Month: April 2020

Grampian COVID-19 Assistance Hub

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Volunteer Update – 24 April

 

 

 

 

We are now nearing the end of our fourth week of working with you to assist those in need across Grampian and it’s time to give you all another update on progress to date.

It is clear that you, and other groups / individuals, who are not registered with GHAC, are doing so much more in your communities for your friends, families and neighbours that we have no involvement with, which is, of course, fantastic.

We now have close to 3700 individuals and 300 groups listed as volunteers and we have called upon many of those listed to assist those in need.  We are however very much aware that some of you have yet to be called upon by us and that you may be wondering why that is the case.  The answer is both straightforward and heartening, it is simply due to the number of volunteers we can call upon, which can only be a positive.

Please continue to be patient with us, and if you are in a position to assist locally, don’t wait for us to ask you.

In closing, we would like to pass on the gratitude of the people you are assisting.  Whilst we know you receive thanks directly, you should also know that the feedback we get from those we ask you to help has been, and continues to be, nothing short of inspirational.

Thank you very much, from the Assistance Hub Team!

Below is a thank you to you from the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian Amanda Croft.

“These are difficult and trying times for all of us across the North East.
 
“Our healthcare staff throughout Grampian are working incredibly hard on the frontline to tackle this virus and protect the public.
 
“But, in turn, we need those in the community to protect our NHS by staying home and continuing to follow the government’s advice.
 
“It is in times of crisis, like we face today, that those who are able are asked to step up and help the most vulnerable in our society.
 
“When the Grampian Assistance Hub was launched last month, few could have predicted the remarkable response we have received from the people of the North East. I’m pleased to say that you have come forward in extraordinary numbers to protect our NHS and support those most in need.
 
“Over 3,000 individuals or groups across Grampian have now registered to offer support in their communities. That is incredible. The spirit and enthusiasm shown by people from all walks of life is truly inspirational.
 
“I give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has come forward: we owe each one of you a huge debt of gratitude.
 
“But while we get by and cope with the challenge faced today, the challenge that lies ahead is even tougher. Our response and continued resilience to this pandemic is going to require a huge effort across all areas of society.
 
“While some volunteers haven’t been called upon yet, we are in this for the long haul and the support you have shown will be needed as we work through this. The team will stay in touch and keep you updated about how you can help in your own community. 
 
“It is still possible for others to volunteer through the Grampian Assistance Hub online, and if you know anyone else who is willing and able to get involved, I would encourage them to do so.
 
“By continuing to work together, we will get through this and I am deeply grateful for your ongoing support.
 
Thank you and stay safe.”
 
Yours sincerely,
Amanda Croft

Did you know? …
Home Energy Scotland can assist if people are having difficulty in obtaining top ups for their pre-payment energy supply due to self-isolation.

It is preferable if issues can be highlighted early, before the energy supply is curtailed, so that measures can be put in place to sustain the supply.

Advice and assistance can be obtained by calling 08088082282 or by visiting the website https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/home-energy-scotland

Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-Bulletin Edition #5

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This bulletin continues to focus on what is currently happening or in place locally as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, local health and wellbeing providers, community resilience, support and advice.
*Please check each section for new and updated information*

Hot Topic!

*NEW* Please Dispose of Waste Responsibly
With recycling centres and seasonal garden waste collection points suspended due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), Aberdeenshire Council is asking residents to follow Government guidance and manage their waste responsibly during this difficult time.

Residents should not be tempted to burn their waste or resort to fly-tipping.  For further background, guidance and key tips for maximising space in your bins, please read the council’s website article.

Guidance

Links to national and local guidance

*NEW* Social Distancing for Volunteers
Volunteers who are delivering essential items (food, medicines etc) to vulnerable people who are self-isolating need to keep in mind the need for social distancing.  Every effort should be made whilst shopping or picking up medicines to keep as far as possible 2 metres (about 6 feet) away from other people.  Further social distancing guidance for volunteers is available here.
*NEW* Guidance for Home Learning
The Scottish Government has published “Supporting Pupils, Parents and Teachers – learning during term 4” to provide support as the school closures continue.
*NEW* Scottish Domestic Abuse Campaign
A national campaign to highlight support from those suffering from domestic abuse has been relaunched and runs to 17th May.  Visit Safer.Scot to find out the support available to those who may not be safe at home during the lockdown / social distancing period.
*NEW* Supporting Migrants with No Recourse to Public Funds
This document from COSLA provides guidance for local decision-making on supporting people (particularly migrant workers) with no recourse to public funds during the Covid-19 period.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

As we all deal with a number of questions around Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it would be useful to provide you with links where guidance can be sought.  The role of the Council in this event is one of signposting to appropriate advice. Please signpost anyone with concerns to the latest national guidance below.

Scottish Government Guidance
The Scottish Government’s website has published a page with what you need to know about the Coronavirus in Scotland. This includes advice for access rights, health, travel, service provision as well as the Scottish Government’s action plan and what they are doing.  Information on funding to be provided by the Scottish Government was also published.

NHS Inform 
The NHS Inform page on Coronavirus contains frequently asked questions and advice including diagnosing symptoms, what to do if you think you have symptoms, whether people you live with need to take any action and anything else you can do to prepare. There is also a helpline and further information links including guides in British Sign Language and easy-read advice.

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub

A new website and phoneline have been launched, providing people across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and provides links to services and information across three local authorities.  The phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Aberdeenshire Council Guidance
Aberdeenshire Council have published information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak including advice, guidance and links. This includes up to date information on health/hygiene, travel, events, community groups, businesses, sports/leisure facilities, registrars and council offices.
There are also separate pages dedicated to:
• Schools and learning
• Waste and recycling
• Registrars service
Support for businesses
Please also find guidance on Covid-19 in other languages – Romanian, Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian and the English version.
*UPDATED* Guidance for People with Dementia and Carers
The Dementia Advisor for South and Central Aberdeenshire can offer support and advice locally – contact 07769 366 175 or MCorbett@alzscot.org.  At present, one to one video calls are being offered as well as the usual phone calls.  The Alzheimer Scotland website https://www.alzscot.org/ has some very good information on it about dealing with things during the Coronavirus lock down such as carer stress, activities and preparing to go into hospital and these particular items can be found on this page https://www.alzscot.org/information-during-coronavirus.

Service Changes

The following is a non-exhaustive list of major changes in service. Please follow the links and stay up to date with information from official sources.

Business Delivery Register
Please see below a link to a site that has been created to allow all businesses to add their details of deliveries or shop openings within Aberdeenshire. Please click the link and add your business if appropriate.
http://deliverrural.org.uk/add-business-form/
Local Businesses – Delivery Services
Please find information on local businesses offering delivery services at this time. (This word document will download)
NHS Grampian – Operation Rainbow
NHS Grampian have developed a short film from NHS Grampian shows Nick Fluck, Medical Director and Caroline Hiscox, Nurse Director talking about Operation Rainbow. Operation Rainbow is our plan for COVID-19. It covers every part of the health service and every aspect of care. It is very detailed because the situation we are experiencing is new and we have had to change and adapt very quickly. This video explains how these changes will affect you – and how you can help us.

If you have any questions, please email gram-uhb.publichealth@nhs.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZK_19Uyupg&feature=youtu.be

NHS Grampian – Essential visits onlyThe rules for visiting patients in NHS hospitals have changed during the coronavirus outbreak.  To protect patients and staff, and prevent the spread of coronavirus, hospital visiting will be restricted to essential visits only.  You can find specific health advice on coronavirus here.

Short Survey – Police Scotland
Police Scotland are conducting a survey which aims to capture people’s feeling of safety and any concerns they have which can be addressed operationally and through information campaigns. The survey will also capture feedback from those who have been in contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete can be accessed via the link below.
https://consult.scotland.police.uk/surveys/your-police-2020-2021
Post Office: Ask-a-friend cash access scheme extended
Anyone who cannot leave home may be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher.The Post Office scheme is being extended and offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions. For more information please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52229698
Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology
Please view the new Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology website, which provides advice and resources for supporting children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Grampian Credit Union – for members
We are open each weekday Monday to Friday, from 10.00am to 2.00pm until further notice.
We continue to be available for our members living or working throughout Aberdeenshire to access their savings or lending.

Contact us by phone, email, website or post to our office in Aberdeen as follows:
Office:   250 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1TN
Phone:   01224 561506 (can leave message)
Email:     admin@grampiancreditunion.co.uk
Website: www.grampiancreditunion.co.uk

We are here to assist our Aberdeenshire members – check our website for latest service information.

Live Life Aberdeenshire – Facilities, Activities and Payments
LLA sports and cultural facilities have suspended services and closed facilities to the public as of 19th March. Closures include swimming pools, libraries, museums and aquariums; and the Active Schools programme, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and all activities and events are suspended or cancelled until further notice. LLA will be suspending all Direct Debits for Active Aberdeenshire members. No payments will be taken in April and May. Please bear with staff as they continue to work behind the scenes, answer customer enquiries as quickly as possible and in some cases assigned to support other critical Council services.
AHSCP – Learning Disability & Older Adults Day Services Suspended
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has taken the difficult decision to suspend Learning Disability and Older Adults Day Services and Respite Services for the foreseeable future. Social Work Teams will be in contact with service users and their families as soon as they possibly can to provide support, information and advice.
Community Resilience
Residents are working together to support our communities in this time of need with help like mutual aid groups or volunteer transport/deliveries.

If you are on Facebook, the pages below are a good way to stay informed about what is happening in your community as well as to keep in touch with neighbours and fellow residents, especially if you are isolated.

Community Pages and Mutual Aid/New Groups in K&M
Please be aware that these are informal groups/pages which are moderated by local residents and can be to promote communities, highlight information or to keep in touch with other residents. This list is not exhaustive. Please get in touch to let us know if you wish your group to be included in future editions.

Catterline & Kinneff – https://www.facebook.com/groups/488545805366051/
Newtonhill –
https://www.facebook.com/Newtonhill-Areas-Covid-19-Community-Help-106127777685822/?hc_location=group
Portlethen Coronavirus Community Care –https://www.facebook.com/groups/220991955621863/?hc_location=group
What’s On Bervie – https://www.facebook.com/Inverbervie/
Covid 19 – Helping Stonehaven https://www.facebook.com/groups/2520646894864553/
Stonehaven Lions – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenLionsClub/
Stonehaven Round Table – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenRT/
What’s on Johnshaven – https://www.facebook.com/johnshaveninfo/
Durris & Drumoak Community Group –
https://www.facebook.com/drumoakdurriscommunitydeesideddcg/
Auchenblae Support Group – Covid-19 –
https://www.facebook.com/groups/218557055882413/?ref=group_header

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub – Volunteers
Please be aware that if you’d like to offer to volunteer, you need to register on hub. The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and the phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network Update
Following government guidelines, we have cancelled all groups and events. We will still be offering the following services:
• Transport service for healthcare appointments.
• Home delivery shopping service, to include prescriptions and Post Office pickups.
• Telephone contact service.
• Garden maintenance.

For more information about any of these services please call the office on 01561 378130. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any changes. We provide volunteer-led services to improve the health and wellbeing of older people; these include help with shopping, transport and gardening. ​Please contact us if you can help with volunteering for any of the above services.

Community Councils
There are also 12 Community Councils which cover the Kincardine and Mearns area of Aberdeenshire. You can find contact details for each Community Council here.
Support
Groups and organisations are continuing to operate throughout the pandemic, offering critical support and services.
Young Scot
The weeks and months ahead will be incredibly challenging. Here at Young Scot, we are refocusing our core services and continuing to provide young people with the information and services they need during these unsettling times.
To our partners, please get in touch if we can support you.
Scarf
Scarf offers free and impartial advice services to help households manage and reduce their fuel bills. Advice includes:
– Access to grants and schemes and information for households most at risk
– Advice on how to keep your energy bills under control
– Understanding of your fuel bills and energy use
– Help to top up your meter
– Information/referrals to other projects offering support and advice

Call freephone 0808 808 2282 to speak to a local advisor. For more information visit https://www.scarf.org.uk/householder/.

My Life Dynamic
My Life Dynamic are continuing to offer services remotely via telephone sessions or video calls. Anyone in Aberdeenshire who is aged between 16 and 65 can self-refer by contacting us on 0300 1234 677 or by emailing enquiries@mylifedynamic.org.uk. More information on the services we provide can be found at [www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.%20]www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.
We have had to postpone our Living Life to the Full groups and workshops but will reschedule these when it is safe to do so.
Pillar Kincardine
Pillar Kincardine is offering a mental health telephone helpline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.  Call them on 01569 767222 for emotional support, signposting and practical advice.
Kincardineshire Development Partnership (KDP)
KDP is the local Rural Partnership for K&M. Whilst unable to offer face to face meetings at the moment they are continuing to offer the same help and support to community groups and organisations. Recognising the amazing support being offered by communities at this time, they have produced an interactive map of Community Support.
Links to all six Rural Partnerships in Aberdeenshire, including KDP, can be found here.
The Samaritans
The Samaritans website outlines good practical coping strategies and what to do if you are worried about a friend or relatives emotional wellbeing.  Their free helpline is available on 116 123.
Mental Health Aberdeen
As a result of the current lock down people may feel that their mental health is being affected. Also, those with existing mental health issues may find this stressful situation is making them worse. For anyone experiencing distress of any kind Mental Health Aberdeen have launched a new helpline. Call 01224 573892. Every helpline ‘open session’ will be staffed by an Information Officer who can give practical advice and also signpost callers to additional services. The opening hours will be as follows:

Monday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Tuesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Wednesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Thursday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Friday  10am – 1pm  Closed  Closed
Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drugs Partnership
Aberdeenshire ADP’s recovery cafes and community groups/activities are suspended for the time being. ADP are developing alternative opportunities for peer connections and support via telephone and online. Please view these links to the ADP Central Forum facebook page which details:
Phone and Online Recovery Resources
Online Recovery Group Activities Timetable
If you would like to become part of a phone and virtual peer recovery community network or if you would like to volunteer to contact and support folk, please read this post or email Susan Weetman at centralabdn.forum@hotmail.com
Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
While AVA wont be able to do face to face meetings or drop-in surgeries until further notice, their Development Officers are still working and offering the same range of services. You can contact your Development Officer by phone, email or even through skype, FaceTime or Zoom. AVA is funded to support community and voluntary organisations, including groups that have formed very recently because of COVID-19. AVA can help your group to establish itself, search for funding and promote its services: For more information please visit https://www.avashire.org.uk/new-groups.html and for information on funding for your group, please visit  https://www.avashire.org.uk/funding.html.  You can also continue to contact AVA by phone on 03718 110008 (Mon-Thur, 1000-1400hrs) or email them at [enquiries@avashire.org.uk]enquiries@avashire.org.uk. Please also view AVA’s April Newsletter.
Scottish Community Development Centre
Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) is working closely with government and the NHS nationally in offering assistance to community organisations and local partnerships to make what contributions they can to the current situation. This includes the following online resources:

Aberdeenshire Employment Support Team
The Employment Support Team have suspended their job clubs and face to face services until further notice. Key workers are still available to offer 1 to 1 support via phone, email or skype. Please get in touch through their page or by emailing. The team will arrange for a key worker to get in touch for you.
Scottish Rural Action
Scottish Rural Action have added a new page to their website that will collate sources of information and advice in one place. This can be found at the top of their home page. Their website will be updated regularly as new information, advice and sources of funding are published.

Scottish Rural Action is compiling examples of how different communities are dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19. If you would like to share examples of what your community is doing, please send information or direct links to information on your website. You can send these by email to SRA on info@sra.scot.

Invest Aberdeen
Invest Aberdeen have uploaded a great informational page for what we currently know for businesses at this difficult time. A snapshot of details of Government and other Agency support, business rate flexibility, insurance, funding and specific relaxations for pubs and restaurants. You’ll appreciate that things are changing fast and we don’t know all of the answers yet but we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
Funding
Please find information on sources of funding below.
Aberdeenshire Council – Community Resilience Fund
Aberdeenshire Council has opened up its Community Resilience Fund for applications. Please go to [https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/]https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/ for more information on how your community/voluntary group can apply for a £2000 grant to help support your efforts to alleviate the effects of Covid-19.  The fund is for community/resilience groups seeking funding to support people in the community who are staying at home, self-isolating, vulnerable and unable to access basic necessities such as food and medicines, as a result of the restrictions due to COVID-19.
It is not designed to support other community groups who may be affected because they cannot raise funds/income as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Groups in this situation should visit SCVO at https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund
Groups can also contact the Banffshire Rural Partnership boyndietrust@hotmail.com or Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund – Foundation Scotland
Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Launched by the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust (NET) is a fundraising appeal which will distribute money through several foundations which cover the UK.  Foundation Scotland is the lead partner for NET in Scotland.

Most immediately, it is providing emergency funding for local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people.  In the medium and longer term, Recovery and Resilience will be about funding local organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover their activities once the outbreak eases in response to community needs at that point.

Crisis Emergency Grants
Crisis UK are accepting funding applications for up to £5,000 or up to £50,000 to support local groups financially affected by extra demands on resources, who have expanded their provision to meet current needs of those experiencing homelessness in UK.

Youth Scotland Action Fund
The Action Fund has been established to help youth groups and youth workers meet the needs of young people in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus.  The maximum amount awarded is £500 per application.

Kelloggs Funding for Breakfast Clubs
Offering your school the opportunity to apply for a grant of £1000 to help fund your breakfast club. A limited number of grants are available so priority will be given to those schools that have 35% and above of children in receipt of pupil premium funding.
https://www.kelloggs.co.uk/en_GB/our-story/feeding-people-in-need/support-for-school-breakfast-clubs/grants-for-schools.html

Scottish Government Funding – Covid-19
Scottish Government funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. It is designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food. Further information as follows (links available for the first two funds):
Wellbeing Fund – to enable national/local action by third sector organisations to reach most vulnerable groups
Food Fund – to ensure everyone has access to food, including at risk and older people, also ensuring provision in place for families in receipt of free school meals.  Applications also to be made through the Wellbeing Fund above.
Supporting Communities Fund – funding to community organisations to support small scale community resilience (including charities not registered).  Fund allocated through community anchors, for organisations already playing key active role in community services.

SSEN Funding for Community Councils
SSEN has established this fund to support communities in our power distribution network area to improve local resilience. This funding comes from a proportion of the performance reward we receive from the regulator Ofgem. SSEN recognises the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the communities we support and has allocated the 2020 round of the fund specifically for projects which support the community response to Coronavirus. Community councils in the SSEN north of Scotland distribution area can apply for a grant of £3,000. Find out more at https://www.ssen.co.uk/rcf/

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF)
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is now open for applications and we are urging all community groups eligible to apply as soon as possible. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.
To be eligible, interested organisations must be:

  • a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities;
  • already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020;
  • and needing funding to stabilise cashflows directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties

SCVO have launched a Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which you can access here. A Supporting Communities Fund and the Wellbeing Fund will open for application very soon, and we will circulate information about those as soon as we can.

Find Business Support – click here
We know that businesses in rural Scotland will already be feeling the impact of Covid-19. The first tranche of business grants have now opened for application, and a series of sector specific support, such as seafood industry support, is starting to be announced.

The new Find Business Support website is updated regularly with links to business advice and grant and loan application information, and it is well worth reading if your business is affected.

Advice
New advice is being published regularly to help everyone ranging from benefits advice, scam awareness, helping stay connected and more.
*NEW* Clear Your Head
These are worrying and uncertain times. The coronavirus outbreak has changed daily life for us all in Scotland and has had a real impact on how many of us are feeling. It’s ok to not feel yourself right now, and Healthier Scotland have some great tips to help get you through it – view the information here.
*NEW* SCVO
Click on the logo below to find useful links from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Emergency Numbers for Gas, Electricity and Water
Gas
National Gas Emergency Tel 0800 111999
Electricity
North of Scotland – Scottish & Southern Energy Networks Tel 0800 300999
National Power Cut Number Tel 105
Water
Scottish Water 0800 0778778
Scottish Enterprise – Advice for Businesses
Scottish Enterprise have opened a helpline for businesses concerned about Coronavirus on 0300 303 0660 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 17:30). They have also pulled information together for businesses on their Find Business Support website available here.
FAQs
We have had received various queries through colleagues and have developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist you with these.  These FAQs will change to reflect national and local guidance.
*NEW* Portlethen Covid-19 Group Video Clip

Please find below a link to a video clip describing how the group came about and the community effort involved.  Inspirational stuff from a Community Group offering help to those vulnerable during this scary time of Coronavirus.

YouTube Video Clip (3 mins)

Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

Posted on Updated on


This newly announced scheme will allow those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership who has lost income due to coronavirus to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. HMRC will contact people who are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online. Find out more here.

Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-Bulletin Edition #4

Posted on

This bulletin continues to focus on what is currently happening or in place locally as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, local health and wellbeing providers, community resilience, support and advice.
*Please check each section for new and updated information*

Guidance

Links to national and local guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

As we all deal with a number of questions around Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it would be useful to provide you with links where guidance can be sought.  The role of the Council in this event is one of signposting to appropriate advice. Please signpost anyone with concerns to the latest national guidance below.

Scottish Government Guidance
The Scottish Government’s website has published a page with what you need to know about the Coronavirus in Scotland. This includes advice for access rights, health, travel, service provision as well as the Scottish Government’s action plan and what they are doing.  Information on funding to be provided by the Scottish Government was also published.

NHS Inform 
The NHS Inform page on Coronavirus contains frequently asked questions and advice including diagnosing symptoms, what to do if you think you have symptoms, whether people you live with need to take any action and anything else you can do to prepare. There is also a helpline and further information links including guides in British Sign Language and easy-read advice.

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub

A new website and phoneline have been launched, providing people across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and provides links to services and information across three local authorities.  The phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
*UPDATED* Aberdeenshire Council Guidance
Aberdeenshire Council have published information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak including advice, guidance and links. This includes up to date information on health/hygiene, travel, events, community groups, businesses, sports/leisure facilities, registrars and council offices.
There are also separate pages dedicated to:
• Schools and learning
• Waste and recycling
• Registrars service
Support for businesses
Please also find guidance on Covid-19 in other languages – Romanian, Lithuanian, Polish, Latvian and the English version.
Guidance for People with Dementia and Carers
Over the coming weeks and months, we are all being asked to change the way we live our lives so that those who may be most at risk of coronavirus are kept as safe as possible. During this time Alzheimer Scotland’s local teams will be on hand to help if you need any assistance with things such as accessing medication or shopping. Please call their 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 300.

Service Changes

The following is a non-exhaustive list of major changes in service. Please follow the links and stay up to date with information from official sources.

*NEW* Business Delivery Register
Please see below a link to a site that has been created to allow all businesses to add their details of deliveries or shop openings within Aberdeenshire. Please click the link and add your business if appropriate.
http://deliverrural.org.uk/add-business-form/
Local Businesses – Delivery Services
Please find information on local businesses offering delivery services at this time. (This word document will download)
*NEW* NHS Grampian – Operation Rainbow
NHS Grampian have developed a short film from NHS Grampian shows Nick Fluck, Medical Director and Caroline Hiscox, Nurse Director talking about Operation Rainbow. Operation Rainbow is our plan for COVID-19. It covers every part of the health service and every aspect of care. It is very detailed because the situation we are experiencing is new and we have had to change and adapt very quickly. This video explains how these changes will affect you – and how you can help us.

If you have any questions, please email gram-uhb.publichealth@nhs.net
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZK_19Uyupg&feature=youtu.be

NHS Grampian – Essential visits onlyThe rules for visiting patients in NHS hospitals have changed during the coronavirus outbreak.  To protect patients and staff, and prevent the spread of coronavirus, hospital visiting will be restricted to essential visits only.  You can find specific health advice on coronavirus here.
Short Survey – Police Scotland
Police Scotland are conducting a survey which aims to capture people’s feeling of safety and any concerns they have which can be addressed operationally and through information campaigns. The survey will also capture feedback from those who have been in contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete can be accessed via the link below.
https://consult.scotland.police.uk/surveys/your-police-2020-2021
Post Office: Ask-a-friend cash access scheme extended
Anyone who cannot leave home may be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher.The Post Office scheme is being extended and offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions. For more information please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52229698
Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology
Please view the new Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology website, which provides advice and resources for supporting children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Council Supply of Bedding Plants to Communities
Following concerns being expressed by several community groups and considering current circumstances, Aberdeenshire Council has decided to cancel the supply of plants to the many groups who were expecting to take delivery this summer. This is a rapidly changing situation, further advice may be issued as things develop. We know this will be disappointing for many people, but our first priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone within our communities.
Aberdeenshire Council – Waste ServicesGiven the lockdown measures in place, it is safer for everybody if we come and collect your waste, rather than everybody taking their waste to recycling centres. We do not accept side waste though, as handling bags and uncontained waste is a potential health hazard to our collection crews.

For more information on changes to recycling and waste services during the Covid-19 outbreak, please see https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/ . For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AberdeenshireWaste/
and sign up to bin notifications on the My Aberdeenshire app at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/my/mobile-app/

Grampian Credit Union – for members
We are open each weekday Monday to Friday, from 10.00am to 2.00pm until further notice.
We continue to be available for our members living or working throughout Aberdeenshire to access their savings or lending.

Contact us by phone, email, website or post to our office in Aberdeen as follows:
Office:   250 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1TN
Phone:   01224 561506 (can leave message)
Email:     admin@grampiancreditunion.co.uk
Website: www.grampiancreditunion.co.uk

We are here to assist our Aberdeenshire members – check our website for latest service information.

Stagecoach Buses – Reduced Service
Temporary changes to bus services in Aberdeenshire and Moray have been introduced following government advice around non-essential travel to help combat the coronavirus. A reduced timetable will operate across the region until further notice. Updated adjustments to some key services (from 13th April) are now available to download at stagecoachbus.com.  These adjustments have been made following feedback received from key workers who rely on bus services to get to and home from work.
Live Life Aberdeenshire – Facilities, Activities and Payments
LLA sports and cultural facilities have suspended services and closed facilities to the public as of 19th March. Closures include swimming pools, libraries, museums and aquariums; and the Active Schools programme, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and all activities and events are suspended or cancelled until further notice. LLA will be suspending all Direct Debits for Active Aberdeenshire members. No payments will be taken in April and May. Please bear with staff as they continue to work behind the scenes, answer customer enquiries as quickly as possible and in some cases assigned to support other critical Council services.
AHSCP – Learning Disability & Older Adults Day Services Suspended
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has taken the difficult decision to suspend Learning Disability and Older Adults Day Services and Respite Services for the foreseeable future. Social Work Teams will be in contact with service users and their families as soon as they possibly can to provide support, information and advice.
Community Resilience
Residents are working together to support our communities in this time of need with help like mutual aid groups or volunteer transport/deliveries.

If you are on Facebook, the pages below are a good way to stay informed about what is happening in your community as well as to keep in touch with neighbours and fellow residents, especially if you are isolated.

*UPDATED* Community Pages and Mutual Aid/New Groups in K&M
Please be aware that these are informal groups/pages which are moderated by local residents and can be to promote communities, highlight information or to keep in touch with other residents. This list is not exhaustive. Please get in touch to let us know if you wish your group to be included in future editions.

Catterline & Kinneff – https://www.facebook.com/groups/488545805366051/
Newtonhill –
https://www.facebook.com/Newtonhill-Areas-Covid-19-Community-Help-106127777685822/?hc_location=group
Portlethen Coronavirus Community Care –https://www.facebook.com/groups/220991955621863/?hc_location=group
What’s On Bervie – https://www.facebook.com/Inverbervie/
Covid 19 – Helping Stonehaven https://www.facebook.com/groups/2520646894864553/
Stonehaven Lions – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenLionsClub/
Stonehaven Round Table – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenRT/
What’s on Johnshaven – https://www.facebook.com/johnshaveninfo/
Durris & Drumoak Community Group –
https://www.facebook.com/drumoakdurriscommunitydeesideddcg/

New support group in Auchenblae
https://www.facebook.com/groups/218557055882413/?ref=group_header
Auchenblae Support Group – Covid-19.  Providing support to those in need with shopping, collecting prescriptions, dog walking, telephone chats and a community larder.  Doing a flyer drop and advertising on the Auchenblae Noticeboard Facebook page.  Requests will go to the volunteers detailed in the flyers, but the main points of contact are: AuchenblaeSG@gmail.com, Margo Titmuss – 07527 585327 and Gina Easter – 01561 320269.

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub – Volunteers
Please be aware that if you’d like to offer to volunteer, you need to register on hub. The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and the phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network Update
Following government guidelines, we have cancelled all groups and events. We will still be offering the following services:
• Transport service for healthcare appointments.
• Home delivery shopping service, to include prescriptions and Post Office pickups.
• Telephone contact service.
• Garden maintenance.

For more information about any of these services please call the office on 01561 378130. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any changes. We provide volunteer-led services to improve the health and wellbeing of older people; these include help with shopping, transport and gardening. ​Please contact us if you can help with volunteering for any of the above services.

Community Councils
There are also 12 Community Councils which cover the Kincardine and Mearns area of Aberdeenshire. You can find contact details for each Community Council here.
Support
Groups and organisations are continuing to operate throughout the pandemic, offering critical support and services.
*NEW* Young Scot
The weeks and months ahead will be incredibly challenging. Here at Young Scot, we are refocusing our core services and continuing to provide young people with the information and services they need during these unsettling times.
To our partners, please get in touch if we can support you.
Scarf
Scarf offers free and impartial advice services to help households manage and reduce their fuel bills. Advice includes:
– Access to grants and schemes and information for households most at risk
– Advice on how to keep your energy bills under control
– Understanding of your fuel bills and energy use
– Help to top up your meter
– Information/referrals to other projects offering support and advice

Call freephone 0808 808 2282 to speak to a local advisor. For more information visit https://www.scarf.org.uk/householder/.

My Life Dynamic
My Life Dynamic are continuing to offer services remotely via telephone sessions or video calls. Anyone in Aberdeenshire who is aged between 16 and 65 can self-refer by contacting us on 0300 1234 677 or by emailing enquiries@mylifedynamic.org.uk. More information on the services we provide can be found at [www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.%20]www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.
We have had to postpone our Living Life to the Full groups and workshops but will reschedule these when it is safe to do so.
Pillar Kincardine
Pillar Kincardine is offering a mental health telephone helpline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.  Call them on 01569 767222 for emotional support, signposting and practical advice.
Kincardineshire Development Partnership (KDP)
KDP is the local Rural Partnership for K&M. Whilst unable to offer face to face meetings at the moment they are continuing to offer the same help and support to community groups and organisations. Recognising the amazing support being offered by communities at this time, they have produced an interactive map of Community Support.
Links to all six Rural Partnerships in Aberdeenshire, including KDP, can be found here.
The Samaritans
The Samaritans website outlines good practical coping strategies and what to do if you are worried about a friend or relatives emotional wellbeing.  Their free helpline is available on 116 123.
Mental Health Aberdeen
As a result of the current lock down people may feel that their mental health is being affected. Also, those with existing mental health issues may find this stressful situation is making them worse. For anyone experiencing distress of any kind Mental Health Aberdeen have launched a new helpline. Call 01224 573892. Every helpline ‘open session’ will be staffed by an Information Officer who can give practical advice and also signpost callers to additional services. The opening hours will be as follows:

Monday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Tuesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Wednesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Thursday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Friday  10am – 1pm  Closed  Closed
Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drugs Partnership
Aberdeenshire ADP’s recovery cafes and community groups/activities are suspended for the time being. ADP are developing alternative opportunities for peer connections and support via telephone and online. Please view these links to the ADP Central Forum facebook page which details:
Phone and Online Recovery Resources
Online Recovery Group Activities Timetable
If you would like to become part of a phone and virtual peer recovery community network or if you would like to volunteer to contact and support folk, please read this post or email Susan Weetman at centralabdn.forum@hotmail.com
Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
While AVA wont be able to do face to face meetings or drop-in surgeries until further notice, their Development Officers are still working and offering the same range of services. You can contact your Development Officer by phone, email or even through skype, FaceTime or Zoom. AVA is funded to support community and voluntary organisations, including groups that have formed very recently because of COVID-19. AVA can help your group to establish itself, search for funding and promote its services: For more information please visit https://www.avashire.org.uk/new-groups.html and for information on funding for your group, please visit  https://www.avashire.org.uk/funding.html.  You can also continue to contact AVA by phone on 03718 110008 (Mon-Thur, 1000-1400hrs) or email them at [enquiries@avashire.org.uk]enquiries@avashire.org.uk. Please also view AVA’s April Newsletter.
Scottish Community Development Centre
Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) is working closely with government and the NHS nationally in offering assistance to community organisations and local partnerships to make what contributions they can to the current situation. This includes the following online resources:

Aberdeenshire Employment Support Team
The Employment Support Team have suspended their job clubs and face to face services until further notice. Key workers are still available to offer 1 to 1 support via phone, email or skype. Please get in touch through their page or by emailing. The team will arrange for a key worker to get in touch for you.
Scottish Rural Action
Scottish Rural Action have added a new page to their website that will collate sources of information and advice in one place. This can be found at the top of their home page. Their website will be updated regularly as new information, advice and sources of funding are published.

Scottish Rural Action is compiling examples of how different communities are dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19. If you would like to share examples of what your community is doing, please send information or direct links to information on your website. You can send these by email to SRA on info@sra.scot.

Invest Aberdeen
Invest Aberdeen have uploaded a great informational page for what we currently know for businesses at this difficult time. A snapshot of details of Government and other Agency support, business rate flexibility, insurance, funding and specific relaxations for pubs and restaurants. You’ll appreciate that things are changing fast and we don’t know all of the answers yet but we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
Funding
Please find information on sources of funding below.
Aberdeenshire Council – Community Resilience Fund
Aberdeenshire Council has opened up its Community Resilience Fund for applications. Please go to [https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/]https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/ for more information on how your community/voluntary group can apply for a £2000 grant to help support your efforts to alleviate the effects of Covid-19.  The fund is for community/resilience groups seeking funding to support people in the community who are staying at home, self-isolating, vulnerable and unable to access basic necessities such as food and medicines, as a result of the restrictions due to COVID-19.
It is not designed to support other community groups who may be affected because they cannot raise funds/income as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Groups in this situation should visit SCVO at https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund
Groups can also contact the Banffshire Rural Partnership boyndietrust@hotmail.com or Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund – Foundation Scotland
Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Launched by the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust (NET) is a fundraising appeal which will distribute money through several foundations which cover the UK.  Foundation Scotland is the lead partner for NET in Scotland.

Most immediately, it is providing emergency funding for local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people.  In the medium and longer term, Recovery and Resilience will be about funding local organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover their activities once the outbreak eases in response to community needs at that point.

*NEW* Crisis Emergency Grants
Crisis UK are accepting funding applications for up to £5,000 or up to £50,000 to support local groups financially affected by extra demands on resources, who have expanded their provision to meet current needs of those experiencing homelessness in UK.

*NEW* Youth Scotland Action Fund
The Action Fund has been established to help youth groups and youth workers meet the needs of young people in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus.  The maximum amount awarded is £500 per application.

*NEW* Kelloggs Funding for Breakfast Clubs
Offering your school the opportunity to apply for a grant of £1000 to help fund your breakfast club. A limited number of grants are available so priority will be given to those schools that have 35% and above of children in receipt of pupil premium funding.
https://www.kelloggs.co.uk/en_GB/our-story/feeding-people-in-need/support-for-school-breakfast-clubs/grants-for-schools.html

*UPDATED* Scottish Government Funding – Covid-19
Scottish Government funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. It is designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food. Further information as follows (links available for the first two funds):
Wellbeing Fund – to enable national/local action by third sector organisations to reach most vulnerable groups
Food Fund – to ensure everyone has access to food, including at risk and older people, also ensuring provision in place for families in receipt of free school meals.  Applications also to be made through the Wellbeing Fund above.
Supporting Communities Fund – funding to community organisations to support small scale community resilience (including charities not registered).  Fund allocated through community anchors, for organisations already playing key active role in community services.

SSEN Funding for Community Councils
SSEN has established this fund to support communities in our power distribution network area to improve local resilience. This funding comes from a proportion of the performance reward we receive from the regulator Ofgem. SSEN recognises the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the communities we support and has allocated the 2020 round of the fund specifically for projects which support the community response to Coronavirus. Community councils in the SSEN north of Scotland distribution area can apply for a grant of £3,000. Find out more at https://www.ssen.co.uk/rcf/

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF)
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is now open for applications and we are urging all community groups eligible to apply as soon as possible. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.
To be eligible, interested organisations must be:

  • a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities;
  • already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020;
  • and needing funding to stabilise cashflows directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties

SCVO have launched a Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which you can access here. A Supporting Communities Fund and the Wellbeing Fund will open for application very soon, and we will circulate information about those as soon as we can.

Find Business Support – click here
We know that businesses in rural Scotland will already be feeling the impact of Covid-19. The first tranche of business grants have now opened for application, and a series of sector specific support, such as seafood industry support, is starting to be announced.

The new Find Business Support website is updated regularly with links to business advice and grant and loan application information, and it is well worth reading if your business is affected.

Advice
New advice is being published regularly to help everyone ranging from benefits advice, scam awareness, helping stay connected and more.
*NEW* Emergency Numbers for Gas, Electricity and Water
Gas
National Gas Emergency Tel 0800 111999
Electricity
North of Scotland – Scottish & Southern Energy Networks Tel 0800 300999
National Power Cut Number Tel 105
Water
Scottish Water 0800 0778778
DWP – Universal Credit / Benefits Advice
The Department for Work and Pensions have published a letter providing detail on measures and changes DWP has put in place to support our customers and partners in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  This page also provides information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It will continue to be updated.
Scottish Enterprise – Advice for Businesses
Scottish Enterprise have opened a helpline for businesses concerned about Coronavirus on 0300 303 0660 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 17:30). They have also pulled information together for businesses on their Find Business Support website available here.
Asthma UK – Advice for those with asthma
When people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can set off their asthma symptoms. To reduce your risk of asthma symptoms, the best action you can take is to follow these simple asthma management steps.
FAQs
We have had received various queries through colleagues and have developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist you with these.  These FAQs will change to reflect national and local guidance.
*NEW* Mindfulness

Grampian Mindfulness Collective is a group of four mindfulness teachers based in and around the Grampian area in Scotland. Offering regular live mindfulness meditation sessions during the coronavirus lockdown.

Keen to both support those on the frontline in this small way and to help cultivate a sense of community among mindfulness practitioners in Grampian moving through and beyond this current crisis.  Five broadcasts a week: Mon/Weds/Fri at 8pm for 30 mins and Tues/Thurs at 6.15 for 10 mins but all will be recorded for watching at whatever time is convenient.

https://www.facebook.com/Grampian-Mindfulness-Collective-100679641617121/

 

Kincardine & Mearns Covid-19 E Bulletin

Posted on

This bulletin continues to focus on what is currently happening or in place locally as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, local health and wellbeing providers, community resilience, support and advice.
*Please check each section for new and updated information*

(Photo credit: Aberdeenshire Council Image Library)

Guidance

Links to national and local guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

As we all deal with a number of questions around Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it would be useful to provide you with links where guidance can be sought.  The role of the Council in this event is one of signposting to appropriate advice. Please signpost anyone with concerns to the latest national guidance below.

Scottish Government Guidance
The Scottish Government’s website has published a page with what you need to know about the Coronavirus in Scotland. This includes advice for access rights, health, travel, service provision as well as the Scottish Government’s action plan and what they are doing.  Information on funding to be provided by the Scottish Government was also published.

NHS Inform 
The NHS Inform page on Coronavirus contains frequently asked questions and advice including diagnosing symptoms, what to do if you think you have symptoms, whether people you live with need to take any action and anything else you can do to prepare. There is also a helpline and further information links including guides in British Sign Language and easy-read advice.

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub

A new website and phoneline have been launched, providing people across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and provides links to services and information across three local authorities.  The phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Aberdeenshire Council Guidance
Aberdeenshire Council have published information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak including advice, guidance and links. This includes up to date information on health/hygiene, travel, events, community groups, businesses, sports/leisure facilities, registrars and council offices.
There are also separate pages dedicated to:
• Schools and learning
• Waste and recycling
• Registrars service
Support for businesses
*NEW* Guidance for People with Dementia and Carers
Over the coming weeks and months, we are all being asked to change the way we live our lives so that those who may be most at risk of coronavirus are kept as safe as possible. During this time Alzheimer Scotland’s local teams will be on hand to help if you need any assistance with things such as accessing medication or shopping. Please call their 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 300.

Service Changes

The following is a non-exhaustive list of major changes in service. Please follow the links and stay up to date with information from official sources.

*NEW* Post Office: Ask-a-friend cash access scheme extended
Anyone who cannot leave home may be able to ask a trusted friend or volunteer to withdraw cash at any Post Office using a single-use voucher.The Post Office scheme is being extended and offered to all banks, building societies and credit unions. For more information please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52229698
*NEW* Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology
Please view the new Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology website, which provides advice and resources for supporting children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
*NEW* Council Supply of Bedding Plants to Communities
Following concerns being expressed by several community groups and considering current circumstances, Aberdeenshire Council has decided to cancel the supply of plants to the many groups who were expecting to take delivery this summer. This is a rapidly changing situation, further advice may be issued as things develop. We know this will be disappointing for many people, but our first priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone within our communities.
NHS Grampian – Essential visits onlyThe rules for visiting patients in NHS hospitals have changed during the coronavirus outbreak.  To protect patients and staff, and prevent the spread of coronavirus, hospital visiting will be restricted to essential visits only.  You can find specific health advice on coronavirus here.
Aberdeenshire Council – Waste ServicesGiven the lockdown measures in place, it is safer for everybody if we come and collect your waste, rather than everybody taking their waste to recycling centres. We do not accept side waste though, as handling bags and uncontained waste is a potential health hazard to our collection crews.

For more information on changes to recycling and waste services during the Covid-19 outbreak, please see https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/waste-covid-19/ . For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AberdeenshireWaste/
and sign up to bin notifications on the My Aberdeenshire app at https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/my/mobile-app/

Grampian Credit Union – for members
We are open each weekday Monday to Friday, from 10.00am to 2.00pm until further notice.
We continue to be available for our members living or working throughout Aberdeenshire to access their savings or lending.

Contact us by phone, email, website or post to our office in Aberdeen as follows:
Office:   250 Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1TN
Phone:   01224 561506 (can leave message)
Email:     admin@grampiancreditunion.co.uk
Website: www.grampiancreditunion.co.uk

We are here to assist our Aberdeenshire members – check our website for latest service information.

Stagecoach Buses – Reduced Service
Temporary changes to bus services in Aberdeenshire and Moray have been introduced following government advice around non-essential travel to help combat the coronavirus. A reduced timetable will operate across the region until further notice. Updated adjustments to some key services (from 13th April) are now available to download at stagecoachbus.com.  These adjustments have been made following feedback received from key workers who rely on bus services to get to and home from work.
Live Life Aberdeenshire – Facilities, Activities and Payments
LLA sports and cultural facilities have suspended services and closed facilities to the public as of 19th March. Closures include swimming pools, libraries, museums and aquariums; and the Active Schools programme, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and all activities and events are suspended or cancelled until further notice. LLA will be suspending all Direct Debits for Active Aberdeenshire members. No payments will be taken in April and May. Please bear with staff as they continue to work behind the scenes, answer customer enquiries as quickly as possible and in some cases assigned to support other critical Council services.
AHSCP – Learning Disability & Older Adults Day Services Suspended
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has taken the difficult decision to suspend Learning Disability and Older Adults Day Services and Respite Services for the foreseeable future. Social Work Teams will be in contact with service users and their families as soon as they possibly can to provide support, information and advice.
Community Resilience
Residents are working together to support our communities in this time of need with help like mutual aid groups or volunteer transport/deliveries.

If you are on Facebook, the pages below are a good way to stay informed about what is happening in your community as well as to keep in touch with neighbours and fellow residents, especially if you are isolated.

*NEW* Community Pages and Mutual Aid/New Groups in K&M
Please be aware that these are informal groups/pages which are moderated by local residents and can be to promote communities, highlight information or to keep in touch with other residents. This list is not exhaustive. Please get in touch to let us know if you wish your group to be included in future editions.

Catterline & Kinneff – https://www.facebook.com/groups/488545805366051/
Newtonhill –
https://www.facebook.com/Newtonhill-Areas-Covid-19-Community-Help-106127777685822/?hc_location=group
Portlethen Coronavirus Community Care –https://www.facebook.com/groups/220991955621863/?hc_location=group
What’s On Bervie – https://www.facebook.com/Inverbervie/
Covid 19 – Helping Stonehaven https://www.facebook.com/groups/2520646894864553/
Stonehaven Lions – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenLionsClub/
Stonehaven Round Table – https://www.facebook.com/StonehavenRT/
What’s on Johnshaven – https://www.facebook.com/johnshaveninfo/
Durris & Drumoak Community Group –
https://www.facebook.com/drumoakdurriscommunitydeesideddcg/

Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub – Volunteers
Please be aware that if you’d like to offer to volunteer, you need to register on hub. The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and the phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network Update
Following government guidelines, we have cancelled all groups and events. We will still be offering the following services:
• Transport service for healthcare appointments.
• Home delivery shopping service, to include prescriptions and Post Office pickups.
• Telephone contact service.
• Garden maintenance.

For more information about any of these services please call the office on 01561 378130. We will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any changes. We provide volunteer-led services to improve the health and wellbeing of older people; these include help with shopping, transport and gardening. ​Please contact us if you can help with volunteering for any of the above services.

Local Businesses – Delivery Services
Please find information on local businesses offering delivery services at this time. (This word document will download)
Community Councils
There are also 12 Community Councils which cover the Kincardine and Mearns area of Aberdeenshire. You can find contact details for each Community Council here.
Support
Groups and organisations are continuing to operate throughout the pandemic, offering critical support and services.
*NEW* Scarf
Scarf offers free and impartial advice services to help households manage and reduce their fuel bills. Advice includes:
– Access to grants and schemes and information for households most at risk
– Advice on how to keep your energy bills under control
– Understanding of your fuel bills and energy use
– Help to top up your meter
– Information/referrals to other projects offering support and advice

Call freephone 0808 808 2282 to speak to a local advisor. For more information visit https://www.scarf.org.uk/householder/.

*NEW* My Life Dynamic
My Life Dynamic are continuing to offer services remotely via telephone sessions or video calls. Anyone in Aberdeenshire who is aged between 16 and 65 can self-refer by contacting us on 0300 1234 677 or by emailing enquiries@mylifedynamic.org.uk. More information on the services we provide can be found at [www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.%20]www.mylifedynamic.org.uk.
We have had to postpone our Living Life to the Full groups and workshops but will reschedule these when it is safe to do so.
Pillar Kincardine
Pillar Kincardine is offering a mental health telephone helpline from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.  Call them on 01569 767222 for emotional support, signposting and practical advice.
Kincardineshire Development Partnership (KDP)
KDP is the local Rural Partnership for K&M. Whilst unable to offer face to face meetings at the moment they are continuing to offer the same help and support to community groups and organisations. Recognising the amazing support being offered by communities at this time, they have produced an interactive map of Community Support.
Links to all six Rural Partnerships in Aberdeenshire, including KDP, can be found here.
The Samaritans
The Samaritans website outlines good practical coping strategies and what to do if you are worried about a friend or relatives emotional wellbeing.  Their free helpline is available on 116 123.
Mental Health Aberdeen
As a result of the current lock down people may feel that their mental health is being affected. Also, those with existing mental health issues may find this stressful situation is making them worse. For anyone experiencing distress of any kind Mental Health Aberdeen have launched a new helpline. Call 01224 573892. Every helpline ‘open session’ will be staffed by an Information Officer who can give practical advice and also signpost callers to additional services. The opening hours will be as follows:

Monday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Tuesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Wednesday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  6pm – 8pm
Thursday  10am – 1pm  2pm- 5pm  Closed
Friday  10am – 1pm  Closed  Closed
Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drugs Partnership
Aberdeenshire ADP’s recovery cafes and community groups/activities are suspended for the time being. ADP are developing alternative opportunities for peer connections and support via telephone and online. Please view these links to the ADP Central Forum facebook page which details:
Phone and Online Recovery Resources
Online Recovery Group Activities Timetable
If you would like to become part of a phone and virtual peer recovery community network or if you would like to volunteer to contact and support folk, please read this post or email Susan Weetman at centralabdn.forum@hotmail.com
Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
While AVA wont be able to do face to face meetings or drop-in surgeries until further notice, their Development Officers are still working and offering the same range of services. You can contact your Development Officer by phone, email or even through skype, FaceTime or Zoom. AVA is funded to support community and voluntary organisations, including groups that have formed very recently because of COVID-19. AVA can help your group to establish itself, search for funding and promote its services: For more information please visit https://www.avashire.org.uk/new-groups.html and for information on funding for your group, please visit  https://www.avashire.org.uk/funding.html.  You can also continue to contact AVA by phone on 03718 110008 (Mon-Thur, 1000-1400hrs) or email them at [enquiries@avashire.org.uk]enquiries@avashire.org.uk. Please also view AVA’s April Newsletter.
Scottish Community Development Centre
Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) is working closely with government and the NHS nationally in offering assistance to community organisations and local partnerships to make what contributions they can to the current situation. This includes the following online resources:

Aberdeenshire Employment Support Team
The Employment Support Team have suspended their job clubs and face to face services until further notice. Key workers are still available to offer 1 to 1 support via phone, email or skype. Please get in touch through their page or by emailing. The team will arrange for a key worker to get in touch for you.
Scottish Rural Action
Scottish Rural Action have added a new page to their website that will collate sources of information and advice in one place. This can be found at the top of their home page. Their website will be updated regularly as new information, advice and sources of funding are published.

Scottish Rural Action is compiling examples of how different communities are dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19. If you would like to share examples of what your community is doing, please send information or direct links to information on your website. You can send these by email to SRA on info@sra.scot.

Invest Aberdeen
Invest Aberdeen have uploaded a great informational page for what we currently know for businesses at this difficult time. A snapshot of details of Government and other Agency support, business rate flexibility, insurance, funding and specific relaxations for pubs and restaurants. You’ll appreciate that things are changing fast and we don’t know all of the answers yet but we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
Funding
Please find information on sources of funding below.
Aberdeenshire Council – Community Resilience Fund
Aberdeenshire Council has opened up its Community Resilience Fund for applications. Please go to [https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/]https:/www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/ for more information on how your community/voluntary group can apply for a £2000 grant to help support your efforts to alleviate the effects of Covid-19.  The fund is for community/resilience groups seeking funding to support people in the community who are staying at home, self-isolating, vulnerable and unable to access basic necessities such as food and medicines, as a result of the restrictions due to COVID-19.
It is not designed to support other community groups who may be affected because they cannot raise funds/income as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Groups in this situation should visit SCVO at https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund
Groups can also contact the Banffshire Rural Partnership boyndietrust@hotmail.com or Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund – Foundation Scotland
Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Launched by the Duke of Cambridge, the National Emergencies Trust (NET) is a fundraising appeal which will distribute money through several foundations which cover the UK.  Foundation Scotland is the lead partner for NET in Scotland.

Most immediately, it is providing emergency funding for local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people.  In the medium and longer term, Recovery and Resilience will be about funding local organisations whose operations and finances have been affected so they can recover their activities once the outbreak eases in response to community needs at that point.

Helping Communities Affected by COVID-19
Scottish Government funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. It is designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food. Further information here.

SSEN Funding for Community Councils
SSEN has established this fund to support communities in our power distribution network area to improve local resilience. This funding comes from a proportion of the performance reward we receive from the regulator Ofgem. SSEN recognises the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the communities we support and has allocated the 2020 round of the fund specifically for projects which support the community response to Coronavirus. Community councils in the SSEN north of Scotland distribution area can apply for a grant of £3,000. Find out more at https://www.ssen.co.uk/rcf/

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF)
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is now open for applications and we are urging all community groups eligible to apply as soon as possible. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.
To be eligible, interested organisations must be:

  • a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities;
  • already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020;
  • and needing funding to stabilise cashflows directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties

SCVO have launched a Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which you can access here. A Supporting Communities Fund and the Wellbeing Fund will open for application very soon, and we will circulate information about those as soon as we can.

Find Business Support – click here
We know that businesses in rural Scotland will already be feeling the impact of Covid-19. The first tranche of business grants have now opened for application, and a series of sector specific support, such as seafood industry support, is starting to be announced.

The new Find Business Support website is updated regularly with links to business advice and grant and loan application information, and it is well worth reading if your business is affected.

Advice
New advice is being published regularly to help everyone ranging from benefits advice, scam awareness, helping stay connected and more.
Universal Credit – Claiming Benefits Advice
This page provides information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It will continue to be updated. Please check the page regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.
Scottish Enterprise – Advice for Businesses
Scottish Enterprise have opened a helpline for businesses concerned about Coronavirus on 0300 303 0660 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 17:30). They have also pulled information together for businesses on their Find Business Support website available here.
Asthma UK – Advice for those with asthma
When people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can set off their asthma symptoms. To reduce your risk of asthma symptoms, the best action you can take is to follow these simple asthma management steps.
FAQs
We have had received various queries through colleagues and have developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist you with these.  These FAQs will change to reflect national and local guidance.
Cartoonist launches new series!

Finally, cartoonist First Dog on the Moon has released a series of sketches about how pets are ‘helping’ people in isolation. Examples include a dog that sprained its tail by wagging it too much because its owners are home more, and a budgie that keeps attacking a computer mouse.

You can see examples of the cartoons here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The UK Government has released new guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The scheme is for employers to use to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Read more here.

Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-blog

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This bulletin is focused on what is currently happening or in place locally as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

This includes sections which will signpost you to official guidance, changes in service provision, support and advice.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

As we all deal with a number of questions around Coronavirus (COVID-19), we felt it would be useful to provide you with links where guidance can be sought.  The role of the Council in this event is one of signposting to appropriate advice. Please signpost anyone with concerns to the latest national guidance below.

Government Announcement
The government have introduced a lockdown to slow the spread of Coronavirus and help the NHS care for those who need it most. You can read the full statement here. The only permissible reasons to leave your home are as follows:

  • To shop for basic necessities (limited to once a day)
  • To take exercise once a day – alone or with your own household
  • For medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person
  • To travel to essential work if that cannot be done at home

Scottish Government Guidance
The Scottish Government’s website has published a page with what you need to know about the Coronavirus in Scotland. This includes advice for health, travel, service provision as well as the Scottish Government’s action plan and what they are doing.  Information on funding to be provided by the Scottish Government was also published.

NHS Inform 
The NHS Inform page on Coronavirus contains frequently asked questions and advice including diagnosing symptoms, what to do if you think you have symptoms, whether people you live with need to take any action and anything else you can do to prepare. There is also a helpline and further information links including guides in British Sign Language and easy-read advice.

 

Grampian Assistance Hub

A new website and phoneline have been launched, providing people across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The website can be found at www.GCAH.org.uk, and provides links to services and information across three local authorities.  The phoneline number is 0808 196 3384 (8am-8pm 7 days a week).
Aberdeenshire Council Guidance
Aberdeenshire Council have published information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak including advice, guidance and links. This includes up to date information on health/hygiene, travel, events, community groups, businesses, sports/leisure facilities, registrars and council offices.
There are also separate pages dedicated to:
• Schools and learning
• Waste and recycling
• Registrars service
Support for businesses

Service Changes

The following is a non-exhaustive list of major changes in service. Please follow the links and stay up to date with information from official sources.

Aberdeenshire Council – Car Park Charges Suspended
Aberdeenshire Council has suspended charges at all its pay and display car-parks as a result of the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) emergency.
Stagecoach Buses – Reduced Service
Temporary changes to bus services in Aberdeenshire and Moray have been introduced following government advice around social contact and non-essential travel to help combat the coronavirus. A reduced timetable will operate across the region until further notice. The timetables have been carefully created to ensure that critical routes are maintained wherever possible. Minor adjustments will be made to some key services on Monday 6th April and are now available to download at stagecoachbus.com.  These adjustments have been made following feedback received from key workers who rely on bus services to get to and home from work.
Live Life Aberdeenshire – Facilities, Activities and Payments
LLA sports and cultural facilities have suspended services and closed facilities to the public as of 19th March. Closures have been extended to include swimming pools, libraries, museums and aquariums. The Active Schools programme has halted, Duke of Edinburgh expeditions have been suspended and all activities and events are cancelled until further notice. LLA will be suspending all Direct Debits for Active Aberdeenshire members. No payments will be taken in April and May. Please bear with staff as they continue to work behind the scenes, answer customer enquiries as quickly as possible and in some cases assigned to support other critical Council services.
AHSCP – Learning Disability & Older Adults Day Services Suspended
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership has taken the difficult decision to suspend Learning Disability and Older Adults Day Services and Respite Services for the foreseeable future. Social Work Teams will be in contact with service users and their families as soon as they possibly can to provide support, information and advice.
Shops/Supermarkets
Multiple shops and stores are under immense pressure due to the current pandemic which has resulted in panic and bulk buying. To try and relieve these problems, different shops and supermarkets have implemented a few changes. This includes changing opening hours – some are dedicating a time slot (usually mid-morning) for elderly customers, some are closing earlier to allow staff to restock fully, and some are limiting how much of one item a customer can buy. Unfortunately there is no definitive list of changes as it varies from store to store.
Cafe/Restaurants/Takeaways
Following the advice of social distancing, various cafes and restaurants have implemented different changes. Some are providing “drive through” options where staff will take food out to your car. Others have offered a delivery service or reduced delivery rates for takeaway food. Like above, there is no definitive list of these changes.
Support
Groups and organisations are continuing to operate throughout the pandemic, offering critical support and services.
Scottish Community Development Centre
Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) is working closely with government and the NHS nationally in offering assistance to community organisations and local partnerships to make what contributions they can to the current situation. This includes the following online resources:

Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
While AVA wont be able to do face to face meetings or drop-in surgeries over the next few months, their Development Officers are still working and offering the same range of services. You can contact your Development Officer by phone, email or even skype, FaceTime or Zoom. AVA’s office will be manned at the usual hours on 03718 110008 or email enquiries@avashire.org.uk. AVA have also signposted to various sites and resources including SCVO, Social Enterprise Scotland, ACAS, School for Social Entrepreneurs, NCVO and FindBusinessSupport.
Aberdeenshire Employment Support Team
The Employment Support Team have suspended their job clubs and face to face services until further notice. Key workers are still available to offer 1 to 1 support via phone, email or skype. Please get in touch through their page or by emailing. The team will arrange for a key worker to get in touch for you.
Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drugs Partnership
Aberdeenshire ADP’s recovery cafes and community groups/activities are suspended for the time being. ADP are developing alternative opportunities for peer connections and support via telephone and online. If you would like to become part of a phone and virtual peer recovery community network or if you would like to volunteer to contact and support folk, please email Susan Weetman at centralabdn.forum@hotmail.com and read this post.
Scottish Rural Action
Scottish Rural Action have added a new page to their website that will collate sources of information and advice in one place. This can be found at the top of their home page. Their website will be updated regularly as new information, advice and sources of funding are published.

Scottish Rural Action is compiling examples of how different communities are dealing with the challenges presented by Covid-19. If you would like to share examples of what your community is doing, please send information or direct links to information on your website. You can send these by email to SRA on info@sra.scot.

Invest Aberdeen
Invest Aberdeen have uploaded a great informational page for what we currently know for businesses at this difficult time. A snapshot of details of Government and other Agency support, business rate flexibility, insurance, funding and specific relaxations for pubs and restaurants. You’ll appreciate that things are changing fast and we don’t know all of the answers yet but we’ll do our best to keep you informed.
Funding
Please find information on sources of funding below.
Aberdeenshire Council – Community Resilience Fund
Aberdeenshire Council has opened up its Community Resilience Fund for applications. Please go to https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/ for more information on how your community/voluntary group can apply for a £2000 grant to help support your efforts to alleviate the effects of Covid-19.
Helping Communities Affected by COVID-19
Scottish Government funding will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. It is designed to be flexible, cutting down on red tape to enable them to respond swiftly and according to local need for people impacted economically or through reduced contact with society, including anyone struggling to access food. Further information here.
SSEN Funding for Community Councils
SSEN has established this fund to support communities in our power distribution network area to improve local resilience. This funding comes from a proportion of the performance reward we receive from the regulator Ofgem. SSEN recognises the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the communities we support and has allocated the 2020 round of the fund specifically for projects which support the community response to Coronavirus. Community councils in the SSEN north of Scotland distribution area can apply for a grant of £3,000. Find out more at https://www.ssen.co.uk/rcf/
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF)
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is now open for applications and we are urging all community groups eligible to apply as soon as possible. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period.

To be eligible, interested organisations must be:

  • a charity, social enterprise or voluntary organisation based in Scotland and/or primarily delivering services/activities in Scottish communities;
  • already delivering those products or services prior to March 2020;
  • and needing funding to stabilise cashflows directly as a result of the impact of COVID-19, as opposed to pre-existing financial difficulties

SCVO have launched a Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which you can access here. A Supporting Communities Fund and the Wellbeing Fund will open for application very soon, and we will circulate information about those as soon as we can.

Find Business Support – click here
We know that businesses in rural Scotland will already be feeling the impact of Covid-19. The first tranche of business grants have now opened for application, and a series of sector specific support, such as seafood industry support, is starting to be announced.

The new Find Business Support website is updated regularly with links to business advice and grant and loan application information, and it is well worth reading if your business is affected.

Advice
New advice is being published regularly to help everyone ranging from benefits advice, scam awareness, helping stay connected and more.
Universal Credit – Claiming Benefits Advice
This page provides information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. It will continue to be updated. Please check the page regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.
Money Saving Expert – Financial and Travel Advice
Worried about COVID 19 (coronavirus) finance & travel issues? Money Saving Expert has published two guides focused on financial help & rights and travel rights. You can access the financial guide here and the travel guide here.
Scottish Enterprise – Advice for Businesses
Scottish Enterprise have opened a helpline for businesses concerned about Coronavirus on 0300 303 0660 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 17:30). They have also pulled information together for businesses on their Find Business Support website available here.
Asthma UK – Advice for those with asthma
When people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can set off their asthma symptoms. To reduce your risk of asthma symptoms, the best action you can take is to follow these simple asthma management steps.

Public Fundraising

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The National Emergencies Trust has set up a Coronavirus Appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.
Funds are being sought from members of the public, corporate donors, charitable trusts, community fundraising, and existing and new government funding programmes.  This is intended to be the single, trusted mechanism to raise funds from the public, learning from the experience of previous emergencies nationally and internationally.
For more information click here.

Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund

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Applications are now being taken for a new £200,000 Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund.

Aberdeenshire Council recently approved the creation of the support mechanism in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Constituted community groups, resilience groups and volunteering organisations can submit a simple application form to the council’s Area Managers, with the implementation of the resilience fund following a similar approach to the existing Area Committee budgets. New groups without a constitution are being encouraged to work with others who have been established longer and have systems and bank accounts in place.

Each of those six areas will have a £20,000 allocation, with the £80,000 balance being available to the whole of Aberdeenshire to be administered by the chair of the Community Resilience and Partnership Workstream.

Grants of up to £2,000 for community resilience work are available and will be awarded on a first-come basis.

As further community resilience funds become available from the Scottish Government, the value of grants and the criteria will be reviewed, however the principle aim at present is to be as flexible as possible for each individual community.

Area Managers’ teams, along with Community Learning and Development, Public Health and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action the Rural Partnerships and other partners, will continue to work with community resilience groups and volunteers in their areas to provide support and identify any gaps in provision.

A coordinated approach is also being made with the Local Resilience Partnership and in particular with the British Red Cross, Aberdeen City Council and The Moray Council to ensure the maximum benefit, coverage and support is provided across the Grampian area.

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Cllr Jim Gifford, explained: “It will be essential that a coordinated approach is taken through our Local Resilience Partnership to ensure that the most appropriate support is provided as soon as possible for our communities at a local level.

“Linking up local knowledge with an established and experienced organisations will prove hugely-beneficial in terms of speed of operation and reach into our communities.

“The amount of support and levels of volunteering that we are already seeing across Aberdeenshire is really heart-warming and truly inspiring. This funding is aimed at helping groups to continue to provide much-needed assistance and support to their communities at this time.”

Please continue to signpost requests for assistance thought the assistance hub at www.gcah.org.uk or the freephone number 0808 196 3384. Similarly groups offering support can also register on the hub .

An application form and guidance is available through this link  https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/  for your information and onward communication.

Covid-19 Volunteer Campaign Scotland

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Campaign for volunteers in Scotland

In addition to being able to volunteer through the Grampian Covid Assistance Hub, there is a national campaign volunteers may sign up to.

The Scottish Government has recently launched the following campaign
A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign has been launched to encourage people to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need.
Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options which are signposted from the Ready Scotland website at the following link https://www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/volunteering

These are
• returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland
• people wishing to offer their support to our public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site coordinated by the British Red Cross
• those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information

Volunteers who want to support their communities should visit www.ReadyScotland.org to find out how they can help.
The website is being constantly updated and provides advice on volunteering safely and the organisations to register an interest with such as Volunteer Scotland and the Red Cross.
Businesses who can offer support should email covid19response@gov.scot
A response will be made as soon as possible.

In line with Scotland’s current stay at home rules the public can only volunteer to carry out tasks which involve leaving their home, once a day, if you are not required to be isolating and are not in any risk categories.
Please check the latest advice at www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Third Sector Resilience Fund Launched

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Applications are now open for the Third Sector Resilience Fund (TRSF).
Part of a £350m support package by the Scottish Government for the sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Third Sector Resilience Fund will support organisations across the third sector who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The fund’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cash-flows over this difficult period.
The TSRF is delivered by Firstport, Social Investment Scotland and Corra Foundation and it offers charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises grants of £5,000-£100,000.  In addition, there will be up to a further £5m available in fully flexible, 0% interest loans starting at £50,000.
For more information and to apply, visit SCVO’s Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub which has lots of useful information on funding for voluntary sector organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.