Voluntary sector organisations have been working together to ensure support is there for the community
An island community has come together during the Covid-19 crisis.
Voluntary Action Shetland has published a new infographic detailing its work over the past six months since Covid-19 lockdown.
Whilst the doors of VAS’s Hub at Market House may have been closed, staff have been working as hard as ever to support the community. They have provided support, kept in touch, worked in partnership and provided funding to keep the wheels turning during these challenging times.
The work has been diverse from developing innovative new services such as a Befriending’s Covid-19 Telephone Support Response to new initiatives such as the virtual Shetland Community Spirit Awards. Like many other organisations, VAS has had to adapt to provide its services and has embraced new ways of working to safely deliver services.
National funding has been secured enabling 39 local organisations nominated by VAS to each receive £2,000, bringing nearly £80,000 into Shetland’s economy. Nearly £25,000 in Supporting Communities funding has been provided to support Covid related activity locally and used to purchase and distribute essential items such as such as food and electricity tokens, food and PPE.
There has been support given to 81 local voluntary sector organisations with operational and governance issues as well as carrying out VAS’s normal day to day work such contributing to local partnership meetings, supporting volunteers, independent examination of charity accounts, remote PVG checks and VISP e-bulletin updates.
Four hundred special Gift and Keeping in Touch Bags have been put together and delivered to carers and users of the befriending service through the isles. VAS’s Carers service awarded 61 grants totalling £8,525 to carers for short breaks and towards their additional costs during lockdown. Support to young people by the Open Peer Education Project has taken place virtually througha Youth Café and a variety of social media platforms.
Catherine Hughson, VAS executive officer, said: “Shetland’s third sector is never more needed than it is right now, our ability to work flexibly and responsively using our local knowledge has given us the opportunity to truly support our community.”