Glen Urquhart Community Council


This page has been added to our website to inform everyone of the various issues and news articles relative to the impacts of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on our community.


Saturday 27th Mar 2021


Community Resilience Group Weekly Briefing - 12

25 Mar 2021


Click here to view PDF document


NHS Covid information statistics 25th Mar 2021


Click here to view PDF document


Community Resilience Virtual Briefing 25th Mar 2021


Click here to view PDF document


Help with funeral costs


Click here to view PDF document


Saturday 27th Feb 2021


Community Resilience Group Weekly Briefing - 8

26 February 2021


Click here to view PDF document


NHS Covid information statistics 25th Feb 2021


Click here to view PDF document


Community Resilience Virtual Briefing 26th Feb 2021


Click here to view PDF document


Saturday 20th Feb 2021


NHS Covid information statistics


Click here to view PDF document



Saturday 20th Feb 2021


Community Resilience Group Weekly Briefing - 7

19 February 2021


Click here to view PDF of document


Saturday 6th Feb 2021


   


COVID-19 Vaccination Communications Note – Issue 1 3 February 2020


Click here for PDF of this document which has clickable links


Since December we have been in touch with key partners and stakeholders sharing information, messaging and translations relevant to COVID-19 vaccination communications.

Our last communication was on 21 January where we shared an information toolkit to support the national marketing campaign – Roll Up Your Sleeves – encouraging all adults in Scotland to get the vaccine when offered it.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in sharing messaging far and wide and communicating it to your communities and audiences through your social channels.
 

We are working to provide further communication assets that you can use on an ongoing basis. With this in mind this is the first update Communications note that we will send out on a regular basis as and when new assets/messaging become available and a reminder of where to find all key information in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

We will build on each note so that you have all links and relevant information in one place with updates to information available highlighted.


Website:                                           www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine

National COVID Vaccination Helpline:  0800 030 8013 (8am -8pm 7 days a week)
 

National Campaign Toolkit:                Access via Dropbox Here



NHS Inform

www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine remains the main hub for COVID-19 vaccination information. The site is continually updated with relevant information around vaccinations and it now also houses an online rescheduling tool, where people can input a unique username provided to them in their letter, register, then access and rearrange their appointment, or opt out of the vaccination programme altogether. This tool will eventually become available to everyone in Scotland, however there is a gradual approach, so people should follow the guidance in their own personal letter if they need to rearrange or opt out.


Information Available

Additional information below can now be found on in the Covid Vaccine DropBox and for those who do not have access to drop box a we transfer link will be sent.

1. Scottish Government National Vaccination Marketing Campaign Updated Assets

At time of sending the following assets have been added/updated and are available for use. If you have access to drop box please check in on a regular basis for updated assets.
 

 British Sign Language version of National TV campaign

 Social media assets for over 80’s and associated social copy

 Static assets for over 70’s with associated copy – please note a video asset for this

group will follow early next week  A4 Campaign Poster  Updated campaign static social images

2. Information Leaflets Available
 

COVID-19 vaccine leaflets in translated and accessible formats are available for the

following information:

 Adults

 Healthcare workers

 Social care workers

 Pregnancy advice

 What to expect
 

Leaflets, for informed consent and for post-vaccination can be found here:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine-leaflets

Translations and accessible formats can be found here:

https://nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine-easyread

https://nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine-largeprint

BSL formats can be found here:

https://nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine-bsl

Audio formats can be found here:
https://www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine-audio


 

3. Available Toolkits

Also, please find the available toolkits below. All three toolkits listed below provide key information on the vaccine, safety information and benefits:
 

Care Home COVID-19 Stakeholder Resources

Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Stakeholder Resources

Social Care Worker COVID-19 Stakeholder Resources



Saturday 6th Feb 2021


Highland Council. Worrying about money?


Click here to download the pdf documnet





















































Saturday 6th Feb 2021


Community Resilience Group Weekly Briefing - 5

5 February 2021


 Click here for PDF of this document which has clickable links


A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference!


Yesterday, 4th February, was Time To Talk Day when people are asked to talk about mental health. The campaign is promoted by See Me, Scotland's Programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination,


The focus of Time To Talk Day for 2021 has been on the power of small, because however small a conversation you have about mental health – whether it’s a quick message to a friend or relative, an online chat over a coffee, or a socially distanced walk and talk – it has the power to make a big difference.


This year Time To Talk Day will have been a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health and wellbeing are more important than ever. The more conversations we have the more barriers we can break down to helping to end the isolation and stigma that too many people with mental health problems are made to feel.


For people affected by loneliness and isolation there are organisations in Highland that can help with contact and support, these include:


Befrienders Highland currently offer their befriending services at a distance, by telephone, post or email to keep everyone safe and well supported. Tel. 01463 712791 www.befriendershighland.org.uk/


Highland Hospice Helping Hands befriending service offers support calls to help with social isolation for anybody in the Inverness and Ross-shire area Tel 01463 423202 or 07874724878 www.highlandhospice.org/what-we-do/helping-hands


Morning Call service in Inverness and surrounding area supports older people who are lonely and isolated by phone. Free call every morning. Tel 07514 494053 www.morningcall.org.uk


Other examples of local groups offering telephone befriending services are:

 Sutherland Care Forum Friends at Home, Tel. 01408 634171

 Badenoch & Strathspey Community Transport Company, Tel. 01479 810004 or 01479 812233

 Gairloch & Lochewe Action Forum (GALE), Tel.01445 712071 or 07753 765 507


Anyone experiencing a crisis can contact

 Samaritans on 116 123

 Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87

 Mikeysline 07786 207755 (textline)

 Ewen’s Room (Lochaber) 0800 6803317


Time To Talk Day https://www.seemescotland.org/



Children’s Mental Health Week

This week is also Children’s Mental Health Week #childrensmentalhealthweek and there are a range of specific services and supports available for children and young people to reach out to, the importance of Time to Talk being just as important for younger people.


Supporting Young People HighLife Highland Youth Workers are supporting young people aged 11-25 offering free, confidential support and guidance to those most impacted during Lockdown. There are youth workers in every secondary school area. Go to http://hlh.scot/youth to find out who your youth worker is and how to get in touch.


Highland Digital School Hub has Wellbeing Resources for All, for pupils, families and staff to support understanding of Covid 19 and to support families while staying at home www.sites.google.com/millburnacademy.org.uk/highlanddigitalschoolshub/wellbeing-for-all/at-home


Mikeysline - new service for young people

Mikeysline, based in Inverness, have started a new service is aimed at all young people, but primarily those of secondary school age. Running after school each weekday (4pm – 5.40 pm) and on Saturday (2pm – 5.30pm), the service offers non-judgemental and confidential support to young people affected by emotional distress or in need of mental health support.


The service includes 1:1 appointments in a safe place for young people to talk, feel heard, offered support, or signposted as may be helpful. Other support such as group-based sessions are also being planned.


At present, the service is available online using Google Meet. The aim is to offer both remote and face-to-face options when it is possible, so that young people living outside Inverness can access the support. Out with the appointment times, young people can use the existing text-based support service, text 07786 207755

For information or to book an appointment please e-mail  yp@mikeysline.co.uk.  An online booking system is planned.



Covid-19 and Council Tax Scams

Last week’s briefing highlighted a number of scams related to covid-19 and that the Council’s Trading Standards team had launched a webpage to help customers and businesses identify the scams that are known about.  The link to this webpage is:

www.highland.gov.uk/tradingstandards


This week, we would like to highlight another scam, where residents have been receiving telephone calls claiming their property has been re-branded for Council tax and are entitled to a refund.  The caller asks for bank details.  The Council has emphasised that any communication with Council Tax payers regarding refunds would be in writing and that we would not cold call customers and ask for bank details.  Further details on this are available at: www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/13305/highland_council_trading_standards_warns_of_council_tax_scam



Worrying about money?

A leaflet has been developed to signpost people to services that can help them to maximise their income and put cash in their pockets.  An A3 and Tri-fold version of the leaflet are available and attached to this briefing.


If you would like to order free hard copies of the leaflet, you can access them through the online Health Information Resource Service or by calling Nicola McIntosh on  01463 704647 or 07929 775703. 



Highland Community Food Network – invitation

The Highland Community Food Network is a new network that has been created in response to a survey of community food projects in Highland, carried out by Highland Third Sector Interface on behalf of Highland Poverty Action Network in the Autumn.  The Network is aimed at projects such as food banks, sharing sheds, food tables and larders, community fridges, growing projects, hot meal provision and community cafés. 


The meeting is on Thursday 11 February 7-8pm through zoom.


Zoom Link: https://trusselltrust-org.zoom.us/j/95848601739?pwd=UkszUGFrYXVieXlYb0ljcG9WS0xBdz09


Meeting ID: 958 4860 1739

Passcode: 934228


For further details please contact Katy Kitchingham:  Katy.Kitchingham@trusselltrust.org or 07990043945



Vaccination Update

The latest update from NHS on the vaccine can be accessed at the following link: www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine


A communication is also attached to this briefing



Food Support for Groups

We know that a number of you continue to provide support to the most vulnerable in your communities and that most of you already have well defined routes for accessing food to provide this support or are supporting individuals to access their shopping or community fridges/food tables.


If you are struggling to access food to continue support to vulnerable people locally, please do contact us through the policy mailbox and we can look at ways that we can support your group going forward.


Contact: policy6@highland.gov.uk


 

Resilience Network Contacts

The first meetings of all of the new resilience networks have now taken place.  The next meetings are in the process of being scheduled depending upon what was agreed at the initial meeting and dates will be circulated to all within an area.  


Where networks are already in place, should any group not already be involved with this network, the contact details for each is below.


Caithness –If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Alan Tait at Caithness Voluntary Groups allan@cvg.org.uk

Sutherland – If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Karina Ross at Highland and Islands Enterprise karina.ross@hient.co.uk

East Ross – Helen Ross, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Black Isle - If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Asia Cielecka at communities@black-isle.info

Wester Ross and Dingwall – Dot Ferguson, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Skye and Raasay - If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Fiona Thomson at Skye Community Response Development Team fiona@portreeandbraes.org

Lochaber – Emma Tayler, Assistant Ward Manager, will facilitate this network.  For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

B&S –If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Karen Derrick  enquires@vabs.org.uk

Inverness City – David Haas, City Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Inverness Rural – Charles Stephen, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Nairn – Willie Munro, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk



Helpful Links

Welfare Support Team - www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/102970/benefit_advice


Self Isolation Support Grant - www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/940/self-isolation_support_grant


Fuel Support Fund

www.highland.gov.uk/fuelsupportfund


Energy Advice

energyadvisors@hi.homeenergyscotland.org


AbiltyNet - IT advice or support AbilityNet

Helpline 0800 048 7642.    


Business Support Grants - www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/945/strategic_framework_business_fund


Covid Resilience Grant Support - www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/1422811/supporting_community_resilience/category/155/grants_for_community_groups


HTSI Community Group Helpline

Telephone Number 01349 808022

Winter Conditioning reports -

www.highland.gov.uk/news





Saturday 30th Jan 2021


Community Resilience Group Weekly Briefing - 4

29 January 2021



Help and Advice with Heating and Electricity costs


Home Energy Scotland – can help provide advise on how to reduce energy and save money.

0808 808 2282


Changeworks – can help people who may be struggling to pay their energy bill or have debt from fuel costs.  Changeworks employ Affordable Warmth Advisers who can help people switch suppliers, talk to energy companies on an individual’s behalf and access emergency credit and funds.

0800 870 8800 (freephone)

warmth@changeworks.org.uk


Highland Council Fuel Support Fund – people can apply for a non-repayable grant of £60 if they are struggling with fuel insecurities. For qualifying criteria and how to apply please go to www.highland.gov.uk/fuelsupportfund


For support with an application please contact the Council’s Welfare Support Team:

Welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

0800 090 1004



Domestic Abuse

In an emergency call 999 or call the National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234.


There are many services that can help people who have been affected by violence or abuse:

 Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline - freephone 0800 027 1234

 Inverness Women's Aid - 01463 220719

 Ross-shire Women's Aid - 01349 863568

 Lochaber Women's Aid - 01397 705734

 Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid - 0345 408 0151

 Abused men in Scotland (external link) 0808 800 0024


If someone feels it is not safe for them or their children to remain in their home, the Highland Council can provide temporary accommodation. This can give someone a chance to make long term safe accommodation arrangements.


Call the homeless team on 01349 886602 or 01349 886691 (evening & weekend)


Highland Council Trading Standards webpage on COVID-19 Scams

It has become apparent that in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, individuals and organised groups of criminals are now operating throughout the country. Highland Council Trading Standards have launched a webpage on the Highland Council website aimed at both consumers and businesses to identify the scams known to Trading Standards and our partners. The webpage can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/tradingstandards

 

Members of the public wishing advice on a particular matter can contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or visit www.consumeradvice.scot  


The Scottish Government have also released messaging this week to raise awareness of scams associated with the vaccination programme.  Links to the twitter/facebook messages are below for sharing on any social media channels you have.

www.twitter.com/scotgov/status/1355093328857993223?s=20

The Scottish Government - Posts | Facebook


Third Sector Funding


SCVO Funding hub - the SCVO funding hub has information on a range of funds available to support community groups.  This includes information about both the Scottish Government Funds available but also external funding.  There are two Scottish Government funds open at the moment:

 Adapt and Thrive Programme – to support organisations to change and recover and adapt to the challenges of   covid-19.

 Communities Recovery Programme – supports the deliver of services in communities that were stopped or reduced due to covid-19.

www.scvo.scot/support/coronavirus/funding


Highland Council Covid Resilience Grant Support – the local covid-19 resilience grant scheme is still in place and available for groups to apply to.  The purpose of the fund is to support covid-19 related community activity and on supporting emergency food, supplies and vulnerable individuals. Examples of support could include:

supporting local volunteer efforts and expenses including developing promotional materials and support for local volunteer telephone systems

making up food packs for vulnerable households

developing measures to address social isolation

providing a source of funding to enable groups to shop for individuals in the community where households no longer have cash available and they cannot source local deliveries

The criteria for the Scheme has been amended and groups can now apply for funding up to £1,500 at any one time. www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/1422811/supporting_community_resilience/category/155/grants_for_community_groups

Business Grants


Temporary Closure Grant – for businesses that must close by regulation. Under level 4 restrictions eligible businesses who have been required to close can apply for this grant. The Temporary Closure Grant operates as a two-Levelled scheme, with a grant of £2,000 for premises which have a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a RV of £51,001 and above.  The grant is payable every four weeks, in arrears, for the duration protective measures are in place.


For eligibility and how to apply, please go to: www.highland.gov.uk/strategicframeworkfund


Business Restrictions Grant – for when businesses must operate in a restricted way as a result of the Coronavirus protective measures. The Business Restriction Grant operates as a two-Levelled scheme, with payments of £1,400 for premises which have a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000 and a grant of £2,100 for those businesses with a RV of £51,001 and above.

The grant is payable every four weeks, in arrears, for the duration protective measures are in place.


For eligibility and how to apply, please go to: www.highland.gov.uk/strategicframeworkfund


Top-up Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Grant – On 11 January 2021 the Scottish Government announced a top-up grant for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses across Scotland closed by level 4 restrictions.  Businesses have until next Friday, 5 February 2021, to apply for a top-up grant in addition to the Temporary Closure Grant.  If businesses have already received a Restriction Grant or applied for a Temporary Closure Grant, and are eligible, they will receive this payment automatically and there is no need to re-apply.


Depending on the sector and size of business, eligible businesses can apply for this one off grant of:

£25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000 Closure Grant

£6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000 Closure Grant

£9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000 Closure Grant

£6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000 Closure Grant

For more information please visit www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/904/support_for_business/2


Any enquires related to business grants can be emailed to:

COVID-19grantenquiries@highland.gov.uk



Vaccination Update

The latest update from NHS on the vaccine can be accessed at the following link: www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine



Food Support for Groups

We know that a number of you continue to provide support to the most vulnerable in your communities and that most of you already have well defined routes for accessing food to provide this support or are supporting individuals to access their shopping or community fridges/food tables.


If you are struggling to access food to continue support to vulnerable people locally, please do contact us through the policy mailbox and we can look at ways that we can support your group going forward.


Contact: policy6@highland.gov.uk


 

Resilience Network Contacts

The first meetings of all of the new resilience networks have now taken place.  The next meetings are in the process of being scheduled depending upon what was agreed at the initial meeting and dates will be circulated to all within an area.  


Where networks are already in place, should any group not already be involved with this network, the contact details for each is below.


Caithness –If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Alan Tait at Caithness Voluntary Groups allan@cvg.org.uk

Sutherland – If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Karina Ross at Highland and Islands Enterprise karina.ross@hient.co.uk

East Ross – Helen Ross, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Black Isle - If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Asia Cielecka at communities@black-isle.info

Wester Ross and Dingwall – Dot Ferguson, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Skye and Raasay - If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Fiona Thomson at Skye Community Response Development Team fiona@portreeandbraes.org

Lochaber – Emma Tayler, Assistant Ward Manager, will facilitate this network.  For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

B&S –If any groups aren’t involved and wish to be please contact Karen Derrick  enquires@vabs.org.uk

Inverness City – David Haas, City Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Inverness Rural – Charles Stephen, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network. For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk

Nairn – Willie Munro, Ward Manager, will facilitate this network For future involvement in this network please contact policy6@highland.gov.uk



Helpful Links

Welfare Support Team - www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/102970/benefit_advice


Self Isolation Support Grant - www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/940/self-isolation_support_grant


Fuel Support Fund

www.highland.gov.uk/fuelsupportfund


Energy Advice

energyadvisors@hi.homeenergyscotland.org


AbiltyNet - IT advice or support AbilityNet

Helpline 0800 048 7642.    


Business Support Grants - www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/945/strategic_framework_business_fund


Covid Resilience Grant Support - www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/1422811/supporting_community_resilience/category/155/grants_for_community_groups


HTSI Community Group Helpline

Telephone Number 01349 808022

Winter Conditioning reports -

www.highland.gov.uk/news




Monday 11th Jan 2021


Further Highland Council updates to Community Resilience Group


1. Covid Council Briefing – prior to the start of the Council meeting yesterday, a briefing was provided by Dr Tim Allison, Director of Public Health for NHS Highland, Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett from Police Scotland and the Council’s Chief Executive Donna Manson.  The briefing was recorded and is available to view at the following link https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/535401.   


2. Covid Resilience Grant Support – the local covid resilience grant scheme is still in place and available for groups to apply to.  The purpose of the fund is to support covid-19 related community activity and on supporting emergency food, supplies and vulnerable individuals. Examples of support could include:

supporting local volunteer efforts and expenses including developing promotional materials and support for local volunteer telephone systems

making up food packs for vulnerable households

developing measures to address social isolation

providing a source of funding to enable groups to shop for individuals in the community where households no longer have cash available and they cannot source local deliveries


The criteria for the Scheme has been amended and groups can now apply for funding up to £1,500 at any one time.


3. Temporary Business Closure Grant – a new grant scheme has been launched to support businesses who have had to close due to the covid-19 protective measured introduced.  The Closure Grant operates as a two-tiered scheme, with a grant of £2,000 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £51,000 and a grant of £3,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of £51,001 and above. The grant is payable every four weeks, in arrears, for the duration protective measures are in place.

For more information please visit www.highland.gov.uk/strategicframeworkfund

Over the coming weeks the Scottish Government will be making available a range of other grants to businesses, including Taxi and Private Hire; Newly Self Employed, Mobile Close Contact Services and a Highland Discretionary Business Grant scheme. The Council has been asked to deliver these grant schemes and as detailed eligibility and grant scheme information becomes available from the Scottish Government, the Council will provide guidance and detail on its website as to who is eligible and how to apply for grant.  We will provide updates as and when they become available.

4. NHS Vaccine updates: the latest update from NHS Highland on the vaccine can be accessed at the following link: www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine



Sunday 10th Jan 2021


Community Resilience Group Update

January 2021


 The following is hopefully helpful information given the new restrictions introduced  from 5 January and also a summary and update of previous key numbers and  sources of guidance and support.  This includes:

 Summary of the New Restrictions

 Support available for individuals including food/prescription support and financial support

 Support for mental health and wellbeing

 Support if you are concerned about a vulnerable adult or child

 Support for business


Regular updates are published on the Council’s website at:

www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus


Summary of New Restrictions

Stay At Home

 There is now a legal requirement not to leave home except for an essential purpose.  Wherever possible, people are being advised to stay as close to home as possible, to shop online or local and to travel as little as possible in order to exercise in a non-crowded place.  Essential purposes include the following reasons – a full list can be accessed at the following link: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/

Essential reasons for leaving home:

o for work or an activity associated with seeking employment, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, but only where that cannot be done from your home.

o for education including, school, college, university or other essential purposes connected with a course of study.

o for essential shopping, including essential shopping for a vulnerable person. You should use online shopping or shops and other services in your immediate area wherever you can. 

o to obtain or deposit money, where it is not possible to do so from home.

o for healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

o for childcare or support services for parents or expectant parents.

o to provide care, assistance, support to or respite for a vulnerable person

o to participate in or facilitate shared parenting.

o to visit a person in an extended household.

o for essential animal welfare reasons, such as exercising or feeding a horse or going to a vet.

o local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households

o to attend a marriage ceremony or registration of a civil partnership.

o to attend a funeral or for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life. This includes gatherings related to the scattering or interring of ashes, a stone setting ceremony and other similar commemorative events.   


Meeting with others

 Can only take place outdoors and a maximum of 2 people from 2 separate households can meet for outdoors sport or exercise.  Children under 12 don’t count towards these numbers.


Hospitality and tourism

 All restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars are closed except for take-away purposes

 All holiday accommodation is closed except for essential customers e.g. key workers


Other Services

 Tradespeople can only go into someone’s home to carry out essential work or services e.g. repairs, utility/safety checks

 Community centres can continue to operate for the delivery of essential services only, such as emergency shelter, medical services or meals for the homeless.

 Places of worship must close but can open to broadcast online or conduct a marriage or funeral ceremony


Recreation

 Sports – all indoor facilities are closed.  Outdoor non-contact e.g. golf/tennis can continue based on a single household group or no more than 2 adults from 2 households.


Schools

 From 5 to 29 January, all schools will remain open but the only pupils who will be in school will be those identified as vulnerable by schools and the children of Key Workers.  Online learning will be in place for all pupils including those children and young people in school.  

 A letter has been sent to all parents and carers advising of key worker criteria and that attendance in school should only be if no other options are available.  


Shielding

 There is not a full return to the shielding measures in place earlier in the year.  However, new guidance includes:

o People who were shielding are now being asked to work from home and if they cannot work from home, then they should not go to work.  Everyone who had been on the shielding list will be sent a letter by the Chief Medical Officer and this can act as a ‘fit’ note for work while the additional restrictions are in place.  

o Everyone who was on the shielding list and signed up for text notifications has already been sent a message advising them of this.  Letters should arrive in the next few days

 Guidance provided to people previously shielding in December remains and this includes:

o People should minimise contact with people from outwith their household

o People should not take public transport

o People who were shielding can still sign up for priority supermarket deliveries by calling the helpline number 0300 303 1362 or by texting their CHI number to 0786 006 4525.

o If people are attending shops, advice is to do this at quieter times

o Children who were shielding have already been advised not to go to school/college under tier 4 measures.


Support for Individuals


The Council, working with its third sector and community group partners, continues to provide help to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.


The Council’s Coronavirus Helpline can provide advice and support to individuals and businesses at this time.


Coronavirus Helpline: 0300 303 1362


(operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm and is FREE to call)


www.highland.gov.uk/coronavirus



Food and Prescription Support


Food support can be provided for those in crisis who require emergency access to food.  This includes people who have to self-isolate because they have tested positive for covid or are a close contact of someone who has.


Prescriptions can be collected for people who have no way to collect or get their prescription delivered.


Support can be accessed by phoning: 0300 303 1362



Financial Support


The Council’s Welfare Support Team can provide advice, guidance and support to people who are struggling financially.

 

The Team will identify all the benefits that are available for an individual’s  circumstances and will complete applications on someone’s behalf. For example, if someone is self-isolating and on a low income, it may be possible to help with heating, travel and other costs. The  Welfare Team will also claim on an individual’s behalf any benefits they may be entitled to, including reductions that may be available on Council Tax.


This service is free and confidential.


FREEPHONE on 0800 090 1004 (9am – 5pm); or


Email: welfare.support@highland.gov.uk


Further information is also available on the Council’s website: www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/102970/benefit_advice



Self-Isolation Support Grant


If someone on a low income has been asked by NHS Test and Protect Service to self-isolate, either because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they may be entitled to the £500 self-isolation support grant


To apply contact the Welfare Support Team:


FREEPHONE on 0800 090 1004 (9am – 5pm); or


Email: welfare.support@highland.gov.uk


Further information is available at:

www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/940/self-isolation_support_grant


Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing


The impact of the measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 has placed increased pressure and uncertainty on everyone so it’s important to know where to find help and support for our mental health and wellbeing when it is needed. There are services where you can find confidential and trusted support, these include:


Help in a crisis:

The following advice is intended for crisis situations which happen only rarely. A mental health crisis is when someone feels their mental health is at breaking point and they need urgent help and support.


If you are concerned that you are, or if you feel that someone else is, in immediate danger call 999.  If you are calling for someone else, try to establish the person’s name, contact details and location.


If the crisis is not life-threatening but you are concerned for your own or somebody else’s mental health, advise them to call NHS 24 on 111 or speak to their GP.  The route into formal mental health services is through a GP surgery. If someone discloses to you that they are already in receipt of support for their own mental health they should be directed to link in with that pre-existing support.


Support, advice and resources can also be found at:

Samaritans - 116 123 (calls are free and do not show on a phone bill)

Breathing Space - 0800 83 85 87

Mikey’s Line - 07786 207755

Ewen’s Room - 0800 689 3317

National Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 027 1234

LGBT Helpline Scotland 0300 123 2523

Childline - 0800 1111

CRUSE Bereavement Care Scotland - 0845 600 2227


Non-crisis situations:

In most instances where mental health concerns are raised it will not be a crisis.  If you have, or someone you are in contact with has, concerns about mental ill health, a GP should be the first point of contact.


It is understandable in the current crisis that many people will feel anxious, worried or stressed. For those who are in need of emotional/wellbeing support or who are affected by isolation due to the current COVID-19 circumstance, you might want to look for local voluntary organisations who can offer a regular welfare call or suggest contact with a befriending service


Additional resources:

While we can’t control many of the challenges around us, there are still things we can do to protect our mental health and wellbeing. Check out any of the resources below:


Clear Your Head

Great tips from the Scottish Government and partners to help get you through these difficult times.


Highland Mental Wellbeing

A collection of resources gathered by NHS Highland to support mental wellbeing


Highland Digital School Hub: Wellbeing for all

Resources to use at home to help with going back to school, and resources for school staff to support themselves


SAMH Information Service you can talk to their Information team about mental health on 0344 800 0550, and there is a range of information on support, including:


If you urgently need help

SAMH have put together a list of organisations who can help if you need to speak to someone.


Protect your wellbeing in winter

Some of us can struggle with our mental health and wellbeing during the colder months.


Concerned about Someone who is Vulnerable?


Should you be concerned about a vulnerable adult, whether for care, welfare or mental health reasons, you can contact the following numbers:

Adult Protection Concern helpline – 0800 902 0042 in office hours and out of office hours or during holiday periods – 0845 769 7284.


Should you be concerned about a child, their welfare, wellbeing or their safety, then please use the following contacts:

Child protection - phone the Police on 999 if a child is at immediate risk of harm.

If you feel that a child or young person may be at risk of harm at any time either physically or emotionally, visit the Child Protection Committee website www.hcpc.scot for advice, guidance and sources of support.  Child protection is everyone’s responsibility and now, more than ever we rely on local communities to help us make sure families get the right support at the right time.

General advice or concerns, local numbers for each area can be found at http://hcpc.scot/professionals for local contact numbers or the Emergency out of hours service can be contacted on 08457 697284


Support for Business


A national Helpline is in place from the Scottish Government for employees and employers regarding the Coronavirus outbreak


Telephone: 0300 303 0660


Further information is available on the Government website:

Information for individuals and businesses in Scotland


Further information on support for business including any current grant support available can be found on the Council’s website at:

www.highland.gov.uk/info/20016/coronavirus/904/support_for_business



Wednesday 23rd  Dec 2020



























































































































































To view or download the pdf file click this link  THC helpline and signposting for mental wellbeing-final



Tuesday 22nd Dec 2020


Thank you message to the community


On behalf of Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association (GURCA) and the Glen Urquhart Community Council (GUCC) we would like to thank the many workers and volunteers who have helped the community throughout the past year. 

When the pandemic started a steering group was formed to help coordinate the local response and more than 100 people volunteered to help – an amazing response. In addition we had the full support of the local business community, health & care professionals and Soirbheas. 

The local shops and eating places have done an amazing job in keeping everyone in supplies and keeping us safe.

Clearly the start of 2021 is going to be difficult with the whole country going into Tier 4 restrictions but hopefully as the year progresses we will start to return to a more normal situation and be able to meet up and enjoy each others company once again.

Stay safe and we wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and very best wishes for 2021

Susan Clark – GURCA    and David Fraser – GUCC



Thursday 3rd Dec 2020







Inverness winter payments scheme 2020/21


Download the application form here: www.highland.gov.uk/invernesswinterpayments

People on low income can apply for a one-off payment of £86 from The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee 2020/21 winter payments scheme to help them with their winter fuel bills.

Provost and Leader of Inverness Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “If you live in the Aird and Loch Ness, Inverness West, Inverness Central, Inverness Ness-side, Inverness Millburn, Culloden and Ardersier and Inverness South Wards you may be entitled to financial support during winter when extra fuel is needed to keep homes warm. The City of Inverness Area Committee winter payments scheme is designed to help people who are most in need and I urge anyone who meets the eligibility criteria to apply for and claim the one-off winter payment of £86 that they are entitled to. The scheme is aimed at anyone on low income of all ages and not just pensioners.”

Residents of the 7 Inverness Wards are encouraged to apply for the one-off £86 winter payment, if any of the following applies to them: 

aged 90 or older on or before 28 February 2021 irrespective of savings; or

receive a Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grant Payment between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021;

receive Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit);

have a child/children under the age of five and you must be in receipt of Income Support; Income Based Jobseekers Allowance; Universal Credit; or Income Based Employment and Support Allowance;

in receipt of:

o Pension Credit (Savings Credit);

o Income Support;

o Universal Credit;

o Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;

o Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;

o Incapacity Benefit. 

The applicant must also have someone who lives in their household who is receiving: 

Attendance Allowance;

Middle or high rate Disability Living Allowance (care component);

War Widow’s or War Widower’s pension;

Personal Independence payment (daily-living component);

Armed Forces Independence payment.

In addition, applicants must be able to confirm that there are no residents in the household in receipt of a wage either now or in the previous calendar month or with capital in excess of £6,000. This does not apply if they will be aged 90 or over on or before 28 February 2021 or if they received a Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grant Payment between 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021.  Only one application per household will be accepted.

Application forms for the Inverness Winter Payments Scheme 2020/21 are available by

telephoning 01349 886661 (Monday to Friday 9am -4pm);

telephoning the Council’s Welfare Support Team on 0800 090 1004;

contact local Citizens Advice Bureau; or

download the application form here: 

www.highland.gov.uk/invernesswinterpayments



The deadline for return of application forms is 28 February 2021.

Application Forms should be returned by post to: 

The Highland Council, 
FREEPOST RRXJ-GGJX-CRYR, 
PO Box 5650, 
Inverness, IV3 5NX

The Inverness Winter Payments Scheme is fully funded by the Inverness Common Fund and is therefore only available to eligible people within the 7 specified Inverness Wards.

Inverness Common Good Funding can only be used to principally benefit people living within the geographic area of the former Burgh of Inverness. However, The Highland Council along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have produced a new guide which brings together a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet.

The Worrying About Money? guide covers information for people waiting for claims to be assessed as well as those already receiving benefits. Topics including advice on what to do if anyone finds themselves having a sudden loss of income or if their statutory sick pay does not cover their living expenses. There is also information on how to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund, maximising income and benefit advice, debt advice and how to challenge a decision.

The Worrying About Money Guide is available on the Highland Council website here    https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/102970/benefit_advice


Tuesday 24th Nov 2020


Highland Council. Worrying about money?


Click here to download the pdf documnet






















































Thursday 29th Oct 2020


Business Hardship Fund grant applications sought


Highland Council has today launched - on behalf of the Scottish Government - the COVID-19 Business Hardship Fund.

Grants of £1,000 and £1,500 are available for eligible businesses up to a maximum of £10,000 if the business has multiple premises.

To be eligible for the grant, the business must be:

A hospitality business or certain gyms which are required by the current regulations to operate in a restricted way; or

A producer/wholesale business based in Scotland supplying primarily short-life goods or produce to hospitality businesses which have been required by the regulations to close or operate in a restricted way. These businesses must be able to evidence a 25% reduction in turnover during the current brake period.

Businesses are asked to go to the Council’s COVID-19 Business Grant page on its website and check to ensure that they meet the full range of eligibility criteria. Eligible businesses are then asked to complete the online application form accurately and in full while ensuring that they submit the specified evidence. This will enable applications for this grant to be assessed and for payments to be made in due course. 

The Scottish Government also has another grant scheme called the ‘Business Closure Fund’. This grant scheme is only open to businesses which are in the Ayrshire & Arran; Forth Valley; Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Lanarkshire and Lothian health board areas that are required by law to close under the COVID-19 brake restrictions. Highland-based businesses are therefore not eligible to apply for this grant (the Business Closure Fund).

For more information please go to www.highland.gov.uk/businesshardshipfund



Wednesday 21st Oct 2020









































Monday 12th Oct  2020


The Highland Council ‘Challenge Poverty Week’



 Challenge Poverty Week 5-11 October 2020

During Challenge Poverty Week we aim to help raise awareness of some of the supports to mitigate poverty, and to help end the stigma of living on a low income. This is especially important just now because of the wider impact of the Coronavirus pandemic – everyone has been affected, but we know both the virus and the measures to stop it spreading have had a greater effect on certain groups of people. The impact is more severe on those who are living in poverty or close to it.

This leaflet provides advice on how people can check their entitlements to support and maximise their income. Click this link for more information.



Wednesday 2nd Sept 2020


Public meetings guidance update from Highland Council









Dear Community Council Members


RE: Guidance update August 2020


I hope you are all well.  We have been experiencing strange and challenging times over the last few months and this has resulted in many changes for us individually and for our communities.

I want to take the opportunity to thank you all for the support you have given your communities over this period.  I know many Community Councils have been working directly or with other local groups to provide humanitarian support to your communities.  The strength of community action has been one of the positives that has emerged from a very challenging time for us all.


I am writing to update and clarify a number of pieces of advice.  Whilst Scottish Government guidance is naturally evolving all the time to reflect the changing picture across the country, I hope the following is helpful to answer a number of the questions and queries that have come forward in the last few weeks.  


Face to Face Meetings

I appreciate that many of you are keen to recommence your meeting programme and to do this face to face.  However, current Scottish Government guidelines are very clear that face to face public meetings are not allowed until 14 September 2020 at the earliest.  Whether they will be allowed to progress at that time will be dependent upon Scottish Government assessment of the levels of infection across the country.   Meetings of a Community Council are public meetings and therefore firmly fall within these regulations.  In addition, you will all be aware that we are not currently allowed to meet any more than 8 people indoors at one time from 3 households.  This regulation would also not enable you to operate.


I do appreciate your frustration and that you will wish to resume normal operating practices, however we are still not operating within a normal environment and the virus has not gone away.  I would therefore request that you do not hold face to face meetings at this time.  This is advice at the current moment and should this change, we will advise you accordingly.


Virtual/Telephone Meetings

A considerable number of Community Councils have been successfully operating virtually throughout the last five months.  Whilst this may not be a preference, it has enabled groups to continue to meet and operate.  It is also important to highlight that meeting virtually has a number of potential benefits, particularly for those Community Councils covering wide geographical areas and for during the winter months when it may be difficult to travel/road closures etc.


We do not know how long the current restrictions on meetings may go on for so I would therefore encourage those of you who have not met over the previous 5 months to explore how you may do this using either internet platforms or via telephony.  What works best for your Community Council will be dependent upon your membership.  For those of you who may have concerns or reservations about how to do this, I would encourage you to speak with your Ward Manager in the first instance who will provide advice and guidance.  The following links also provide some information which may be of assistance.       


https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/guidance-and-resources/remote-council-meetings/video-audio-platforms


http://www.communitycouncils.scot/remote-working.html


https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/video-conferencing-services-using-them-securely


We have not been operating in a business as usual environment over the past number of months.  It is therefore understandable that many of you have not met over this period.  However, as we move into a different way of operating for many businesses and organisations, ways that may last for some months to come, we all need to explore different ways of doing things to enable us to continue to operate.  I would therefore ask you to actively consider how your Community Council could meet virtually in the coming weeks.  Your Ward Manager will be in touch to discuss this with you.  There remain challenging times ahead and each Community Council has a core role to play within its community.


Meeting Frequency

Under the Scheme of Establishment for Community Councils, you are required to hold 6 meetings per year.  I would wish to reassure you that given the recent restrictions, you will not be required to hold all 6 meetings this year.  The Scheme also sets out if you haven’t met in 6 months that the Community Council will be dissolved.  Given the exceptional circumstances, there is no intention to dissolve the Community Councils who have not met over the previous 5/6 months.  However, as noted above, we do want you to begin to explore how you could begin to meet virtually, if you are not already doing so.


AGM

As has been previously communicated to you, you were not required to hold your AGM before the end of June and, for this year only, the payment of the grant was not dependent upon having your accounts signed off at the AGM – a copy to the Ward Manager was sufficient.  This was to allow funds to support covid community response.  However, we would wish you to start preparing to have an AGM in the coming months, even if this is virtually.  It is an important part of Community Council governance.     


I hope this clarifies a number of the queries and questions that have been raised recently.  Should national guidelines change regarding meetings, we will of course be in contact. Should you have any queries, please contact your Ward Manager directly.  


Thank you for all your continued support and efforts within your communities.


Kind Regards




Alison Clark

Head of Policy

Communities and Place Service





Thursday 16th July 2020








Highland Council warns of COVID-19 crisis grants scam


The Highland Council is warning the public to be on their guard for the latest COVID-19 scam which is circulating around the country. Information on this scam was received by Highland Council Trading Standards, through a national intelligence network.

The scam involves a text message which states that crisis grants of £1500 are now available to individuals who need support during the pandemic.  It asks the recipient to click on a link to check eligibility, gov.crisis-grant.com.

Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader, says: “In this type of scam, the scammers are hoping that those in our community who are in real need of financial assistance will click on the link.  The link clearly isn’t a link to an official Government site and by clicking on it, the recipient runs the risk of opening up their personal and financial data, which will likely be used for criminal purposes with no thought for the harm it may cause the individual concerned.”

Sheila McKandie, Head of Revenues & Customer Services, added: “I would urge everyone who reads this message to help stop the scam by sharing this warning and advice issued by Highland Council with as many family members, friends and neighbours as they possibly can.”

She said: “If you, or someone you know, is needing financial support, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can undertake a welfare check to ensure that their household’s income is maximised by claiming all entitlements that are due.  Our team can be contacted on 0800 090 1004 or by email to welfare.support@highland.gov.uk.  Alternatively, your local Citizens Advice Bureau is on hand and has a team of experts to offer advice and to assist with completing all relevant application forms.”

Any individual who receives one of these scam texts is asked to delete it completely from their device.

Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS). 

Anyone who thinks they may have been scammed can contact ADS who offer free and confidential consumer advice on Freephone 0808 164 6000 or by email through their website address at: www.consumeradvice.scot

-ends-


Unless related to the business of The Highland Council, the views or opinions expressed within this e-mail are those of the sender and do not necessarily reflect those of The Highland Council, or associated bodies, nor does this e-mail form part of any contract unless so stated.
Mura h-eil na beachdan a tha air an cur an cèill sa phost-d seo a' buntainn ri gnothachas Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd, 's ann leis an neach fhèin a chuir air falbh e a tha iad, is chan eil iad an-còmhnaidh a' riochdachadh beachdan na Comhairle, no buidhnean buntainneach, agus chan eil am post-d seo na phàirt de chunnradh sam bith mura h-eil sin air innse.

Listening * Open * Valuing * Improving * Supporting * Partnering * Delivering

Èisteachd * Fosgailte * Luach * Leasachadh * Taic * Com-pàirteachas * Lìbhrigeadh







Thursday 2nd July 2020


Communities and place - Update from Highland Council


While there have not been so many significant changes in the service this week--- the most important announcement, especially with the schools about to go on holiday, is that open air play parks can commence to reopen. You will recall that they were closed up, as they were seen as possible sites of risk of transmitting Covid.

Before any site can reopen, inspections have to take place and, yes, you have guessed it, the same small team that we have had the great response to work changes from, perform this duty. This team are also under strength and due holidays after the sterling shifts they have put in during Covid lockdown. On speaking to our local operational manager the plan is to inspect play parks as the amenities teams move through the towns and villages on their next cutting schedule. Play parks will only be reopened if it is safe to do so ,since some equipment may have failed in the intervening period. Keeping safe and hygiene will be the responsibility of parents and good practise will be to wipe down prior to use of equipment. Clearly, the council staff cannot be asked to do this. This is similar practise to the toilets use.

As Bear get back to work and have quickly commenced cutting large swathes of trunk road verges I am sure your mail bag/phone calls will have increased as concerned residents contact you about over zealous cutting and destruction of flowers that have not seeded yet, by the council. The council have commenced talks with Bear and Transport Scotland about cutting less which is in line with the council and has a direct saving to tax payers while helping environmentally. The message in general has to be ----Bear cut Trunk and council the rest. Working with our communities we can make more people happy and save money.

We are happy to stay that the extra team for burials have been ‘stood down’ and from lessons learned the burial service will move to digitising.

I haven’t forgotten about the extra requests for vans, trailers, other recycling materials at the Recycling Centres and neither have officers----they are working hard to increase the service---and I will update as soon as possible



Thursday 4th June 2020


A82 – Resumption of road repairs notification from BEAR

BEAR Scotland, working on behalf of Transport Scotland, are planning to carry out essential resurfacing works at 3 locations on the A82 Trunk Road between Invergarry and Inverness. Please see attached consultation letter with details and location plans for the closures.

The works from Drumnadrochit to Temple Pier are programmed to be carried out between 8pm-6am from Sunday 14th to Wednesday 17th June for 4 nights. The carriageway will be subject to a road closure due to the restricted road widths within this section to ensure the safety of the workforce and members of the travelling public. Amnesties will be provided to allow traffic to pass through the site at 9pm, 10pm, 12am, 2am, and 4am. During these times vehicles will be escorted through under a 10mph convoy.

The works North of Invergarry and at Eilean Dubh are proposed to be carried out under a full road closure between 7pm – 7pm from Sunday 21st June to Wednesday 8th July. The A82 will be closed between Invergarry and Aberchalder with a diversion route available via the A87 from Invergarry to Bunloyne and the A887 from Bunloyne to Invermoriston. This diversion is expected to add 22 minutes to the total journey of vehicles travelling between Invergarry and Invermoriston.

Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times and strict physical distancing measures in line with Scottish Government guidance will be in place on site to ensure the safety of site staff.

(Click this link for PDF document giving further details and maps of proposed works)

If you require any further information or would like to comment on any of the proposed works please to not hesitate to contact Bradley Doran by email at nwconsultation@bearscotland.co.uk



Wednesday 3rd June 2020


Council confirms details for Household Waste Recycling Centres to reopen


For full details please click the link below:

  https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/12542/council_confirms_details_for_household_waste_recycling_centres_to_reopen



Friday 28th May 2020


Further update on Fasnakyle Windfarm


We have been informed by Matthew Haughton of Vento Ludens that they will be re-starting limited aspects of on-site survey work for the proposed Fasnakyle Wind Farm.  This follows the announcement from the First Minister on Friday 28th May 2020 of certain lockdown restrictions being eased in regards to the Covid-19 outbreak.



Tuesday 12th May 2020









Council support to families in time of need

 

Help is at hand for bereaved families in Highland who may find the unexpected cost of funerals out of their reach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Highland Council has provided funeral directors in the region with information leaflets to ensure that they are aware of the financial support that is available to relatives for some funeral costs in specific circumstances.  Depending on the individual circumstances of bereaving families, help may be available through the ‘Bereavement Support Payment’ and ‘Funeral Support Payment’.

 

Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee Chair, Cllr Linda Munro said: “The Council is acutely aware of the unexpected pain and hardship that the sudden loss of a loved one can cause for surviving relatives and the financial hardship this can cause to surviving relatives especially where the deceased was the main source of income in their home. That is why we are keen to share this information about support that is available.”

 

To help those most in need at this difficult time, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can assist eligible families to apply for help with funeral costs and to claim all entitlements that may be due because of such a significant change within their home. 

 

There may also be additional benefits and help available on an ongoing basis to help with living costs.  For example, a 25% discount from the council tax bill may be available together with a further reduction from the means-tested Council Tax Reduction scheme. Furthermore, some households may be entitled to Pension Credit to top-up their state pension on a weekly basis.

 

The support is free and confidential, and the Welfare Support Team can be contacted by emailing: welfare.support@highland.gov.uk or by phoning 0800 090 1004. 

 

Contact can also be made by completing a secure online form at www.highland.gov.uk/welfaresupport


Monday 27th April 2020








Highland Violence Against Women Partnership want to ensure people get help they need during COVID19 outbreak


Highland Violence Against Women Partnership (HVAWP) wants to ensure that anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse or gender-based violence gets the help they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The partnership is fully behind the Scottish Government’s recently relaunched campaign against domestic abuse and its message that even during these unprecedented times that support services are there for those who need it.

Tackling domestic abuse and gender-based violence remains a priority for each and every member of the HVAW partnership, which includes Highland Council, Police Scotland, NHS Highland and local Women’s Aid organisations and RASASH (Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland).

The partner agencies continue to monitor the impact the current lockdown measures may be having on families. Even in these difficult times the partnership is committed to continuing to offer their services to safeguard the welfare of women and children.

New guidance has also been announced for social landlords around domestic abuse and Coronavirus which has been developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing, Scottish Women’s Aid and engagement from COSLA.

The report highlights what social landlords can do to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

Chair of the Highland Violence Against Women Partnership, Jacquelyn Jennett, said: “The lockdown dictates that we must all stay at home where possible, but for many women and children in the Highlands home is not a safe place to be”.

“This is a particularly difficult time for women and children suffering from domestic violence as they will have reduced contact with supportive friends, families, communities and services”.

“Experts have warned that pandemics have been linked to increased violence against women and children. When mobility is limited and social distancing measures are in place, economic vulnerability increases, legal and social services are scaled back and challenges in escaping abusive partners can be exacerbated.”

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Baird of Police Scotland, Highland and Islands Division added "To all those who are living through lockdown in abusive relationships our message is clear. Please do not be put off reporting domestic violence including coercive and controlling behaviour during the current Coronavirus outbreak. Police across Highland and Islands are ready and able to respond to ensure your safety"

While current measures exist Highland Women’s Aid Groups are continuing to provide outreach services and refuge accommodation to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. They provide specialised safety planning, support planning, advocacy, emotional and practical support tailored to individual needs.

Their teams support clients by phone, text, email and social media, and continue to accept new referrals from women, children, young people and partner agencies.

Inverness Women’s Aid

Telephone: 01463 220719

Email: info@invernesswa.co.uk

Facebook page (Inverness Women’s Aid)

Website www.invernesswa.co.uk

Ross-Shire, Skye & Lochalsh Women’s Aid

Telephone: 01349 863568
Email:
info@rosswa.co.uk
Facebook page (Ross-shire Skye & Lochalsh Women’s Aid)
Website:
www.rosswa.co.uk

Lochaber Women’s Aid
Telephone: 01397 705734
Email:
lwa@lochaberwomensaid.org
Facebook page (Lochaber Women’s Aid)
Website:
www.lochaberwomensaid.org

Caithness & Sutherland Women’s Aid
Telephone: 0345 408 0151
Email:
info@caswa.org.uk
Facebook page (caswa)
Website:
www.caswa.org.uk

Additional advice and information is also available from Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234; www.womensaid.scot/contact/#helpline.

Specialist advice about legal issues and rights is available from the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre on 08088 010 789; www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk

RASASH (Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland) continue to offer support to survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse whether recent or historic to anyone aged 13+ and RASASH will continue to take new self-referrals via the support line for when its ongoing support sessions resume.

RASASH advocacy staff will continue to provide information about the criminal justice system and will move to working in a focused way on individual tasks with people in order to accommodate the increase in need they foresee for medical advocacy. RASASH will also be increasing its social media presence to provide information on coping in a crisis and to share messages of connection in a time where many are isolated.

Support Services 9.30 – 12.30 and 1.30 – 4.30 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Wednesday`s 9.30am till 12.30pm

Telephone on: 03330 066 909 and Email: support@rasash.org.uk.

New text support service: 07451 288 080

You can also contact Police Scotland on 101 for non-emergencies and 999 for emergency situations.


Tuesday 21st April 2020


Update  on Fasnakyle Windfarm

The developer tells us that all work in the area was ceased some weeks ago in line with government guidance and in order to ensure the health and safety of our contractors and local residents.  Both the developer and their contractors are now working from home, and continuing with desk-based activities.

In terms of community engagement, they had intended to commence regular drop in meetings for local residents and organisations this spring, but clearly are unable to proceed with these until and unless government guidance changes and it is considered safe and appropriate to meet face-to-face. However, they  are very much still available to discuss the proposals and can be contacted via the contact details on the project website –


www.fasnakylewindfarm.co.uk.

Glen Urquhart Community Council will not form a view on the development until a formal planning application is received but any comments from the public can be received at our monthly meeting or via email chairglencc@gmail.com and where appropriate we will raise questions with the developer



























































Wednesday 1st April 2020


Textile banks and Bottle banks

Textile bank servicing by charities across the region has ceased, or is severely disrupted due to staff shortages. If the textile banks are full, please help keep the sites tidy by taking your recycling home with you until the service returns to normal. Any material left on the ground will be treated as fly-tipping and will end up in landfill.

At present the bottle banks are still being serviced.  However, if you do find these banks full, please DO NOT leave bottles alongside the banks, take them home and store them until the service resumes.

Please also note that the Inverness Recycling centre is currently CLOSED.

https://www.highland.gov.uk/news/article/12436/textile_recycling_banks_closed_across_highland?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=


https://www.highland.gov.uk/recycle?fbclid=IwAR0NQpn_qeEJ7lfii2KFwPCiBYfMc8y7vnAYfA_Y-VkRsD3J9P4yMD74vjw


Monday 30th March 2020


Stories from across Highland Education area










































































































Saturday 29th March 2020


Message from Police Scotland

In these challenging and unprecedented times  we would like to reassure you that, although we have had to adapt the way we Police, to adhere as much as possible with social distancing, we are still committed to providing a high level of service to our communities.


Our officers have been tasked to patrol areas within our  community which are considered to be vulnerable such as, businesses, schools and potential areas of congregation.


We would like to acknowledge the work already being demonstrated by communities and all the efforts being made to comply with current government guidelines.


We as your local beat officers will do our best to address any issues as best we can.


Please stay safe.

Aird and Loch Ness Policing Team

Beauly Section

Tel : 101

E-mail:  HighlandsandIslandsBeaulyFortAugustus@scotland.pnn.police.uk


Friday 27th March 2020

Highland Recycling Centres close and waste service collections changed during Coronavirus

The Highland Council’s Waste and Recycling team are reminding the public that all Council run Recycling Centres are currently closed and garden waste and the bulky uplift services have been suspended until further notice.

Householders are being asked not to put out their brown bins as they will not be emptied.

Every effort is being made to continue the regular domestic weekly waste and recycling collections, however the Council is highlighting extra measures anyone self-isolating should take.

Anyone self-isolating due to displaying symptoms of coronavirus is asked to ensure that all waste items that have been in contact with the individual, such as tissues and cloths, are disposed of securely within disposal bags. When full these bags should be placed in a second bag and tied and then stored for 72 hours before being put out for collection.

Carron McDiarmid, Executive Chief Officer for Communities and Place said: “Currently our rubbish and recycling collections are operating as normal, however, due to staff shortages, in the future we may need to suspend some services at short notice due to staff shortages. In the meantime people should put out their bins for collection as normal for 7am on their scheduled day but if the bins are not emptied by 5pm please take them off the street and put them out again on the next scheduled collection day.”

She added: “The message we want to get across is for people to check our website regularly as the situation is changing rapidly.”

Regular updates on the rubbish and recycling services will be provided on the Council’s website and social media channels. There is also a link to specific information and guidance for customers - https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1054/rubbish_and_recycling/905/rubbish_and_recycling_guidance_-_coronavirus_covid-19


Any queries about waste and recycling services should be sent to recycle@highalnd.gov.uk or people should telephone 01349 886603


Friday 27th March 2020


BEAR Scotland | North West Unit


We are currently working in difficult and unprecedented times.  The safety of our employees and supply chain is always of paramount importance and we’re closely following Government advice in relation to our staff and our business.  This is changing on a daily basis, and we’re doing our utmost to adhere to any new advice as it emerges.


We have therefore taken the decision to suspend operations, and are making safe various worksites this week following which only essential services such as our Incident Control Room, winter maintenance, emergency response and essential road safety operations will continue. 


As noted, we are currently working to ensure that any ongoing non-essential road maintenance projects are paused and left in a manner which is safe for public use.  Any work which was scheduled to begin in the coming weeks will be reprogrammed, and stakeholders will be kept informed of any new dates. 


BEAR provides an essential service ensuring the trunk road network across the north of Scotland along with the A92 Dundee to Arbroath and the  M80 Stepps to Haggs are fit for the purpose of national resilience including delivery of food and medical supplies, as well as ensuring vital access for the use of the emergency services and critical workers.


We are working to support the Ministerial call for efforts to be focused on delivering critical services to safeguard our road network, helping to ensure that Scotland’s emergency services can still reach those most in need during this difficult time.

Visit us @ www.bearscot.com


Thursday 26th March 2020

A82 – Kerrowdown to Temple Pier – Update


Following our previous correspondence on 27th February 2020 regarding the night-time works at A82 Drumnadrochit to Temple Pier, an additional night of works will be carried out this week on Friday 27th March between 20:00 and 06:00. We have worked with Transport Scotland to ensure the current section of carriageway resurfacing works at A82 Drumnadrochit to Temple Pier is closed and completed this week to ensure the continued reliability of the Trunk Road network for freight delivery and emergency services. This additional night is required to ensure that the area can be made safe prior to a temporary suspension of the works.


No date has currently been set for the works to continue; however, we will issue an update when this has been confirmed. Whilst the resurfacing works have been suspended, we will continue to carry out emergency repairs as and when required.


Should you have any comments or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at NWConsultation@bearscotland.co.uk.


Kind regards,


BEAR Scotland | North West Unit


Thursday 26th March 2020

Highland Council Helpline


The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The number will be live from 2pm today (Wednesday 25 March) 

The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free. 

Callers will be able to get advice on benefits and personal support, education and social care and there will also be advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance as well as gathering offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. 

The service is operated by council staff and Eden Court volunteers who will be home based. Staffing levels will be kept under review to respond to the demand. 

Chief Executive Donna Manson said: “I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work for getting this helpline up and running in such a short time. As well as Highland Council employees volunteering we are also very grateful for the assistance of Eden Court staff. The Helpline is now in place to help those most in need of assistance, so we are requesting that anyone who can continue to use our on-line forms and resources do so as much as possible.” 

To make a payment visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/pay

To report a problem visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/report

To request a service visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/request

 The new helpline is just one of several proactive actions the council is taking.  Work to set up a number of Humanitarian Assistance Centres across the Highlands is underway and details are expected to be published in the next 24 hours. 

The Council is continuing to co-ordinate all offers of community group support, while the Highland’s 3rd Sector is co-ordinating individual offers of support.  There will be close joint working to maximise the valuable offers of support from community groups and individuals.