Greyfriars Parish Church, Lanark, working on behalf of Lanarkhelps have been awarded £25,538 from the Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund and £5,000 from the South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund.
The funding will allow six projects to be launched to provide direct support to those living in Lanark and the surrounding villages.
• Dementia Support: Working with DAGS (Dementia Alzheimer Group Support Lanark) and Memory Lane Café in Christ Church, the project will provide a library of professionally produced activities (Games, reminiscence cards, puzzles) that will be loaned to families for a week, delivered by a Lanarkhelps volunteer.
• Healthy Minds: The project will provide a library of jigsaws that will be loaned to people in the community, particularly the elderly and others who do not have access to online methods of purchasing to alleviate boredom. This project will also purchase mindfulness colouring books and pencils to gift to individuals seeking stimulation and are at risk of developing, or have, poor mental health.
• Growing Hope: Lanarkhelps will provide an activity for families to work as part of a community to grow hope and colour in a dark situation with around 2,500 plants being potted by individuals in their homes. Plant pots, bags of compost and seeds will be placed outside key public venues and shops allowing people to collect as they pass on their daily exercise.
• Family Activity & Support: A monthly activity pack (4 in 12-weeks) will be collated and distributed to 100 children who otherwise would have little opportunity to engage in creative work due to their family situation. These packs will be made up and distributed by members of staff and volunteers from Healthy Valleys. The staff members will also be engaging in regular telephone support calls to the affected families to ensure that children are safe, well looked after and, where necessary, provide support and signposting to other organisations.
• Community Check In: The project will employ staff to make phone calls to identified residents within the community who are on their own, isolated, vulnerable or suffering from poor mental health to ensure that they are well, looking after themselves, and provide a listening ear.
• Suicide Prevention: Working with Hear for You, Lanarkhelps will provide extra capacity for counsellors to work with individuals on the phone and in person, providing counselling and care to those considering taking their own life. As people emerge from lockdown when mortgage holidays, furlough and employment issues surface the project seeks to provide good quality support available. This funding will allow 10 at risk individuals to each receive 10 hours of counselling.
These new Lanarkhelps projects will be established in addition to the community support telephone line already in operation providing support for anyone in Lanark and the surrounding villages, with a team of volunteers providing a listening ear as well as free, practical support with tasks such as prescription collections and delivery, shopping and energy meter top-ups. Anyone who needs the free services of the support line should call 01555 437051 Monday – Friday 9am to 4:45pm, or Saturday 9am – 12noon
To register for the Healthy Minds or Dementia Support Projects individuals can call the Lanarkhelps support line on 01555 437051 and ask the volunteer to register them or visit www.lanarkhelps.org.uk and complete our simple online form. Individuals can register themselves or a family member, friend or neighbour with their permission.
Lanarkhelps is an initiative of local voluntary organisations including CCI Scotland, Lanark Churches, Healthy Valleys, Lanark Community Development Trust and the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council to provide practical support as part of the community response to COVID-19. Project support and governance is overseen by Greyfriars Parish Church, Lanark, a charity registered in Scotland, SC016504. Lanarkhelps has received external funding or in-kind support from Faith in Community Scotland, the William Grant Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, Tesco Bags of Help, Voipfone, Lanark Rotary Club, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lanark, Scottish Government Wellbeing Fund, South Lanarkshire Council Renewable Energy Fund (Community Benefit Fund).