Resilience Fund supports local response to Coronavirus

Groups are already benefitting from the £200,000 available from the Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund.

Aberdeenshire Council recently approved the creation of the support mechanism in light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

In just a few weeks of the fund being available, there have already been a number of grants awarded to worthwhile community groups across Aberdeenshire. 

A Covid-19 Community Facebook and action group has been set up Sophie Stephen to support elderly and vulnerable in Portlethen. She was inspired after feeling guilty about buying the last packet of toilet roll from her supermarket. She posted on Facebook asking if anyone needed any additional toilet roll. Before long she had created a Facebook group with more than 200 volunteers distributing food, sanitary products and toilet roll to those who need it most in and around Portlethen.

She has since split the town and surrounding area into 24 zones where a team leader and volunteers provide assistance to people in self-isolation. The group has requested funding to buy food, toiletries, marketing and information material and funding to pay for heating and electrical costs for the group’s base. You can find out more by watching a video on our YouTube channel:

Following the Scottish Government’s request for assistance with procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Joe Skinner and his partner Nicki set up a Peterhead-based community group Protecting Essential Workers in the North East, which is producing 3D face protection masks for key workers. The group received funding from local businesses JBS Fabrications and AM Campbell which was spent on buying additional 3D printers to make more masks. So far 1000 masks have been made for essential and key workers. Protecting Essential Workers in the North East has been supported by Peterhead Area Community Trust, who have allowed their pavilion to be used as a base for producing masks.

Protecting Essential Workers in the North East has made an application to fund for assistance with purchasing four 3D printers which will help them make more masks more quickly. Protecting Essential Workers in the North East has set up a Go Fund Me page. If you would like to make a donation please visit:

Westhill Men’s Shed is making PPE face masks as well using 3D printers. So far, 150 masks have been made but once production is fully operational, the group plan to make 600 per week. They are supplying the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership Joint Equipment Centre with 80% of the masks with the remaining 20% being supplied to local businesses. 

North East Transport Training (NETT) is a social enterprise in Ellon that has diverted its usual programmes to support the local community during the Coronavirus stiation. NETT is working with the Ellon Community Resilience Group, Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub, and the NHS and community. NETT provides safe transport for older people to shop where bus services have been withdrawn or reduced. It is also taking elderly and vulnerable people to and from medical appointments where they would be unable to attend by public transport. This is done by volunteers driving cars and minibuses.

Cllr Jim Gifford, Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “It is fantastic to see the Aberdeenshire Community Resilience Fund being accessed to help community groups carry out invaluable work supporting the elderly and vulnerable during the Coronavirus situation. I would urge community groups who are eligible to apply for these grants so that more help can be given to those in desperate need.”

Constituted community groups, resilience groups and volunteering organisations can submit a single application form to the council’s Area Managers, with the implementation of the resilience fund following a similar approach to the existing Area Committee’s budget.

Each of the six areas in Aberdeenshire will have a £20,000 allocation, with the £80,000 balance being available to the whole of Aberdeenshire. Grants of up to £2,000 for community resilience work are available.

As further community resilience funds become available from the Scottish Government, the value of grants and the criteria will be reviewed, however the principle aim at present is to be as flexible as possible for each individual community.
Area Managers’ teams, along with Community Learning and Development, Public Health and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action the Rural Partnerships and other partners, will continue to work with community resilience groups and volunteers in their areas to provide support and identify any gaps in provision.

A coordinated approach is also being made with the Local Resilience Partnership and in particular with the British Red Cross, Aberdeen City Council and The Moray Council to ensure the maximum benefit, coverage and support is provided across the Grampian area.

You can access the form here: