#KindnessMidlothian Campaign launched

Today (Wednesday) the Midlothian Community Planning Partnership (CPP)  launches the #KindnessMidlothian Campaign.

A co-ordinated response

This campaign is designed to co-ordinate all of the help that is on offer to  local people as we manage our response to Coronavirus. The Community Planning Partnership is made up of Midlothian Council, Emergency Services, NHS, Health and Social Care Partnership, Third Sector, Community Councils, the Armed Forces, the Business Sector, the UK Department for Work and Pensions, and the range of  Scottish Government agencies in Midlothian.

Contingency plans

The launch came just an hour before First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced all schools will close in Scotland by the end of the week. The council is currently finalising contingency plans to support vulnerable pupils and to put childcare arrangements in place for frontline staff with families, such as healthcare workers and the emergency services, to make sure they can continue to work.  We will share more details just as soon as we have them.

Help with childcare for frontline staff

Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan said: “I don’t want one frontline worker, whether that’s a nurse, a GP or someone in the fire service or police, unable to attend work because they don’t have suitable childcare in place.”

All in this together

“Our message is, we’re all in this together and we’re here to help each other.”

Additional support for children and vulnerable

The initiative would also make sure pupils with additional support needs, such as those attending Saltersgate School and children on free school meals continue to be supported while vulnerable older and isolated people in the community get help with everything from shopping to prescriptions.

Jobs for cleaners and catering staff

With the council now short of cleaning and catering staff, the Federation of Small Businesses, which sits on the Community Planning Partnership (CPP), will contact members in service industries to see if they can fill the jobs gap.

Great to be onboard

Lesley Kelly, the chair of Volunteer Midlothian, said: “We’re delighted to be onboard and we’ll work with the council and the Community Planning Partnership to tackle the practicalities of offering a support service while keeping everyone involved safe.”

Welcome news

Chief Inspector Arron Clinkscales of Police Scotland said the #KindnessMidlothian Campaign was welcome news.

He said: “Knowing that there are childcare arrangements that can be put in place would help us immensely. And by the same token, we’d obviously want to reciprocate with any help we can give.”

Sentiments echoed

His sentiments were echoed by Area Commander Stephen Gourlay of East Lothian, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“We’ve planned for this type of pandemic outbreak but in terms of working with our partners to support our firefighters, these offers of help with childcare etc, are really fantastic and appreciated.“

Proud and humbled

The council’s Chief Executive, Dr Grace Vickers said: “I am immensely proud and humbled by the level of kindness shown by local residents across Midlothian since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak. The launch of this #KindnessCampaign will help complement the excellent support already being offered. We are keen to hear your stories of going above and beyond. Please let us know on the Twitter account all the great things you’re doing. If you use the #KindnessMidlothian and we can help share. We want to let people know the amount of help which is out there but also keep spirits up, something we’ll need in the weeks to come. Thank you to everyone for their outstanding contribution to Midlothian.” 

18 Mar 2020