Information and Advice for Aberdeen’s 3rd Sector

We currently find ourselves in an unprecedented real life situation which will impact the day to day working of 3rd Sector Organisations in Aberdeen.

Understandably you will all have questions –  so do we!

However, we have put together some useful information and advice on this page which we will be regularly updating.

ACVO and Volunteer Aberdeen

  • You can read an update from our Chief Executive, Maggie Hepburn, here.
  • On our sister site – Volunteer Aberdeen, you will find information on how you can help out in your local community.
  • We have been asked by our members to create an events calendar that can be used by Aberdeen 3rd Sector for planning rescheduled events.  You can find this tool here.
  • You may also find this advice from Third Force News useful too.

Aberdeen City Council

  • The latest information re school closures, building lets, housing and sheltered housing can be found here.
  • Have launched an emergency telephone hotline to prioritise support for the most vulnerable and at-risk customers.  The helpline will be able to assist with welfare and financial advice. The helpline 0800 0304 713 is open Monday to Friday 8-6pm.
  • Information has been released from Trading Standards and Environmental Health on Social Distancing Guidelines for business.
  • The Council have released their Route Map in parallel to the Scottish Governments.

Aberdeen Health & Social Care Partnership

  • Aberdeen HSCP has established a single point of COVID-19 information for providers operating in the City.  The information can be accessed here.
  • The Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP) have put together this handy guide for keeping our own mental health and wellbeing in check during the COVID-19 situation.

Advocacy Service Aberdeen

  • ASA have provided an update on their service which can be found here.

Animal Welfare

  • The Scottish SPCA have guidance on pets and COVID-19 which can be accessed here.
  • The Scottish Government has released updated advice for pet owners.

Autism Awareness

Benefits

  • Advice on Isolation Notes can be found here.
  • The government has confirmed that people who need to claim universal credit or employment and support allowance because of COVID-19 will not be required to produce a fit note or an isolation note.
  • DWP advice on attending job centres tweet from the DWP Press Office
  • Money advice on how to avoid loan sharks
  • DWP are stopping debt recovery activity as soon as possible.  This includes all benefit-related overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts. Many activities will cease immediately but others may take longer to implement. The suspension of recovery action is in place until further notice.What this means
    • Deductions from Universal Credit and Legacy for benefit overpayments, Social Fund loans and Tax Credit debts managed by Debt Management will be suspended. This action will commence immediately but an IT solution will need to be implemented to stop some deductions for Debt Management.
    • The recovery of Advances by deduction from Universal Credit payments will continue.
    • Local Authorities will suspend referral of Housing Benefit overpayments.
    • The transfer of Tax Credit debt from HMRC has already been suspended.
    • Recovery from estates will temporarily cease.

    For citizens who are not on benefits, DWP have directed private sector debt collection agencies to stop their activity for Debt Management customers and we are suspending voluntary debt repayments and recovery by Direct Earnings Attachments.  Please note the part that recovery of Advances will continue.

  • The Scottish Government have provided an update on Social Security.
  • HMRC announces that parents of new-borns can claim child benefit without registering child’s birthNew measure introduced to ensure that people are able to claim while General Register Offices are closed due to coronavirus outbreakHMRC has announced that parents of new-borns can claim child benefit without registering the child’s birth while General Register Offices are closed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Setting out the new measure today, HMRC says that first time parents will need to fill in Child Benefit Claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office, and that they should add a note to the claim if they have been unable to register the birth because of COVID-19.HMRC also advises that, if people are already in receipt of child benefit, they can complete the form or add their new-born’s details over the phone on 0300 200 3100.Commenting on the easement, Director General for Customer Services at HMRC Angela MacDonald said -It’s really important that new parents remember to register for child benefit, even during these unprecedented times.The increase in child benefit is a boost for family budgets but there’s more to claiming than the payments. We’re encouraging people to claim so they don’t miss out on national insurance credits that help protect their state pension. It also helps children to get their national insurance number automatically at 16.’Fore more information, see Don’t miss out, claim Child Benefit by phone or post, HMRC tells new parents from gov.uk
  • Click here to read the latest guidance on Universal Credit, Childcare Costs and Lockdown from the DWP.
  • HMRC have released this advice on those not working their normal hours and the impact on their tax credits.

Bereavement

  • The Scottish Social Services Council have launched a new webpage which aims to support people who are caring for and/or experiencing death, dying and bereavement during COVID-19.
  • Caledonia Cremation is offering help to those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19

British Deaf Association

  • The BDA release daily information bulletins in BSL which can be viewed here.

British Sign Language

  • British Sign Language users can now easily access Universal Credit through a video relay service provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. It can be accessed here.

Cancer

  • Cancer Research UK have some useful COVID 19 Information for people going through Cancer available here.

Care homes

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): clinical guidance for nursing home and residential care residents.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): clinical guidance for the management of clients accessing care at home, housing support and sheltered housing:
  • Health Protection Scotland also published their updated guidance
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Health & Social Care Committee have launched an inquiry into COVID-19 and Care Homes. More information can be found here.
  • This infographic has been released from Scottish Care on the revisiting of care homes.

Carers

  • The Scottish Government has released an information guide for Unpaid Carers.
  • VSA Carers Service

    All Carers Advisors are working remotely from home but our contact numbers and emails remain the same.

    Please feel free to contact your Carer Advisor for any information or advice you may be looking for. Or even if you need a chat – the team are just at the end of the phone.

    Tel: 01224 212021 or email: carers.info@vsa.org.uk.

  • Young Carer Grant offers £305.10 once a year to carers who are aged 16-18, who carry out at least 16 hours of unpaid care a week and who do not receive Carers Allowance.  The grant is paid once a year. You can find out about eligibility here.  Recent changes in response to the COVID-19 virus mean that young carers can apply late for the grant e.g. if because of the virus/isolation you are not able to apply until you are 19.

  • The Carers Trust has a dedicated page on COVID-19 for carers that can be accessed here.

Care Experienced

  • For those care experienced and worried about COVID-19, Who Cares? Scotland are there for you.  Find out more here.

Children & Young People

  • The ThinkUKnow campaign offers guidance and advice on keeping children & young people safe online.
  • Barnardo’s have released a guide on talking to children about COVID-19.
  • The UK Government has released an information guide for parents and carers on looking after children’s mental health and wellbeing throughout the outbreak.
  • Together – The Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights have put together this informative page on briefings relating to children’s rights at both a Scottish and UK perspective.
  • Guidance on Child Contact Arrangements.
  • Parenting Across Scotland (PAS) is talking to Scottish Government about how families are being affected by the Coronavirus and what help they need. The survey can be found here.
  • The Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) has pulled together this handy page of information and advice.
  • Disclosure updates: Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Disclosure Scotland are prioritising checks for those working in health and care sectors. Fees for urgent disclosures for coronavirus (COVID-19) response workers have been suspended so you do not have to pay for forms emailed before midnight on 11 May 2020. Further details are available here.
  • Click here to listen to Children in Scotland’s recent podcast titled ‘Responding to crisis – the vital role of the children’s sector during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
  • Avenue – have provided an update on their services here.
  • ThinkUKnow have released home activity packs to teach children and young people how to stay safe online.
  • The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland have launched a dedicated COVID-19 website.
  • A new resource has been created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together resources.  Visit the new CAMHS Resources website here.
  • The Prince’s Trust continues to offer support to young people who fall within our age bracket of 16-30 years old.They are still taking referrals as normal and will continue to work with young people over the coming weeks and months to support them.  Whether this be through employability skills, personal and social development or for those interested in finding out more about self-employment, through our enterprise offer.As before, young people will be supported through their journey with us by a dedicated key worker who will work with them to achieve their goals.If you have any young people you would like to refer please do so in the first instance to either of the contacts listed below:Phoebe.codona@princes-trust.org.uk    07484534329Sammy.keith@princes-trust.org.uk         01382 448117

Community Justice Forum

  • Click here to access our dedicated Community Justice Forum Directory page.

Community Support

  • Inchgarth Community Centre are rolling out a significant support project for several communities in Aberdeen South.  Visit here to find out more.

Communications Support

  • Canva have free COVID-19 Awareness Templates, that can be used to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities safe and supported. Find them here.

Counselling Services

  • Third Level Foundation have provided an update on their services.   You can read it here.

Disability

  • Aberdeen Action on Disability are offering to fix/service laptops, mobiles etc. free of charge in order to enable the most vulnerable to stay connected. For more information please call 01224 641355 or email office@aad-online.com. 

Dementia

  • Alzheimer Scotland operate a 24 Hour Freephone Dementia Helpline  0808 808 3000.  This free 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline provides information, signposting and emotional support to people living with dementia, their families, friends and professionals.
  • The British Deaf Association have released a Dementia toolkit.
  • Luminate Scotland and the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network has released this fantastic Dementia singing choir video.
  • Alzheimer Scotland – Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are running their popular ‘Memories of..’ sessions virtually through their Facebook Page here.

Domestic Abuse

You can find information and local helpline information on our our Domestic Abuse page here.

  • 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 safer.scot. If you feel someone is in immediate danger call 999. #ReportDomesticAbuse
  • With the current advice to stay at home, many people experiencing abuse can feel anxious, unsafe or at greater risk.  We’ve put together the below list of organisations that can offer you support and advice which can be found here.
  • You may also find this information and advice from SafeLives important too!
  • Emergency support is available from Aberdeen Cyrenians through 0808 1964422
    • Domestic Abuse Support and Accommodation Project (DASAP) supporting women, men and families who are experiencing domestic abuse.  Ensuring that people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness due to domestic abuse can access specialist support and safe accommodation. Contact: dasap@weareac.org
    • Violence Against Women (VAW) project offers support to women who have experienced or are currently experiencing violence and abuse.  Contact vaw@weareac.org
  • For those who were abused or neglected while children living in care in Scotland, Future Pathways remains ready to help you.
  • Grampian Women’s Aid continue to provide all support services during this time, adapting our ways of working to include provision of our services over the phone, online, by text or by email. Women, children & young people seeking support during this time should still reach out to us by calling 01224 593381, emailing info@grampian-womens-aid.com or via online via our website here: http://grampian-womens-aid.com/contact-us/
  • Scotland’s Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage helpline (0800 027 1234) is available 24 hours a day, every day.
  • Inclusion North have put together this guide on Domestic Abuse and how to get help.
  • Aberdeen Violence Against Women Partnership have launched a dedicated Domestic Abuse website here. They have a list of resources and also key information is available in other languages here.
  • Independent Office for Police Conduct have published the ‘What to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service, but can’t speak’ guide.
  • Scottish Women’s Aid have a helpful information and support website.
  • Train companies are to offer free travel to those fleeing domestic abuse during the current lockdown.  More information here.

Energy

  • Hillcrest Homes have produced an information guide for those seeking advice on energy during this time.
  • This can be a worrying time for many reasons and staying at home means that your energy bills could rise. You may also be worried about a friend, relative or neighbour and how they can manage their bills.Home Energy Scotland can help with lots of free and impartial advice. We can help with information on saving money and energy, advice on switching suppliers, information on pre-payment meters and can also give you a free home energy check.Call us free on 0808 808 2282 or find out more at www.homeenergyscotland.org.
  • SCARF have launched a new crisis fund to help those in fuel poverty.  Read more here.

Employment 

  • ACAS and COVID-19 advice
  • If you need advice on employability or help to sharpen your CV in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, GREC’s resident expert Myshele is on hand to help- please direct any enquiries to mhaywood@grec.co.ukIf you have lost your job, been forced to reduce your hours, or your workplace has closed because of Coronavirus – you can apply for Universal Credit online or by telephone, and you can get the first month’s payment upfront. For more information click here.  If you need help with applying for Universal Credit, please get in touch with GREC’s casework service: casework@grec.co.uk or 07857180175. If you have a job, and become ill with Covid-19 – you are entitled to your regular sick pay. You can get a doctor’s note online, by visiting the NHS 111 website:

    If you are self-isolating because a family member is ill, or because you are in a high-risk category – you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (£94.25 per week), and may be entitled to full pay, depending on your contract. You can get a doctor’s note by visiting the NHS 111 website (above).

  • Weathering the Storm, a new report by Working Families has been launched looking at the impact of the pandemic on families employment.
  • The UK Government Furlough Scheme has launched.  Guidance can be found here and you can apply here.
  • The UK Government have created a tool for businesses to use to see what support they are eligible for.  To access this tool click here.
  • Guidance from the UK Government on the Self-employment scheme can be found here.
  • Aberdeen City Council have released this note on the Self-Employed Hardship Fund.

Ethnic Minorities

Finance

  • Martin Lewis has an updated weekly newsletter full of finance updates re COVID-19 here.
  • YoungScot have released some tips on how young people can look after their finances.

Food/Foodbanks

  • A directory of Food services within the city can be found here.
  • The Salvation Army Aberdeen Citadel on the Castlegate is still offering food parcels and toiletries on a ‘collect only’ basis with social distancing rules followed. They can be obtained from the Citadel front door from 10am-12 noon, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  They are closed on Wednesdays.  On Friday lunchtimes from 12 noon -1pm. The Salvation Army is offering a free hot soup and savoury takeaway service from our front door for vulnerable people who are struggling to self-cater. Once again it is a ‘collect only’ service; food parcels or toiletries (including sanitary products) are also available.
  • Somebody Cares is ready to help with emergency food responses.  Read more here.
  • Social Bite have launched the #FeedTheNationInIsolation campaign.  To find out how to get involved see the graphic here.
  • CFINE continues to maintain a contact-free emergency food parcel delivery for people facing difficulty. Emergency food parcels can be requested Monday-Friday between 8am-4pm on 01224 596156 or at info@cfine.org.
  • CFINE’s SAFE Team provides over-the-phone support for those who are facing financial difficulty or need help navigating the welfare system. The SAFE Team can be contacted on 01224 531386/0800 953 4330 (freephone number) or at safe@cfine.org. For more information: www.cfine.org
  • AC2U offers contact-free delivery of both cooked food and food parcels as well as other essentials to those who are in crisis.  Anyone needing support can contact https://www.ac2u.org/get-help or call our freephone number: 0808 1964422.
  • CFINE have launched Vegaroonitoon Fruit & Veg Box Delivery.  Find out more here.

Funding

  • COVID-19 Directory Funding page can be accessed here!

Grampian Coronavirus (COVID-19) Assistance Hub

  • A new resource for anyone affected by COVID-19 in the Grampian region, click here to access.

GREC

  • Casework (Advice, Support & Employability).  Caseworkers are available by phone or email. All current clients can continue meeting with their caseworkers remotely via video call. Any new clients are encouraged to direct enquiries to casework@grec.co.uk.   GREC are looking into how to facilitate our Wednesday afternoon drop-in  sessions online- updates to follow.
  • In-Trans (Interpreting & Translation GREC continue to offer interpreting and translation services.  They  are now offering phone interpreting wherever possible.  Face-to-face interpreting is naturally a little bit more complicated when the country is essentially in lockdown, however we will continue to provide “face-to-face” interpreters to our casework and counselling clients via Zoom conference calls or other video calling software.  Please direct any enquiries to in-trans@grec.co.uk.
  • English Classes & Language Cafes.  All ESOL courses currently running will be completed online, and they are planning to start a new block of online classes very soon.   GREC will be hosting the very first Virtual Language Cafe this Thursday 26/3/20 from 10.30am- please see the Learning English in Aberdeen page and join the Language Cafe Group on Facebook for more information & to keep up to date.   Please direct any enquiries to language-cafe@grec.co.uk.
  • Counselling Services.  All current clients can continue seeing their counsellors remotely via video call. Any new clients are encouraged to direct enquiries to mthomson@grec.co.uk

Gypsy/ Traveller Community

  • A COVID-19 Facebook page for the Gypsy/Traveller Community has been created here.

Health & Wellbeing

  • NHS Grampian have created a new website on COVID-19 and can be accessed here.
  • You may find that local GP practices have established the NHS Near Me scheme.  You can find more information here and here.
  • Health Protection Scotland have published information and guidance for non-healthcare settings which you can find here.
  • Full Facts have released information on busting the myths around COVID-19.
  • Aberdeen H&SCP have put together this information pack on drugs and alcohol misuse.
  • Paths For All have put together some handy information on keeping active at hometips on working from home and walking & social distancing.
  • The Asthma and Allergy Foundation offer information and advice for those living with asthma who are worried about COVID-19.
  • Aberdeen H&SCP have put together this page of information and advice for providers.
  • List of resources you may find useful here.
  • The MS Society Aberdeen are offering digital exercise classes.  More information here.
  • Forensic Network: Changes to processes for restricted parents: Guidance has been produced (25th March) for practitioners who provide care and treatment to restricted patients.  Restricted patients are persons who are subject to a Compulsion Order and Restriction Order; Hospital Direction or Transfer for Treatment Direction. It is also relevant in relation to patients on remand who are subject to an assessment order, treatment order, temporary compulsion order or interim compulsion order.
  • The Leanne Fund have released this information for anyone who is anxious and self-isolating at home that lives with Cystic Fibrosis
  • The Alliance have worked with Scottish and UK based 3rd Sector Organisations to produce this guidance document to support healthcare staff to communicate effectively with people with sensory loss and complex communication support needs.
  • The COOP have released some information on using their GiftCards for shopping for those shielding and vulnerable.  Find it here.
  • Aberdeen Asthma and Allergy Foundation have launched a survey created a survey to understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on people with asthma and how as an organisation they can continue to support them at this time and beyond.  Find it here.
  • Father’s Network Scotland have released a leaflet for new dads or dads-to-be during the current period.
  • The Alliance have launched a Managing Wellbeing at Home dedicated website.
  • NHS Inform have issued guidance on healthcare for those visiting from overseas.
  • MISS is a support service and charity for women and men who have suffered a miscarriage. During covid-19 we will not be going ahead with our face to face 1:1’s and support groups however these will be going ahead via skype. They are also offering small packs to be posted out to our members. These includes a stress ball, led light, coaching offer and various other items. If you would like to receive a pack or would like any further information about the support we can offer please email: info@miscarriageinfosuppservice.co.uk 07808 638428
  • CFINE offers free sanitary products: You can place an order for tampons, towels, and reusable menstrual cups and towels, or ask for more information by contacting CFINE at fsp@cfine.org (Zero Waste Scotland have a great link for reusables here)
  • The Scottish Government have updated the list of COVID-19 symptoms.  Find them here.
  • An easy to read guide on the update guidance on wearing face masks from July 10th can be found here.
  • The Stroke Association has developed a telephone support service for those affected by stroke called ‘Here For You’. The weekly telephone calls are with one of their dedicated volunteers who provide conversation to reduce isolation and peer support to stroke survivors and their loved ones. Further information can be found at https://www.stroke.org.uk/finding-support/here-for-you or by contacting Jennifer Kennedy at Jennifer.kennedy@stroke.org.uk or 0777 650 8592.
  • The Stroke Association has ‘Life After Stroke Grants’ available to those in need of financial support:  https://www.stroke.org.uk/finding-support/life-after-stroke-grants and an online resource called MY Stroke Guide where people affected by stroke can connect and learn from each other to help rebuild their lives after stroke.

 

Helplines

  • A list of helpline numbers can be found here.

Housing & Homelessness

(Information from the Homeless Network Scotland)

  • Excellent, easy-read leaflets to download, that speak directly to people sleeping rough and staying in different types of homeless accommodation. From Groundswell, designed alongside people with lived experience.
  • Homelessness Services and COVID-19. Practical webinar with information, Q&A for people managing homelessness services from Homeless Link in England.
  • Aberdeen Cyrenians run numerous projects to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Direct Access continues to run offering:
    • Advice on homelessness issues, housing and benefits
    • Assistance with formal appeals
    • Guidance on job applications
    • Advocacy and support
    • Referrals to other agencies
    • Referrals to AC2U our food and care package delivery service.
    • Food parcels and access to clothing and toiletries
    • Access to computers, the internet and printing – currently unavailable
    • Support to access furniture
    • Mailbox service for those with no fixed address

    Face-to-face appointments will be available for emergencies only. Alternative support to anyone who is homeless, threatened with homelessness, or experiencing hardship, will be offered by telephone call 0808 1964422  or email directaccess@weareac.org

  • Stopping Evictions (Information from the Homeless Network)
    The Emergency Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament on 1 April extends the notice period for evictions from Scottish Secure Tenancies from four weeks to six months in most cases for the next few months. Evictions for anti-social behaviour or making false claims will be subject to a three-month notice period and the four-week notice period remains in place when a tenant is not living in the property.For Private Residential Tenancies the Bill makes previously mandatory grounds for eviction discretionary, granting the Tribunal more flexibility in reaching a decision about granting evictions.  The Bill also extends the notice period from 28 days (except if the tenant is not living in the property) to six months in most cases, including rent arrears, and three months for circumstances including the landlord or their family intending to move into the property and anti-social behaviour.
  • The Scottish Government has released non-statutory guidance for local authorities, social and private landlords on housing allocations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations have convened the Scottish Housing Resilience Group.  Read the updates here.
  • Shelter would like to advise you of the following routes through which Shelter Scotland advice and support is available to people experiencing housing or homelessness issues at this time:
    1. Our local service is contactable via aberdeenproject@shelter.org.uk
    2. Clients can contact us via 0808 800 4444. or directly to the Aberdeen Hub on 0344 515 2296
    3. We also have a suite of advice available online at www.shelterscotland.org/get_advice where our online chat service is also available on weekdays.
    4. For frontline staff looking for advice on behalf of a client or service user, you can use our second tier advice service, ScotWRAS which is available 10am-3pm on 0344 515 1310 or by email via scotwras@shelter.org.uk

Immigration

  • Migration Exchange has released a report on COVID-19 Impact Assessment Framework: Risks and responses for people in the UK immigration system.  Read it here.

Learning Disabilities

  • SCLD have collated resources for general and easy to read information on COVID-19 here.
  • SCLD have released this note on if you need to go to the hospital.

LGBT+ 

  • The LGBT Age Project from LGBT Health & Wellbeing have provided an organisation update including their new befriending service for over 50s.  You can read this here.
  • LGBT Youth Scotland services during the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here.
  • Stonewall Scotland have provided a list of resources on how LGBT-inclusive organisations can help.

Mental Health

  • If anyone is in crisis and needing someone to speak there is a service called 1st response run by Penumbra which is a telephone and email based service due to the current climate.  It is open Monday to Friday 9-5pm.  In you live in Aberdeen and are over 16 the number is 0800 23 43 695 or email aberdeen1stresponse@penumbra.org.uk.  There is also the Facebook page @penumbraaberdeen.
  • The Scottish Government have recently launched the Clear Your Head campaign.  Visit the website here.
  • The Mental Welfare Commission has released this advice note for people using services and their families and carers.
  • We are currently refreshing our Mental Health Directory which can be accessed here.
  • YoungScot have teamed up with the Scottish Government to launch the Aye Feel campaign for young people in Scotland.  To find out more about the campaign click here.
  • Brett Townsley (Omniscient Safety Innovations) and Abi Clarke (MISS/AC Weddings & Events) are working together to create events and support for the community in Aberdeen/Shire for any individual who have gone through a mental health illness. Find it here.
  • FutureLearn provide youth mental health courses to explore and understand the mental health issues that affect young people,  find  out  more  here.

North East Sensory Service

  • North East Sensory Service has provided an update on their services in the North East.  Read it here.

Older People

  • Age Scotland – Scotland’s national charity for older people, offers a free, confidential service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland.  The helpline is free to call Monday to Friday 9-5pm on 0800 12 44 222.
  • Food Buddies have put together some practical tips on preparing food for your neighbour/friend during this period.
  • Royal Voluntary Service in Aberdeen continue to support older people in these unprecedented times. All our volunteers adhere too safe hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Our services include:
    • Telephone Support – volunteers can offer minimum twice weekly friendly telephone calls to an older person. These calls also act as a safe and we’ll check to highlight other ways we can help and/or refer to other organisations.
    • Shopping – volunteers can help with food shopping.
    • Transport – to essential medical appointments only.

    To refer a client please contact aberdeensupport@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.

  • Hand of Solace have a few more spaces on their Older People’s Befriending Service available.  More information here.
  • Food Train are in the process of launching a 1:1 shopping service ‘Food Train Connects’ for those over 65 years old. Referrals are now live and can be done here.

Organisation Development

  • Our Development Officer, Sandy Mathers, has written a short blog on the current guidance which you can read here.
  • You can visit the OSCR website here.
  • Sandy has written a short piece on the recent Companies House deadline extension here.
  • OSCR have updated their guidance on submitting annual information during the COVID-19 period.
  • IBM and Cisco ore offering the Webex conferencing tool for free to charities.  Click here for more details.
  • Sandy has provided an update on OSCR guidance on Furlough and Finance during this period.  You can read it here.
  • Click here for guidance for 3rd Sector Organisations from Volunteer Scotland.
  • An update from the Charity Regulator (OSCR) and a link to a recording of last week’s Webinar on Charities and responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.Following an introduction by OSCR’s Chief Executive Maureen Mallon, Head of Engagement Judith Turbyne provides a short presentation on OSCR’s  most recent guidance and information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is followed by some questions and answers. Find out more here.
  • Sandy has wrote a short blog and the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill.  Read it here.
  • For information on the Small Business Support Grant click here.

Police Scotland

  • Police Scotland have launched a national survey on feedback during the COVID-19 outbreak.  The survey takes up to 10 minutes to complete and can be found here.

Scams

  • The National Trading Standards project – Friends Against Scams has released this infographic on protecting yourself from scams.
  • A special bulletin on cyber crime and scam preventions has been launched and can be read here.
  • City of London Police have released this guidance on the reemergence of the sextortion scam.
  • An updated Cyber Resilience notice can be found here.
  • An update on current scams can be found here.

Scottish Fire & Rescue Service

  • SFRS have put together this checklist to keep yourself safe at home.
  • The SFRS also have a webpage dedicated to keeping your home fire free whilst working from home including an Electrical Calculator.  Find it here.

Scottish Citizens Advice

  • Scottish Citizens Advice have launched a new helpline to help subsequent the great work of local CABs. The helpline will offer expert advice on any issue and will operate Monday to Friday 9-5pm – 0800 028 1456.

Scottish Government

  • The first minister has announced on 10th September that Scotland will remain in Phase 3 as well as new lockdown measures.  You can read them all here.
  • The Scottish Government have launched Protect Scotland – the track and trace app for all citizens and visitors to Scotland. You can find more here.
  • Click here to read the lockdown easing that was announced on Thursday 30th July.
  • The Scottish Government have announced measures they are taking to help Scotland’s 3rd Sector.
  • The Scottish Government has launched ReadyScotland to keep citizens up to date.
  • A new helpline has been set up to provide essential assistance to those with no support network – 0800 111 4000 the helpline will operate Monday to Friday 9-5pm.  For more information click here.
  • For those who have been asked to shield themselves by the government, information on how to sign up for food deliveries etc can be found here.
  • The government have published this document on decision making during the COVID-19 outbreak and adjusting to a new normal.
  • Government advice on the wearing of face masks in public can be found here.
  • Extra support for charities has been announced by the Scottish Government.  Read more about it here!
  • The Scottish Government have unveiled their Route Map for getting Scotland out of lockdown.  Read it here.
  • The Scottish Government have released an update on advice for people shielding.  Read more here.

Scottish Mediation 

  • Scottish Mediation have provided an update on their services, you can read it here.

SCVO

  • With the backing of the Scottish Government, SCVO have created the COVID-19 Information Hub full of resources that you may find useful.

Skills Development Scotland

  • SDS have put together a FAQ on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and businesses.
  • An update from SDS can be found here.
  • For a list of free courses available to help you upskill visit SDS My World of Work here.

Sports Aberdeen

  • Sport Aberdeen has developed Get Active @ Home ,a free programme offering a range of activities for all ages and abilities, from regular gym-goers to over 65’s, and those living with and beyond an illness. From live workout classes delivered via an online link by trained instructors to short five-minute exercise plans for you to do at home. The dedicated Active Lifestyles YouTube playlist offers a range of support and resources for over 65’s and those looking for low impact ways to get active at home, ideal for people of all fitness abilities.

Social Enterprise Sustainability

Social Services

  • IRISS Finding Evidence Online Tool: IRISS has an online learning resource for people working in social services who are looking to develop their skills in finding and using evidence.

Students

Suicide Prevention

Translated Materials

  • Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, French, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh translated guidance has been made available by the UK Government on self-isolation and social distancing. For guidance on households with possible infection click here.
  • Doctors of the World have also provided  guidance on COVID-19 in a variety of languages which will be regularly updated- click here to view.

Transport

  • Please note that the National Entitlement Card has temporarily stopped production. More information can be found here.
  • First Bus Aberdeen have announced service changes effective from the 5th May based on feedback on the current timetable.

Volunteering

  • Social Distancing Guidance for Volunteers has been published here.
  • The Scottish Community Development Centre have updated guidance which can be found here.
  • We have recently had numerous enquiries for those looking for guidance on carrying out Risk Assessments for volunteers returning to centres and organisations.  Guidance can be found at CIPD, Volunteer Scotland, and Volunteering Matters.
  • Aberdeen City Mutual Aid has been set up to support vulnerable people/those in self-isolation in Aberdeen. Help includes support with delivering mail, getting/dropping off groceries/urgent supplies and calling people for a chat to prevent/reduce loneliness. All volunteer help is welcome. Get in touch by email aberdeenmutualaid@outlook.com or call 01224 515513. For more information visit the Facebook group here or find them on Twitter . For details of Mutual Aid Groups in communities across the country please visit https://covidmutualaid.org/
  • Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland are organising a range of help with great volunteer support – includes Kindness Callers, Community Kindness Supporters, Kindness Drivers and Digital Kindness Supporters. More details and how to sign up if you wish are available at https://www.chss.org.uk/coronavirus/volunteering-opportunities/
  • Catch up on all things volunteering with Radio V!
  • Volunteer Scotland and Police Scotland have released this guidance on volunteering during the current pandemic.
  • The British Red Cross have released an online training course for those volunteering during the pandemic.  Find it here.
  • CHAS (Children’s Hospices Across Scotland):CHAS have launched the country’s first ever virtual hospice.For families caring for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children, social isolation has meant that they could be feeling lonelier than ever. With your help, CHAS (includes CHAS at Home Support for Family Services in Aberdeen/Grampian area) want to share a message of joy, hope and love with these children and their families.All you have to do is create a message in whatever (creative) way you like; submit it either on their website athttps://charity.chas.org.uk/joy/ and/or on social media with the hashtag #ShareYourJoy and it will be shared with families through this great virtual hospice.
  • Online volunteering is another great way to keep productive and help others while staying at home. Check out these great opportunities from organisations all over the world at https://bit.ly/2Wh2pKW 

Working from home

  • Working from home comes with its own challenges for organisations.  Sandy, our Development Officer has put together a short blog on virtual meeting options you may find useful.
  • The City of London Police have released a series of short videos on Cyber Security whilst working from home.  Watch them here.
  • C-Fine have put together a rather handy survival guide for staying at home during these unprecedented times which can be found here.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre has released guidance on video conferencing services here.