The Muir of Ord Development Trust and Moo Food have been working together to support the community through this difficult time. When it looked likely that a lockdown would happen, we knew we had to adapt the way that we usually provide community development and make sure that we could contribute as much support as we could.

Partnership working has been key and by sharing our resources and skill sets, it has helped us to be able to be more responsive to the community’s needs.

Both of our projects are based around bringing people together. The Muir of Ord Development Trust has redeveloped 2 tired and underused community buildings into modern, versatile spaces – The Muir Hub and Village Hall. Both facilities are at the heart of a growing community, aiming to improve social impact through enterprising and community focussed activities. And, Moo Food who are a community food company, with the aim to build community resilience by bringing people together to grow food, knowledge and confidence. Even physically apart we wanted the community to still feel connected.

We started by helping the online Facebook support group by coordinating the volunteer response, we were in awe of the amount of community kindness that has been shown and how many people came forward to help. We wanted to be able to reach everyone in the community to let them know what support was there for them. We know not everyone has access to the internet and less chance of seeing posters so we sent flyers to everyone in the village, over 2200 flyers went out. This had the information on our community support line which is open 7 days a week 10am-4pm, people can get in touch for advice, errands such as shopping, and prescriptions and for food parcels.

The needs of the community are ever changing, we have found each week and month has been different from the last. We have been able to develop activities and projects to meet these needs as they arise. The immediate response was the practical needs of food shopping errands and advice then there was a higher need for food parcels and now we are hearing more from people about feeling lonely and isolated. We have started Blether Together, a service that you can get 1 or 2 phone calls a week from the same person for a friendly chat to help ease some of the feels of isolation.

We are now opening the Village Hall two mornings a week as a Pop Up Swap Shop. We heard from people who were struggling with boredom and had worked their way through their own supply of books, games, DVDs, jigsaws. This way they are able to swap for different ones. Everything that comes in is held for 72 hours before being cleaned and then goes out. We made a Facebook video to help people understand the process and this has given people the confidence to come along. We also deliver to those shielding and self-isolating. People can also get food parcels and refill of hand sanitiser as well.

We are continuing to send a newsletter out every 4 to 6 weeks to keep the community up to date with what is happening in the village “The Scoop”. We are also gathering ideas from the community about what they would like to see next to help us plan for the next stages and thinking about how we can adapt our services and facilities in the longer term.

For more information please contact or call 01463 870 588.    

(Update provided by The Muir of Ord Development Trust)