Lochcarron Area Covid19 Community Support Fund. News Overview from May.

Lochcarron Area Covid19 Community Support Fund.
( This appeared first in An Carranach, the local news magazine, June edition )

By now most of you will be aware that Lochcarron Community Development Company has received funding to help and assist people residing in the Lochcarron and Kishorn area through the Covid19 pandemic. Each community has their own way of working and the level of funding differs in each area, in our case assistance came via The Supporting Communities Fund which is administered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and from the North Highland Initiative, TRADEBE and The Highland Council. The programme is managed by Lochcarron Community Development Company and covers a range of projects, aimed at assisting the community through the Covid19 crisis.

Covid19 affects every single person on the planet to varying degrees. In our area, we focussed our support package on those who are self-isolating, the more vulnerable, people with young families and those whose income has been reduced due to the pandemic. In order to best understand the level of need and the value of matching support required, we engaged conversation with a number of local businesses, members of the community, other local organisations, The Howard Doris Centre, The Ferguson  Medical Practice, Highlands and Islands Enterprise  and other Development Officer supported organisations known to be submitting applications to the SCF.

The newly formed volunteering group, the Community Support Network responded quickly to the pandemic and set up a network of volunteers to support their Green/Red Flag initiative, an alert system put in place to assist anyone in need of medical assistance or help. Other volunteers took to their sewing machines to make face masks which are available to anyone and can be picked up from The Bistro or by contacting Lochcarron Community Development Company.

Given the unusual circumstances created by the virus, coupled with a variety of unknown outcomes, it is very difficult to plan ahead. The funding awarded to us has made a massive difference to so many people, volunteers have been able to deal with a variety of issues at a local level and as the lockdown continues, we are aware that the number of people requiring support will increase.

The area covers that shown in this map.

What’s the funding for?

The overall package includes the setting up and delivery of the following outputs;

  1. Essential services provision including food deliveries.
  2. Resources for growing your own food – Plant and seed exchange located at the Rockvilla Hotel Car park.
  3. Volunteer Co-ordinator service established and operated, Elaine Porritt and Vicky Stonebridge jointly filling the role.
  4. Households have access to basic food provisions.
  5. Signposting service and chatline to direct you to the help you need.
  6. Assistance with equipment for home schooling.
  7. Expenses for homeworker volunteers making PPE.
  8. Hand sanitiser and gloves made available for key workers.
  9. Small discretionary budget to help ease the burdens imposed by Covid19.

Delivering the project was quite an undertaking and we owe our thanks to the team of hardworking inspirational, volunteer food packers, mask makers, local food providers, delivery drivers, the Community Network Group volunteers, Ryan and Lauren (The Rockvilla Hotel) and Marek Dziezok. The contents of the food boxes delivered were locally sourced and we owe a massive THANK YOU to Emma, Hector and the Team  (Lochcarron Food Store), to Chrissie and Duncan (Lochcarron Garage), Shaun and Hazel (Lochcarron Bistro) and to Pnut and Lisa (The Albatross) for their hard work.

At the time of writing, funding continues to be available, please get in touch with us if you need assistance, we are here to help.
E.Mail; covid19lcdc@gmail.com
Phone; 01520 722987
Mobile; 0749837343

News & info is being updated on facebook; www.facebook.com/lochcarroncommunity
and new website lochcarroncovid19.com

Again a huge thankyou to all the volunteers who have made all this possible




Looking ahead to a community event after Lockdown.

It’s never too early to start planning fun things! We are looking forwards to some time in the future when we can all get together again and re-socialise, so we are starting to think about the different options for whatever time of year this may be. Let us know what you think, and if you’d like to be involved.

plans for a phased Lockdown exit in Scotland

Today 21/05/2020 Scot. Gov. published and announced their route map for ending lock down which consists of 4 phases.

“However my hope is that we will enter the first phase a week today, on Thursday 28th May.

” Here’s what you need to know: 

Phase 1

The first phase will enable meeting up with members of another household outdoors, with physical distancing measures in place, as well as the re-opening of garden centres, drive-through food outlets, and household recycling sites.

It will also allow more outdoor activity – such as sitting in parks – and outdoor sports such as fishing, hiking and golf. Travelling short distances (broadly within 5 miles) for outdoor leisure and exercise will also be permitted in Phase 1.

School staff will begin returning to schools to make necessary preparations and adjustments for the new school year beginning from August 11, and where possible, transition support will be available to pupils starting P1 and S1. An increased number of children will be able to access critical childcare, with the resumption of child-minding services and outdoor nursery provision.

What’s more, Phase 1 will see safe restarting of some NHS services – covering primary services including mental health, a resumption of some GP services coupled with an increase in digital consultations, as well as a gradual restarting of urgent elective treatments.”

The route map details are here.

New parliamentary bills have also been passed to help ease the financial burden on businesses.

A statement from the highland Council about their plans to ease lockdown.

Highland council plans to start re-opening waste recycling centers;




The self employment Income support scheme opens now.

The self employment Income support scheme opens now. This is the payment for self employed people and will be a lifeline for those not eligible for any of the other financial packages.
They take your monthly average based on the last 3 years accounts, then give you 80% of that x3. So if you earn £100 a month you would get £80×3 = £240.
It doesn’t take into account businesses who have a lower average due to seasonal trading, or claim lots of expenses to pay little tax. But hopefully it will cover some of the recent losses.
You will need your unique tax payers reference number ( UTR) and National insurance number ( you can find these on your tax return ) . You will also need to have signed on and created an account.
They will give you a date within the next 5 days and you will be eligible to apply.


Here is a link to some step by step guidance on how to do this;

A guide to submitting Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) claim

News update, 9th May 2020. What have we been up to?

What have we been up to?
Food Vouchers and food boxes.
We are working our way around the community, delivering fruit baskets, food boxes and food vouchers (redeemable locally) to  those self isolating, the more vulnerable of us, volunteers, and those whose primary income has been reduced due to Covid 19, we aim to have the area fully covered by the middle of next week. Please bare in mind, without knowing the circumstances of each individual household we have only local knowledge to guide us and we may get in wrong. If you are in receipt of a food box delivery with items you do not require, please gift them to the Food Banks in Lochcarron Food Centre and Lochcarron Garage.Please get in touch if you wish to make use of the service, don’t be shy, it’s there to be used. You can get in touch and request further assistance by either telephoning Kristine on  01520 722987, or by email on covid19lcdc@gmail.com.

Volunteer expenses.
Community Volunteers assisting with Covid19 related tasks, such as deliveries and mask making, please get in touch, you are eligible to claim expenses.

Grow your own project
Further supplies of peat free compost have arrived – We’re allocating 2 x 25kg bags per household – get in touch via covid19lcdc@gmail.com.
Lauren and Ryan at the Rockvilla have kindly offered to “host” a plant exchange in their car park and we hope to have this up and running in the next couple of weeks (weather permitting) . We will be in touch with details then, in the meantime look out any spare plants, seeds, or pots you may have.

Covid19 Co-ordinator post
Elaine Porritt and Vicky Stonebridge  have kindly stepped up to the mark, Vicky has been busy updating developments through social media and took time to design our Covid19 leaflet. Elaine has been busy delivering food packages to over 320 homes, this has provided her with a good basic understanding of where the need lies and how that information, together with input from the Community Network, can help form our Covid19 chat line service which will be launched as soon as the bulk of food deliveries have been made.Thanks to everyone for pulling together and helping this to happen.
Keep in touch with us covid19lcdc@gmail.com.