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11 April 2020Community response service set up in Lochalsh - Press release 9th April

Lochalsh now has a community response service, similar to the one launched from Portree on Skye recently. People can now call 01599 534505 if they require help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, walking dogs or other errands because of the coronavirus crisis. Lochalsh Community Response includes many organisations, groups and community councils in the area and builds upon the work already undertaken by the Lochalsh Collaboration project which was underway prior to the coronavirus and was gearing up for a Lochalsh-wide community consultation. The collaboration, that was initially set up by Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust, has agreed to launch a Lochalsh helpline, leaflet, website and Facebook page as a response to the coronavirus outbreak. Jo Wawrzyczek (pictured), development officer at KLCT, said: “The support and willingness to work together has been phenomenal. In the last week alone, we had 21 individuals joining our video conference to represent local groups, organisations, initiatives and the Highland Council to discuss the needs in Lochalsh and agree priorities. “Everyone is really motivated and

ready to help. We also had fantastic support from Portree and Braes Community Trust which has already set up a helpline for Skye and Raasay. Hugh Campbell’s offer to prepare a leaflet, website and Facebook page free of charge has also been warmly received and greatly appreciated. “Local communities have quickly responded to the rapidly arising needs within their individual villages and are doing fantastic work on the ground. The collaboration wants to be able to support these local initiatives while at the same time make sure that no households have been missed and that there is a structure in place to make sure there are always volunteers in reserve to take over if necessary. People are kindly asked to come forward to volunteer and support this crucial community initiative.” Current opportunities include answering telephone calls from vulnerable people, helping with shopping, deliveries, walking dogs and managing the social media. For more information or to apply please contact 01599 534505 or email info@lochalshcommunityresponse.co.uk Alternatively, the new website also has a volunteer form that can be filled in. The collaboration is also very pleased to announce that former Crofting

Commission convener Susan Walker has joined KLCT as the new community development officer to support the work of Lochalsh Collaboration. Susan’s post is funded by Scottish Government’s

Investing in Communities fund. She can be contacted on communitydevelopment@lochalsh.uk More information can be found on lochalshcommunityresponse.co.uk as

well as a new Facebook page –Lochalsh Community Response. The Royal Mail will be delivering leaflets to all households in Lochalsh next week.

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