A new website and phoneline was launched to provide people all across Grampian with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support on Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The new Assistance Hub pulls together links to the latest advice from Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray council, police, health, Red Cross, volunteers and community information. It is a focal point for information and assistance for anyone affected by coronavirus anywhere in Grampian – both businesses and individuals. It is also a way for residents to offer their support which they can safely deliver in their communities.
Since the phone line and website went live at the end of March, more than 3,000 people have used the site to ask for help or to request help for someone else.
Staff on the phone provide callers with up to date information or link them up with the right person who can quickly answer questions. For example:
- An email was received from woman in Northern Ireland whose elderly parents live in Inverurie. Through the hub a local church group were able to deliver them a food parcel. Despite having been insistent that they “were fine” the parcel was incredibly warmly received and may save them having to go out for a while.
- An elderly woman in Elgin who had broken her leg so couldn't walk her dog. Hub staff got in touch with a community group in the area, who secured a volunteer to walk the lady's dog.
- An elderly lady in Mintlaw had a broken washing machine. Hub staff managed to her in touch with a local charitable group who provided and fitted a washing machine.
- Staff at the hub followed up calls with an individual who has required repeat support. He has required food parcels as well as other assistance and was matched with a volunteer. The volunteer said, “He wanted me to pass on how grateful he and his partner are to everyone for all the assistance that they have been given and to let us know how much their food parcels have meant to them.”
Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson from Police Scotland chairs the multi-agency Local Resilience Partnership (LRP), who oversee the work of the Assistance Hub.
He said: “Behind every figure is a person in real need. Someone who is not sure where to turn to get help and advice. For many this Assistance Hub is a useful channel, but for those people it is a lifeline.
"I take great pride in the work of the team who set up and run the Hub and owe a debt of gratitude to the volunteers and businesses. It is becoming a well-worn phrase, but these really are unprecedented times. Through the work of this Assistance Hub I can see the very best team working and partnership with one single objective, helping people at their time of need.”
The site and phoneline are run by members of the Local Resilience Partnership, principally: Aberdeen City Council; Aberdeenshire Council; The Moray Council; NHS Grampian; Police Scotland; Scottish Fire & Rescue Service; Scottish Ambulance Service; HM Coastguard; SEPA; MOD; and SSEN.