Islay is a remote island of the West coast of Scotland with a population of 3500 people. The Covid-19 virus has hit island life hard with local businesses small and large having to close. The vulnerable and elderly are following Government guidelines meaning they are isolated in their homes . But, Islay is a strong community and we have over 80 volunteers that are helping to keep people’s physical and mental health strong by telephone befriending, collecting shopping, medicines and being a point of contact. Our newly formed resilience group coordinates the volunteers across the island reaching even the most remotest crofts and houses.
We need a fund to:
Put fuel into the community bus, cover volunteer expenses, supply hand gel and gloves to our volunteers and eventually all households, and to cover admin and printing expenses. As the effects of the lock down persist, then we would like to provide people with a welfare box of essential items including food, kindling and toiletries.
Islay doesn't have access to mainland services so this fund is vital for us to get through the next few months.
We visualise these funds being used in the immediate future for equipment to help the volunteers help the isolated but in the future weeks, we will need the fund to sustain the service and add a possible soup kitchen to enable the isolated to have two hot meals a day.
The community of Islay, as we always do, has shown an excellent community spirit and will continue to pull together to ensure their neighbours who are isolated have everything they need to survive through this pandemic. Islay is resilient and will endeavour to push the barriers to make sure we will be open again for business as usual as soon as we can. This financial support will enable the immediate support of equipment, volunteers costs to be cover, offering hot meals to people at this hard time.
You will be able to measure this through the huge smile and massive ‘socially distanced’ hug which comes through, helping a neighbour, friend or family member who is isolating and cant access their normal routine due to the pandemic. The number of volunteers is increasing every day, people as they have become unable to work have shown great support to help people who cannot leave their house. We will be forever in debt to the massive amount of generosity of time and supplies (physical and financially) from people and businesses. We hope we can open our doors to you all again very soon! Thank you in advance.
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- Wendy Epperson
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