COVID-19 Response Plan
Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn’s updated response plan, which continues to focus on maintaining business continuity and supporting the wider community to respond to the ongoing crisis.
We will continue to closely monitor and adhere to guidance from the Scottish Government and the NHS to ensure our staff and wider community have the latest information and guidance.
We will continue to work with other organisations and businesses, supporting each other to ensure practical help is co-ordinated and delivered in adherence to the guidance provided in relation to COVID-19. We will work with and support co-ordination of village volunteers across the estate to support efforts in relation to those self-isolating.
We will continue to ensure we support organisations/businesses and community groups by telephone, email and video conferencing to find out what is available to them, to enable them to keep running safely.
We will remain committed to our vision for the community of the Galson Estate, “a thriving and well-connected community with excellent local services and amenities, harnessing its natural assets to sustain a unique cultural and social environment.”
We will send a unified response to our Scotland’s Islands team as required.
We will continue to work with any key stakeholders to find the best way forward, making best use of resources and seeking new, safe ways of supporting the community.
As an organisation we have a well-tested continuity plan and we hope this will allow us to continue in our work to manage the estate, including all crofting business, in an effective manner. We have had to take some steps and preventative measures to support staff, which include:
Homeworking for office staff, to maintain delivery of service.
Office staff are well placed to work remotely as part of our existing structure and work will continue using a collaborative online platform and video conferencing.
We will continue to hold board meetings, finance sub-group meetings etc., making use of video conferencing.
Our office base is shut to the public and staff are working from home.
No visitors are to enter the office premises.
The Habost Household Waste and Recycling Centre is shut and is not open to the public.
No one should visit the Habost Household Waste and Recycling Centre, nor dump anything at the site.
No work-related travel will be undertaken at this time.
All staff have been advised to ensure they are familiar with Government and NHS guidelines and to follow their guidance.
Staff will adhere to our flexible working arrangements to allow them to respond to the needs of the business in this unprecedented situation.
Our current response activities have been ongoing for some weeks. Many align with our strategic priorities and are as follows:
Care, Health & Wellbeing Support
Prescription Deliveries - we will continue to uplift and deliver prescriptions from both surgeries on the Estate, to assist those in need of the service. Our volunteer delivery drivers will maintain safe working practices and social distancing whilst also ensuring the prescription is received by an adult at home.
Social Connections - we will continue to monitor and administer the village ‘WhatsApp’ groups that have been put in place. These groups make it quick and easy to share information and offer local support to anyone in that area requiring it. They are well populated and remain in active use. Should any resident wish to join, please phone 01851 850 393.
House Numbering – we will take forward a house numbering initiative on the Estate to assist emergency services, care providers and delivery drivers.
Funding Support – We will administer a newly launched emergency fund, called Beagan Taic. The fund has been launched in partnership with a local church and is aimed at supporting Estate residents who find themselves in severe financial hardship. If you would like to find out more, please telephone 01851 850 393 and ask for the ‘new support fund’. We understand enquiries of this nature can be difficult, but please do not hesitate to contact us should you need assistance.
Online exercise – We will continue to deliver a weekly online exercise class. “Gentle Exercise” is suitable for all levels and abilities, every Thursday at 10am. These are accessed via Youtube and then by searching for Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn. After their live broadcast, the video is saved and can be watched at any time.
Crofting Supplies - We will continue to deliver a collection service from the crofting co-operative, Lewis Crofters. We will monitor demand and run the service during the current lockdown period. We will continue to offer the service and drop off at three points on the Estate that allow us to safely deliver items.
Land Management - We will continue to work with volunteers and advisers to effectively manage the deer population amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the current closed season. We will also undertake desk-based work to support us to put a new land management plan for the estate, supported by the John Muir Trust.
Estate Management – We will continue to manage the Estate and all crofting and land enquiries, which will be taken via email or telephone. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01851 850 393.
Business/Organisation Support - We will continue to analyse and offer advice and guidance to businesses and organisations on the estate. If you would like to discuss the support available through current schemes, please email email@example.com or call 01851 850 393.
Gaelic Language/Learning Activities - Our educational activities and services for young people continue to be delivered, albeit in new formats. We are offering Gaelic Medium Education support for pupils who are in GME but do not use Gaelic at home. We will also continue to deliver live Bookbug sessions (Gaelic or English) online every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11am. These are accessed by going to Youtube and searching for Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn. Once the video has been broadcasted live, the videos are saved and can then be accessed at any time.
Outdoor Learning – We will continue to work with John Muir Trust and continue to deliver worksheets and activities to allow for exploration of gardens and crofts. Worksheets are available on our social media channels and on the Loch Stiapabhat website https://www.lochstiapabhat.com/
Community Newsletter – We will continue to work alongside a number of willing volunteers to deliver a fortnightly community newsletter. This newsletter is available both online via email and by visiting our website, www.galsontrust.com, as well as available as a printed copy in various outlets on the Estate. If you would like to receive an electronic copy to your inbox, or have anything you’d like to contribute to the newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Investment Fund – We will keep our Community Investment Fund open at this time.
Website - We will launch a tourism website for the Galson Estate. The website has been worked on over the winter months and whilst we had hoped to launch this website in time for the 2020 summer season, regrettably, we are of course unable to welcome visitors to the Estate at this time. However, this website will not only support and promote local businesses, thus retaining future income within the area, it will also serve as a valuable resource for visitors planning to visit the area in times to come. The website is due to go live in June and we will issue information pertaining to the launch via social media and the community newsletter.
We will continue to share best practice, learn from others, and ensure the community accesses support and has access to up to date information as it become available. We have been successful in drawing down funding through the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund and the Supporting Communities fund. We are also grateful to Community Land Scotland for funding also. These monies allow us to effectively respond to the needs of the community.
If you have any queries or concerns in relation to this update, please contact:
Lisa Maclean by email: email@example.com