the centre itself didn’t have showers before the emergency accommodation opened.

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“We had purchased two units off them already, and we have them divided out. But this one, which they have given to us for free for the year, we will use in case there is a Covid outbreak,” Ms Ledger said.

“As things stand, everyone is staying in communal areas, so God forbid if an outbreak were to happen. At least this unit is entirely self-contained.”

After an initial rally to get beds, seating and kitchen space created at the former school, Ms Ledger said that the 28 refugees, four dogs, four cats, and a parakeet are all settling in well.

“They have been through a terrible time but they are settling in and  finding themselves more at home. The kids are in school. They have a communal area and they have their own kitchen. They are doing their own cooking, and attending English classes. They really just want to work,” she said.

Tony Chawke, Managing Director of Modulacc, said they were happy to give the unit to St Munchin’s after seeing what they were doing to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“When this all started, Linda was the first person I saw doing anything. She had purchased two units already. We were on-site and we saw what she was doing. It is one thing to hear about the situation, it is another to see it first-hand. So it felt important that we do this,” he added.