Islanders encouraged to volunteer in communities during virus crisis

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan. NO F20 Alasdair Allan MSP

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Islanders are being encouraged to volunteer in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic by SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan.

A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign has been launched to encourage people to volunteer. While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical or emotional help to those most in need.

Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options which are outlined on the Ready Scotland website:

• returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland

• people wishing to offer their support to public services, including the NHS and local authorities, will be directed to a site co-ordinated by the British Red Cross

• those looking for opportunities with other charities or community groups in their area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland for information

Mr Allan said: ‘The weeks and months ahead are going to be difficult, but I have been heartened by the number of people across the islands who are looking to make a difference in their communities.

‘While not everyone will be able to volunteer, this new Scottish Government campaign will help people make a real difference.

‘The Scottish Government is working closely with local government and partners to co-ordinate the volunteering effort across Scotland.

‘Through the website, people can be connected to where their contribution is most needed in their community. For some, that may involve roles responding to specific needs in health and social care. For others, it may be we draw on their skills, enthusiasm and energy in the weeks and months to come.

‘It is important to remember the most helpful thing many of us can continue to do to help the NHS is to stay at home and follow all COVID-19 guidance.’