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Coronavirus / Community councils receive government grants in support of Covid-19 response

YELL Community Council is one of 15 local organisations that are to receive just over £180,000 in grant funding as part of the Scottish Government’s response to address the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Administered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise the money comes from the £40 million supporting communities fund.

Described as an ‘anchor organisation’, Yell Community Council is to receive £20,000 to help co-ordinate its volunteer efforts to support the island’s 950 residents.

Care packages have been distributed to residents in north Yell. Photo: North Yell Development Council

With a higher than average number of vulnerable and older people, the community has been quick to leap into action to ensure that anyone in self-isolation, who needs to be shielded or in need has access to food, heating and medication.

The island has created a COVID-19 Response Group with volunteers from local education, care services, development organisations and the Red Cross.

Community council vice chair, Annette Jamieson, said: “Yell is a very community minded place and being a small island we are used to supporting each other.

“People are pulling together to ensure our community is looked after. We’re finding innovative ways of keeping connected, staying resilient and reaching out to those who may need a bit of extra help in current times.”

Jamieson said committed volunteers from all walks of island life were delivering a wide range of lifeline services, including medical deliveries.

North Yell Development Company has used some of their wind farm income to distribute stay safe packs and food vouchers to households within their membership area.

Communities and local government cabinet secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This funding will be a valuable lifeline to continue the range of innovative support available for people in our communities, and we are working fast to get that support to where it is needed most.”

The other 14 local organisations benefitting from the funding allocations are:

  • Burra and Trondra Community Council; £5,000
  • Delting Community Council; £4,700
  • Fair Isles Development Company; £8,200
  • Foula Airstrip Trust; £10,000
  • Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh Community Council; £12,130
  • Lerwick Community Council; £24,950
  • Northmavine Community Development Company; £14,070
  • Sandness and Walls Community Council; £5,500
  • Sandsting and Aithsting Community Council; £10,000
  • Skerries Community Council; 8,640
  • Tingwall, Whiteness & Weisdale Community Council; £9,500
  • Unst Partnership; £4,800
  • Voluntary Action Shetland; £24,750
  • Whalsay Community Council; £20,000.