Balerno Community Council are in touch with Currie and Juniper Green CCs along with our City Councillors to try to assess how we are doing in terms of resilience planning in the Water of Leith Valley, in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
We are liaising to see whether there is anything we should be considering, that could usefully be rolled out across our communities.
Most readers of the BCC Facebook grou will already be well aware of the fantastic initiative by residents in our community in starting the Balerno Cares group. Already, the Facebook page has over 1000 members. Their resourcefulness has led in turn to the development of some 20 plus WhatsApp groups designed to ensure that neighbours can look out for each other. If you haven’t yet looked at Balerno Cares then please do so now; it is truly inspiring.
Balerno Community Council want to ensure that people stay safe and can be as comfortable as possible in uncomfortable times. The key to making sure that happens does lie with communities volunteering.
Balerno Cares inspired WhatsApp groups are covering a large part of Balerno; amounting possibly to between a third and a half of all streets; all from a standing start.
The current outbreak of Covid 19 will cause general disruption to services, both essential and non-essential, and basic neighbourliness is absolutely vital in a crisis. So please check on neighbours, especially anyone who may live alone (regardless of their age), and anyone elderly. If some-one is self-isolating or unable to get out for whatever reason you may be the person who is able to offer help when it is needed. It is often the little acts of kindness which have the most impact.
Naturally if someone is self-isolating or unwell then precautions have to be taken; so please always follow NHS advice.
Remember also that offers of help or support can be made by phone, or on a note like the one used by Balerno Cares. There are copies of the Post Card used by Balerno Cares can be sourced from the Facebook group.
The need for people to help will increase over the next few weeks. This is the time to reach out to neighbours and let them know you are able to help. One of the most significant risks is peoples' sense of isolation and loneliness. A phone call, a note through the door or an offer of help can make all the difference. It’s very simple; it shows that someone cares.
And if you can tell Balerno Cares which street you're volunteering in then that will mean we're better able to ensure that everyone is being cared for.