Despite having to postpone a lot of our spring/summer activities and fun events in order to protect our most vulnerable, the A.C.D.I. team are still working hard on behalf of our community. Auchinleck Community Development Initiative (ACDI) is one of several local organisations who have mobilised to provide support to the local community as part of the Covid 19 resilience response team.

Since the end of March, the ACDI team have been volunteering with other organisations such as Vibrant Communities and CenterStage to reach the most vulnerable in the community with over 100 food parcels delivered to date and 610 befriending calls made to our most vulnerable. We have also put in place a range of support services already accessed by dozens of local residents, unable to leave home to buy shopping, collect prescriptions or to top up power and phone connectivity. We are committed to supporting those in financial crisis with one-off payments towards power, food and connectivity

We are also acting as a point of contact for ALL residents who need advice and signposting to other support agencies including the benefit system. People are more uncertain than ever about their rights to access benefits, how to apply or what to do if a claim goes wrong; an overtaxed DWP system can sometimes feel impersonal or generic. We are offering a friendly local support service that is down to earth, based around the client’s individual situation with staff who will take the time to understand their needs and provide the right support at the right level for every client; this has included a wide range of benefits and financial advice from bereavement support, self-employed benefits, housing and Universal Credit to sign posting for additional support through tax exemption and crisis loans. By making sure that every household is aware of the support available (delivered leaflets to every household and put up banners) and involving the client in every step of the process we have made it a much easier journey for the client, facilitate smoother engagement with DWP when this occurs and we offer ongoing support/contact during the emergency measures and will continue to support clients post lockdown until the client has received their full entitlement.

All our activities have been widely appreciated and the feedback we have received from the people we support has told us that our work makes lockdown much more bearable for our clients “knowing that  people who care are still out there, looking after us and everyone who can’t get out to help themselves”

(Update provided by Auchinleck CDI)