Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen lots of really great examples of communities coming together and people going the extra mile to support those around them.
Here’s some advice on things you can do to offer support in your community:
Those who are well and not at risk can provide essential support for their family, friends and neighbours who cannot leave the house.
For more advice, the Scottish Community Development Centre, in partnership with Public Health Scotland, has created Supporting Communities Safely, a website with detailed advice on how you can help your community safely and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The National Assistance helpline, a dedicated service for people who cannot leave their home and who cannot get help online, is available. It can help with access to essentials such as food and medicine while you can't leave your home. You can pass this number on to someone you are supporting or call on their behalf. You can call the National Assistance helpline for free on 0800 111 4000 from 0900-1700, Monday to Friday.
What should I do if I’m worried about someone's health?
If the health of anyone you are in touch with is a cause for concern, encourage them to call their GP practice or NHS24 on 111 if their GP is closed.
Similarly, if they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse or their symptoms do not get better after 7 days, please call NHS24 on 111.
Call 999 immediately if you believe someone’s life is at risk.
Volunteering and community groups
Volunteering has been a big part of getting communities through the pandemic and it’s never too late to get involved.
There are a large number of local community groups you can join that have already started to rally local support. Look out for these on Facebook and in local community channels.
If you would like to set up a new community resilience group, we have guidance available. These groups provide great help not only during the current challenges, but also in future during bad weather or other disruption.
You can also search for Reserve Volunteer opportunities through the British Red Cross, or go directly to the volunteer responder organisation that interests you and match your skills and experience.
Supporting Covid 19 vaccination activities
The Covid19 Vaccination Deployment Plan is being led at a local level by NHS Boards. Each Board decides how to deliver the programme in their area, including the types of support they might need from volunteers.
Scotland has a substantial volunteer base which the NHS can draw upon as well as their own volunteers and local arrangements with specialist volunteer groups. If any NHS Board needs to recruit extra volunteers or clinical staff to match their local needs then you can find out more here or search for vacancies on NHS Scotland national recruitment portal.
If you have other types of support you want to offer such as premises, logistics or innovative products and solutions, there is guidance here on how to do that.