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Communities Together is a strategic response for the Bellshill, Mossend and Holytown and Thorniewood Areas that launched on – Monday 27th April 2020 – and is an umbrella group that pulls together the community response to Coronavirus.

Communities Together have been delivering Food Parcels to vulnerable people who may be shielding, who may be struggling on universal Credit or who may be having a difficult time financially. In addition, they have been Shopping for vulnerable people who can’t get out of the house and delivering prescriptions too.

Their unique holistic support means that those who access their services are followed up by a dedicated team who will talk to service users about what additional support can be put in place from referrals to Financial Inclusion to Befriending for a chat to tackle loneliness and much more. Their ambition is to tackle the immediate need whilst addressing long term issues during this challenging time.

Figures released show that the two week period from 1st May resulted in 440 tasks being generated, with 268 of these being Food Parcels to households meaning an average of 134 parcels a week benefitting 520 vulnerable people in that time.

Commenting, Chair of Communities Together, Bellshill Councillor, Jordan Linden said:

“COVID—19 is the biggest challenge we and our communities have faced in our lifetimes but the issues of Food and Fuel Poverty have not gone away. These issues are being compounded during our battle with Coronavirus.

Communities Together was created to tackle those issues and support vulnerable local people. The figures that we have seen – and they aren’t just figures but real people, with real stories and real troubles – are truly eye opening.

The support which our Organisation and our Team of dedicated local volunteers are providing is crucial to our ability to continue to help local people at this time. I want to take the opportunity to thank the whole host of community partners, businesses and local people who have supported us to get the help we need to get out there to local people.

If anyone needs any help, please call  01698 74 74 83 between 8AM and 6PM or email – seven days a week. Together we will get through these challenging times”

Vice Chair, Claire McElroy, Health Improvement Senior for NHS Lanarkshire added:

“Coronavirus may have brought much trepidation amongst our communities – but – it has also crucially seen volunteers and organisations of all manner and description coming together to work in partnership to provide vital support for our communities during this most challenging time.

Working together, we are trying to ensure that no one is left behind and to provide further wrap around services to support individuals and families further than just providing food. By addressing the issues beyond the immediate need to deliver sustainable outcomes.

Already, we have been able to support so many people and we will continue to do so into the future with the support of our volunteer team at Communities Together and our partners.

I would like to once again thank everyone who has supported our project thus far and appeal for anyone who wants to support us, to get in contact.”