Clackmannanshire Council’s Support for People helpline has supported hundreds of people to self isolate in the six months since it launched.
Clackmannanshire residents who are self isolating receive a call from the Council’s Support for People Team. The Team has been asked by the Scottish Government to contact everyone who is currently self isolating to ensure they receive the support they need.
The Support for People Team also assess whether people are eligible for the Self-Isolation Support Grant which was established to help those who would lose income if they needed to self-isolate, such as people unable to carry out their work from home.
In the first six months since the helpline was set up, Clackmannanshire Council has processed 215 grant applications with 150 being successful, leading to £75,000 in grants being distributed to local people to support them during isolation.
Statistics show that Clackmannanshire’s award rate is almost twice that of the national average and Clackmannanshire has paid out 1.7% of the national expenditure with a population of only 1%.
The helpline was launched in October last year and is aimed at people who are self isolating because they or someone in their household has symptoms and for those who have been advised to self isolate by the NHS or through the Protect Scotland App.
Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing down the spread of Covid-19. It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, limits the number of people they come into contact with. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.
This £500 grant is focussed on those on low incomes who are in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits, with some limited discretion to make awards to others in financial hardship.
Council Leader Ellen Forson said: “Self-isolation is not an easy thing to do, but it’s really important that everyone follows the advice to slow the spread of Covid-19. I’m pleased that the Council has been able to ease some of the burden by getting the Self Isolation Support Grant out to the eligible people who've been asked to self-isolate. Our Support for People Team have showed commitment to Scotland's national effort of self isolation support, while still doing their normal jobs and managed to award 70% of applications which compares well nationally. This appears to be down to the personal approach and one-to-one support helpline staff give applicants.”
The helpline, which is available five days a week from 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday, is staffed by council staff who have been seconded from their usual day to day role in order to provide this essential service.
People who are self isolating who need to speak to the Team can call them on 01259 452275 or by emailing S4P@clacks.gov.uk (giving their contact details) for assistance.