Please find below various pieces of information we have received today that we thought may be useful to share:
1. The Highland Council have asked us to keep a register, as we normally would, of children who would not be able to attend school should it be open. As we are unable to take the normal calls at the school, could you please e-mail the school on Balloch.firstname.lastname@example.org. This is only required for reasons other than not attending school due to the shutdown.
2. Unfortunately, some people have taken advantage of the present situation. Scammers have been telephoning parents and asking for bank details to allegedly confirm their identity to arrange delivery of free school meals. Please DO NOT give out your bank details to anyone. It’s deplorable that people are taking advantage at this time.
3. The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The number will be live from 2pm today (Wednesday 25 March) The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free. Callers will be able to get advice on benefits and personal support, education and social care and there will also be advice for businesses who may need help with financial support. Helpline staff will also be signposting callers to other organisations that can provide help and assistance as well as gathering offers from individuals or community groups wishing to volunteer. The service is operated by council staff and Eden Court volunteers who will be home based. Staffing levels will be kept under review to respond to the demand.
Chief Executive Donna Manson said: “I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work for getting this helpline up and running in such a short time. As well as Highland Council employees volunteering we are also very grateful for the assistance of Eden Court staff. The Helpline is now in place to help those most in need of assistance, so we are requesting that anyone who can continue to use our on-line forms and resources do so as much as possible.”
- To make a payment visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/pay
- To report a problem visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/report
- To request a service visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/request
The new helpline is just one of several proactive actions the council is taking. Work to set up a number of Humanitarian Assistance Centres across the Highlands is underway and details are expected to be published in the next 24 hours.
The Council is continuing to co-ordinate all offers of community group support, while the Highland’s 3rd Sector is co-ordinating individual offers of support. There will be close joint working to maximise the valuable offers of support from community groups and individuals.