We were overwhelmed by the number of volunteers who came forward and apologise if you were not required over the past few months within your area. Due to the levels of demand and the number of people coming forward to be part of the community support, the number of volunteers asked to assist varied across the area.
The current Scottish Government guidance on Covid-19 and phasing out of lockdown is such that everyone can, in-keeping with safety guidelines, access food and other domestic support. Shielding has also been paused. The number of requests for support to the Argyll and Bute Covid-19 Helpline have reduced. Therefore, our main response is stepping down and we are on standby if needed for the future.
The Helpline remains an accessible number for any person seeking support due to Covid-19 - this includes Test and Protect, any local community outbreak or Argyll and Bute wide outbreak that requires a response. If you would like to volunteer in the future or look for any other volunteering opportunity in Argyll and Bute, please register as a volunteer at the link below
The key message is remember your safety and the safety of the people you are supporting is paramount.
The Scottish Community Development Centre, in partnership with Public Health Scotland, has created Supporting Communities Safely, a website with detailed advice on how you can help your community safely and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- 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.
Many groups may be carrying out tasks outwith what they normally do. Any personal information relating to someone asking for help whether that be the recipient of a delivery or support, must be treated as confidential. The confidentiality document can be sent to volunteers to cover the key points.
These FAQs contain information like: how to continue to work digitally and safely, varying your current funding obligations and volunteering issues.
If you are a local group looking for help, for example you may need volunteers or need us to refer people to your support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Nationally, Ready Scotland have information to help your neighbours, friends and family at this time:
- Helping your neighbours, friends and family - Ready Scotland
- Advice for community groups - Ready Scotland
BEFRIENDING:make a befriending referral (recommend someone or yourself to be befriended)
Please note that we now have sufficient volunteer befrienders to do regular calls to isolated customers
If you are looking for funding opportunities for your community group or organisation, check our Funding page
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. The Third Sector Interface provides information for Charities, Social Enterprises and Community Groups on Covid-19, funding, changes to governance and reporting, safe volunteering and access to a free phone number for 3rd Sector Support at this time.
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 email@example.com
Information from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
SCVO has a Leaving Lockdown page which contains useful information, much of which is Covid-19 specific, on:
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Enterprises can also contact Inspiralba who provide support and information to Social Enterprises across Argyll and the islands. Given the pace of change and range of responses, local knowledge is informed via weekly update meetings with national social enterprise partners, including SENScot and Just Enterprise. Inspiralba are also delivery partners for Scottish Government Just Enterprise support, with advisors including Business Resilience Support, able to assist organisations with specific challenges as a result of the impact of Covid19 on their sustainability, this includes, for example support to work through cash flow and identify the appropriate support options to ensure they remain sustainable to retain vital services beyond Covid19 lockdown. Information on support is available on Inspiralba CoronaVirus Support Page and via e mail to email@example.com tel: 07748674861
Information for Gypsy / Travellers - a Facebook page has been set up for the Gypsy / Traveller community in Scotland - this is a a joint intitiative of the Scottish Government, COSLA, Article 12 in Scotland, MECOPP, Progress in Dialogue and STEP, and aims to provide factual and up-to-date information on Coronavirus to the Gypsy/Traveller community in Scotland.
If you are too unwell to care for your animals and do not have anyone nearby who can help, for further advice and support please phone:
- for pets and companion animals – the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
- for livestock – the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution on 0300 111 4166 (7 am - 11 pm).
- It may be of assistance to farmers encountering difficulties to refer to the Farm Advisory Service (FAS)