Worthwhile causes in Marr benefit from Community Resilience Fund

Here is a round-up of grants that have been given to worthwhile causes in Marr thanks to 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. 

Mid Deeside Community Trust has repurposed its support organisation to be a focal point for the area, joining forces with the Grampian Coronavirus Assistance Hub, COVID-Aboyne and community groups in Finzean, Lumphanan, Tarland, Kincardine O’Neil, Dess, Dinnet and Birse. Volunteers are helping with essential shopping and prescription collection, dog walking, and befriending. A minibus is transporting the volunteers to allow them to help those in need. The trust has applied for funding to maintain the bus and for buying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and hand sanitiser. To date they have had over 190 requests and which they have been able to fulfil.  Ninety members of the community have come forward to assist their efforts and they have taken people into Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, picked up prescriptions, shopped at Coop, Morrisons and Tesco’s, posted parcels, delivered to and from the food bank, walked dogs, filled up petrol canisters and many more things for their community.

Cromar Community Council has applied for grant funding on behalf of CromarHelp and the Logie Coldstone Trust. A seven-day-a-week phone line and email has been set up to assist vulnerable members of the community with shopping, collection and delivery of prescriptions and parcels. These services are provided by an army of willing and friendly volunteers. The group also organises ‘chat nights’ using videoconferencing apps to prevent loneliness and provide community meetings and entertainment featuring singing sessions.

Coronavirus Alford Aberdeenshire Support Group is providing a similar support service for those in need in Alford and the surrounding area. In their application form for the grant the group wrote: “Our aim is to ensure that no one is left isolated unable to meet basic needs of food and prescriptions due to the current situation. We believe that if we work together in our area, we can get through this and no-one will go without.”

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending facilitate a befriending service for older people living in their own homes in the community but are experiencing social isolation and loneliness, often due to frailty, ill health or bereavement. A grant will cover the costs of increased postage of cards and notes to clients, volunteers and stakeholders as well as for volunteers to collect and distribute shopping.

Constituted community groups, resilience groups and volunteering organisations can submit a single application form to Janelle Clark, Marr Area Manager, with the implementation of the resilience fund following a similar approach to the existing Marr 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 to be administered by the chair of the Community Resilience and Partnership Workstream.

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.

The Marr Area Team, 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: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/communities-and-events/funding/community-resilience-covid-19/