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Cabinet Secretary hears how Govan is tackling health crisis

Group tells how £200,000 from Scottish Government is set to make “a big difference”.

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Govan has put its people first as it tackles the coronavirus health emergency, the Scottish Government was told yesterday.

Housing associations and community groups are working “flat out” to ensure isolated and vulnerable members of the community receive a helping hand like never before.

And a newly set up group, tasked with co-ordinating the community-wide effort, has said a £200,000 grant from the Scottish Government was a huge boost in extending the reach of its work.

News of the work being done in Govan was delivered to Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell MSP as she learned first-hand how the Scottish Government’s money will help.

Three local housing associations in Govan, a Glasgow City Council-led regeneration organisation and local councillors came together to successfully apply for the funding.

Irene Campbell, Chief Executive of Linthouse Housing Association, and Councillor Richard Bell explained what was happening locally in a conference call with the Cabinet Secretary. They were joined by Linthouse tenant May Pollock, making her first-ever conference call at the age of 93.

Also participating in the call were other community groups –  the Galson Estate Trust on the Isle of Lewis which is a community-owned estate of 56,000 acres of coast, agricultural land and moor, along with Cranhill Development Trust in North East Glasgow which is a vital community hub for local people.

The Covid-19 Temporary Emergency Funding Group is made up of Linthouse, Govan Housing Association, Elderpark Housing and Govan Thriving Place along with four elected representatives from the Govan ward on Glasgow City Council.

A number of organisations around Scotland are benefiting from the Scottish Government cash – announced in the Scottish parliament by Ms Campbell on 19 March 19 – and the Govan group will distribute it locally. It has now invited applications from community organisations which can put the money to work.

Since the health emergency began, the housing associations, supported by an army of volunteers from various community groups, have been preparing and delivering hot meals, collecting shopping, running errands and collecting prescriptions.

It has proven particularly valuable to older residents and those being shielded during the lockdown.

The money will enhance this work, allowing the groups to do more to reach out to vulnerable members of the community. The funding will also be used to support people in the community, in terms of training and employment, once the area emerges from the effects of the virus.

Irene Campbell, Chief Executive of Linthouse Housing Association, said: “This was an invaluable opportunity to tell the Communities Secretary just what a difference the Scottish Government money will mean to our community. The lives of many people have been turned upside down by the impact of coronavirus. It is often the case that, in times of crisis, local people look to their housing association for leadership and help. With our partners in this new group, we are already offering that essential helping hand.”

Councillor Richard Bell of Govan Thriving Place said: “Yesterday was a great opportunity to thank the Cabinet Secretary for this extra money for Govan, but also to let her understand what a difference it will make to many of the most vulnerable members of our community during these unprecedented times.”





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