wellbeing

Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 Volunteer Campaign Scotland

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Campaign for volunteers in Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

Third Sector Resilience Fund Launched

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

‘Respitality’

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Do you know a local business that could offer services to carers?

Aberdeenshire Council’s and Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s approach to supporting carers is being boosted by local hospitality providers.

A pilot ‘Respitality’ project which began in central Aberdeenshire towards the end of last year sees local businesses asked if they would like to support the wellbeing of both young people and adults who have a caring role by offering short breaks, spa treatments, leisure passes, dining experiences and a range of other offerings either free of charge or at a discounted rate.

Similar projects elsewhere in Scotland have proven to be very successful and a new respitality project worker commissioned by the Council and employed by leading social care charity Quarriers been charged with making links with local businesses keen to participate.

Having secured four three-month gym memberships as the first donation for the project, respitality support worker Ann Brodie explained: “I recently approached Energie Fitness in Inverurie to see if they would like to be the first gifter for the project. They were really open to the idea of respitality and how a donation from their business could help to improve a carer’s health and wellbeing. Their gym promotes a friendly, warm atmosphere and their knowledgeable staff support people to achieve their personal goals so it’s just a perfect fit. They’re delighted to be giving back to the community at the same time as promoting health and fitness and I hope it will encourage other businesses to consider taking part too.”

The Scottish Government recognises the need for all those who have a caring role to benefit from regular opportunities for respite to support their own wellbeing, and in turn the wellbeing of those they are caring for. As such, national targets have been set for increasing the number of opportunities available in different local areas, and additional funding has been provided.

Quarriers are already commissioned by the Council to provide support services to carers, and this has brought about an expansion of their existing contract. While this project will see them being able to look into respite options, their family wellbeing workers can also assess carers’ needs and provide information, advice and signposting; offer 1:1 and group support for carers; deliver training on topics such as moving and handling or epilepsy awareness; and run events. They can also help with accessing self-directed support budgets so carers get what they need to make caring easier.

Chair of the Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen commented: “We recognise that any carer needs breathing space and our approach is about enabling that, particularly when we’re talking about young carers’ who also have their education and personal and social development to think about. Support comes in many forms and we hope that this respitality project will inspire local businesses to lend a hand in offering some much needed VIP treatment.”

Vice Chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Changing the perception of what it means to be a carer is also very important to us. Not all carers are looking after those with a physical disability, for example, and their circumstances are very wide ranging. Quarriers focus on understanding your caring role and then working with you to find out how we can support you to continue that important role.”

Aberdeenshire Council has responsibility for providing social care services to young people (up to 18 years of age) while Aberdeenshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership coordinates provision for adults.

A Young Carer Strategy was introduced by the Council in 2018 in line with the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and set out a number of ambitious plans to make a difference, including the Respitality project. A Young Carers Statement is now provided to all young carers who request one detailing any need for additional support in helping to ensure their wellbeing.

The overall number of young carers receiving support in Aberdeenshire has increased since the strategy was implemented, and Quarriers are typically supporting around 200 young people at any one time. As part of the wider strategy, council officers have also been involving young carers directly in developing a suite of information to support others in similar circumstances.

Adult carers are supported with an Adult Carers Support Plan. For further information and advice, any carer (regardless of their age) can contact Quarriers. They are commissioned to deliver support in this area and will begin by asking if you wish to register with the service.

Visit: https://quarriers.org.uk/how-we-help/north-east-services/

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6 Ways to a Healthier Festive Period

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Thought it would be nice to share with you a great festive message we received from our colleagues in Public Health Kincardine & Mearns

1.      Go Easy on the Booze – With work Christmas parties and catching up with friends and family the alcohol units can really mount up.  Try to keep tabs on how much your drinking and intersperse alcoholic drinks with soft ones (you’ll feel better for it the next day).                                                                                                                                                      

2.      Don’t stuff yourself – with Christmas chocolate for breakfast and a 3 course lunch followed by more chocolate and alcohol the calories can add up to an unmentionable amount.  This not only contributes to weight gain but also heartburn, indigestion and feeling lethargic which reduces your chances of burning the calories off.  Try to keep your portion sizes small and include fruit and vegetables with each meal

3.      Keep Active – with the long dark days it’s hard to stay motivated and get out to do some exercise but you will feel much better for doing so.  It doesn’t need to be a 5K run it could simply be a nice walk with the family and an opportunity to try out new toys like bikes or scooters. 

4.      Take a Break – the Christmas Holidays are the perfect time to relax, take some time out from day to day life and reflect to put life into perspective

5.      Look After Others – Christmas time is the perfect time to reach out to family and friends whom you maybe don’t see so often.  Caring for others by giving your time is a precious gift at any time of the year.  You may also like to help out at a local Christmas event which is a fun way to help your community

6.      Don’t Overspend – Christmas has become a time of excess, which can lead to many people overspending and getting into debt.  Parents in particular feel they need to give children all the gifts they desire so that they feel loved and have the latest gadgets like their friends.  The 4 gift rule is a pledge to help reduce over giving and spending.  Choose one gift from each category: –

a.      Something they want                                
b.      Something they need

c.      Something to wear
d.      Something to read

Spending quality time together as a family is the gift everyone will remember in years to come (not the plastic toy that broke before January ended) 

………..finally, and most important of all, have a lovely Christmas and every best wish for 2020!

 

Best wishes from The Area Management Team Kincardine & Mearns.

“Gie it a Go”

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Give the gift of health, wellbeing and fun this Christmas – “Gie it a Go” package offers range of sports and cultural activities

A fantastic suite of offers encouraging people in Aberdeenshire to “Gie it a Go” has been launched in time for Christmas.

Know someone who would like to learn to swim, but doesn’t know where to start? Or perhaps try indoor rock climbing for the first time in a safe environment?

Maybe the special someone in your life would prefer the chance to research their family history, learn about 3D printing or try spin or bootcamp exercise classes?

These experiences and a large range of other sporting and cultural activities can be packaged together for one great price with “Gie it a Go”.

As the name suggests, it’s designed to let people try a wide range of activities in local communities provided by Live Life Aberdeenshire.

Maybe you want to try the experiences yourself – you don’t have to let someone else have all the fun! For £20 you or the person you gift to can pick three activities from a menu which is growing all the time.

Other activities include the chance for four people to record their favourite karaoke track in one of our recording studios or an introduction to cross country skiing.

You could even choose a drawing/painting taster session or get an in-depth tour of Macduff Marine Aquarium.

Gift cards can be printed off to be included in a Christmas card or stocking and redeemed online.

For those who may not feel confident trying some of the activities, the great thing is that they will usually be joining others in the same situation as them.

To explore the activities on offer and buy in time for Christmas in our easy-to-use online portal, see: http://bit.ly/GieItAGo