How to get help in your local community
We’re very aware that our communities may still be concerned about the current situation with COVID-19. Many people will still be vulnerable at this time - they may continue to feel isolated and lonely and others may require some support and assistance.
East Ayrshire has a great community spirit and our communities will pull together to help families, neighbours and loved ones. 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.
Volunteering - how you can help
The latest Scottish Government guidance came into effect on 5 January 2021 with stay at home regulations in most local authority areas. You can see your Coronavirus local protection levels here.
Regardless of protection level, essential public services and community supports are still being provided in communities. There are lots of ways for volunteers to help.
If you can, you should volunteer from home. You may have neighbours who are shielding, self-isolating or socially distancing from others. You can look out for your neighbours and offer help with shopping, dog walking, taking bins to the kerbside and other errands where you can socially distance and keep yourself well while helping others.
You could also volunteer via the phone or online, for example, by befriending those who are lonely and isolated, offering reassurance and sharing information from the Scottish Government.
Community resilience networks are continuing to organise help and support for the most vulnerable. We can link you to your local resilience contacts who will be able to advise about how you can help.
We also currently have opportunities for volunteers to get involved in the following roles:
- Walking Buddies – supporting people who have been shielding to get back outdoors
- Telephone Befrienders – making regular telephone calls to those who are shielding or experiencing loneliness and isolation
- Dog Walkers – dog walking for people who are shielding or self-isolating
- Catering Volunteers – helping with the delivery of free school meals and emergency food parcels
- Children & Young People’s Befrienders – supporting vulnerable children and young people in our communities
To help us to link you with the people who need your support, we would be grateful if you could complete a short questionnaire.
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
Shopmobility in Kilmarnock
The Shopmobility service, which is currently located within the Foregate Multi-Storey Car Park, is a free service that enables easy access to the town centre and is available to anyone with a mobility problem.
Please note that due to the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the service is operating at a reduced service. 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 in 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.