Are you well and want to help others less fortunate in the Cumbernauld area during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak? If so, you can sign up today to become a coronavirus volunteer in your community.
Scottish Government has launched a new Ready Scotland website to encourage people who are healthy and not part of an at risk group to sign up as a volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need during the current unprecedented circumstances affecting the country.
The website directs to three avenues of volunteering through which citizens can help; volunteering with health and social care services for returning or retired workers with relevant skills, supporting other public and emergency services, and volunteering with a local charity or community group. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We know there are a huge number of people who are already volunteering and many more with a desire to help their communities, public services and voluntary organisations. And for that we are incredibly grateful.
“The Ready Scotland site means that those who are able to can contribute in a way which makes a real difference. It helps people to help each other, as we all get through this together.”
Now live at www.readyscotland.org, the platform is being constantly updated and provides signposting to volunteering opportunities through the three conduits of NHS Scotland, British Red Cross and Volunteer Scotland.
In its first day after launching last week, more than 8,000 volunteers signed up through British Red Cross, whilst a further 11,000 indicated they wanted to support existing charities and groups. A further 2,000 people indicated that they had skills and qualifications to volunteer within health and social care services.
Cumbernauld’s Angela Hamilton is one of the thousands who have signed up. She commented: “I signed up because I want to help those who are vulnerable and those who are in greater need at the moment within our community.”
HOW AND WHERE YOU CAN OFFER YOUR SERVICES AS A VOLUNTEER
Helping Neighbours, Friends and Family
We all need to stay at home to protect ourselves and others right now. However, those who are well and not at risk can provide essential support for their family, friends and neighbours who cannot leave the house.
During this challenging time, it’s really important that the people of Cumbernauld take care of themselves and others. If you are not in an at risk group, examples of help that you could potentially provide to others include doing food shopping, picking up prescriptions, general errands like putting bins out and posting letters, helping with online orders and initiating social contact remotely.
When helping others, it’s vitally important to do this safely and to follow Scottish Government’s guidelines on social distancing and contact with others at all times.
Returning Health Care and Social Care Workers
Coronavirus has placed a huge burden on the services of Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire, primarily those of NHS Lanarkshire and social services. As such, skilled and previous health care workers not currently operational are required to support the demand on these services at this time.
In particular, there is a real need for allied health professionals, biomedical scientists, doctors, midwives, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and social service workers.
If you fit this criteria and would like to sign up for a temporary work role or volunteering opportunity, further information can be accessed by clicking here.
Support Public Services as a Community Reserve Volunteer
As well as NHS Lanarkshire, a number of other local public service providers may require additional help to alleviate operational delivery pressures at this time. Examples of statutory agencies facing extra demands because of coronavirus implications include North Lanarkshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, SPT and Department for Work and Pensions.
British Red Cross is recruiting a bank of Community Reserve Volunteers to help the country cope with and get back on track during the coronavirus pandemic. Community Reserve Volunteers can be allocated to local public services that are in need of support during a period of uncertainty or emergency.
Anyone aged 18 or over can become a Community Reserve Volunteer, with no specialist skills required and quick training provided at the scene. Click here for further information and to sign up to become a Community Reserve Volunteer.
Volunteer to Help a Local Charity or Community Group Provide Vital Services
The community response to the coronavirus pandemic in the Cumbernauld area has been excellent so far, with many local charities and community organisations stepping up and providing essential services for local people in need.
Examples of local organisations facilitating key provision during the coronavirus outbreak include Cornerstone House Centre, Bethlehem House of Bread Food Bank, CACE Older People Active Lives, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Carbrain and Hillcrest Community Council, Cumbernauld Community Forum, Cumbernauld Poverty Action, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Citizens Advice Bureau and Cumbernauld Resilience Group.
Individuals can sign up to help a local voluntary sector organisation respond to coronavirus by registering their details with Volunteer Scotland.
The great thing about volunteering is that is can have a range of positive impacts not only on those being helped but also for the individual giving their time. Volunteering can be both rewarding and interesting, giving people a real sense purpose and achievement. Volunteers often report personal benefits such as increased confidence, greater employability, development of new skills and making new friends.
And it’s not only individuals who can offer their services to help; Scottish Government has requested that any businesses willing or able to provide assistance establish contact by emailing email@example.com.
Meanwhile, if you would be interested in being part of Cornerstone House Centre’s response to coronavirus in the Cumbernauld area, please contact the organisation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.