Worthwhile causes in Kincardine and Mearns benefit from Community Resilience Fund

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Here is a round-up of grants that have been given to worthwhile causes in Kincardine and Mearns thanks to the Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund.

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

In just a few weeks of the fund being available, there have already been a number of grants awarded to worthwhile community groups across Aberdeenshire.

Sophie Stephen felt guilty about buying the last pack of toilet roll. She posted on Facebook asking if anyone needed anything extra. This appeal quickly mushroomed into her creating community support group with 200 volunteers providing assistance in and around Portlethen.

She has split the area around Portlethen into 24 zones with each zone being overseen by zone leaders, who coordinate community helpers to provide support where it is needed. The group has put a leaflet through the door of every household advising residents of local contact numbers they can use if they need assistance.

The group is based at Jubilee Hall, where a foodbank is being manned from 9am to 5pm seven days-a-week. The group offers those requiring assistance help with collecting shopping and prescriptions as well as a telephone service to talk to residents. They are working with groups, councillors, the Scottish Ambulance Service among others. For more information please watch a video where Sophie shares her story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrNEAjjdYfw

In Johnshaven and Benholm, a team of local volunteers are available to deliver shopping, pick up prescriptions and walk dogs for those self-isolating or unable to venture outside for any reason.

A free community larder has also been set up offering food and essential supplies for anyone in need locally. The larder is available between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and 7pm and 8pm on Thursdays at Johnshaven Village Hall in Mid Street, Johnshaven. For anyone that cannot come along to the larder deliveries of food can be arranged. Tinned and dry goods are being provided via the food initiative Fareshare and supplemented by generous donations from local people. A grant from Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Resilience Fund has meant fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs are also on offer and milk and bread are available on request. For more information or to request a delivery please email mairieddie@hotmail.com

Coronavirus has seen an increase in demand for the services provided to older people by Mearns Coastal Healthy Living Network. To meet this need, the network is spending its’ application on covering the costs of additional hours for staff and purchased mobile phones and contracts for staff and volunteers.

Elderly and vulnerable people living in and around Stonehaven have received hand sanitiser and toilet rolls thanks to Stonehaven and District Roundtable and A&I Taxi Company’s joint application. They have worked together on a mechanism to deliver prescriptions and medications.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending facilitate a befriending service for older people living in their own homes in the community but are experiencing social isolation and loneliness, often due to frailty, ill health or bereavement. A grant will cover the costs of increased postage of cards and notes to clients, volunteers and stakeholders, as well as for volunteers to collect and distribute shopping.

Bruce Stewart, Kincardine and Mearns Area Manager, said: “I have been absolutely delighted with the response shown by the communities in Kincardine and Mearns to help those in need during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“It is a pleasure to provide assistance to these fantastic individuals and worthwhile community organisations in ensuring the vulnerable and those in self isolation receive the assistance they require.”

Constituted community groups, resilience groups and volunteering organisations can submit a single application form to Bruce Stewart, Kincardine and Mearns Area Manager, with the implementation of the resilience fund following a similar approach to the existing Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee’s budget.

Each of the six areas in Aberdeenshire 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.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.

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Team, 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. You can access the form here: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/

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