Covid-19 Good News Stories
We know that the sector is responsive and resilient and that many of you have done a fantastic job of responding speedily to the challenge. We have been heartened by some of the stories you are telling us and we want these to motivate and inspire others.
If you would like to share some of the new ways of working you have developed please send them to us at email@example.com. We would love to hear from you and be able to share your good news stories with other projects across Scotland. Check out stories from the Volunteering Support Fund here.
Below is a selection of the fantastic work you have been doing. Check back regularly as we will be adding new stories on a continuing basis.
Beatroute Arts Allsorts Jam
Beatroute Arts has been able to set up their Allsorts digital group singalongs by Zoom to keep people in touch during the time of the lockdown. You can get to watch it here.
VAWG Peer Support Sessions
Over the past couple of weeks, people from violence against women organisations participated in support sessions with Joette Thomas of Animate Consulting, sharing tips, resources and networks. One session focused on supporting women who were No Recourse to Public Funds, which was very popular and specialists from the sector were able to pass on advice. This week the session is for Children and Young People’s workers, and again this has also proved to be very popular.
The themed sessions on Thursdays are followed on the Friday by a general session where participants can talk about the challenges of delivering services during lockdown. These sessions are for all organisations funded through the Equally Safe Violence against Women and Girls Fund and the Rape Crisis Specific Fund and will run through May and possibly beyond.
Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation
When we entered lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19, WAT IF? Set up a community support plan. With an impressive 46 volunteers joining in, they have set up a helpline and social media connections to keep the community engaged, informed and entertained. You can read more details on our website by clicking here.
The Phoenix in West Dumbarton has endeavoured to explore how in this new climate, they continue to bring the people of Dumbarton West together. The current situation is presenting challenges but also exciting and creative ways to be a source of joy, light and good in the local community. You can read more here.
Maryhill Integration Network
Since closing their doors on 16th March, Maryhill Integration Network has been working day by day getting to grips with new ways of supporting their service users and developing an emergency response to those who are most vulnerable and at risk of feeling isolated and lonely during this time.
They have been delivering emergency packs of food, toiletries and children’s activities to just over 20 families every week, as well as making referrals and connecting them into more mainstream services.
They have been able to sustain some of their core activities online, and are still holding ESOL classes, ‘MIN Voices’ Asylum Seeker Support Group, Creative Writing Sessions and Choir Sessions. The choir has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland and in this article.
You can read more about the great work they have been doing here
Castlemilk Furniture Project
Castlemilk Furniture Project mainly works with ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seeker and during the lock down they have distributed Amazon Fire 7 tablets to primary school children to allow them to keep in touch and delivered activity packs to families to help them cope.
SensationALL in Aberdeenshire is developing a series of virtual services for people to access from home offering practical advice and guidance to help them cope with the changes in routine and restricted movement (all of which is particularly hard for a person with support needs such as autism to understand. Their website and social media channels have included videos with craft and activity ideas as well as online yoga in place of their normal timetabled sessions.
Read more here.
Easthall Resident's Association
Like so many of you are doing, Easthall have adapted their service delivery at very short notice. Providing regular phonecalls to their members is key to maintaining contact, but they have also been shopping and picking up prescriptions for the most vulnerable in their community.
They have also moved a lot of their activities online through YouTube and TikTok including arts and crafts, exercise/fitness and a variety of quizzes. On top of this, the staff have been setting daily challenges with their members to keep them engaged and active, and encouraging them to post their attempts at the challenges to see if they can beat the staff! Some of Impact Funding Partners staff have joined in (didn’t win!), but great fun. I’m sure they would love it if you also got involved.
Visit their social media page to find out more here.
The aim of Drumhub is to address health inequalities, improve mental health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation and exclusion for the people in their community.
Part of their project is around pet therapy, bringing together volunteers and their dogs to engage in training and become partners in befriending people who are anxious, depressed, isolated, lonely, coping with dementia, grieving or feeling suicidal.
The human-animal bond has been proven to improve the health and wellbeing of all who participate in, or benefit from, these pet partnerships.
Like everyone else, they have had to adjust their delivery, so they have set up a YouTube channel to deliver some overview and basic training tips for aspiring volunteers and their dogs! Have a look at their video and meet Jura the Dog in action!
In Glasgow, the staff and boards of Cassiltoun Trust have partnered with other local Housing Associations to support the area of Castlemilk. As part of 'Castlemilk Together', they are working alongside the community to support those most vulnerable at this time.
Local residents and organisations are pulling together to with real community spirit. Together, they are delivering food packages, collecting prescription, dropping of art packs for children and much much more.
Read all about it here.
Good Morning Service
Good Morning Service provides telephone befriending and alert calls to older people in Glasgow City and South Ayrshire Council areas. They provide emotional and practical support to those who have signed up for the service.
They shared with us a lovely story about someone who accesses their service who is finding ways to be cheerful and to keep smiling through these difficult times.
Betty, 85 years, asks her 'Alexa' to play a happy song when she's feeling down - and - when she tells Alexa that she's her friend, Alexa replies "Thank you, you are my friend too".
Kinning Park Complex
Since the lockdown started the Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow has increased its neighbourhood “Acts of Kindness” project which supports members and their communities around the Ibrox, Kinning Park, Cessnock and Paisley Road West areas of Glasgow. The team provide twice weekly catch up sessions via phones, text or email; deliver cooked meals, shopping and other essentials; provide a dog walking service; and even provide online art and English classes.
Since Friday 3rd April Kinning Park Complex have expanded their regular support to 44 people. They have also recruited 25 additional volunteers, delivered 10,000 flyers and carried out over 100 acts of organized kindness.
To find out more information about this service click here.
Rock Community Trust
Operating out of Dumbarton, the Rock Community Trust have adapted many of their services to meet the new needs of their community. Working with those from different faiths the Trust are spearheading a new pairing partnership where those in isolation receive are able to receive a phone call or have essential items delivered to their home. These people are also able to take advantage of the organisation moving many of their classes online so everyone can still be engaged and involved with each other.
They have also been incredibly generous and donated all the stock from their community café to local foodbanks as well as food from their Youth Club tuck shop and their toilet paper.
Information on the Rock Community Trust can be found here.
Forres Area Community Trust
Forres Area Community Trust in Moray deliver on a wide scope of priorities which include addressing skills and training, social enterprise development and supporting cultural and well being activities and services in the area.
Since the Covid 19 lockdown the organisation have set up a befriending service where their volunteers can make sure the older and more vulnerable members of their community are fully supported. On top of this they have recently set up a shopping and pharmacy delivery service to further ease the pressure faced by their community.
You can find out more information about Forres Area Community Trust here.
Dumfries & Galloway LGBT+
An increase in the demand for their befriending phone service since the lockdown started has meant Dumfries & Galloway LGBT+ have extended the times on the service from 9am-5pm to 9am-9pm. People in their community who are in need of this service can now access it for longer which also means essential workers are able to take advantage out with the normal working day.
For more information on this service click here.
The Food Foundation
Operating out of the Scottish Borders, The Food Foundation is a social enterprise that aims to help develop skills and confidence in people.
Since the lockdown, the organisation have successfully adapted their operations and have started providing a ‘Meals on Wheels’ service to help the more isolated and housebound members of their community.
More information on The Food Foundation can be found here.