Aberdeen City Council has helped almost 10,500 vulnerable local people through their crisis telephone line since the pandemic started.
In addition, they have helped to deliver 1,128 food boxes and provided childcare for 502 youngsters.
These statistics were released today to showcase what the local authority has been doing to help those most in need during the lockdown.
A major effort has been carried out by the council along with some third sector organisations to ensure people could get help, food and assistance with obtaining medicines and other essential deliveries.
From March 24 to April 27, a total of 2,402 applications for a Scottish Welfare Fund Crisis Grant were approved totalling £119,205.
There has also been 10,618 telephone calls made to vulnerable or shielded people, with 3,970 individuals spoken to and 1,363 follow-up calls made to shielding residents. In addition, a total of 1,371 people asked for financial assistance and advice.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “At a time like this when coronavirus has changed our day-to-day lives significantly, it is the vulnerable within our communities who have been the most affected.
“Supporting our most vulnerable in society has been at the heart of our response and it has been fantastic to see how Aberdeen City Council staff, along with the third sector and other partners, have pulled together to ensure these people are look after and supported during these challenging times.
“This great work will continue in the weeks and months ahead as we reach out to people across the city to offer help and support where needed.”
The council set up a webpage at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/covid19 which has all the up-to-date information on it, and it has had 65,753 visitors since it was set up, and the automated response bot on the council’s website AB-1 has had 3,110 conversations with customers.
For those unable to find the right support or in an emergency situation,the council set up a free crisis line on 0800 0304 713 which also links into the national crisis line set up by the Scottish Government.
From 24 March to 27 April, there were 10,494 calls to the crisis helpline and staff assisted people to fill in 2,120 forms.
A total of 91 people have been given temporary accommodation during the lockdown, 40 of which had applied before 24 March.
The crisis support line also takes requests for people wanting help to get food and passes to one of the main third sector partners during the lockdown, Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE).
Lisa Duthie, CFINE Chief Executive, said: “The coronavirus outbreak fundamentally altered our lives not only as an individual, but also as a team, and an organisation. CFINE efficiently adapted to the changes, transforming the food bank into a contact-free emergency food delivery service for food-insecure individuals and families.
“The need for CFINE’s support services is greater than ever before. With the help of our volunteers and partners – Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust, Instant Neighbour, and 1Call Property Maintenance – CFINE delivered 8,372 emergency food parcels to people facing difficulty since 23 March.”
Aberdeen City Council has delivered a total of 1,128 food boxes to vulnerable/shielded people, those in poverty, and people who can’t get out to supermarkets as they are, for example, being medically shielded.
In addition, Aberdeen City Council has provided for 502 pupils who are children of key workers, attend an ASN facility, or are vulnerable, to have school or childcare places since the lockdown started.