Supporting Communities Safely – advice for community led services on infection control

From Kerry Jardine, Resilient Communities, Ready Scotland

I wanted to raise awareness of SCDC’s new guidance “Supporting Communities Safely: Advice for community groups, organisations and volunteer networks

SCDC worked with Public Health Scotland to create this new resource to support community organisations in carrying out their vital work safely during the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Here is the news item promoting the advice.

With thanks,

Kerry Jardine
Resilient Communities
Tel. 07500 227 579
T: @ReadyScotland

Tackling violence against women and girls during Covid-19

COSLA media release

New guidance for local authorities

Councils will get more support to deal with increased levels of domestic abuse and gender-based violence during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

New guidance developed in partnership with COSLA will help women and children continue to get the best support that they deserve.

The guidance signposts to local resources, and assists decision-makers in identifying women and children at risk as well as the short, medium and long term steps they can take to support their recovery and wellbeing.

The guidance is part of a range of measures introduced to tackle higher levels of abuse and violence, including a £1.5 million funding package for the women’s aid and rape crisis network. It will help to maximise the effective protection and provision of support for those experiencing gender-based violence, both during this immediate crisis period and in the longer term.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said:

“I am both saddened and shocked that domestic abuse has increased during this lock down period. It is unacceptable that people are at risk from those they live with. While these times are difficult for all of us, there are unfortunately those who are more badly affected. Some women and children may feel very isolated now, and need our help more than ever.

“This guidance is underpinned by our existing Equally Safe strategy and will support the strong leadership already being demonstrated by local authorities and their key  community planning partners across Scotland.

“We want to continue to work with our partners and to share intelligence, shape the ongoing crisis response and plan for the long term.

“Together, the Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to tackling violence against women and girls wherever it exists and through whatever form it manifests. Our work in this area remains at the heart of the our joint response to Covid-19.”

Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, said:

“We know that this pandemic has heightened the risks to women and children living with domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence globally. This supplementary guidance is informed by the expertise of a broad range of committed services and partner organisations in Local Authority areas across Scotland.

 “Covid-19 does not offer abusers an excuse for their choices and their behaviours. Working closely with colleagues across health services and with third sector specialist services, we will continue to robustly seek to provide support  to all victims of gender-based violence and to hold perpetrators of violence and abuse firmly to account.”


Read the Scottish Government’s and COSLA’s joint guidance developed with Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service.

Scotland’s 24hr Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is available on 0800 027 1234.

Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline is available on 08088 01 03 02. Calls to this number are free. Or email or text 07537 410027.

Equally Safe: Scotland’s Strategy to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women and Girls

Scottish Government launches new Young People Campaign

We have launched our new Young People Campaign targeting 13-22 year olds, which is running 8-22nd May. While this is a challenging time for all of us, young people have a unique set of challenges and mindset, and reaching them with the appropriate message and channel is paramount to the coronavirus efforts.

This campaign aims to to help keep young people informed with tailored information around the kind of topics they are most concerned about. We have worked in close partnership with Young Scot to develop this campaign. It signposts young people to Young Scot’s mini-site at

You can view the suite of digital ads which are now live here:

We have developed six different executions: a general route and then five topic-specific executions, which will link to the following pages:

The topics chosen were based on insight taken from the recent Lockdown Lowdown Survey, run by Scottish Youth Parliament, YouthLink Scotland and Young Scot, which was completed by over 2,400 young people.

This is a digital-only campaign, with activity running across TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for two weeks.

If you have any questions on any of the above, please let me know.

A timely reminder from National Records of Scotland

The duty to document does not cease in a crisis, it becomes more essential

Below is a newsletter from ICA (International Council on Archives), which includes a link to for your information.

Andrea Wells
Public Records (Scotland) Act
Public Records Assistant
National Records of Scotland
Government Records Branch
West Register House
Charlotte Square
Edinburgh EH2 4DJ
+ 44 (0)131 535 1435

North Berwick Day Centre Newsletter Coronavirus Special Issue 2 May 2020

Hello everyone, We have been in lockdown for many weeks. I am sure you are all missing your usual visit to the centre. Through all of this our staff have been magnificent in bringing to those that we support much needed contact, food, cheer, personalised cards and birthday treats. Indeed they went the extra mile in remembering VE Day.
We have been supporting each week day 22 people including members, volunteers and partners who were in need of additional care.
At the same time some of our volunteers have been contacting members by phone just to have a chat and keep in touch. If you’d like a call please let us know. Remember you are not alone. Keep in touch and keep exercising as best as you can.
Ian Donald; Director

Read the full newsletter here.

Latest COEL Resilience Resource lists

From Kirsteen Powell, COEL

Here are the latest Resilience Resource lists. I have created a separate “Mental Health Resilience Resources” document to make the information easier to navigate. However, both documents contain sections on bereavement, domestic abuse and wellness activities / keeping well during Covid-19. Comments, corrections and additions – all feedback is welcome!

Some additions to highlight:

Local Resilience List

  • New “End of life” section including advice on funerals – please note some funeral directors are not offering the full range of services e.g. embalming the body or visiting in a chapel of rest even though it is still legal to do so observing standard infection control procedures and social distancing guidelines. This is causing additional heartache for some families who appoint a funeral director without checking first what they are offering.
  • Additions to section on “Foodbanks and Free Food Provision” in East Lothian
  • Access to PPE for unpaid carers delivering personal care
  • Flamingo Chicks free virtual dance sessions for children with additional support needs and their siblings

Mental Health List

  • Self-Injury Support website including a sensitively written blog post titled “Coping with Coronavirus Lockdown When Your Mental Health is Already Not Great”
  • CWIC Mental Health service accepting self-referrals for adults who are registered with an East Lothian GP
  • “Coronavirus information for service users and their families” document produced my Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
  • “Mind to Walk” podcast produced by Paths for All

Best wishes,


Kirsteen Powell
Carer Support Worker
Carers of East Lothian (CoEL)
Tel: 0131 665 0135
My usual working week is Tuesday to Friday

Funding update from STRiVE

Wellbeing Fund Reopens

The second round of the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund is now open to applications from voluntary sector organisations providing crucial services to people as a result of coronavirus.

The first round closed on 30 April having received over 1,000 applications, with half of applications already assessed and more than £6 million approved for funding so far.

Awards have been offered to support a wide range of activity across all communities in Scotland. From creative learning packs, online exercise classes and increased phone contact to support the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and young people, to grocery and baby essential parcels for those who are self-isolating.

The second round of the Wellbeing Fund is open to all voluntary sector organisations that did not apply or receive funding from the first round. Applications from organisations working to support people facing financial or employment difficulties are being particularly encouraged, as well as applications from organisations working with minority communities.

For more information about the Wellbeing Fund, including eligibility criteria and a link to apply – visit the SCVO Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub

Response, Recovery and Resilience [RRR] Fund

The RRR Fund is supporting local charities and grassroots organisations who are currently supporting some of Scotland’s most affected and vulnerable people across Scotland to help them respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and recover from its impact. Foundation Scotland is delivering the RRR Fund in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust.

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust – Covid-19 Impact Programme

The Covid-19 Impact Programme will ensure that people from Armed Forces communities can keep accessing important services, where resources for these services have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Charities must be working in one of nine key areas; Support to the elderly, Mental and physical health, Welfare, Domestic violence, Housing, Criminal Justice System, Service families, Bereavement,Employment

Foundation Scotland – Baillie Gifford Community Awards Programme

The Baillie Gifford grants programme supports grass roots community organisations across the whole of Scotland. It replaces Foundation Scotland’s Express Grants programme. Priorities for the programme are: children and families, elderly people, education, environment, health, people who are physically disabled, homelessness, women and grass roots sports.

Connecting Scotland Initiative
(SG funding to reduce digital exclusion).

No self-referrals but organisations can register now to be involved with the scheme, and organisations will be able to refer individuals. Funds will be available for kit, connectivity and skills training to get people online.

Children in Scotland

Webinar: Supporting disabled or seriously ill children during and beyond the pandemic

Date: Thursday 14 May 2020
Time: 2pm-3pm
Speaker: Family Fund
Cost: Free

This seminar will look at a research undertaken by Family Fund and explore how Covid-19 is affecting families with disabled or seriously ill children, their immediate concerns and needs. There will be opportunities to discuss how we can better support these families by adapting services at organisational level and by planning services at strategic level during and beyond the pandemic.

Click here for more info and to book a place

Advice about additional support for learning during the coronavirus outbreak

Enquire telephone helpline (0345 123 2303) has reopened and is now available from 1pm-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

The helpline team can answer questions about additional support for learning in Scotland and changes to education law during coronavirus.

They can also respond to written enquiries. More information on their website

Guides to help charities move activities online

Catalyst is an initiative that provides training, support and advice to the voluntary sector on digital matters.

They have a couple of guides which may prove useful at the moment:

How to replace your drop-in service with an online chat
How to choose the right video calling tool for your charity

The Scottish Citizens Advice Network, in partnership with the Scottish Government, launched a new Scottish Citizens Advice Helpline on 14th April 2020, initially to support people affected by Coronavirus. The helpline can be accessed online at or by phone on 0800 028 1456 Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm. Citizens Advice Scotland and the Citizens Advice Network has been engaged in extensive negotiations with a major charity funder during the last year to fund the establishment of a new national helpline, however the Coronavirus crisis forced an urgent response by the network and the helpline is now up and running. There are regular TV ads promoting the helpline and in a further push the Scottish Government will be promoting the helpline in the Sunday papers at the end of this week alongside research which explores the financial health of Scotland’s people in the wake of Covid 19.

The helpline has been set up to compliment the work being delivered by local bureau and is not a replacement for local services. Where local support and casework is identified by the helpline adviser, the client will be referred to the nearest CAB or CAB of clients choosing using our internal CASTLE referral system.

The promotion of the helpline to date has been fairly low key to enable CAS to distribute and set up remote working kit to those staff and volunteers who are supporting the helpline. This has been done in a phased approach and the capacity to take calls is gradually increasing week on week.

At Musselburgh CAB we signpost to the helpline once we have reached capacity for the day, and only for new clients to the service. Where we have seen a drop in volunteers able to provide assistance, the helpline enables us to make sure that anyone contacting us will get the advice and assistance they need, when they need it.

Please feel free to use and promote the helpline within your services and the wider advice community.

Bank of Scotland Foundation Reach Funding Programme

The National Lottery Community Fund

All the funding decisions the National Lottery Community Fund make for the next six months (up to £300m of National Lottery funding) will be devoted to addressing the crisis. You can read their update here.

How to apply: online via website.

Standard Life Foundation Coronavirus Fund

Grants from £5,000 upwards are available to support projects that contribute to social change which tackles financial problems and improves living standards for those on low-to-middle incomes. Funding is specifically for research, policy work and campaigning activities.

Deadline: apply as soon as possible as applications will be closed once they have funded a certain number of projects.

How to apply: submit one page outline to