Peterhead Together For Good forum is going from strength to strength

A forum which was established earlier in the summer to identify local needs and provide support for a North east town during the Covid19 emergency continues to go from strength to strength.

‘Peterhead Together for Good’ was created in June with the aim of building trust and confidence between community groups which have been working in the town and providing peer support.

Since then the various groups have been working closely together to ensure all needs within the communities of Peterhead continue to be met. By sharing local knowledge to benefit the community response and recovery, the forum has been able to identify gaps and reduce the risk of duplication.

Steph Swales of Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Planning team explained: “At the beginning of lockdown we met with new and emerging community resilience groups to ask about any support needs they may have to be able to support their communities.  

“The feedback from groups signified that establishing contact both with each other and relevant council officers and services would help them feel supported during the pandemic. As a council, our role is to offer support, sign-posting and to help provide joint working approaches where appropriate and relevant.”

That led to the establishment of the ‘Strengthening our Buchan Response’ forum which has met ‘virtually’ on a weekly basis since its first meeting back in March.

Discussions with groups identified a strong desire to create an active and engaging network to access ongoing support from council officers and partners, to share information with each other, to provide clarity around boundary areas to reduce duplication and to ensure that groups had continuity with practice.”

Chaired by Councillor Dianne Beagrie in her role as chair of Peterhead Area Community Trust (PACT), Peterhead Together for Good has received support from the council’s Buchan Area Managers Office, Community Learning and Development and Tackling Poverty and Inequalities teams, the Buchan Community Planning Partnership, Buchan Development Partnership and Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

The forum comprises a number of groups including:

• Stella's Voice
• Buchan Giving Tree
• Peterhead Community Council
• North Aberdeenshire Foodbank
• Aberdeen Foyer
• AFC Community Trust
• Shirley's Space
• Street Pastors
• Dial A Bus
• Peterhead Salvation Army
• Men United
• Peterhead Fishermen’s Mission 
• Buchan Counselling

Cllr Dianne Beagrie said: “There has always been a wealth of very pro-active community groups and charities in Peterhead and the wider Buchan area, however their strength and capacity has been increased tremendously with the formation of Peterhead Together For Good.

"These groups are now working closely with one another to provide coordinated support to families and individuals who may urgently be requiring clothing, food supplies or household items. They can also access vital support and advice services to help them during this incredibly difficult time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The forum recently set up its own Facebook page - Peterhead-Together-for-Good – and is receiving positive messaging as the wider community learns about the collaborative works being undertaken in the town.

Mark Morgan of Stella’s Voice said: “It’s so encouraging to see everyone working together, helping each other and sharing resources - all for benefit of our local community.

"We’ve seen some unprecedented challenges this year and unfortunately there will be more challenges to come. Peterhead Together For Good will ensure the help and support for our community will be there when it is needed.”