News on how Scotland's voluntary sector is responding to the pandemic
Vital lunch deliveries made
The Eric Liddell Centre, supported by the Celtic FC Foundation, has partnered with McLarens on the Corner, to provide high quality, healthy, daily cooked lunches for vulnerable people across Edinburgh, during this period of self-isolation.
The lunch delivery programme is one of the many alternative services that the charity has provided since the virus outbreak and it will see free lunches being delivered to those who need additional support, Monday to Friday.
Following agreement between the Edinburgh based charity and Celtic FC Foundation, McLarens on the Corner kindly offered to open their kitchen, to support the Eric Liddell Centre with the preparation of what is, anticipated to be up to 150 lunches per day, five days a week. The new service is for vulnerable people or those who are in need of a little extra support.
The programme started on Monday (6 April) and the feedback from recipients after the first few days has been remarkable. Many recipients of the lunch have been in contact to let the Eric Liddell Centre know of their delight at being included in this new service.
Using technology to stay connected
Children with visual impairments are ‘accessing the world’ with special braille devices as the coronavirus lock-down continues.
The BrailleNote Touch devices are being used by several Royal Blind School pupils to continue their learning while at home.
The Royal Blind School closed to day pupils in mid-March following government advice regarding the coronavirus outbreak, although support and care continues to be provided for residential pupils on campus. The Royal Blind School is Scotland's only residential school specialising in the care and education of visually impaired children and young people, including those with complex needs and vision impairment. The school is run by Scottish charity Royal Blind.
Pam Young, a teacher at the Royal Blind School since 1996, said teachers had been in close contact with families since the school closed.
“For children who are blind or have a visual impairment, this lock-down has the potential to be very isolating,” Ms Young said.
“We’re finding creative ways to continue their socialisation with each other because that’s so important right now. We held a meeting on Microsoft Teams with everyone in our class. The kids were so excited to speak to each other it was difficult to end the lesson and it overran by 30 minutes.”
Providing food over the Easter break
Families in north-west Glasgow are taking part in a healthy meal project over the coming weeks, with a home delivery service launched by Queens Cross Housing Association.
Funded by Glasgow City Council, the Holiday Food Programme is providing over 300 meals for families during what would have been the school Easter break.
Delivered to tenants every Monday, the initiative runs over three weeks in April – with healthy meals prepared by mental health charity, Flourish House, who run a café, in the association’s Courtyard Community Centre in Westercommon. The meals will feed each family for one week.
Local children were due to take part in the association’s daily fun and physical activities programme over Easter as part of the scheme, but these were cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Supporting young people while away from school
New resources on the Reach website provide practical advice for helping children and young people who might feel anxious during the school closures.
'My learning and support during coronavirus' provides advice and information on learning during the coronavirus closures, children's rights in a crisis and coping when you have to stay at home.
Rugby star in MND call
Rugby legend Doddie Weir has called for all motor neurone disease patients to be added to the list of those especially vulnerable to coronavirus.
Craig Stockton, MND Scotland's chief executive, said the initial announcement on "shielding" identified six categories of patients considered most at risk from Covid-19.
"The list did not specifically mention those affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND), yet those affected by this terminal illness often suffer from breathing and respiratory problems, issues which are high risk factors for Covid-19," he added.
Food donations for charities
People in need across Scotland have benefitted from generous donations from kind-hearted ScotRail staff.
ScotRail’s hospitality teams across the country have donated food and drink stock to charities operating foodbanks in Glasgow, Edinburgh Aberdeen and Inverness.
The train operator has temporarily withdrawn all on-board hospitality services from its trains, resulting in a surplus in short dated food and drink such as soft drinks, snack boxes and confectionary.
Help for the Homeless Glasgow and Church of Scotland’s Edinburgh North East and Leith foodbank are among the charities who received donations.
Stock in Inverness has been donated to Inverness Foodstuff by Ness Bank Church, and in Aberdeen donations were made to Community Food Initiatives North East.
If you are a third sector organisation or you want to help others in the community, check out SCVO's Coronavirus Community Assistance Directory