How the sector is responding to the crisis #NeverMoreNeeded
Charity partners with fire service
Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are working together to make sure the most vulnerable and isolated in our Scottish communities stay safe and healthy.
Both organisations are protecting and supporting people who are vulnerable and isolating in their homes right now. They have teamed up in order to reach more people through their networks to ensure that our communities are safer and to tackle isolation and loneliness.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are working hard in communities across Scotland to protect people and ensure that they stay safe as they spend more time at home. They have been providing their Home Fire Safety Checklist to those who are more vulnerable and at higher risk.
Through the partnership, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be identifying people in the community who could benefit from the Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s Kindness Project.
The charity has over 5,000 Kindness Volunteers who are supporting people through regular kindness phone calls, collection of medication or shopping or dog walking. Many people right now are feeling lonely and isolated. The aim of the project is to keep people safe and well in their own homes.
Alasdair Perry, head of Prevention and protection at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland. Through our community safety work, we are routinely engaging with communities across Scotland. We want to identify and support those most at risk of fire. This includes individuals with underlying health conditions, people living alone, and people in receipt of services from other partners. These are individuals and households that would also benefit from the services of the Kindness Project and it is an ideal opportunity for us to link up and provide support during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
“In return, the Kindness Volunteers can help share our important fire safety messages and help us to reach those most at risk who may benefit from a Home Fire Safety Visit.”
Keeping keyworkers on the road during Covid-19
As the global Covid-19 pandemic brought lockdown across the world, a chance conversation between two Borders charities led to the creation of an innovative partnership to help the region’s key workers.
From a series of further conversations, collaborations and co-operation, the Scottish Borders Key Workers Bike Library was created in March.
It’s a free service that offers key workers the chance to borrow a bike, with the option to keep it or return it at some point in the future. That way it won’t end up in landfill.
The library was established by Just Cycle, which recycles and reuses bikes that would otherwise have been thrown out, and Momentum Scottish Borders, which provides employability services and offers support throughout the job search and beyond.
It all began when Deborah Crozier from Just Cycle and Gillian Ormiston of Momentum had a discussion about the need to keep the area’s key workers – including those supported by Momentum - on the road and able to do their vital work. With an already limited transport network now reduced, it became difficult for those who had to go to work to get there.
To date, the scheme has mobilised more than 50 Borders key workers who would otherwise have been unable to get to work.
The Larder hands out 15,000 meals
The training and food poverty social enterprise behind Catalyst Kitchens and The Larder Training Academy has served 15,000 meals to those most in need across West Lothian during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The group’s initial aim was to provide 2,000 meals per week during lockdown through the creation of a high volume food production kitchen at their Hospitality Training Academy in Livingston.
The food is freshly made by The Larder chefs and distributed, to the homes of those experiencing food insecurity due to Covid-19, with support from Home Aid, another West Lothian based social enterprise. Everyone who is referred to the Catalyst Kitchen project will be given a meal for every day of the week for each person in the family along with snacks, drinks and treats where available.
The project has been made possible with funding from a variety of Scottish Government COVID-19 funds; The National Emergencies Trust, The Wooden Spoon, The Robertson Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Neighbourly and West Lothian Council.
For more information, visit www.thelardercookschool.org.uk
Community support secures charity’s future
A Scottish charity based in the North East is supporting local communities impacted by the current crisis while securing its own future, thanks to new financial support from Bank of Scotland.
Stella’s Voice is a Peterhead-based charity that works to safeguard young people across Eastern Europe from traffickers and homelessness. Named after a 19-year-old who fell victim of trafficking after being forced to leave care, Stella’s Voice relies on the sales from its five charity shops to raise the vital funds needed to help these young people.
Following the government’s UK-wide lockdown, the shops were forced to close, putting an immediate stop to the charity’s main source of funding, resulting in 25 of its 30 staff being furloughed.
Despite the pause in active fundraising to help young people facing homelessness overseas, Stella’s Voice received a surge in requests from local charities hoping for its support during the crisis.
The remaining five staff decided to help the local community including the Aberdeenshire North Food Bank by delivering food from supermarkets to the food banks, and ferrying donated furniture to local councils dealing with emergency housing.
In order to pay the rent and utility bills for each shop until they can safely reopen, the charity approached Bank of Scotland for support and secured a five-figure funding package.