Lerwick Community Council (LCC) has secured significant grant funding of almost £25,000 aimed at supporting the town community during the Covid-19 crisis.
The money has been made available from the Scottish government’s Supporting Communities Fund via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Funds are being distributed across the north of Scotland to so-called “anchor” organisations which play a significant role in providing services within communities.
The community council liaised with Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) to assess community needs and help co-ordinate its approach for funding before sending in the application.
Ideas for support proposed by LCC included providing digital tablets to help those who may be vulnerable or isolated stay connected.
Other ideas of support are being explored for other third-sector organisations to help meet unanticipated costs as organisations battle against the affect in the community of coronavirus.
It is also planned to provide some non-digital solutions to support health and wellbeing. That could include the distribution of books, games and puzzles to households
LCC chairman Jim Anderson said the LCC had also set aside some of the grant to help with
expenses incurred by volunteers to ensure they are not out of pocket and unable to carry on helping out during “what might be a prolonged crisis”.
At the online meeting of the Community Council on Monday evening, members debated how the grant would be administered to ensure it reached those people in need as soon as possible.
An order for 4G enabled tablets has already been sent and it is hoped that some practical help might be in place within a couple of weeks.
Lerwick Community Council has approached a number of local organisations and charities to see how what projects the grant can be used to support, but if anyone in the community has any ideas they are being encouraged to bring those forward.
LCC and VAS have worked together on a leaflet that will be going out to all households to let them know where they can get help during the crisis.