I know that many of your areas are already coordinating and mobilising community assistance, and there is incredible spontaneous volunteer activity happening in communities all over Scotland. There are now a range of resources and guidance for community groups to support their neighbourhoods during this time:
· We are aware of the “Community Emergency Volunteer” programme that’s being launched in England. Here’s a link to some of the training material that was shared with us, but as you all know there are already hundreds of Community Resilience Groups across Scotland who work in partnership with responders support their communities. Today we’ve also published guidance on Ready Scotland > Coronavirus with advice on how people can help their communities safely and advice for Community Resilience Groups. This section will evolve over time as we can refine or provide more support to community groups, so it there’s something that you would like to see here please let us know. There will be a print and media campaign launch on Monday to support communitarianism which will link back to these Ready Scotland pages. #wearescotland
· British Red Cross have a Community Reserve Volunteers https://reserves.redcross.org.uk/ this is being promoted widely – at the moment these roles are non-public facing as they have not been PVG checked but BRC are coordinating how best they can be used with established volunteers. BRC are also coordinating volunteers in partnership with other 3rd sector orgs including SCVO.
· SCVO have launched their 3rd Sector Information Hub with extensive information to help 3rd sector groups to be safe and sustainable and a Community Assistance Directory. The directory has just launched, but if you can encourage local community groups to register their capability then local people will be able to identify sources of help. This is a grassroots tool.
· Neighbourhood Watch Scotland have an extensive network to communities all over Scotland and they provide an ongoing offer of support to everyone in getting ALERTS out to communities both national and localised.
· In addition to the £350m package of support for communities in Scotland announced by the Communities Secretary, the National Emergencies Trust fundraising appeal was launched yesterday; it brings together all the major funding platforms so that any funds raised for 3rd sector groups will be distributed fairly and transparently. This fund will be administered in Scotland through Foundation Scotland to 3rd sector groups who are doing essential work in communities. The criteria and process for funding are being developed in coming days.