We’re very aware that our communities will be concerned about the current situation with coronavirus. Please be assured that as soon as we receive information, we will send this out to help you plan and prepare for the weeks and months ahead. East Ayrshire has a great community spirit and our communities will pull together to help families, neighbours and loved ones.
Many people in our communities will be vulnerable at this time - they may be feeling isolated and lonely, and others may require some support and assistance over the coming weeks, particularly with the shielding approach.
Shielding is an approach to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) if they come into contact with the virus. Shielding works by minimising all interaction between them and others.
The Scottish Government may have written to you if you have been identified as being in this high risk category. It has also announced that it will provide you with support to self-isolate, which includes including helping you to access medicine and food supplies.
If you have been identified as someone who should be shielding, you should:
- not leave your home for the 12 week period advised
- minimise all non-essential contact with other members of your household
Within your letter you will have been given a contact number to telephone to register for support. Additionally, there are a number of local resilience groups which you can find details of below or alternatively please call us on 01563 554400.
Visit the NHS Inform website for more information on Shielding
How to get help in your local community
Please get in touch with your local resilience group who can help with many things such as, delivering food, collecting prescriptions, general errands and more.
Community resilience groups
View a full list of the community resilience groups who can help you through this difficult time with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Alternatively, select the community hub closest to you in the table below.
Volunteering - how you can help
Whether it's practical or emotional support, there are lots of ways you can help. For some, that will be right now, for others there will be roles in the weeks to come.
We are supporting the national Scotland Cares campaign to recruit volunteers and you can sign up now with Ready Scotland or through our volunteer registration form.
At the moment, we have three main roles for volunteers:
- Community resilience volunteer - general help and support including pick-up and delivery of food, medicines and essentials. Regular calls and check-ins for people who are lonely or isolated.
- Shielding volunteer - targeted help and support, including deliveries and check-ins, with those people in the community who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). Shielding minimises all non-essential contact for those who have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks.
- Support to local groups and charities - you will be directed to where you can help.
When you sign up to volunteer, you will be asked to confirm the role that suits you best and to let us know where and when you are able to volunteer. We will then direct you to key contacts in one of the three Community Resilience Hubs in Cumnock and Doon Valley, Kilmarnock and Stewarton and Irvine Valley. This will help to match up the support you can provide with what is needed in our communities.
Remember there are lots of ways to help such as checking in regularly with family, friends and neighbours, and helping neighbours bring their waste bins to the kerbside. You can still help even if you need to stay at home by providing telephone support and reassurance to those in need.
All potential volunteers need to decide whether it's appropriate for them to volunteer based on the national guidance.
Setting up a resilience group
In the current situation, we need neighbours and community members to look out for each other to help both contain the spread of the virus and to support those most at risk. You can set up your group in whatever way works for you but we would recommend setting up a social media platform such as Facebook or WhatsApp, to enable you to communicate with volunteers.
We would also recommend that you consider an additional way to communicate with those who may not have access to the internet – ideally by providing a phone number.
Other ways you can help:
- Create leaflets and flyers to let people know about the group (If you plan to distribute flyers, please remember basic hygiene rules and avoid door knocking and face to face contact
- Check up on neighbours
- Drop off food parcels and other supplies such as medicine from the pharmacy
- Provide a friendly ear and some emotional support to community members who are self-isolating
- Provide reassurance to the local community
- Provide correct and accurate information to the local community
To get you started with your local group we have pulled together a small toolkit that you may find useful.
Download and print a community help sheet (PDF 671Kb) and offer assistance to people who are self-isolating.
Community support guide
Our community support guide (PDF 872Kb) has been written to help community groups/organisations and local people who are volunteering to support the vulnerable and elderly in the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Follow our community support home delivery guidelines (PDF 311Kb) if you're a helper delivering goods in your community.
What support can East Ayrshire Council provide?
Please be assured that we will continue to support you during this time. We would be keen to hear some of the suggestions you may have about how we can do this.
Things to consider might include:
- Helping with the cost of hiring premises
- Helping with cost of petrol for delivering groceries
- Providing food to make up food parcels
- Providing protective equipment such as gloves or hand gel
Support from businesses
View a list of businesses who can offer assistance with food and supplies.
Shopmobility in Kilmarnock
Please note that due to the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it is with regret that we have now had to suspend the Shopmobility Kilmarnock service until further notice.
However, you are free to call or email to discuss your needs or the needs of a friend or relative during this time. Visit the Shopmobility Kilmarnock page for contact details.
A new Facebook page for Gypsy/Traveller communities has been set up. This is a joint initiative of the Scottish Government, COSLA, Article 12 in Scotland, MECOPP, Progress in Dialogue and STEP. The page aims to provide factual and up-to-date information on coronavirus (COVID-19) for Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland.
For information and advice in East Ayrshire please contact:
Gypsy/Traveller Engagement Officer
East Ayrshire Council
Tel: 07769 367065
You can also follow EAC Equalities on Twitter for news and updates.