Coronavirus – updates for Communities on Covid-19

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 This page has been created, and will continue to be updated by the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP)’s Public Health team and Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Development Team. We will work with our local and national partners to develop the content for this page with a focus onsupporting our communities to help them deal with the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) , by providing information and signposting to resources.  Our aim is to bring communities relevant information to support full and safe community responses to the current situation. If you have any comments or additional information for this webpage please contact communitydevelopment@argyll-bute.gov.uk

This page was updated at:  16:23  01/04/20

Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline Service

For help with Financial; Business; Health; Education; Registration; Social, Domestic and Medical Homecare Needs and volunteering.   Read more about this new service.

Contact us for help now

01546 605524   -  open 9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri

Please leave this line open for vulnerable people who may not be able to help themselves if you have other options.
There may be a number of active groups in your area that may be able to help you - you can find groups in your area here on our website

 

Exclamation markLatest news

Funding News – 1st April – SSEN resilience fund to support community coronavirus response now open
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has repurposed its annual Resilient Communities Fund to offer grants of up to £3,000 for projects that will specifically support community members in vulnerable situations due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The fund is open to Community Councils in SSEN’s north of Scotland network area.

Funding news - 30th March - Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund
In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Immediate funding to support constituted community groups and charities that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in their local community. Funding between £1,000 and £5,000– focused on immediate community needs.

Funding news - 25th March - Third Sector Resilience Fund now open
This is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.

Funding news - Youth Scotland Action Fund opens
This fund is to help youth groups and youth workers meet the needs of young people in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, up to a maximum of £500 per application

Government guidance on staying at home

Volunteering Safely

Love heart  Spread the kindness but not the virus Love heart

Community support guideGuidance for volunteering safely

This short guide is aimed at supporting community groups / organisations and local people who are volunteering to support the vulnerable and elderly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Read the community support guide here

We would advise where possible people wishing to volunteer should link to an existing organisation in your community.

The key message is remember your safety and the safety of the people you are supporting is paramount.

Guidance on PVGs

  • The Coronavirus emergency bill states that there will be relaxations to certain requirements under the PVG legislation.
  • There are several support activities which definitely do not require a PVG check such as shopping, cash handling, having access to people's details     and dog walking. Each organisation has to risk assess these activities and consider whether there is a need for any further safeguarding such as supervising new volunteers more closely.
  • Refer to the guidance from Volunteer Scotland on this.

Link in with local groups in your area

There is a strong sense of willingness to help and there are already a number of community initiatives prepared to respond and support people experiencing challenges following Covid-19 guidance on self-isolation.  Click on the links below to see the active groups in your area

Bute and Cowal  Helensburgh and Lomond Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islands  Oban Lorn and the Isles

Volunteer Argyll & ButeVOLUNTEERING

There is a central point for volunteers to register in order to learn about and sign up for volunteer opportunities that will support communities across Argyll and Bute. Once registered you can search for volunteering opportunities online

Register as a volunteer here  Search for volunteering opportunities here

BEFRIENDING: If you wish to make a befriending referral (recommend someone or yourself to be befriended), please go online to www.argylltsi.org/befriending.

Read the FAQS for community groups and organisations here

These FAQs contain information like: how to continue to work digitally and safely, varying your current funding obligations and volunteering issues. 

Other support

If you have concerns for the well being of yourself or any family and friends, please call the council’s Social Care line on 01546 605517

Nationally, Ready Scotland have information to help your neighbours, friends and family at this time:

Information from the Third Sector Interface to support third sector organisations

Argyll & Bute TSI has a COVID-19 Resources section on their website with information pertinent to the third sector. If you think anything is missing, please contact TSI’s Engagement Manager, Jakki Spicer at jakkispicer@argylltsi.org.uk. If you are a third sector organisation needing support, please reach out directly to the TSI via phone at 0300 303 4141 or email at support@argylltsi.org.uk

Information from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

SCVO has a Community Assistance Directory site https://covid-19.scvo.org.uk/. The page also contains a link to COVID-19 Information Hub for Third Sector organisations which contains useful information and a news bulletin organisations can sign up for. 

Information regarding support to Social Enterprises from Social Enterprise Scotland

The Scottish Government have announced a £20 million Third Sector Resilience Fund to help ensure the health and continued viability of social enterprise and third sector organisations. More information can be found here.  Social Enterprise Scotland have created a resources page regarding financial and other support specifically in relation to Coronavirus Covid-19. Social Enterprise Scotland remains open for business and have asked that any members with specific concerns on Covid-19 and the impact on their business to contact duncan.thorp@socialenterprise.scot

Age Scotland helpline

The Age Scotland helpline is a free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Our helpline is free to call and available Monday - Friday 9am-5pm. Call to speak with a friendly adviser on 0800 12 44 222.

Information specifically for businesses that are affected by COVID 19 can be found here.

Funding

Third Sector Resilience Fund opens
The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. The fund will support organisations that already deliver services and products but find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The primary intention of the fund is to help third sector organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period. Find out more here - https://scvo.org/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund

Youth Scotland Action Fund opens
Youth Scotland’s 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. It is a Micro Grant fund that is being supported by some key funders, namely The STV Children's Appeal and The Robertson Trust. The maximum amount available per application is £500. Find out more here - https://youthscotland.org.uk/programmes/youth-scotland-action-fund

Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund
In partnership with the National Emergencies Trust, Foundation Scotland is delivering the Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. Immediate funding to support constituted community groups and charities that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in their local community. Funding between £1,000 and £5,000– focused on immediate community needs. Complete the online application. Only constituted groups, with a governing document, can apply.  Interested applicants are encouraged to read the fund's guidance notes.  Full details: https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/programmes/the-national-emergencies-trust-(net)/

SSEN Resilience Fund to support community coronavirus response
The £350,000 fund is open to community councils in SSEN’s north of Scotland network area, which covers the area north of the central belt including Scotland’s islands.  Community councils can apply for grants of up to £3,000 for projects that will specifically support community members in vulnerable situations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initial funding round will close on 30 April, with additional rounds to open based on demand. Grant awards will be issued in early May to ensure timely release of funding to community groups. Find out more here - https://www.ssen.co.uk/RCF/Scotland/

The Scottish Government is making a funding package of £350 million available for those most affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Further information can be found here - https://www.gov.scot/news/helping-communities-affected-by-covid-19/

There is information on SCVO website for community groups based on this announcement of funding, and we await further detail on how communities can apply direct to elements of the funding: see https://scvo.org/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations

Existing funders have adopted a variety of approaches and some of these are here: https://scvo.org/support/coronavirus/funding/funders 

Information on the National Emergencies Trust can be found here on the Foundation Scotland website - https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/programmes/the-national-emergencies-trust-(net)/

How is the Council working with our partners?

There are clear structures in place in Argyll and Bute to enable partners to work together to minimise the risks to our people from coronavirus. This includes an area wide group called Caring for People that will meet every day for the foreseeable future to help to plan and co-ordinate what we need to do. Members of this group come from the NHS, third sector, and social care. This group reports to several high level groups and has the ability to escalate issues to the attention of the people who can make decisions and provide leadership and support.

The work of the Caring for People Partnership is in line with national recommendations for community resilience and there are guidelines for what we should be doing. Members of the group recognise the importance of local activity that is already going on and aim to complement this work and provide additional support.

In the coming days we will have many local groups up and running to help support local Caring for People work.

What is Covid-19?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It can cause a cough and/or a fever/high temperature.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to hospital.

Advice for people with symptoms of COVID-19, including an online guide - can be found on NHS Inform

Updates from The Scottish Government about COVID-19

Information for professionals and organisations

The latest information and advice for professionals and organisations is on the Health Protection Scotland website.

For more information on Covid-19 visit the NHS Inform website 

Worries and anxiety

Public Health authorities around the world are taking action against the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) outbreak. However, it is understandable that many people are feeling worried about coronavirus and how it could affect their lives.  You might be worried by a constant stream of news updates, or about being asked to stay at home or avoid other people.  There are things that you can do to help manage your worries and anxieties at this time.

The World Health Organization has some helpful advice for adults and children.

The World Health Organization has also released information about mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, and recommends the following:

  • Be empathetic to all those affected by coronavirus.  Do not attach it to any ethnicity or nationality.  People who are affected by Covid-19 have not done anything wrong, and they deserve our support, compassion and kindness.
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.  There may be people in your community who may need some extra assistance. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity.  Information on how to do this safely
  • Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible or help create new ones in a new environment, including regular exercising, cleaning, daily chores, singing, painting or other activities.
  • Stay connected and maintain your social networks. Even when isolated, try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines or create new routines. If health authorities have recommended limiting your physical social contact, you can stay connected via e-mail, social media, video conference and telephone.

It can be particularly important at a time like this to take care with news and information.  It is important to be updated with current information, but be careful where you get news and information from.  Information shared on social media and via Whatsapp groups via unofficial channels can be inaccurate and can lead to increased anxiety.  The World Health Organisation recommends:

  • Seeking information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
  • Seeking information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried.
  • Get the facts; not the rumours and misinformation.

For up-to-date advice, you can visit the following sites:

www.nhsinform.scot

www.gov.uk

The World Health Organization has further information about some of the coronavirus myths

The charity Mind also has lots of information on their website to help you cope if

  • you’re feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • you’re asked to stay at home or avoid public places, for example if your employer asks you to work from home
  • you have to self-isolate

Tips on planning for staying at home and taking care of your health and wellbeing.

There are also a number of helplines you can contact.

Staff wellbeing is also vital at this time, and we have worked with NHS24 to prepare this advice.

We hope that you find the information on this page useful to help your manage fears and anxieties around coronavirus, and that our joint community efforts will help everyone feel supported at this time.