Charities and Communities Combine their Efforts to Tackle COVID-19 Crisis
Community groups, charities and social enterprises across Stirlingshire have joined forces to respond to the challenges posed by Covid-19.
The voluntary sector has jumped into action to support Stirling’s most vulnerable citizens, with many organisations adapting their services and activities to meet the needs of the community during the crisis.
National organisation Volunteering Matters, which operates in Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire, has set up a Community Crisis Support Project, where businesses and individuals can volunteer their help.
Similar initiatives have sprung up in neighbourhoods across the region with local people offering support in the form of food shopping, dog walking and collecting prescriptions.
In Riverside, offers of support have been flooding in.
Alison Swanson of Riverside Community Council, which has been helping to co-ordinate the community effort, said: “We’ve been inundated with offers from people wanting to offer support to our elderly and vulnerable residents. Riverside is already a very well networked community and this grassroots initiative exemplifies the neighbourliness that already exists in our area.”
Recognising the pressure Covid-19 places on the voluntary sector as well as the people it supports, Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise is offering support and advice to local organisations.
Natalie Masterson said: “We’re working closely with the Council, NHS and other local partners to ensure that the needs of the voluntary sector are taken into account as we respond to this unprecedented situation. This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for local charities and voluntary organisations as they struggle to meet the needs of vulnerable groups. Many services will need to adapt, reduce or even halt. The sector will also be under increased financial pressure as shops close, fundraising events are cancelled and donations reduce.”
Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise has also been working with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to offer charities guidance on governance, finances, remote working and emergency funding to help the sector navigate through the crisis. This information can be accessed here.
Members of the public can also support the local charity response to coronavirus by making a donation to the National Emergencies Trust, www.nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk
Written by Lesley Wilkinson