THE changes and challenges each of us now face in our daily lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been neither natural nor easy.

All around us the news of the impact of the virus is as tragic as it is sobering, confronting us with reminders of our own and others’ vulnerability and demonstrating why following all the lockdown rules really is a matter of saving lives.

Rarely has there been a greater need for reassurance and support. But the response from Glaswegians has reflected all that is positive about our great city.

Tough times like these really do bring out the best in people. The Glasgow Helps directory has been compiled to provide an invaluable resource of the voluntary help and activity going on across the city. Whether you’re looking for help for yourself, a family member or a neighbour, or whether you want to volunteer your services, you can do it at or by calling 0141 345 0543.

Since the lockdown began, council and health service colleagues, the Third Sector and Volunteer Glasgow have pulled together so that no-one is left truly isolated at this extremely difficult time. It’s no exaggeration to say that across the city, the response from those on the grassroots frontline has been life-saving.

At the City Council, staff continue to make sure our communities are prepared for both the immediate and long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak, social distancing and self-isolation. Right now, the immediate priorities include getting assistance to all those who have received what are known as “shielding” letters. These are people who may be most at risk from Covid-19 and who must not leave their homes even for shopping, exercising or to arrange food or medication deliveries. The letters point them, or their carers, to the additional support provided by a range of organisations, including the council.

Our Children’s Holiday Food Programme continues to help children and families across the city during the pandemic. With the planned spring break activities shelved, our partners who deliver the programme have shifted their plans to provide children and families across the city with hot meals and essential items.

Clusters of primary school local hubs and the council’s existing 52-week nurseries remain open so that key workers carrying out essential work to keep our city going can have access to childcare for the two weeks of the holiday period.

While food and life-and-limb aid are understandably our top priority, protecting mental as well as physical health is going to become more and more important as the weeks at home continue. In the coming weeks, more of our focus will be on how best we can help Glaswegians cope with the effects of isolation, the impact on our mental wellbeing and potential for a spike in alcohol or domestic abuse.

Dozens of organisations have answered the call to arms from within their communities, too many to name individually. But to give just a flavour of the spread of activity: in the north of the city FARE and Royston Youth Action were among those straight out of the traps, making sure shopping and prescriptions were delivered to those unable to do so for themselves.

Partick Thistle FC has continued the relationship it has built with the City Council through the Holiday Food programme to provide 100 meals daily for vulnerable and elderly people in Glasgow’s north west.

Across in Pollok, the third and public sectors are collaborating with community groups and churches to make sure no-one is falling through the cracks, while in Castlemilk, the Community Food Action group are using their networks within the area’s elderly population to ensure no-one is in need.

And groups serving distinct communities which are not bound by geography, such as the Glasgow Disability Alliance, the Al-khair Foundation and the Sikh Food Bank have been making sure the specific needs of those communities are addressed.

In the days ahead, council officers will fine tune how best we can use a range of different national and local funding sources to fill in any emerging gaps in our collective response and equip third sector partners to continue with their outstanding work. Communities can also expect to see how the council family will take further steps to help coordinate the city effort, including providing resources and facilities to help continue to support people over the longer term of this


Amid so much stress, fear and worry, it has been really uplifting to see the efforts that so many organisations and individuals are making. It has been a real Team Glasgow effort. Together we have the expertise, the local knowledge, the commitment, resource and passion to see us through this.