Here is my latest email update to constituents. You can receive my e-Citizen email updates by contacting me and asking to be added to my circulation list.
The latest advice on Council services is available here.
Some recent news and announcements are below.
Eric Liddell Centre invites you to lunch
The Eric Liddell Centre has been promoting health and wellbeing in the community for many years and, in the coronavirus crisis, has been helping vulnerable local people by preparing and delivering soup and sandwich lunches and providing practical advice and assistance to people living with dementia.
If you are vulnerable or would benefit from a little extra help and are interested in receiving a free lunch, please contact the Eric Liddell Centre (ELC) as soon as you can by emailing Zsofia Molnar at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address with post code and telephone number, confirming how many lunches would be helpful for you and your family. If you have any dietary requirements, please list these too. More information is available here.
To help ELC continue to provide these services, they have set up a special CoVcare fund raising campaign. You can read more about this and donate here.
Various local groups and projects are offering help and support during the pandemic. EVOC has put together a directory.
Volunteering in Edinburgh
There is a fantastic community and voluntary sector response going on all over Edinburgh. This is vitally important work that is directly taking pressure off statutory services and supporting some of the city’s most vulnerable people.
Volunteer Edinburgh has just published a short film called ‘Think Local, Act Local’ on their YouTube channel. The link is https://youtu.be/l8zvLqhfeTs
They have also been updating their website with formal opportunities to volunteer, a handy interactive food delivery map, resources on being a good neighbour safely and post cards which can be used to offer help (electronic or printed). All of these and other useful resources can be found at https://voled.in/covid
Transport Assistance for Coronavirus patients
New arrangements have been developed to help people with suspected Coronavirus symptoms attend urgent but non-emergency medical appointments. The Scottish Government and NHS Boards, with the support of Scotland’s business community, have been working to make vehicles and drivers available to Coronavirus symptomatic patients who are well enough to travel but do not have access to a car and are unable to use public transport to reach their local COVID-19 Community Hub.
Health Support and Advice
Go to NHS Inform for health information and advice. Call NHS24 (111) if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) which are not improving. Your call will be put through to the COVID-19 Community Hub if you require more specialist advice.
A free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice. This can be accessed by calling 0800 028 2816. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 10:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am – 6:00pm.
Activities to do at home for kids and adults - coronavirus advice
The Council’s Schools and Lifelong Learning Team has put together a selection of fun and free online activities to help young people and families stay mentally and physically active. You can find them here.
Business grants update
The Council’s grant handling team is currently working flat out to process a huge number of applications. It has tripled its processing capacity and is issuing more payments every day but is being distracted by applicants requesting updates.
A new package of measures has been announced by the Scottish Government. It includes £120 million to extend the Small Business Grant scheme to ensure that, in addition to a 100% grant on the first property, small business rate payers will be eligible to a 75% grant on all subsequent properties.
A further £100 million fund is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID. This fund will be channelled through local authorities and enterprise agencies to target newly self-employed people and businesses who are ineligible for other Scottish Government or UK Government schemes.
Applications for the £100 million fund should be open by the end of April, and the new arrangements for the Small Business Grant should be in place to receive applications on 5 May. Further information is available here.
Lothian Buses updates its special Covid-19 service timetables
Lothian Buses has announced an update to its critical services network from Sunday 12 April to help keep key workers across Edinburgh and the Lothians moving.
Since the introduction of the Critical Services Network on Sunday 29 March, teams across Lothian have continued to analyse customer travel patterns and customer feedback to ensure the business is meeting the needs of as many key workers and essential travellers as possible. Updated timetables are available here.
Service 5 – Hunter’s Tryst to The Jewel: Revised timetable with later evening journeys introduced.
Service 11 – Ocean Terminal to Hyvots Bank: Revised timetable on all days of the week.
Service 16 – Silverknowes to Torphin: Revised timetable on all days of the week.
Service 38 – West Granton to Royal Infirmary: Revised timetable with early morning journeys re-timed, and an additional journey introduced at the busiest time between West Granton and the Royal Infirmary.
Support and Advice
We’re now in the fourth week of lockdown and this continues to be an anxious and uncertain time but I am ready to help in whatever way I can.
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I hope you find this practical advice and information helpful.
Councillor Neil Ross
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Morningside Ward