We have been collating the numbers for our Covid resilience work to feedback to D & G Council. The following help was offered to vulnerable and shielding members of our community over the last 26 weeks up until 15th October.
provision of food parcels,
emergency payment for utilities,
provision of hot and frozen meals,
a listening ear,
delivery of essential medication
transport to Doctor and Ophthalmic appointments
Shopping for those who are in complete isolation
Sign-posting and advocacy services
Financial Support (Elec and Phone bills)
The numbers for specific services are:
Regular Hot meal Service – for 37 people – 567 Hot Meals
Shopping Service – for 25 People – 96 Shopping trips – 16 Individual Families
Regular Food Parcels Delivered for 23 People – 88 Food Parcels – 13 Individual Families
Doctors Visits for – 2 people – 10 trips
Medicine pick-ups – 14 People – 92 medicine pickups
Advocacy Support – 10 people – 12 Successful interventions
This adds up to 111 individual support services, but there is some duplication/ overlap. We have helped 67 unique individuals. Thanks to all our volunteers but a very special thank you to Heather who has been doing 2-3 and sometimes 4 or more visits to Stranraer per week and has handled all of the advocacy support work. She has achieved some great successes getting additional medical and mental health support and accessing universal credit payments and getting housing benefits cuts reversed and negotiating utility build payments etc. not to mention some appliance repairs, lightbulbs changes and getting a new carpet fitted!
Over 1100 volunteers have registered with Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway to help if required during the COVID-19 pandemic. The amazing amount continues to grow and volunteers are being placed as and when required. A batch has already been passed to Dumfries and Galloway Council to use in the future. With the large numbers, it is likely that a number of prospective volunteers will not be required but will remain on TSDG’s list until the end of the crisis in case they are. It is clear that the crisis will last months and opportunities will continue to become clearer and available as it progresses. A huge thanks again for thinking of others across Dumfries and Galloway. #staysafe
If you have volunteered directly through Third sector D&G for the volunteer driver hub, being delivered in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council. Apologies if you have not been contacted yet regarding your volunteering. You may be aware that the Scottish Government are now involved in conversations about how food parcels are to be supplied and delivered. This has delayed local decisions with regards allocating work to volunteers. If you would like to volunteer in other ways in the meantime please let us know. Thank you for your continued support and patience as systems are developed to meet the needs of this challenging crisis.”
We have been made aware about concern within the community regarding access to cash/ pensions, the following information has been received and may be helpful at this time, we will endeavour to keep you updated with any developments
Pensions payments can be made directly into customers Bank Accounts to avoid the need to come into the Post Office. This can be completed by the customer calling the DWP Helpline on their freephone number 0800 055 6688. This would enable payments from their bank accounts, over the phone via their bank card in shops which would facilitate this and who could deliver their supplies directly to their home. There would still be the issue of the person accessing their cash, but could do so from a cash machine rather than the Post Office.
Customers can withdraw up to £600 at any one time but if they do wish to increase this amount, they can call the number on the reverse of their Card and arrange to make a large collection amount (known as an Emergency Payment Amount) which would avoid them having to come in again for a longer time.
The Post Office are also liaising with the DWP to scope out the potential for making double payments for the duration of the Covid 19 situation (similar to the arrangements for Christmas and New Year) to reduce the amount of times they would need to leave the house.