Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector


News on how Scotland's voluntary sector is responding to the pandemic

17th April 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Cancer patients losing out during crisis

Thousands of cancer patients in the UK have had their treatment stopped or delayed because of covid-19, and with pressures mounting on the health service, Cancer Research UK calls for widespread testing to prevent unnecessary cancer deaths. The global pandemic has caused enormous disruption to cancer services across the country including delays to cancer treatment, screening and diagnosis, and profound decreases in patients being urgently referred to hospital with suspected cancer symptoms. In some cases, already overstretched NHS staff are being directed away from cancer care, towards caring for covid-19 patients. Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of policy and information, said: “The pandemic has left cancer diagnosis and treatment in a precarious position, and one of the ways that the NHS is adapting to ensure patients are receiving vital testing and care is through covid-19 free centres or hospitals. But this won’t be possible without the appropriate testing of all staff and patients.”

Ramadan prayers for health workers

Scotland’s Muslim community took part in a national prayer last night for frontline staff and key workers dealing with the demands of Coronavirus. Just days before Ramadan, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA), the UK’s largest Muslim youth group, organised a nationwide #PrayForHeroes on 16 April. Up and down the country, Imams are running online classes, viral videos, workouts and quizzes for their youth free of costs and have supported 2698 British families, 43 charities and councils and 600 NHS staff so far. Humayon Ahmad, a member of the Glasgow AMYA, said the organisation was doing more to help people across the city. He explained: “Because of the situation with Covid-19 everything is new territory. We already help feed the homeless by donating food to shelters, which we are continuing to do, but we have decided to step that up and help the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Vital helpline for sight loss

Guide Dogs is launching the covid-19 Sight Loss Information Line - offering practical support in response to an influx of concerns raised by people with sight loss, their friends and their families. The information line will be launched by Guide Dogs supporter and actress, Joanna Scanlan, as part of a series of #GuideDogsFamily initiatives set up by the charity to help people with sight loss during the pandemic. Calls to 0800 781 1444 are being taken Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Some of the most common concerns being raised have highlighted how difficult it is to stay safe during the pandemic and practise social distancing without being able to see.

Funding boost during crisis

The Scottish Government has announced funding of £330,000 for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) to expand its hospital discharge and community services for people with lung conditions, including those affected by coronavirus.  The charity said the money would ensure its nurses and rehabilitation teams can expand digitally to meet the need for help and also equip 400 of its volunteers to provide vital one-to-one support to people to stay well at home.  The innovative digital support is available in NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. CHSS chief executive Jane-Claire Judson had previously warned Covid-19 could see many survivors living with poor lung health, perhaps for the rest of their lives.

Horse charity under pressure during virus restrictions

Britain’s largest horse rescue and rehoming charity has announced that at 406, the number of horses in its care at its four rescue and rehoming centres is the highest on record. The horses, many rescued in groups over the past 12 months, are being shared between the centres in Aberdeenshire, Norfolk, Somerset and Lancashire whose normal stocking level is usually around only 330 combined. Caring for such a large number of animals is putting extra demands on staff, in addition to complying with the rules on social distancing and the suspension of rehoming activities in light of movement restrictions to prevent coronavirus the charity has warned.

Beatson puts fun into fundraising

TV and sporting personalities have signed up to take part in Beatson Cancer Charity’s latest fundraising efforts for April including online quizzes and virtual Q&A sessions with local sporting heroes. So far there have been several hundreds of participants in the weekly Beat the Beatson online quizzes.  Joining up with host Andy Dunlop, who created The Stayin’ Inn (Scotland’s first online pub), he delivers 5 rounds of quizzing where you have to do your best to beat the resident Beatson egg-head!  First up was Laura Boyd, Entertainment reporter from STV News followed with Britain’s Got Talent star and DJ Edward Reid.  So far nearly £4,000 has been raised and the aim is to double this by end of lockdown period.  The next quiz takes place on Tuesday 21 April featuring actor Gary Lamont, best known for his role in the soap opera River City with special guest, a true boffin, Professor Anthony Chalmers from Beatson Cancer Hospital.  Prof Chalmers is world renowned for his research and practices in clinical oncology.  Each week offers a range of super prizes, all donated from local businesses.