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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector, Friday 1 May

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Scotland's communities respond to the pandemic

Key workers get on their bikes

E-bike use in Forth Valley has soared in the past month, partly down to two lockdown initiatives giving keyworkers free access to electric bikes during the Covid-19 crisis.

Thanks to funding from Cycling Scotland, Forth Environment Link has offered keyworkers free annual memberships for its public electric bike hire scheme Forth Bike. The charity has also given NHS staff exclusive access to its Energy Savings Trust funded e-bike lending library.

Forth Bike usage skyrocketed during April, as active travel development manager Shirley Paterson said: “In the past three weeks Forth Bike users have clocked up 10,000 miles, more than three times the monthly spring/summer average. With social distancing measures in place, cycling is proving to be one of the best ways to get around during the crisis. As expected, the main usage hotspots are in the vicinity of the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, with Stenhousemuir station seeing the greatest number of hires.”

The charity’s e-bike lending library has also been inundated with requests over the past four weeks. 32 e-bikes from the charity’s e-bike lending library have already been delivered direct to the homes of NHS and other keyworker staff across Forth Valley; with a further 13 e-bikes due to be delivered.

Active travel coordinator, Ray Burr said: “We’ve seen a huge surge in interest from keyworkers looking to commute by e-bike. We’re delighted to have been able to fulfil 32 requests so far and have ordered 13 more e-bikes to keep up with demand. The feedback we’ve received has been tremendous, with many staff commenting on the benefits to their physical and mental health.”

Family complete marathon challenge

The family of a Fife Army captain who died after running the London Marathon have completed a 2.6 challenge in his memory to raise funds for injured veterans.

Captain David Seath, from Crossgates, collapsed just three miles short of the finish line while raising money for Help for Heroes during the 2016 event.

His relatives and friends have since raised more than £310,000 for the charity through the David Seath Memorial Fund.

They had to postpone this year’s annual 5k, due to take place in Dunfermline last Sunday, and will now hold it on October 4 to coincide with the rescheduled London Marathon.

Instead, the Seaths urged their supporters to do the 2.6 challenge, a fundraising initiative to support charities affected by the marathon’s postponement.

They undertook a range of activities from running, walking and cycling to yoga and trampolining, raising an estimated £2,000 for Help for Heroes.

Wheelchairs still available

People who need wheelchairs and other mobility aids during the coronavirus crisis do not have to go without because of the national emergency.

That’s the message from the British Red Cross, which provides short-term loans of wheelchairs and other mobility aids across the UK, and has teamed up with Big Yellow Self Storage to scale up its offering in response to Covid-19.

In some areas, the British Red Cross can deliver to homes. Mobility aids support people to recover from illness and injury, improving choice, independence and wellbeing, and that helps take the strain off NHS professionals.

For more information about mobility aids loans in the community visit the British Red Cross website.

New partnerships aim to tackle social isolation

The Wise Group has led a rapid response to some of Scotland’s biggest civic challenges since the Covif-19 outbreak, to continue to support those who need it most.

The social enterprise has led the national response to support prisoners early release, is tackling unemployment and fighting fuel poverty.

The organisation has also been working to tackle digital isolation.

The Wise Group has entered into a series of new partnerships with the Good Things Foundation’s Devices Dot Now and Make It Click initiatives, and Foundation Scotland’s Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund. This has led to the supply laptops or tablets to digitally isolated people.

The Wise Group’s Evelyn Rimmer said: “More technology kit is vital to bridge the digital black hole many of our customers are experiencing. It will help us support the digital skills our customers need to engage in our ‘new’ society and labour market.”



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