COVID19 Updates

Please bear with us as the content of this page is an ongoing process. Our aim is to keep this page updated as much as possible with information and advice during the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.

General Advice

Coronavirus in Scotland

  • NHS Test and Protect Campaign

    The Test and Protect Campaign, NHS Scotland’s approach to controlling the spread of coronavirus in our communities, was launched on Thursday 28th May. This campaign will run for six weeks, with activity on social media, TV and radio, press and outdoor digital posters.

    The main focus of the campaign is to inform people about the Test and Protect process, and how this process will support people to get tested as soon as they develop symptoms. We are looking for your support to share this message within your networks and within your organisations, as we require our collective cooperation to control the spread of coronavirus within our communities. The First Minister has set out the Route Map for easing restrictions, and as we move through Phase 1 we are calling on everyone to become familiar with the Test and Protect service. You can also view the published guidance for employers for Test & Protect here.

    We are also developing a Door Drop for every household in Scotland that will provide key information about the service and guidance on the support available for those that need to isolate, which will land in every Scottish home the week of 22nd June.

    To find out more, visit the NHS website.

  • NHS Protect Scotland App Launch. Please find more information here: https://www.gov.scot/news/protect-scotland-app-launches/
  • The Department of Health and Social Care will publish updated UK data on Coronavirus (COVID-19) every day at 2pm until further notice.
  • After 2pm, the Scottish Government will publish an update on the situation in Scotland.
  • Health Protection Scotland – 
    https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/
  • Scotland Cares
    The ReadyScotland website is being constantly updated and provides advice on volunteering safely and the organisations to register an interest with such as Volunteer Scotland and the Red Cross.
    https://www.readyscotland.org/coronavirus/volunteering

North Ayrshire Council Updates

Community Support Hubs in North Ayrshire Localities

North Ayrshire Council’s Connected Communities teams have launched a series of community hubs that will operate in each of the six localities. Their purpose is to be a local point of contact for community need arising from COVID-19, responding with advice, signposting, referral and tasking of local volunteers.

Please note, these hubs will NOT be open for the public to visit but will serve as bases for small coordination teams to operate from.

These Community Support Hubs will be open Monday – Friday between 10am and 1pm to receive phone calls. The answer machine will be on outwith these times and all messages will be picked up the following day.
They can be contacted on the numbers below:

Testing for Key Workers

The Scottish Government published guidance on Saturday 25 April regarding the expanded testing programme in Scotland and for testing of key workers – links to this guidance are below:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-access-to-testing/

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-key-workers-in-Scotland/

Support for Individuals

  • If you are looking for information on local organisations who may be able to help you at this time, please search our organisation database: registered-orgs
  • Mental Health Foundation has provided guidance for those isolating looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
  • Ohana Yoga have compiled a very useful list of 7 tips to help endure this difficult time and look after yourself and your mental health. Read the full article here:
    https://ohanayoga.com/surviving-in-a-pandemic/
  • The Better Health Hub (BHH) service provides support and information on a range of matters that can impact health and wellbeing. BHH staff can also help people to identify ways to take care of themselves during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

    Contact the service by phone or email to find out how we can help or to arrange an appointment for a video call using NHS Near Me.

    Telephone: 01563 825611. You can leave a message for a call back.

    Email: aa-uhb.betterhealthhub@aapct.scot.nhs.uk

  • For those groups/individuals worried about elderly clients or neighbours please have a look at AGE Scotland’s top ten tips age-scotlands-10-top-tips
  • If you are unemployed and in receipt of benefits, the DWP announced the following measures:
    – People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020
    – People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended
    – Jobcentres remain open and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people
    – People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible
  • Rehab 4 Addiction have an online resource available to help with guarding mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the guide, visit: https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/coronavirus/mental-health-coronavirus

  • Blurt has compiled a very useful guide for self care: Self Care Starter Kit (PDF)
  • Treatment for Substance Dependence and Addiction: Guidance Document (PDF)
  • Update from Turning Point Scotland – North Ayrshire Prevention, Early intervention and Recovery (P.E.A.R.) Service (PDF)
  • SeeMe Scotland have guidance on looking after your mental health on their website
  • Domestic Abuse Hotline You are not alone. If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse and needs help, support is available. Call Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline on: 0800 027 1234 or visit: www. safer.scot.
    If you feel someone is in immediate danger call 999
  • Break the Silence provide professional support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse, of all genders aged 13 years and above, living in East or North Ayrshire.  During this challenging time we want you to know we are still operating and have a range of support options in place, adapted to suit current guidelines.  Support can be accessed through telephone, email, or video counselling (through Attend Anywhere).  We continue to accept referrals and can be contacted via:

    Phone – 01563 559558
    Email – info@breakthesilence.org.uk
    Website – www.breakthesilence.org.uk

  • NHS Ayrshire & Arran‘s Health Improvement Team have information which will be of use to individuals, and to our communities and partners who are supporting people to keep well during the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.nhsaaa.net/better-health/keeping-well-during-covid19/

    In addition, the Better Health Hub will be providing a telephone service on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-4pm and on Thursday from 10am to 12noon. This service will provide individual support for those who are concerned about their ability to stay healthy during this outbreak, or those that support them.
    Please contact the service on: 0758 417 4428

  • Foodbank Vouchers

    The voucher system from the foodbank has been suspended until further notice. This means that anyone can access the foodbank – no voucher is required.

  • Scottish Prison Service
    Important information for families and visitors during the COVID-19 crisis:
    Guide – Information on Sending Money (PDF)
    Questions and Answers (PDF)
  • Energy Supplier List

    Families and individuals who are self-isolating and are on electric / gas meters or smart meters, can call the following provider numbers and organise to be sent 2 weeks credit for their meter:
    British Gas – 0333 202 9802
    EDF – 0333 200 5100
    EON – 0345 052 000
    N Power – 0800 073 3000
    Scottish Power – 0800 027 0072
    SSE – 0345 0262 658

  • Home Energy Scotland, an energy advice service funded by the Scottish Government, can provide free, impartial advice to help people to stay warm, make the best use of energy and save money on their bills. Many people will see their energy bills rise because of the COVID-19 lockdown, and they’re keen to speak to anyone who’s worried about this.
    To get in touch, call: 0808 808 2282 to chat to a friendly advisor. Calls are free and they’re available Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Or visit their website: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/home-energy-scotland
  • Clear Your Head is a useful website providing support and a range of tips to help with your physical and mental wellbeing. Find out more: https://clearyourhead.scot/

Support for Older People

  • Community Led Action and Support Project (CLASP) are now providing a telephone befriending and digital support service for older people residing in North Ayrshire, during this pandemic.
    If you are in isolation and could benefit from a daily/regular call for a chat, we have trained
    befrienders who can be a listening ear, help boost morale and offer guidance and signposting assistance. They also have a team of Digital Tutors and Digital Buddies who can support you with any digital queries you might have at this difficult time. Call Liz on: 07464206592 or Email: liz@clasps.org.uk

Support from the Be Inspired project

Support for Parents & Families

  • North Ayrshire Council Education have created a guide to help parents support their children in the current situation: Guide for Parents (PDF file)
  • Parent Club – https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/health/coronavirus
  • Parentline Scotland – https://www.children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/parentline-scotland/
  • The Spark is a Scottish Government free national relationship counselling helpline. It is a relationship helpline that provides online support by qualified counsellors who give telephone support, assess the severity of the callers situation and signpost elsewhere or if required offer their own free counselling service.

    They work with couples, families, parents and can give individual or couples/ family counselling. This is currently taking place online, but outside Covid restrictions, can be online or face to face.

    To find out more visit: https://www.thespark.org.uk/relationship-support-parents-families/the-relationship-helpline/
    Or call the freephone number: 0808 802 2088

  • ABERLOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE FUND

    Aberlour’s Urgent Assistance Fund can provide cash grants to help families with children cope with the impact of the Coronavirus.

    Applications must be endorsed and submitted by a sponsor, acting in their professional capacity. Examples of eligible sponsors include social workers, health care professionals, teachers, clergy and third sector organisations. Applications from individuals cannot be accepted.

    Please follow the link below for more information: https://www.aberlour.org.uk/urgentassistancefund/

Support for Children & Young People

  • Young Scothttps://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus
  • Young people of North Ayrshire… if you’re bored and looking for stuff to do… check this out. All for FREE!

    The #DigiDrEAM programme will run daily from Monday 20th April for young people and families during the COVID-19 lockdown in North Ayrshire.
    Run by North Ayrshire Connected Communities Team and Partners. Daily challenges and activities will go each day from the times on the poster:
    DigiDrEAM-Poster.pdf

    Like our pages and join in on the daily activities, challenges and win prizes. Like the pages to be in with chance of winning a £50 Amazon voucher for Facebook and Instagram.

    Find them on social media:
    Facebook – ‘Like’ North Ayrshire Youth Services
    Twitter – @NAYouthservices
    Instagram – NACYouthServices
    Snapchat – NACYouthSnaps
    TikTok – North_Ayrshire_Youth

  • University of Reading have developed the ‘COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression‘ course for young people with low mood and depression and their parents and carers, or anyone who has contact with young people during the coronavirus pandemic. To find out more about this free course visit: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/low-mood-during-covid-19
  • Penumbra have developed a guide to assist young people to cope with the current coronavirus situation.
    You can download the guide here: Responding to Change (PDF)
  • The Teapot Trust is a charity providing art therapy to support the mental health of children and young people with long term conditions. With the help of their art therapists, they’ve developed a suite of original resources on their website to keep children creatively occupied and calm at home and support mental well-being, which we hope all members of the family will find helpful:

    https://www.teapot-trust.org/Listing/Category/art-therapy-at-home

Support for Organisations

  • TACT Community Fund – Round 3 is now open!

    • Apply for up to £500
    • Closing date is 5pm on September 4th
    • Open to voluntary groups and organisations with an annual turnover of £500,000 or less

    Please contact info@tact.scot or call 01294 443044 to request an Application Pack.

  • For organisations requiring more information around volunteer disclosures/PVGs, visit mygov.scot/basic-disclosure/apply-for-basic-disclosure/
  • SCVO, the national membership organisation for the voluntary sector, have created a ‘Coronavirus Community Assistance Directory‘ where individuals and organisations can find and offer help and support by listing their needs/availability on a nation-wide online database.
  • SCVO‘s Third Sector Information Hub: https://scvo.org.uk/support/covid-19
  • SCVO‘s Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) is now open! This is a £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland. Apply here:
    https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund
  • The Charities Aid Foundation is providing COVID-19 emergency funding of up to £10,000. The pot is limited, so you are advised to send in your application as soon as possible if you wish to apply. You can apply for unrestricted funding for core costs, staffing, volunteer costs, supplies and equipment, communications or other critical charitable areas. You must be able to describe how an emergency grant will improve the situation for your organisation and community. They are aiming for grants to selected organisations to be paid within 14 days.
    You can find more information here: https://www.cafonline.org/charities/grantmaking/caf-coronavirus-emergency-fund
  • Kickstart Business Survey (Third Sector)
    North Ayrshire Council are seeking your views on the new Kickstart scheme recently announced by the UK Government.

    About Kickstart

    Kickstart provides funding to create job placements for 16-24 year olds. Guidance on the scheme is attached: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme.

    Although the national scheme is now open for applications it is anticipated that it may be November before any job opportunities created can be filled through the scheme.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme

    To fill in the survey, click here

  • Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund is a short-term fund to support local communities. Due to the need to respond quickly to the emergency they have created a streamlined application process and payment process to make it easier to get funds distributed quickly.

    If your application is successful the fund will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups. The programme is set up to support organisational need in this time of crisis rather than fund specific projects.

    Please follow this link to apply: https://tescobagsofhelp.org.uk/grant-schemes/tesco-cv-fund/

  • The Lottery Heritage Fund are providing a package of support for the heritage sector as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. They are able to provide emergency grants from £3,000 up to £250,000 to heritage organisations. Find out more here: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/heritage-emergency-fund
  • ACOSVO is leading on providing peer support for chief executives and senior leaders.
  • Health Protection Scotland have published a range of guidance for people who work in health and non-healthcare settings a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/
  • August Update – a list of new COVID-19 funding for Voluntary Organisations and Charities:
    Click here to read (PDF)
  • Wondering about upcoming AGMs or filing yearly returns to OSCR? Visit charities-and-coronavirus-an-update-from-the-regulator  

OSCR Updates:

New legislation regarding AGM’s and governance

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill has now been published. This paves the way for certain AGM/general meeting requirements to be temporarily relaxed given lockdown and social-distancing. This will apply to Scottish charitable (and other third sector) companies, ‘mutual’ societies and also extends to Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations. These are grouped together as ‘qualifying bodies’ in the Bill. It will be particularly useful for charities with large memberships, those considering holding virtual meetings or organisations with an older constitution. This note also recaps on the OSCR dimension and points for Scottish charities that are not covered by the Bill.

To read more please click on the link below:

https://scottishcharityandwealthlaw.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/update-agms-and-charity-third-sector-companies/

Charity Accounts and reporting to OSCR

With regard to preparing and submitting accounts to OSCR during the Covid -19 crisis:

  • Late submission will not be highlighted in red like normal
  • There will be a 6 month grace period before late submission is noted in red
  • Typed and scanned signatures will be accepted for accounts
  • TAR – noting separately any money received from government for furloughing staff
  • Funding ie Well being funding can be totalled together but they suggest separating with description in notes and in the TAR
  • TAR – give update on how Covid – 19 affected the charity
  • AGM – if virtual explain why and how you held the meeting (might be good if possible to record with everyone’s permission of course)
  • Due to social distancing and working from home if decisions have had to be made differently explain why and how.

More information on Covid-19 guidance for charities can be found on OSCR website – https://www.oscr.org.uk/news/oscr-publishes-covid-19-guidance-for-charities/

  • Guidance for supporting volunteers from Volunteer Scotland coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-volunteers
  • Volunteer Scotland
    Information to help volunteers and volunteer involving organisations during the Covid-19 epidemic – https://www.volunteerscotland.net/covid-19/
  • Digital Candle is offering a free one hour of digital guidance for charities https://www.digitalcandle.org.uk/
  • 1stop4thirdsector have an offering for small businesses during the pandemic:
    “Coronavirus is a huge challenge for the NHS meaning that other ongoing health issues will not be a priority. 1Stop4aGP gives an immediate solution to this. In these unprecedented times, your employees are looking for certainty for their families and for themselves. Help free up 111 from unnecessary calls by giving your staff access to our service. With newly introduced government restrictions on movement to halt the spread of coronavirus and even simple medication being hard to find in pharmacies and supermarkets, our private prescription service delivers any medication straight to the door of your employee.

    We here at 1Stop4aGP want to offer our help to small business employers. We know the financial pressure you are under, so starting from today, any new signups to our service by businesses employing between 2-50 employees will not be charged for three months, covering your workforce and their immediate families”.
    To see their brochure, click here (PDF)

  • Just Enterprise have information and support for social enterprises on their website: https://justenterprise.org/covid-19/
  • Coronavirus Information support for North Ayrshire Council Community
    Briefing 1download  (PDF)

Funding Statement from Scottish Government