Responding to Covid-19 in Glenrothes
April 23, 2020
Communities Channel Scotland is sharing the impressive work of community groups across Scotland responding to the COVID-19 crisis by supporting the most vulnerable people in their communities. This case study details the immense effort put in by Collydean Community Centre, a community-led hub in Glenrothes Fife.
As soon as the Covid-19 lockdown was announced, Glenrothes-based community organisation, Collydean Community Centre began to repurpose the centre as a community hub for a Covid-19 response. Since then, the Centre has transformed into a flexible emergency response service ensuring vulnerable households are supported through the crisis.
The Centre of local efforts
The Community Café has become a mini contact centre with three staff working out of there. The sports hall is now a temporary food-house storing ambient and fresh food. The Centre is distributing food parcels to those struggling, including the increased number of people made redundant. They are picking up prescriptions and delivering them. Volunteers get shopping for isolated people and also act as community buddies through a telephone befriending service.
Collydean has high levels of poverty, including child poverty, and the group’s work is making a huge difference to already vulnerable groups. The buddying system has been vital for people who are experiencing increased anxiety about the extended lockdown. The Growing Together Project, a key new initiative encouraging families to work with their children to grow vegetables, is benefitting people in terms of nutrition and saving money - skills that will hopefully continue to benefit families after the crisis.
Rising to the challenge
The Centre is continuing their partnership work with Fife women’s aid, who are getting a lot more referrals due to a spike in domestic violence. Many of the organisation’s other activities have had to be put on hold during the lockdown, resulting in a drop in income. Furthermore, the Centre was in the middle of an intensive programme of capital work which has been knocked back.
As a result, Collydean Community Centre now has reduced financial reserves. This is challenging, although the organisation has received funding from a range of sources including Foundation Scotland, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Scottish Government and from local donations which has helped to resource the coronavirus-related support.
“There will be a lasting legacy in terms of the impact on the community. An example is children living in chaotic households who normally only feel safe at school and are now in unsafe circumstances 24 hours. At the same time, we hope that much of the positive community aspects continue, such as volunteers giving up time. We also hope that the efforts of people volunteering should be recognised. Often, it is people who have been unemployed even before the pandemic began who are volunteering.”
(Rose Duncan, Centre Manager, Collydean Community Centre)