Worthwhile Aberdeenshire causes benefit from Community Resilience Fund
Community groups across Aberdeenshire have been awarded grants from the local authority thanks to the Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund, a support mechanism approved in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
In Marr, Mid Deeside Community Trust has repurposed its support organisation to be a focal point for the area, joining forces with the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub, COVID-Aboyne and community groups in Finzean, Lumphanan, Tarland, Kincardine O’Neil, Dess, Dinnet and Birse. Volunteers are helping with essential shopping and prescription collection, dog walking, and befriending. A minibus is transporting the volunteers to allow them to help those in need. The trust has applied for funding to maintain the bus and for buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and hand sanitiser.
To date they have had over 190 requests and which they have been able to fulfil. Ninety members of the community have come forward to assist their efforts and they have taken people into Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, picked up prescriptions, shopped at Coop, Morrisons and Tesco’s, posted parcels, delivered to and from the food bank, walked dogs, filled up petrol canisters and many more things for their community.
Cromar Community Council has applied for grant funding on behalf of CromarHelp and the Logie Coldstone Trust. A seven-day-a-week phone line and email has been set up to assist vulnerable members of the community with shopping, collection and delivery of prescriptions and parcels. These services are provided by an army of willing and friendly volunteers. The group also organises ‘chat nights’ using videoconferencing apps to prevent loneliness and provide community meetings and entertainment featuring singing sessions.
Coronavirus Alford Aberdeenshire Support Group is providing a similar support service for those in need in Alford and the surrounding area. In their application form for the grant the group wrote: “Our aim is to ensure that no one is left isolated unable to meet basic needs of food and prescriptions due to the current situation. We believe that if we work together in our area, we can get through this and no-one will go without.”
Kincardine and Deeside Befriending facilitate a befriending service for older people living in their own homes in the community but are experiencing social isolation and loneliness, often due to frailty, ill health or bereavement. A grant will cover the costs of increased postage of cards and notes to clients, volunteers and stakeholders as well as for volunteers to collect and distribute shopping.
In Johnshaven and Benholm, a team of local volunteers are available to deliver shopping, pick up prescriptions and walk dogs for those self-isolating or unable to venture outside for any reason.
A free community larder has also been set up offering food and essential supplies for anyone in need locally. The larder is available between 10am and 11am on Tuesdays and 7pm and 8pm on Thursdays at Johnshaven Village Hall in Mid Street, Johnshaven. For anyone that cannot come along to the larder deliveries of food can be arranged. Tinned and dry goods are being provided via the food initiative Fareshare and supplemented by generous donations from local people.
Bruce Stewart, Kincardine and Mearns area manager, said: “I have been absolutely delighted with the response shown by the communities in Kincardine and Mearns to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a pleasure to provide assistance to these fantastic individuals and worthwhile community organisations in ensuring the vulnerable and those in self-isolation receive the assistance they require.”
Each of the six areas in Aberdeenshire will have a £20,000 allocation, with the £80,000 balance being available to the whole of Aberdeenshire to be administered by the chair of the Community Resilience and Partnership Workstream.
Grants of up to £2,000 for community resilience work are available. As further community resilience funds become available from the Scottish Government, the value of grants and the criteria will be reviewed, however the principle aim at present is to be as flexible as possible for each individual community.
- Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.