People helping those in their communities affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) are being encouraged to carry on while following advice to keep themselves and others safe.
The Scottish Government’s Caring Communities campaign will celebrate the help people are already giving each other, and encourage safe and effective help like keeping in touch, shopping, picking up prescriptions and running errands for those who are unable to.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“Together we can help each other through the challenges ahead and our Caring Communities campaign will recognise the efforts of people from across Scotland who are supporting and helping others.
“It’s been inspiring to hear how people have responded to this pandemic by offering help to those around them. Whether that’s been formally volunteering or informally helping out neighbours and friends, we all have a part to play in supporting those around us, however we want to make sure that is done in a safe and effective way.
“There are lots of ways to help whilst minimising or avoiding face-to-face contact, including shopping, picking up prescriptions and medicines, general errands or a daily phone call to stay in touch. People can also offer help without the need for direct contact such as using social media to arrange activities and putting people in touch with other services or charities if there is need for further support.
“In rural areas, islands and other remote areas, your nearest neighbour may be some distance away and so you could consider whether help is needed around their home or farm, and make sure people have sufficient food, fuel and access to heating.
“The Scottish Government will continue working with communities across the country to help build cohesion and mutual support during this pandemic.”
National Clinical Director for the Scottish Government Jason Leitch said:
“Many people need help and support and some will feel particularly isolated and lonely. If you are able to help alleviate that in your street, neighbourhood, or community, then we are asking you to do so.
“At times of crisis, we need each other more, yet we need to stay physically apart. We can still communicate and offer comfort. Phone or skype loved ones. Text neighbours or drop a note through their door to see if they need help. Maybe even write a letter to your grandparents. We are all in this together.”
The Scotland Cares – Caring Communities campaign aims to support the work already underway and maintain the momentum that has seen thousands of people and communities look after each other, whilst making it clear how they can do it safely. Find out more at readyscotland.org