Staff and volunteers working in community support services, often provided by small community based projects organised by a combination of community initiatives, local charities and national organisations provide vital support to older people and people from vulnerable groups to help them live independently within their own communities. The COVID-19 pandemic will be causing a number of problems for staff working in these organisations; many will be facing increased demand, while also finding that they have had to stop or fundamentally change the services they normally provide. As lockdown restrictions also change, the services and activities provided by staff and volunteers will also be changing.
Funded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist’s Office (CSO) rapid response COVID-19 programme, this project is exploring how staff and volunteers within community based support organisation which support older people in Scotland are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. This research will explore the impact of the pandemic on the staff and volunteers of small community-based organisations who provide support to older people, with an aim to identifying what support they need to remain well while delivering services in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.
Some examples of the organisations, projects and initiatives we will be working with include:
- Dementia friendly community initiatives
- Community based support initiatives and projects (e.g. peer support, support groups, befriending schemes)
- Physical activity programmes (e.g. dementia friendly walking groups, walking football projects)
- Initiatives based around hobbies, pastimes or creative and cultural projects
- Initiatives for older people from BAME groups
- Initiatives for older people from LGBT groups
- Initiatives to support older people with learning disabilities