local community

Residents praised for following guidance as Household Recycling Centres reopen

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Aberdeenshire Council has praised all those residents who began visiting its reopened Household Recycling Centres on Monday.

More than 10,000 bookings have been made for the first 7 days of opening, which represents almost half of the 21,000 slots available in the first week across the region.

Westhill has proven to be the busiest in this initial phase with 1,322 slots booked (99%) with Fraserburgh, Inverurie and Laurencekirk seeing 60% booking of their available spaces.

Visitors have been heeding all traffic management advice on how to access the centres and have been disposing of their waste carefully in the new physically-distanced layouts.

Thanks to the introduction of the booking system, there were no queues reported at any of the centres which are initially operating from 9am to 6.30pm.

Council waste manager Ros Baxter said: “The partial re-opening of our HRCs has gone very smoothly and I would like to thank all of our staff who have made this possible.

“I would also like to thank all those residents who have booked online and clearly followed the instructions we have provided.

“The very positive feedback we have received on both our booking system and the way in which we have approached the disposal of general waste and garden waste has been very favourable and we appreciate everyone’s help and patience.

“We are aiming to remove the restrictions on materials and vehicle types as soon as the initial rush is over, however we expect the booking system to remain in place as long as physical distancing is required to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

You can make your booking at http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrebookings

For those who do not have access to a computer, telephone booking can be made by calling Aberdeenshire Council’s Wasteline on 03456 081207.

Peterhead Household Recycling Centre is now available for slots to be booked for next Monday and Tuesday initially, however other slots will be released on a daily basis.

Vehicles permitted entry to the centre initially include cars, pick-ups and car-derived vans. There will be no access for trailers or vans at this stage, however these will hopefully be accommodated in the second phase in due course.

In this initial phase, only bagged general waste, garden waste and electrical items will be accepted. No other materials – i.e. cardboard, glass, wood, metals, textiles, rubble and bulky items – will be accepted at this stage.

For more information on the Household Recycling Centres which are open and their operating times, visit https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsID=579

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

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

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*

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)

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 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.

Mapping the issues

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In many respects a community share issue is an old idea in 21st century wrapping – the idea of raising funds by public subscription has been around for years. Most war memorials, for instance, that were erected after the First World War were funded in this way. But community shares are more than a simple donation. They offer someone a chance to ‘invest’ in a local project and sometimes even make a little return on that investment. The number of share issues has been slowly growing and recently they have been mapped. Interesting to see the range and geographic spread.

To see a Map of Community Share Issues that has been compiled by Community Shares Scotland

 

Green Infrastructure

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Home to over half of the planet’s population, urban areas are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions.

What is green infrastructure and why is it important?

Green infrastructure is defined as a “planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services”. This term incorporates a huge variety of different ecosystems from parks, playing fields and woodlands to community gardens, green roofs and street planters. These spaces facilitate physical activity, relaxation and can be a refuge from the noisy city. Green spaces help to foster biodiversity and provide safe routes for people walking and cycling through the city thus contributing positively to population health. In fact, estimates show that physical inactivity, linked to poor walkability and lack of access to recreational areas, accounts for 3.3% of global deaths.

There is robust evidence to support the claim that green space has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing with features such as parks, rivers and trees creating more liveable and pleasing urban environments. Research has shown that having access to green space can reduce health inequalities, improve well-being and aid in the treatment of mental illness.

Importantly, green spaces also help to regulate the impacts of harmful emissions in the city. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and help to filter out harmful pollution while urban waterways such as lakes, rivers or even fountains moderate temperature and together with vegetation, play a vital role in cooling cities. In some areas, it has been estimated that evapotranspiration (the process of converting water in leaves to water vapor which is then transpired through the trees) can reduce peak summer temperatures by 5°C. Additionally, green spaces provide areas where runoff interception can occur, thus reducing the likelihood of flooding, an issue particularly pertinent to Scotland where winter rainfall is expected to increase between 10-35% in some areas.

Supporting the development of green infrastructure is becoming an even more prominent part of urban policymaking across the world. From street planters to citizen gardening, the following section describes a couple of examples  in which local authorities in Scotland are helping to create healthier, greener cities. Read the rest of this entry »

Local learning

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Good news for those communities with a hankering to visit another community where something of particular interest to them is happening, the Community Learning Exchange is once again open for business. These small awards that pay for travel and subsistence and a host fee, have proved very popular and effective – low on cost, high on impact. What is certainly true is that there is very little that is truly new under the sun and there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. There’s also much to be gained from learning from your peers.

By SCA

The Community Learning Exchange is a fantastic opportunity for communities to learn through the exchange of ideas and the sharing of common solutions.  When community groups make visits to other communities, the most valuable part is often meeting new people with similar interests and gaining new insights and perspectives on shared challenges.  Visiting groups come away armed with new ideas and approaches, and host organisations have the opportunity to explain their project to a new and interested audience, often seeing their own projects afresh through new eyes.

What will the exchange fund?

The Exchange will fund up to 100% of the costs of a visit by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of £750, including a host fee.  In exceptional circumstances (where travel distances are greater or certain aspects of the visit are particularly expensive) this limit can be increased.  Similarly, visits out with Scotland, but within the UK, will be considered where a similar project does not exist in Scotland.

The Exchange will also fund follow up support between organisations.  This might be as a result of a learning visit when it is recognised that more specific and on-going help, support, or advice is required. This can be through face-to-face meetings, by phone, e-mail, or skype. Funding for this kind of additional support will need to be negotiated separately.

How to apply

The Exchange operates primarily through the networks that comprise the Scottish Community Alliance.  The exception to this rule are Scotland’s community councils. Since the demise of the Association of Scottish Community Councils, there has been no umbrella body for community councils.

Applications to the Exchange are processed through one or other of the networks’ designated members of staff. The exception to this rule are community councils who should apply directly to the Exchange Coordinators.  Applications can be made at any time for visits throughout 2019 and up until March 2020. Funding is limited, and once it has been committed no further applications will be accepted.

For guidance about the Community Learning Exchange click here and an application form click here.

Please remember, applications must be endorsed by a network that is a member of SCA unless your organisation is a community council.

Community Heritage

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Twelve discussion days are being held around Scotland in 2019 for people who are involved with heritage in their communities in any way. You might be a volunteer, someone managing a heritage site, or perhaps running a business – or just interested and actively involved.

Scottish Community Alliance will be talking about a potential new national network for community heritage. How might it work, and how might it meet your needs and wants?

What you tell them will directly influence what happens in the future, so come and join in the conversation.

The workshops are free to attend, and there will be plenty of tea and biscuits – but please bring your own lunch! Not providing lunch has enabled SCA to reach more communities.

All events start at 10.30am and finish at 4pm *except for Leverburgh which is an hour later to fit ferry times.

The research workshop tour is organised by the University of St Andrews together with the National Library of Scotland and Ergadia Museums and Heritage, and working closing with the grass-roots led Scottish Community Heritage Alliance.

The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Click here for tickets to all future events.

Strathpeffer Community Centre, Strathpeffer – 31st May

Timespan, Helmsdale – 4th June

Garioch Heritage Centre, inverurie – 7th June

Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie – 8th June

Voe Hall, Shetland – 29th June

Kyle Village Hall, Kyle of Lochalsh – 18th September

Nevis Centre, Fort William – 19th September

Kilmartin Church, Kilmartin – 20th September

Eyemouth Hippodrome, Eyemouth – 11th October

Leverburgh Hall, Isle of Harris – 25th October * starts 11.30am, ends 5pm

 

Bettridge Survey

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As most of you will know, the Bettridge Centre is an important local community-owned and managed facility which offers a wide selection of activities for the whole ​community and for visitors.   Some public consultation has already taken place and the centre has commissioned Community Enterprise to build on that positive momentum with more detailed local research.  The core aim is to find out what is needed in the community and use that to set out a plan to upgrade the building to meet the needs of Newtonhill and the surrounding area.

Want to make your voice heard, take part in the survey, link below;

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Bettridge

Bottled gold – the unexpected side effects of recycling in Germany

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A German recycling scheme is proving to be a source of relief for those on low-incomes, but is it also having an impact on recycling levels as a whole?

For pensioners and the unemployed in Berlin, summer marks a particularly welcome time of the year for making a spot of extra cash. As Berliners head to the park to enjoy sunshine, barbecues and a casual drink with friends and family, the hunt for empty leftover bottles begins.

Introduced in 2003 by the then Social Democrat/Green coalition government, the ‘bottle recycling deposit return scheme’, known as the Deutsche Pfandsystem (or ‘Pfand’ for short) in Germany, requires large drink retailers to charge an additional €0.08 to €0.25 for every drink purchased at a store depending on the material of the bottle. The consumer can then redeem that money by bringing their emptied bottles back to the shop and recycling them instead of simply throwing them away.

The rationale behind the scheme is both to reduce waste and encourage recycling of single-use products, as well as to develop an environmental consciousness among the German population. In a world where more than 100 million plastic bottles are used everyday worldwide, and with only one out of five being recycled (the rest becoming litter buried underground or ending up in our ocean’s waters), mindfulness about current global consumption patterns is a vital step towards a sustainable future.

Thanks to Pfand, over 97 per cent of plastic and glass bottles are now recycled in Germany. At first sight, the scheme appears to be a resonating success. However, the motivation behind the bottle collection scheme has increasingly become driven by economic and social factors rather than genuine environmental concerns. As such, Pfand is bringing to light the challenges faced by the least privileged part of the German population every day.

When Pfand started operating in 2003, it was mainly homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts that would rummage the bins in the search of this ‘bottled gold’. However, by 2005, unemployment rates had soared to 13 per cent and an estimated one out of every seven Berliners was said to be living on the verge of poverty. Since then, an increasing number of jobless people and pensioners have been spotted engaging in bottle-collecting activities in the hope of making ends meet. Sabine Werth, head of Berliner Tafel, a non-profit organisation that distributes food donations to local charities comments: ‘The number of unemployed collectors has probably doubled in the past few years. This is a symptom of an inadequate social system struggling to cope with a rising number of elderly people and unemployed.’ Recycling plastic bottles is being seen as a way to provide a cash boost to those with under-performing pensions.

Bottle recycling is being seen by Berlin’s unemployed as a cash resource (Image: Barbara Wheeler)Bottle recycling is being seen by Berlin’s unemployed as a cash resource (Image: Barbara Wheeler/Shutterstock)

However, fighting poverty does not seem to be the only reason bottle-collecting has become increasingly popular. ‘For the older generation it provides a sense of purpose,’ says Werth. ‘They see it as a reason to get out of the house and come into contact with people.’ Günther, a former mechanic who had to retire early due to illness, adds that this new-found activity helps him fight loneliness as people on the street often strike up conversation with each other. ‘I get to meet all sorts of people, which can be fun,’ he says. ‘I had a job in a museum for a while, but I nearly died of loneliness in that place.’

Many Berliners are supporting the practice. Residents and party-goers often leave empty bottles in lines along the pavements or in a pile next to bins, allowing collectors to seize the coveted goods without having to rummage through waste. Communication design student Jonas Kakoschke took things one step further. In July 2011 he set up the website Pfandgeben.de. Two types of people can sign up to this online platform: collectors and disposers. The site allows residents who have bottles they wish to dispose of to find details of local collectors in their area and to contact them to arrange for a pick-up. The initiative became so popular it ended up expanding to Cologne, Augsburg and Essen. However, Werth admits that this new system only targets those who already have certain means (such as a mobile phone), leaving the most marginalised and destitute once more on the sideline.

Bottles piled by rubbish binBottles piled by rubbish bin for collectors to easily gather (Image: Jacky D/Shutterstock)

This increase in collection numbers is turning bottle recycling into a competitive business. Nowadays, collectors are not only having to fight for resources among each other, but are also needing to stand up to government and industrial backlash. In Stuttgart, the city council introduced bins that keep waste underground, allegedly to increase storage capacity, but social workers have been accusing the authorities of implementing defensive architecture in order to to push certain parts of the population out of the city centre.

Another downside of the German bottle scheme according to environmental pressure groups is that it reduces the incentive to introduce genuinely green reusable drink containers to the market by framing the recycling of single-use bottles as a sustainable alternative. Finally, because discount giants such as Aldi or Lidl need to keep prices low to stay competitive, they have been reintroducing non recyclable bottles to their shelves in order to avoid charging their customers the extra green deposit. Consequently, it is estimated that the number of recyclable bottles on the German market has dropped from 80 per cent to 50 per cent since 2003.

 

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Are you planning to walk further in 2019….?

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Hands up if you made a New Year resolution to get fitter, or meet new people in 2019?

Most of us reflect at this time of year and these are certainly achievable and popular resolutions. Walking with friends is an easy and accessible opportunity. Good news is that there is a growing network of walking groups for all abilities across Kincardine and Mearns.

The following are useful organisations and contacts;

1          Paths for All

Paths for All’s vision is for a happier, healthier Scotland where physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. Read the rest of this entry »