With the prospect of the difficulties that would come with COVID-19, a group of Dunblane residents decided to set up a community support group. The purpose of the group is to provide support to vulnerable members of the community who are impacted by the changes that COVID-19 brings and aims to provide essential supplies; prescription collections; or a friendly voice on the end of the phone.
In order to facilitate this a Facebook page was set up to gather interest, and following an amazing response, it was possible to allocate team leaders to 12 separate areas of Dunblane, with each team leader managing a sub-group of volunteers. Contacts from people requiring assistance come in directly to the phone of co-ordinator, Heather Simpson, or via the dedicated Facebook page.
The “task” is allocated to the appropriate area team leader via a WhatsApp group and then volunteers are asked for their availability/interest within another WhatsApp subgroup. Jobs are arranged and carried out and then this is confirmed back up the chain. There is a clear set of group rules for this operation.
One of the group rules is a strict policy on not handling cash, in order to avoid the risk of infection for the very people that we are trying to help. Now that requests are starting to pick up it is becoming clear that people are needing more shopping supplies than we had anticipated, and it will not be possible for the individual volunteers within this group to fund this themselves. Also, our vulnerable neighbours have made it clear that they would like to pay, and we have therefore looked at what we can do to manage this, while keeping everyone safe.
We have been very lucky to be able to partner up with our community charity, Dunblane Development Trust (DDT). They are allowing us to use their banking facilities, and any donations can be channelled through their bank account. Volunteers can therefore pay for shopping and later be reimbursed from receipts. In addition, the people we help will also be able to contribute to the fund. Having a start-up fund will be invaluable in coping with this growing need in coming weeks.
You can donate to this fund via Kindlink
You can find us on Facebook here
If you require help please call 07917 808 458 or leave a message on the group's Facebook page.