Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-Bulletin Edition #7

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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!

VE Day 8th May
As we near the 75th anniversary of VE Day, any plans to commemorate the occasion should do so in ways that adhere to these ongoing and necessary restrictions. Whilst the Scottish Government appreciates the good will of those seeking to care for our nation’s War memorials, monuments should not be subjected to any upkeep or maintenance work at present. Anyone visiting a war memorial or cemetery near their home as part of a leisure walk should ensure social distancing is maintained.

For more information please view https://www.gov.scot/news/ve-day-75th-anniversary-1/

Coming Soon!
We will soon be sending out a monthly e-bulletin monthly looking at mental health and wellbeing in K & M

Guidance

Links to national and local guidance

*UPDATED* 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.
*IMPORTANT* Guidance on travelling and use of second homes
Travelling to and staying at holiday homes is not an exception from the Health Protection Regulation and is an offence.  Incidents should be reported to 101 and the police will take the appropriate action (likely to be a warning/advice).
NHS Grampian Covid-19 Website
A new website has beeen created for healthcare staff and the general public to stay informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is not a replacement of NHS Inform (detailed further below) – please still use it for any health advice or information.  Instead it aims to let people know what we are doing in Grampian during the pandemic.  The site is being regularly updated and we would welcome feedback on the content – details of how to provide this are on the site.  https://covid19.nhsgrampian.org/
Cyber Resilience Guidance
The Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Unit is producing a regular ‘Cyber Resilience Notice’ for business organisations, public sector organisations, charities and the general public.  As a result of the significant rise in Covid-19 related scams, over the next few months important information will be shared from trusted sources.
The information notices are posted on this webpage.  The most recent notice is from 23rd April and includes information on how to spot suspicious emails (phishing), and up-to-date information on scams.Other Scams Information
Trading Standards Scotland “Scam Share” looks at some of the most recent scams which have been reported by consumers across Scotland, including those related to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Cyber criminals are taking advantage of people’s uncertainty around developments relating to the pandemic. There are weekly e-bulletins that you can subscribe to.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

*NEW* Live Life Aberdeenshire – share your cycling experiences
You may be aware that with the current situation Live Life Aberdeenshire have set up aLive Life @ Home page, which is a one-stop shop of virtual creativity and activity offering a range of engaging, entertaining and informative activities and resources.One of the ideas for the @home webpage is to do a promotional video around the positive aspects of cycling – and safety awareness. They’d love to try and get a short (2-3secs) clip of the surrounding sites when people are out on a bike, which they can edit to create a cycle round Aberdeenshire. It would be great if we could get some recognisable background, but not essential.

Please stick to Government guidance for exercise and of course – don’t forget to wear a helmet!! Please contact Fraser.Govan@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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/Please be advised that businesses information cannot be loaded onto the website unless they complete the registration form.  The link for doing that is near the bottom of the page – clicking here should take your direct to the correct for easiness.
Tenancy Services
The council’s tenancy services are communicating by telephone or email with our tenants as the office is closed. We have called all tenants who are aged 70 and over in our area. The tenants are coping really well and were generally very happy to receive the call. We are now calling single occupants aged between 16 to 69. There over 1000 of these and some tenants need help and guidance of where to get what they need. We have been giving them the Assistance Hub number.Rent arrears colleagues have been helping tenants with Universal Credit claims and advice.  A current issue is that there is nowhere in Newtonhill to top up meter keys. Options have been suggested and are being looked into.
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 about Operation Rainbow. This is NHSG’s plan for COVID-19. It covers every part of the health service and every aspect of care and the changes required. The video explains how these changes will affect you – and how you can help.
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.
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.

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
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* Parentzone
For parents who are finding themselves immersed in home schooling and the online world ‘Parentzone’ is a trusted platform to help them navigate sometimes challenging waters in this digital age.
*NEW* Families Outside
Families Outside support families with a loved one in prison; anxiety and hardship can be at increased levels at this time.  They continue to support in the most effective ways possible whilst following national guidance. This means no face to face support at present, but instead contact via phone, email, text, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook, and Twitter.
As follows:
·         Helpline 0800 254 0088
·         Webchat www.familiesoutside.org.uk
·         Text FAMOUT to 60777
·         Email support@familiesoutside.org.uk
·         Regional Teams are also providing support, albeit remotely. Please note operating times are Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.If you or someone you are working with needs support, please contact us.
Support for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired
Relay UK brings relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired people right up to date with the latest app technology.  You don’t need any special kit – just download the app from the App Store or Google Play onto your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
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 adviceCall freephone 0808 808 2282 to speak to a local advisor. For more information visit https://www.scarf.org.uk/householder/.
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.
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.
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.
Funding
Please find information on sources of funding below.
*UPDATED* Comprehensive List of Funding Sources
AVA has recently developed a file of Covid-19 funding information that can be downloaded and shared. It will be updated on a weekly basis and will show funds that are open at the time of publishing.The funding information previously listed here is contained within the above list. Please also view the funding page on the Our Aberdeenshire website for more sources of information.
*NEW* Community Resilience Fund – updated guidance
Applications are still welcomed from community groups as some funding is still available.  Please view the updated criteria and guidance here.
Hardship Fund for Self-Employed
A new Scottish Government grant hardship fund is now open for applications from individuals who recently became self-employed.  The £34 million fund launched today with Aberdeenshire being allocated around £1.8 million.  Eligible applicants can apply for a £2,000 grant.  Please find more information here.
Advice
New advice is being published regularly to help everyone ranging from benefits advice, scam awareness, helping stay connected and more.
*NEW* Business Gateway Update
Businesses and organisations may be facing real hardship owing to the effects of the pandemic. Business Gateway is a Local Authority service offering free and impartial advice to help businesses at this difficult time. The team of advisers can listen to individual circumstances, helping businesses to make the best choices and access the right support.Business Gateway can be contacted at https://www.bgateway.com/local-offices/aberdeenshire/local-support , email aberdeenshire@bgateway.com or phone 01224 289725.
*NEW* K&M Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Please see information from the Kincardine & Mearns CAB -We understand that many in our communities are facing situations that are completely unexpected and out with their control. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau is here to help. You may not have needed to use our service before but we are here for everyone in our community.  We can offer you a phone appointment and can give advice on:* Employment
* Benefits and the new Corona Support Schemes
* Housing
* Money issues including debt
* Consumer

Please contact 0800 028 1032

*NEW* Support for Employers and for Job-Seekers
JobCentre Plus have information on their website providing support for Employers at this time.  For JobSeekers, it may be helpful to search the opportunities posted on the DWP Find A Job search*NEW* Social Security Scotland Update
Social Security Scotland have produced an update for April 2020 offering advice on benefits payments and grants.
*NEW* Webinar on Online Safety
Lead Scotland are hosting classes online to help people use the internet confidently during Covid-19.  Dates are as follows:  May 12th, May 27th and June 2nd.  Please find more information from Lead Scotland
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.
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
*UPDATED 30-04* We have 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.
Scottish Government Call for Views / Ideas on Transitioning from Lockdown

Please find the current “Covid-19 Framework for Decision-Making” document, and the opportunity to add to and comment on views / ideas for transitioning out of lockdown – here
Closing date is 11th May 2020

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