Sport and physical activity during coronavirus crisis

Like most areas of life, the response to the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in organised sport at all levels largely having been shut down, along with leisure centres and gyms, drastically reducing opportunities to participate in local clubs and community sports activities.

However, there is still much to be done to keep clubs going during the shutdown, as well as encouraging people to take regular physical activity during the crisis.

Staff at sportscotland, the national agency for sport in Scotland, are continuing to support partners across the network of sport and physical activity organisations in Scotland.

Sportscotland is using its website, twitter and facebook to provide the latest information to its partners.

Read a joint message from Stewart Harris, sportscotland Chief Executive and Andy Sinclair, the Head of Active Scotland, here.

Find out more about the impact on sport, including support available for clubs and community organisations, at https://sportscotland.org.uk/covid-19/

Coronavirus energy supply update

Following reports suggesting there are concerns about power outages as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the energy industry body Energy Networks Association, has reassured customers the network is operating exactly as it should.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:

“We have one of the most reliable electricity networks in the world, supported by stringent contingency plans and a workforce of 36,000 people. We’re keeping your energy flowing during the coronavirus pandemic and the network is operating exactly as it should.”

More information about how the industry is maintaining the energy supply during the coronavirus crisis can be found at https://news.energynetworks.org/coronavirus/keeping-energy-flowing

Support for Scotland’s creative sector during coronavirus epidemic

The Chief Executive of Creative Scotland has issued an open letter on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) to those working in Scotland’s creative industries:

A message from our Chief Executive

I can fully appreciate the increasing anxiety and uncertainty the spread of Covid-19 creates for all of us, as individuals, for our families and friends, as well as in relation to the work we do.

These are extremely challenging times and I recognise the serious personal and professional impacts for artists, practitioners and organisations arising from Covid-19 as it spreads.

The situation has escalated with such speed and severity that it is impacting profoundly on the creative sector and the work you do with communities across Scotland. Here at Creative Scotland, our primary focus is to keep funding flowing to sustain individuals and organisations, not only through the immediate short-term impacts, but with an eye to the medium to long term recovery required.

Currently, we are ensuring that our resources are directed in the most effective ways possible. This is to support people and organisations over the coming weeks and months, and we are committed to keeping information flowing to you as often as possible.

We are in extraordinary circumstances, and it’s important that we work together to manage our way through the challenges. In this newsletter, you will find more information about some of the specific measures we are introducing.

We will work tirelessly to do everything we can, and with others, to safeguard the sector’s future. I look forward to the time when we all emerge from this crisis into what will undoubtedly be a different world but one in which culture and creativity are once again at the heart of the life of the nation.

Please look after yourselves, each other, and your loved ones.

Best wishes,

Iain Munro
Chief Executive

Find out more about the support, including funding, Creative Scotland is providing for the creative sector during the COVID-19 crisis at www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus advice service for Scotland launched

A new national service providing free advice on coronavirus for every individual in Scotland has been launched.

The coronavirusadvice.scot service offers practical advice and information on issues including employment, housing and personal finance, as well as cancellations and consumer rights.

The multi-channel service includes a free national phone number, live web chat, email and social media, as well as an online ‘knowledge centre’.

It is run by the charity Advice Direct Scotland, which operates Scotland’s advice services, advice.scot and consumeradvice.scot.

The service has been created using cloud technology so that all advisers are working from home and able to use the organisation’s software to answer calls from the public and provide up-to-date information.

The service will be updated regularly, and will be in place for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

It can be contacted on 0808 800 9060 between 9am and 5pm on Mondays to Friday, and via live webchat or email at www.coronavirusadvice.scot.

Dealing with debt and money worries caused by the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is putting a huge financial strain on many thousands of households across Scotland.

Whether it’s because you’ve lost some or all of your income, or your household bills have increased, it’s important to know what you can do to help with your debt and money worries.

Money Advice Scotland is one of many voluntary organisations providing expert advice and information for people who are suffering financially due to coronavirus.

The charity’s website contains advice on a range of household financial issues including rent and mortgages, household bills and utilities, credit and debt, benefits and employment.

Find out more at www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk/coronavirus-dealing-with-debt-and-money-worries

Guidance and advice for the tourism industry

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent response has had a serious impact on Scotland’s tourism industry, including many of East Lothian’s tourist attractions and tourism-related businesses.

VisitScotland has established a dedicated coronavirus webpage providing the latest guidance, advice and information on the crisis and the response of government and industry partners for those involved in the tourism industry.

Visit www.visitscotland.org/supporting-your-business/advice/coronavirus for further details.

Coronavirus housing advice and information

A number of constituents have been in touch regarding a range of housing-related aspects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, including advice for tenants and landlords.

Shelter Scotland has a dedicated coronavirus and housing information page on its website https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/scottish_housing_advice_coronavirus_COVID_19 providing advice and information on your rights and the latest legislation.

While Shelter’s face to face advice services are closed until further notice, the charity can still be contacted for advice via its webchat or on its free national emergency helpline – 0808 800 4444 (weekdays 9am to 5pm).

National Volunteering Plan for Coronavirus

A new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign has been launched to encourage people in Scotland to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Those wanting to volunteer to support their communities have three options:
 
• returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland
 
• people wishing to offer their support to our 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.
 

Coronavirus information from Cystic Fibrosis Trust

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the implications it might have for people with conditions like cystic fibrosis are incredibly concerning.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has been working with CF professionals and government bodies to ensure its advice is accurate and most importantly applicable to the people the charity supports, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

The Trust’s website contains a wealth of information and advice for people living with cystic fibrosis and their families https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust helpline – 0300 373 1000 – offers a listening ear and information and support on all aspects of cystic fibrosis, including financial support such as benefits and the charity’s welfare grants.

Coronavirus advice from Diabetes Scotland

Diabetes Scotland is providing a range of advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the 300,000 people living with the condition in Scotland and their families.

Those with diabetes are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus, and everyone at Diabetes Scotland is working very hard to make sure they can support everyone who needs help and advice.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a fast changing situation, but Diabetes Scotland is making sure the most up-to-date information on its impact to people with diabetes is available. The charity will also be offering other information about staying well, keeping active, and looking after emotional wellbeing.

Find all the latest information and guidance at www.diabetes.org.uk/coronavirus

People living with diabetes can also join the charity’s Diabetes UK Online Forum. This gives people affected by diabetes the chance to chat to others about how they’re feeling and discuss issues that are important to them. Join the discussion at www.diabetes.org.uk/forum

The Diabetes Scotland team can also be reached via email scotland@diabetes.org.uk, Twitter @DiabetesScot and Facebook www.facebook.com/DiabetesScot.