A small group of Ochiltree Community Hub volunteers wanted to make sure the vulnerable groups in the village and surrounding area were looked after during the lockdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A call for volunteers was made on social media and around 30 people volunteered to help. Flyers were delivered to every door in the village offering help with shopping, posting mail, urgent supplies and a friendly phone call for anyone who needed. The Hub circulated the flyer via their members monthly email to spread the word to the 270 members alongside some other useful information.

Mutual Aid Group used the Hub to access the elderly population that uses the Café to ensure they sign up in case they needed help, the local shop and pharmacy were also used to collect names. The Hub sourced hand sanitiser and a donation from a key worker of gloves meant the group were ready to help.

The Local shop started to offer a delivery service for those self- isolating, the overwhelming demand soon meant the Mutual Aid Group started to help with deliveries. East Ayrshire Council’s Vibrant Communities team contacted the Hub and the Mutual Aid Group to co-ordinate the efforts for free school meals delivery and if there were any other ways to support.

The Hub applied for a Council grant on behalf of the Mutual Aid Group to ensure that volunteers can source further personal protective equipment, be reimbursed for mileage, and buy essential food for those unable too at this difficult time.

Each volunteer now has identification to identify themselves as a volunteer thanks to Vibrant Communities. A great effort by the community has helped several people source food, access banking and get medicines during lockdown. Community Spirit in the hardest of times.

(Update provided by Ochiltree Community Hub)