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Perth charity PKAVS secures Scottish Government funding to safeguard vital lockdown services

PKAVS has launched a 'wishing tree' at its city centre office.
PKAVS has launched a 'wishing tree' at its city centre office.

The Scottish Government has backed a scheme to support the mental wellbeing of unpaid carers in Perth and Kinross.

Charity PKAVS has received an award of more than £40,000 to help safeguard its lifeline services.

The award, from the government’s Corra Foundation Wellbeing Fund, will help pay for ongoing emotional and practical support to local carers of all ages.

It will also allow the charity to continue to stay in touch with unpaid carers across the region, a new system that has proved crucial during lockdown.

After all face-to-face services were suspended, the charity’s carers’ centre was turned into a hub for volunteers to carry out check-ups and chats through regular phone calls, emails and social media messages.

The project offers a “listening ear” to carers, while also sign-posting other services that they could find useful, financial aids and access to PPE.

Each week during lockdown, PKAVS carers’ hub staff have been in contact with more than 1,000 carers.

As restrictions continue to remain in place, staff say contacts are becoming longer and more difficult with some carers regularly requesting more than one contact call a week.

Hub manager Raymond Jamieson said: “We are very grateful to the Corra Foundation for this grant award, as it will allow us to safeguard the services we are currently delivering, as well as look at ways to make sure the support we are offering going forward best meets the needs of unpaid carers we support.”

PKAVS staff can support carers to make applications to the charity’s Time4Me grant award to buy items which they may find useful in lockdown.

Staff are also organising and delivering PPE to carers who are shielding or who can’t make it to one of the three hubs where protective equipment is distributed from.

The next development is to offer carers some respite through face-to-face support with staff visiting for a couple of hours at least once a week.

The £40,181 award from the Corra Foundation will also support the team in translating information and advice around the Covid-19 guidance into various other languages, making sure that carers from minority communities in Perth and Kinross are fully informed on the easing of lockdown and how to ensure they remain safe during this time.

The charity recently unveiled a wishing tree at its main office. People are invited to use the paper leaves to write down their hopes and aspirations for life after lockdown.

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