Help is on hand if you need it

Help is on hand to reach those people most vulnerable across Argyll and Bute.

By Ruth Crosbie

Argyll and Bute Council is working hard with community groups, local organisations and volunteers to make sure those people who have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks (shielding) and have no existing support systems in place, receive essential food parcels.

If you are shielding or do not have support mechanisms in place to receive food, contact the Caring for People Coronavirus Helpline 01546 605524, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

If you know of anyone who does not have a support system in place and who requires help, please share the helpline number with them.

The Scottish Government is responsible for a national database which has details of everyone who has been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks. This enables people on the database to access national weekly food packages. In addition, the council is supplying fresh food deliveries (milk, eggs, and cheese) and sanitary products to supplement this where required.

Working with health and social care colleagues, the council has contacted people who have been asked by the Government to shield, to ensure they have access to support such as food and medicines if required.  The Council is also providing food parcels to low income families through the Scottish Government’s Food Fund. If you are struggling and need access to food, contact the Caring for People Coronavirus Helpline.

Across Argyll and Bute, 10 food hubs have been established to enable those who are entitled to free school meals to access food. Families across the area are taking up the offer of these meals, but we want to do more.

The council is therefore looking at different ways of making these meals available. Possible options include delivering school meals and food parcels directly to families; we launched a new food parcel pilot scheme in Dunoon last week, to make sure essential food items reach families.

We will keep parents and carers up-to-date with school meal arrangements as they become available.

If you are not currently taking up your entitlement to free school meals and are interested in more support to access food, please get in touch with your school or contact the Caring for People Coronavirus Helpline 01546 605524.

There will be people in the community who are not required to stay at home for a 12-week period but who may face significant challenges as a result of COVID-19 – for example, those who receive a flu jab for other health conditions, those who are pregnant, people with a disability, those who require support for mental health services or anyone over the age of 70.

We are here for you. Anyone needing help and support who has no way of meeting that need due to circumstances with COVID-19 is encouraged to contact the Caring for People Coronavirus Helpline, 01546 605524   – open 9am to 5pm, Mon-Fri. The Caring for People team can then provide the right assistance based on the request, working with organisations and volunteers in the community.

There is also an online request for help form on the council’s website.

Health advice: please call 111 if your symptoms worsen or do not improve after 7 days; for general health advice see

For more information on shielding visit

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