Community Health

Begin 2023 by being prepared

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Emergency services across Grampian are coming together to encourage people to be prepared for the rest of the winter and beyond in 2023, with advice on how to make sure we can all stay safe, warm and well.

Have you got all the most important phone numbers you would like to have to hand in an emergency written down? Is there anything that would be helpful to have during a power cut or extreme weather? Do you know where to turn to if you are in need of a bit of extra support?

NHS Grampian’s Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability who has a lead role in civil contingency planning, Paul Allen explains: “Prevention is better than cure and this includes public preparedness for emergencies. Not only does planning offer some peace of mind, it can also help take pressure off services so they can help those most in need during difficult times. Helping our communities to stay well is a key part of our Plan for the Future and we recently launched a winter support booklet which has lots of helpful advice.

“If you’re not sure where to start, visit Even if it’s not for you, this can help you assist other more vulnerable people. The Ready Scotland website at is a great reference tool too. It includes a template for an emergency checklist and how to prepare, what to do during an emergency and how to get involved in helping in your local neighbourhood.”

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has a Priority Services Register you can sign up for if you might need extra support in the event of a power cut. This is especially important if you rely on essential medical equipment and is easy to sign up for. They also have a free Power Track app for everyone to access local power cut information and updates.

Shona Horn, SSEN Distribution’s Customer Relationship Manager, said: “We invest millions of pounds every year to make sure that our network delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity for all our customers – but even with this investment there are still occasions when the power goes off, and so we want to help our customers to be as resilient as possible at times like these, while our teams work hard to get supplies restored.

“Our Priority Services Register offers eligible customers free help and support when the power goes off. It started nearly eight years ago and now has over 785,000 customers signed up, but we know there may still be people out there who either don’t know about the service at all, or who aren’t aware that they may be eligible to sign up. We’re also encouraging our customers to consider a Home Emergency Plan, so that they have all the important phone numbers and people to contact in one handy location, ready to use should the need ever arise.”

Visit for more information about SSEN’s Priority Services Register and to find out more about the app, go to:

The health board’s winter support website ( covers everything from the numbers to call if you’re in need of emergency food, fuel or money, to healthy, affordable recipes to help everyone stay well. There’s even pointers on gas and fire safety, as well as all the key contacts for health services.

Ready Scotland’s ( checklist includes the following important numbers:

Emergency services – 999

Non-Emergency police support – 101

NHS 24 – 111

Floodline Scotland – 0345 988 1188

Loss of power – 105

Gas emergencies – 0800 111 999

Scottish Water – 0800 077 8778

It also includes space for you to write down your own essential contacts, such as childcare, vet, plumber, insurance, work, doctor, dentist and utility provider contact details. The website also provides lots of helpful links to information and advice on things like dealing with travel disruption or coping with trauma, and how and where to link in with local groups who may be working together to support your community.

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Supporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisis and over the festive period

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Supporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisis and over the festive period

People are being encouraged to reach out for help over the festive period if they are struggling with the cost of living at this time of year. More and more organisations from across the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership are publishing information about warm spaces, food banks or support on offer. It is recognised that an increase in the cost of living plus winter weather impacts are making life difficult for a lot of people across Aberdeenshire and beyond. Christmas is famously a time of year when many struggle, but it is also harder to admit to facing challenges. Those can be the mental health impacts of the festive season or the financial ones. Whilst no one agency can “fix” the issues being faced by communities, there is a concerted effort to make sure that people are aware of the support which is out there. The message is – you don’t need to suffer in silence.

Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action has a new interactive Warm Spaces map for Aberdeenshire on their website which can be found here. All sorts of venues are offering warm spaces to the public in Aberdeenshire such as local libraries, halls, council venues, community centres, and churches. AVA has captured all these spaces in one place and their interactive map shows you exactly where and when in your community these warm spaces are happening. The webpage also provides a form for those hosting a new warm space to let them know so they can add it to the map.

There is useful advice on the Fire Service website about staying safe during an emergency or in the winter months here.

From a health perspective, a new leaflet has been published by the NHS full of tips on staying well this winter which is available to read here.

Aberdeenshire Council has a long-established Cost-of-Living advice page on their website here, which signposts to support on offer and which includes support from the UK and Scottish Governments, charities and council services. You can find support and advice on housing arrears, fuel poverty, school meals, uniform allowances and more importantly for many, there is a list of food banks or community larders which can be accessed by anyone. You can also find a link to the Council resilience leaflet with tips on how to get ahead of a winter storm.

Christmas itself can be a difficult time, but there are many community services and voluntary organisations open to supporting people over the holidays. Find festive period information here and look out for charitable posts offering Christmas lunches and support across Facebook from AVA.

The Council free Live Life Essentials membership offers access to more than 50 sports venues and libraries operated by Live Life Aberdeenshire, whereby people can access showers, WiFi and device charging for free, among other benefits including some exercise sessions. Council libraries are also working with partner groups to give out knitted blankets to households as part of the ‘Cosy Bosie’ project.

Cllr Anne Stirling is the chair of the Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership. She said “This has to be tackled right across Aberdeenshire with a collective response if we are to stand any chance of providing meaningful help to people. With any crisis like this we need to work together and make sure people know what to do if they are struggling. There is no stigma to asking for help, that is why we are working together to make support available.”

Aileen Longino, AVA Development Officer, said: “AVA could see warm spaces springing up in communities all across Aberdeenshire as a result of the Cost-of-Living crisis so we created a comprehensive map for users to see them all in one place. Aberdeenshire is great at springing into action in a crisis, and these spaces help communities come together, and support those struggling to heat their homes. Warm spaces are comfortable welcoming spaces where folk can relax and keep warm for a few hours. Whilst we want to encourage people to use their local warm space if they need it, please make sure it is safe to do so given the current wintery conditions on roads and pavements. If your house is cosy stay at home! Our interactive map captures all these warm spaces in one place, whether they’re in village halls, libraries or community spaces – each one ensuring folk of a warm welcome, when they need it. If you host a Warm Space that isn’t on the map, please let us know”.

Jillian Evans, Head of Health Intelligence with NHS Grampian, said: “Our guide isn’t just limited to the traditional health messages we want to share; it also reflects the current challenging times we find ourselves in and recognises that can have a major impact on people’s health as well. Prevention is always better than cure and we want to ensure everyone in Grampian has easy access to the information they need to stay well. Over 24 pages, the booklet – entitled ‘Keep Warm, Safe, and Well this Winter’ – covers everything from healthy eating to dealing with the cSupporting Aberdeenshire in the Cost-of-Living Crisisand over the festive period

Kincardine and MearnsCommunity Planning E-Bulletin

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Edition #22

This bulletin focuses on what is happening locally, and provides useful information and guidance.

Hot Topic this month!

Community Impact Survey
This second survey aims to understand the experiences of Aberdeenshire residents since late autumn 2020.  This will help ensure the impacts of Covid are taken into account in decision-making.  See the Consultations section.

Visit the link to find out what’s new in K & M.

Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-Bulletin Edition #12

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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.

Hot Topics this week are

Moving into Phase 2 of Transition out of Lockdown
Please see the “Guidance” section below for information on the detail of a further lifting of lockdown restrictions through a phased approach.

Spaces for Funding Bid Successful!
Aberdeenshire Council’s bid for £310,000 to ensure people are able to safely access services in town centres while maintaining physical distancing has been successful. The temporary infrastructure projects will provide safe walking, wheeling and cycling as the lockdown is eased and immediate priority is to be given to the town centres including Stonehaven.

Want to know more about Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network Telephone Befriending Service, click on the link below to access the full bulletin.


Kincardine and Mearns COVID-19 E-Bulletin Edition #8

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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.


Click here to access the full bulletin.

Kincardine & Mearns Mental Health & Wellbeing E Bulletin #1May

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A chance to share what we know about mental health & wellbeing in K & M.

Welcome to the first K & M Mental Health & Wellbeing E Bulletin. In partnership with our colleagues in Public Health we want to share with you each month information, education & links affecting everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. We hope you enjoy and feed back any suggestions or information of your own you would like to share.


Not in the same boat, but we are in the same ocean!

You might have heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. For some, lockdown is a chore to be endured.  For others, this is a time of desperate financial & family crisis.

For some that live alone, they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others, it is peace, rest & time with family. 

Everyone faces the current Covid-19 pandemic in their own way.

Interested, click below to access the full bulletin. Please note,

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending is closely following advice provided by the NHS and the UK government regarding the Coronavirus outbreak.

From Monday 16 March, all face to face befriending visits will temporarily stop until further notice.

The health and wellbeing of befrienders and befriendees continues to remain the priority throughout this unprecedented situation.

They continue to follow government guidelines closely and will advise when visits can re-commence. We appreciate this is a difficult time and we thank everyone for their co-operation and understanding. The information in the bulletin relates to non-Covid operations.

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:

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

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:

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.


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, 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  At present, one to one video calls are being offered as well as the usual phone calls.  The Alzheimer Scotland website 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

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.
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

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.
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
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)

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 –
Newtonhill –
Portlethen Coronavirus Community Care –
What’s On Bervie –
Covid 19 – Helping Stonehaven
Stonehaven Lions –
Stonehaven Round Table –
What’s on Johnshaven –
Durris & Drumoak Community Group –
Auchenblae Support Group – Covid-19 –

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, 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.
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 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

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 More information on the services we provide can be found at []
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
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 and for information on funding for your group, please visit  You can also continue to contact AVA by phone on 03718 110008 (Mon-Thur, 1000-1400hrs) or email them at [] 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

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.
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:/]https:/ 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
Groups can also contact the Banffshire Rural Partnership 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.

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

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.

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.
Click on the logo below to find useful links from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Emergency Numbers for Gas, Electricity and Water
National Gas Emergency Tel 0800 111999
North of Scotland – Scottish & Southern Energy Networks Tel 0800 300999
National Power Cut Number Tel 105
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.
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

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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.

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.

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.