Staff from across all areas of council work have been involved with planning and introducing changes that will help maintain vital services while also protecting our communities from the impact of coronavirus.
Helping our Communities
Working with the NHS, Health and Social Care Partnership and Third Sector Interface (TSI) the council has a Caring for People helpline available to support people with a range of issues including financial, social and domestic and education. By contacting the helpline, enquiries for help can then be linked to appropriate local support including partner agencies, community groups or volunteers. The helpline is also the Local Assessment Centre for anyone who has been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks (shielding) and needs support or access to food or medicine.
In addition there is also an online request for help form available on the website. https://argyllandbute.custhelp.com/app/VOL/Help_Request
A dedicated volunteering section of the website is now available to help coordinate new offers of help and existing charities and local voluntary groups. The webpage includes resources on volunteering safely and has links to over 100 local groups providing support and funding. https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/coronavirus/help-for-communities
To help teams deal with pressures of staffing in services that currently have gaps due to people either working from home or self-isolating, an internal redeployment and volunteering Hub was launched.
Staff can sign up to help other departments and a specific appeal has been issued for anyone with care experience or qualifications to help in social care.
Education and School Meals
Provision of free school meals is available from 10 Hubs across Argyll and Bute with kitchens open every weekday between 12 noon and 12.30pm. Childcare is available for all identified key workers.
Advice and support for businesses across Argyll and Bute is available through a dedicated council webpage that includes key Government support. Our Business Gateway team are also offering support and advice on a range of issues including financial help and contingency planning. The council is administering the Business Support Grant Scheme from the Government and has received a huge number of applications so far. Support from across the organisation has been pulled together to help the application process. https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-businesses
Communication has played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 through traditional and digital media. The need for information and guidance during crisis has seen an increase of 595 social media followers in the last month.
(Update provided by Audrey Martin, Argyll and Bute Council)