Although many of our regular activities have been on hold due to the current Covid regulations, we have tried to replace them with alternative options wherever possible.
Weekly online exercise
We realise the importance of regular physical activity, so we now have a regular weekly online exercise programme. Not only is regular exercise important for physical well-being, it is also a great way to lift your spirits which is particularly beneficial during lockdown and subsequent periods of self-isolation. The classes on offer include Ballroom/Latin dance, Latin Cardio Fit and Gentle Exercise all instructed by Jan Trumble Dance. We also hold weekly Gentle Flow Yoga which is instructed by Kelsey Ansbro Yoga. One advantage of having the classes take place online is that although Kelsey now lives in the Scottish Borders, she has “come back” to teach our Yoga classes! For further information on class days and times, please see the KALM advert on page 23.
Walk & talk
Although our weekly Walk and Talk sessions have been put on hold for the time being, we have now become part of Paths for All’s Scottish Health Walk Network. We very much look forward to starting our weekly walks again, as they had a highly social aspect to them with tea and cake being consumed by participants at Bonar Bridge Golf Club post walk! One of our regular walkers has also undertaken Walk Leader Training, meaning she is now qualified to lead Health Walks.
Community food larder
Our Community Food Larder has remained in operation throughout the pandemic. Attendance numbers have increased over the last few months and we consider that the reasons for this may be due to the Lockdown restrictions and perhaps also the recent bad weather. We stock tinned, packaged and frozen food in our Larder along with fresh fruit and vegetables which can be used to supplement items available in our local shops. Unfortunately, due to social distancing guidelines, we have to operate a booking system if you wish to use the Larder. Please phone KoSDT (01863 766190) to book an appointment time between 10am and 2pm, on Tuesdays and Fridays. We will also supply your carrier bags, so no need to bring your own. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know when you phone. We understand that not everyone will be able to attend the Larder, for whatever reason. If this is the case, we are happy for a neighbour or friend to pick up your items from us or, if this is not possible, we will deliver the food to you.
KoSDT is one of Nourish Scotland Dignity in Practice’s Peer Organisations with Beverley Hill, KALM Project Manager, being one of Nourish Scotland’s Peer Mentors. Nourish Scotland and Beverley co-facilitated a Highlands Dignity in Practice Workshop in February. The workshops are held on a regular basis by Nourish but this was the first ever to be held in the Highlands. Titled “Emergency Food Provision – Dignity During Covid-19”, we were delighted that the online workshop was booked to capacity. It is reassuring to know that so many organisations and individuals who operate food initiatives in the Highlands, are offering a dignified response to their users and understand the reasons and importance in doing so.
Beverley Hill, KALM Project Manager and Jodie Ross, SACC Project Officer both attended NHS Highland Suicide Intervention and Prevention Programme (SIPP) Training a couple of years ago and, thereafter, went on to become Trainers themselves. Beverley and Jodie will facilitate their first SIPP Course which will take place online, in March, with participants being KoSDT staff. Although a sensitive subject matter it is also a very important subject matter and one which should be more openly and widely discussed in our communities. The learning outcomes of these courses are having the ability to recognise a person at risk of suicide, to ask about suicide, awareness of the impact of suicide and how to signpost to the appropriate support.
Children’s Christmas Eve boxes
In November last year the Sutherland Community Partnership (SCP) were contacted by children’s charity, AberNecessities who are based in Aberdeen. The charity had received funding from Anne, Duchess of Westminster Foundation and wished to use the money to purchase Christmas Eve Boxes for children living in Sutherland. SCP required a volunteer organisation to co-ordinate the operation and KoSDT’s KALM Project gladly took on the role.
SCP member organisations were invited to apply for boxes to distribute to children in their local community areas. In order to tailor each box to the individual child, gender and age was provided for each application. The funding was used to purchase 63 Christmas Eve boxes for children whose ages ranged from babies to 18 years old. Included in the contents were pyjamas, slipper socks, toys, colouring books and, of course, chocolates! KoSDT arranged for a courier to collect the boxes from Aberdeen and bring them to our office, The Barn in Ardgay, a couple of weeks prior to Christmas. The Applicant organisations then picked up the boxes from us to distribute them to children in their own communities. We think this was a brilliant project which, no doubt, made a lot of children in Sutherland very happy on Christmas Eve. Many thanks to AberNecessities and to Anne, Duchess of Westminster Foundation.
by Beverley Hill