Citizens and community organisations of Greater Cumbernauld are being asked to help positively influence the local area’s pandemic recovery by telling us their views, opinions and experiences of living through coronavirus (COVID-19) by taking part in a simple online Community Survey.
The purpose of the survey, which is designed to take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete and can be accessed by clicking here, is to help understand how the coronavirus crisis has affected people, communities and organisations across Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor.
The results will be used to provide vital public feedback to key agencies which are responsible for community services and pandemic recovery in the local area, including Scottish Government, North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire, Police Scotland, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), New College Lanarkshire, voluntary sector organisations and businesses.
Commissioned by Scottish Government, this activity is being led by Cornerstone House Centre in its role as an experienced Community Anchor Organisation for the Greater Cumbernauld area. The survey forms part of an innovative new local partnership project entitled Cumbernauld Bridging Forward which also involves the not-for-profit organisations Cumbernauld Community Forum and Cumbernauld Poverty Action.
Your experience of living or operating through the pandemic will help to paint a picture of its impacts on local people and groups. Your thoughts about what was handled well and what lessons should be learned are important to us. Crucially, an analysis of these views will be undertaken in early 2022 and used to inform Community Planning Partners as to how they can best serve local people and communities going forward.
The survey will seek to ascertain the specific requirements of individuals, families and groups socially, culturally, economically and environmentally in a post-pandemic society. It will also assess the health and social care needs of local people, the level and types of inequalities facing citizens of different circumstances, to what extent the pandemic has affected quality of life and what needs to be done to accelerate community recovery during 2022 and beyond.
Furthermore, Cornerstone House Centre envisions the scoping exercise to be of a relevance and standard that once completed, it can be shared for intelligence, planning and recovery purposes with Scottish Government, Cumbernauld Community Board, community organisations, social enterprises and other interested parties across the country. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, said:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornerstone House Centre has observed that those most negatively impacted in Greater Cumbernauld have been people living in deprived areas, expressly those which ranked relatively poorly in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).
“Primary examples of this include neighbourhoods with high levels of unemployment, poor underlying health and austerity cuts exacerbating their vulnerability.
“At the same time, coronavirus has also highlighted the power and potential of grassroots and community-led action in the local area, with several inspiring paradigms of how local community and voluntary organisations have stepped up to the plate by working collaboratively and creatively to meet the huge challenges that the pandemic has posed.
“With the vaccination programme well underway and the majority of restrictions now lifted by Scottish Government, Cornerstone House Centre and project partners believe this to be the optimum time to conduct a comprehensive community needs and learning exercise for the Greater Cumbernauld area.
“A key component of this will be facilitation of a local area COVID-19 Impact Survey. A full survey analysis will be produced with a view to strengthening community priorities to ensure they are focussed on the right areas, advising and guiding strategic decision makers over the next five years and realigning voluntary sector services to meet new and emerging needs.”
There are no right or wrong answers to the questions included in the survey, with all submissions contributing towards an analysis report and key recommendations. Respondents have the option to complete the survey anonymously. However, if you do provide contact details, Cornerstone House Centre can keep you informed of key outcomes by email, whilst ensuring that your personal views are fully anonymised.
The deadline for submission of the survey is Friday 28 January 2022 at 12noon. If you would like further information regarding this activity, please contact Cornerstone House Centre on 01236 739220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT NEW SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH CUMBERNAULD BRIDGING FORWARD THIS WINTER?
This analysis is the second major activity of the Cumbernauld Bridging Forward partnership, following announcement last month that Cornerstone House Centre has relaunched the Cumbernauld CHaT (Community Help and Talk) Service for winter 2021-22.
This initiative, which initially became very popular during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, aims to provide a range of free practical supports, interventions, advice giving and chat services to help citizens of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Northern Corridor between now and 31 March 2022.
Cumbernauld CHaT can help citizens facing a range of different circumstances and problems, including those experiencing stress, depression or low mood because of the pandemic or its impacts. It can also support individuals going through social isolation or loneliness and who might need someone to talk to, and is able to assist people feeling anxious about mixing with others and going into public places following easing of lockdown restrictions.
If you or someone you know needs help, advice or simply someone to talk to at this time, please contact the Cumbernauld CHaT Service on 07940 569527 (between 9am and 9pm) or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, Cumbernauld Bridging Forward is also offering targeted Interventions to alleviate post-pandemic debt and poverty through the expertise and leadership of Cumbernauld Poverty Action, a long-standing charity which provides advice, support and guidance to citizens affected by hardship and disability.
Expressly, this service will involve working one-to-one with clients to reduce poverty through maximising income via social security benefits, reducing the cost of living and increasing income via employment.
Through a plethora of advice provisions and community services facilitated, this element seeks to secure financial gains for local citizens of in excess of £75,000. One way this will be achieved is through equipping low-income families to claim what Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Social Security Scotland benefits they are entitled to through provision of quality advice.
It will also provide a representation service for people who require to attend a remote Social Security Tribunal via telephone or video call due to contingency arrangements arising from the pandemic.
This will assist people who have an illness or disability and have been refused a Social Security benefit (such as Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit) and would normally attend a face-to-face tribunal in Glasgow. Most beneficiaries will be Cumbernauld residents who have a physical disability, long term health condition or mental health issue.
Why not circulate the Cumbernauld COVID-19 Impact Survey link (www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Cumbernauld-COVID-Impact-Survey) so friends and family members can complete it? The more people that participate, the more accurate and representative the views and recommendations presented to key decision makers will be.