Community Council COVID-19 Responses

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected how community councils are operating but they are still carrying out great work helping their communities at this difficult time. We are hearing some great responses from CCs across the country and this section of the website aims to highlight lots of positive examples of the work CCs are doing to support the Covid-19 response.


If you know of any of your CCs whose work you think should be included please contact: scottishccs@improvementservice.org.uk

  • Joint Resilience Programme for Two Community Councils (Aberdeen)

    Culter Community CouncilTwo Community Councils in Aberdeen - Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber Community Council and Culter Community Council - rallied together and put in place a joint Covid-19 resilience programme.


    The plan provides their communities with information on what to do in emergencies and encourages people to volunteer to carry out tasks such as driving, delivering emergency supplies and checking on vulnerable residents.


    As part of the resilience plan there is also a household emergency plan which provides important phone numbers and encourages residents to add their own useful information to the document.


    Both community councils appealed to their communities and asked volunteers to complete online forms with details on how people could help during Covid-19. They also provided a separate online form to be completed by those residents considered at increased risk and this allowed the resilience team to create a list of residents who may need assistance during this period.


    Find out more:

    Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber Community Council

    Culter Community Council

  • Food Bags Deliveries (Clackmannanshire)

    Menstrie Community Council have been organising food bags and delivering them to those most in need in their communities.  In addition to their food bag deliveries they also organised VE day afternoon tea parcels supported by Scotmid, Morrisons Stirling, Clacks Third Sector Interface and Holm Pharm Chemists.  They delivered 130 bags to elderly and self-isolating residents around Menstrie over two days.


    The parcels also contained important information including useful phone numbers, further offers of help and how to get in touch.


    Find out more:

    Menstrie Community Council website



  • Coronavirus Dollar Support Service (Clackmannanshire)

    Along with the Development Trust and the Dollar volunteer driver service, Dollar Community Council have formed into a well organised support group for those self-isolating. They are offering shopping and pharmacy pick up and social support.


    They have engaged help from the Stirling Food Train and with support from the Co-op they set up a food bank in the Hive (community centre).


    Dollar Community Council are giving financial support for these efforts from their own limited reserves.


    Find out more:

    Dollar Community Council Website


  • Community Response (Clackmannanshire)

    Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside Community Council (TCD CC) reached out to their community to seek support to meet the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. Approximately thirty community members answered the call to meet the needs of others.


    TCDCC directed that amazing commitment to where it will be of most use within a robust infrastructure created to ensure the safety of both community volunteers and the vulnerable individuals they may support.


    Volunteers now help their community through:


    • supervising queues at the entrance to Macks Pharmacy
    • being part of a rota manning the dedicated phone number for local people to ring to let them know how they need support.
    • gathering pictures and cards created by local school and nursery children to distribute to anyone who falls ill and to residents of care homes, sheltered housing, etc.


    Find out more:

    Tillicoultry, Coalsnaughton and Devonside Community Council Website


  • Dundee Thegither

    Dundee City Centre & Harbour Community Council has worked closely with Dundee Thegither, a small effective group of volunteers providing food, information and a listening ear to those in need during the Covid-19 crisis.


    The group hit the ground running and it took time for them to set up a bank account. The community council helped with both by applying to various funders on their behalf and by channelling money from charities and local trusts.


    The community council were also instrumental in obtaining funding for a 30 metre mural adjacent to the V&A museum which was completed two days before the lockdown.  The mural has lifted the spirits of many walkers and cyclists using the popular waterfront route.


    For more information:

    Dundee City Centre & Harbour Community Council

    Dundee Thegither

  • Benholm and Johnshaven Community Larder (Aberdeenshire)

    Benholm and Johnshaven Community LarderBenholm and Johnshaven Community Council opened a Community Larder at Johnshaven Village Hall to support people in their community affected physically, financially or emotionally by Covid-19.


    In the beginning the larder offered a limited supply of canned and dried food stuffs free of charge to those in need provided by the Fareshare food initiative. They supplemented this with donations and fresh fruit, veg and eggs thanks to funding from Aberdeenshire Council's Community Resilience Fund.


    Although primarily supplying food the larder also provides basic toiletries, cleaning products, and nappies. In addition activity packs are available for children and art and craft materials for anyone looking for something to do during lockdown. Organisers are keen to find other ways of reducing the boredom and anxiety that can be experienced when self-isolating for long periods of time.


    The community have also been encouraged to make quilt squares to form part of a community quilt on the theme of ‘our wonderful village’ with packs of assorted fabric. Children in the community also have the opportunity to make bunting to be used to decorate the village hall.


    Open on a Tuesday morning and Thursday evening the larder has social distancing measures in place. Anyone in the community self-isolating  or unable to attend the larder can get in touch and have items delivered. A team of local volunteers is also available to help residents with anything from picking up prescriptions, posting items, dog-walking, delivering shopping etc.


    The Community Council recently announced they have secured further funding to continue the larder for the months ahead from both Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks' Resilient Communities Fund and Foundation Scotland's Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund.


    Find out more:

    Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council Facebook

    Fareshare Initiative

    Aberdeenshire Council's Community Resilience Fund

    Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks' Resilient Communities Fund

    Foundation Scotland's Community Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund


  • Kindness Packs in the Raploch (Stirling)

    Kindness packs by Raploch Community CouncilRaploch Community Council in Stirling have been working closely with local partners to respond to community needs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.


    Members of the CC have mobilised and are actively volunteering to meet local needs, including delivering a range of ‘keep in touch’ signposting and linking in with the local Third Sector Resilience Group to make sure services reach those most in need.


    The CC have also donated funds to local community-led regeneration charity Raploch Community Partnership to contribute to their kindness packs which have been distributed by volunteers to local children and families and which contained a range of basic activities.


    Raploch Community Partnership have now secured additional funding to roll this out to other priority areas in Stirling.


    For more information:

    Raploch Community Council Twitter

    Raploch Community Partnership Facebook

    Raploch Corner

  • Cromar Community Help (Aberdeenshire)

    Top to bottom: Professor Dave Harper; Shona Pearson making a collection from Tarland convenience store; volunteer Kate Redpath delivers shoppingCromar Community Council working with the charity Cromar Future Group has developed a customised website to provide local information and updates from Aberdeenshire Council and the UK and Scottish Governments.


    To support those in their community who need help during Covid-19 the CC also worked with Cromar Future Group to develop a management application for assisting the work of volunteers doing shopping and deliveries in their local area. This provides maps of the location when the delivery is needed plus photographs where these can be helpful to a new driver. All designed to work on a smartphone.


    The Cromar Community Help group was formed between Cromar Community Council, the Tarland Development Group, Marr Area Partnership and a group of over fifty volunteers in the communities of Tarland and Coull.


    The group has been providing a variety of services to help people in their community which include picking up shopping, arranging the postage of packages, parcels and letters, delivering newspapers and picking up and delivering prescriptions.


    Cromar CC have also taken their meetings online during Covid-19 and encourage other groups in the community to do the same by using their GoToMeeting video conferencing software. The CC have offered to train volunteers from other groups on how to setup and host their events.


    For more information:

    Cromar Community Council Website

    Cromar Community Council Facebook

    Cromar Community Help

    Cromar Future Group

  • Crail Community Council’s Covid-19 Response (Fife)

    Crail HarbourCrail Harbour. Credit: Colin MorrisonFrom the beginning of lockdown The Royal Burgh of Crail and District Community Council recruited volunteers to make deliveries from local shops and also implemented a dedicated phone number that people can call or text for information and also to volunteer assistance. The number is also accessible via WhatsApp.


    The Community Council (CC) also collated details of local shop opening times and ordering arrangements which are published in the weekly newsletter Crail Matters.


    Facilitated by the Royal Burgh of Crail and District Community Council and funded by Crail Matters, 400 face coverings were made and distributed free in the community via Crail Pharmacy.


    The CC also appealed for young volunteers who would be willing to deliver papers, milk, etc. to those in the community who may need support.

    Funding to enable the CC to respond appropriately to the Covid-19 crisis was received from the Crail Settlement Trust.


    For more information:

    The Royal Burgh of Crail and District Community Council website

  • How a Community Council in Shetland is supporting their community during Covid-19

    Katie (6) and Fraser Geddes (8) helped out with delivering leaflets provided by local company Art Machine Shetland.A Community Council in Shetland are able to provide funding to groups and charities supporting people in their community through the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities fund.


    Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh Community Council were awarded a £12,000 coronavirus support grant which they are using to help vulnerable people in their community.  This includes providing home cooked meals, emergency food packs and even some iPads for care residents.


    The Community Council (CC) has been letting people know what support is available in the area and its also been looking for potential volunteers to help out.


    The CC is providing a donation to Shetland Foodbank as well as funds for Shetland Women’s Aid to help pay for Wi-Fi installation in its refuge. Funds will also be put towards supermarket and electricity vouchers for people arriving in the refuge and go towards the production of support/wellbeing packs for clients who are unable to meet face to face.


    Some iPads have also been purchased for the Overtonlea care centre to be used by residents to stay in touch with family and friends as they have not been able to receive visitors during lockdown.  A care at home goody bag and a ‘keeping connected’ CD of songs is also being provided.  The iPads were sourced from local company The Apple Cart.


    Amanda Malcolmson, Team Leader - Overtonlea Services, receiving iPads purchased by the CC on their behalf.Cunningsburgh cafe and local farm shop Mackenzie’s cook and supply 20 free ‘home-cooked’ meals every week which are delivered by volunteers to vulnerable residents, key workers and those living alone.


    Chairperson Kerry Geddes tells us more: “People have been really looking forward to their Friday lunch and the portions are so big some individuals have been keeping half of it for Saturday too. While there will be some who are unable to purchase food or cook for themselves who benefit from the meals, we have a lot of people who are getting them simply because they are lonely, missing out on family dinners or are stressed and worried because of the pandemic. We have had a few cancer patients who have benefitted, as well as some people who are cared for by relatives - the meal gives their carers a break as well as letting the folk themselves know that they have friends or neighbours who are still thinking of them.”


    Emergency food and hygiene packs for people going in or out of hospital are also available as well as packs for families with babies.


    Mobile phone vouchers and electricity tokens supported by local shop Mackenzie’s and Sound Service Station have been delivered by groups of volunteers in each area too.  The volunteers carry out the deliveries as part of their daily exercise as they visit each home to explain what help is available whilst observing social distancing guidelines.


    A leaflet is also delivered to every household in the CC’s area once a month with the latest information.  The CC uses local companies as much as possible to support them during the pandemic and the leaflets were designed and printed by Art Machine Shetland.


    A rota of volunteers have also been on the end of newly purchased mobile phones in each of the CCs three areas - they take phone calls for help or assistance and they are also there just to listen.


    Chairperson Kerry Geddes said: “With the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and staff at Shetland Islands Council Community Development we were able to pull together a few schemes and projects which we thought would be of most benefit to people in our community and fortunately we were successful in our bid for a grant from the Supporting Communities Fund.


    “Shetlanders have always been reluctant to ask for help but the fact that you can be nominated by a friend, colleague, neighbour or family member or referred by any group, charity or official means our uptake has been growing.”


    “We have been able to support several local organisations and charities already supporting vulnerable people in our community, but also came up with our own ideas for projects. Local shops have been really supportive in schemes to get emergency food packs, fuel vouchers and mobile phone top ups out, and our hot meals on Fridays has been immensely popular, so much so it has been extended into another district.”


    For more information:

    Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh Community Council website

    Gulberwick, Quarff & Cunningsburgh Community Council Facebook

    Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund

    Highlands and Islands Enterprise Shetland

    Mackenzies Farm Shop and Café Facebook

    Art Machine Shetland website

    Shetland Food Bank Facebook

    Shetland Women’s Aid website

    Sound Service Station Facebook

  • PH8 Business Group – Dunkeld and Birnam CC (Perth and Kinross)

    Dunkeld & Birnam responded to the Covid-19 crisis by setting up a volunteer group, using the PH8 postcode prefix to set its boundaries and to give it a clear brand.


    Led by the chair of the community council, Stuart Paton, the PH8 Volunteer Team had cross sectoral representation, including businesses from the outset, with around 110 volunteers out of a population of only 1,300.


    Clear communication was critical and the group drew heavily on the Facebook pages of the local community and Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council. The local community newsletter, The Bridge, also played a major role in getting news out to all age groups within the area with 6 special Covid emergency editions.


    The first phase of action from the PH8 Volunteer Team was to protect the community members and ensure that everybody could get the essential supplies that they needed such as food, prescriptions and hand sanitiser.  A number of community members also contacted the group offering to make financial donations to help everything run smoothly.


    A community Crowdfunder project was set up, raising nearly £4K with an additional £3K coming in by cheque. This pot of funds helped to pay for fortnightly editions of the local newsletter to every home, covered volunteer costs and various other minor expenses. Community larders were set up in disused phone boxes and a confidential community hardship fund helped those struggling financially.


    Businesses offered to prepare food although there was limited uptake from the vulnerable/shielding members of the community as they are fiercely independent. Shops offered priority shopping times and worked together to run joint delivery services. Other business offers included accommodation for emergency workers, supply of PPE and bed loans for the local nursing home, loan of rental bikes and e-bikes as well as food prep and delivery for vulnerable groups. The local co-working space opened its printing facilities up to school pupils.

    The second phase was to get the businesses to work together to get a joined up economic recovery. The PH8 Business Facebook page was setup, other businesses in the area were contacted and encouraged to engage and Zoom was used to hold virtual meetings to share best practice.


    Recognising that tourism is a significant part of their economy the group knew they needed visitors BUT, also knew that a lot of older people in their community needed to be protected. So they crafted a notice aimed at potential visitors with a message saying -  let’s take it slowly and please stick to the rules. A school pupil designed a poster encouraging shoppers to wear face coverings.


    Now, in August 2020, most businesses have now reopened and visitor numbers to the area have increased hugely. The shopping service has been suspended after demand dropped, apart from a couple of households, the same for cooked meals.


    The organisers are trying to ensure that the large pool of volunteers stay engaged so that they can quickly respond to any local outbreaks without having to start from scratch again.


    A small group has been tasked with setting up terms of reference for looking at a community profile plan to take the area forward, perhaps through a community action plan.


    You can contact Dunkeld and Birnam CC via e-mail.


    For more information:

    Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council Facebook Page

    Dunkeld & Birnam COVID-19 Community Response Crowdfunder

    PH8 Business Facebook Group

    Dunkeld & Birnam Tourist Association website

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