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Communities in Badenoch and Strathspey rally to help at risk people during coronavirus crisis

By Gavin Musgrove

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Communities in the strath are rallying together with support for at risk groups - those aged over 70, with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.

Aviemore-based Open Arms Community Support is just one of a number of groups offering help on their doorstep.

Other groups are also forming including in Kingussie where the shinty club if offering to help with deliveries, collecting prescriptions and other tasks that those in self-isolation are unable to do.

Communities are coming to the aid of people in need in the strath's towns and villages.
Communities are coming to the aid of people in need in the strath's towns and villages.

Open Arms Community Support spokeswoman Michaela Street, said: "We are providing support for anyone struggling with the virus, seniors, mental health, vulnerable, ill health, in isolation.

"We can help with shopping, picking up prescription, providing Skype so these ones can see their families if not close by and are setting up a phone service so those affected can at least receive one chat a day so they are not lonely.

"We will accept donations of food or items needed by these ones and drop off.

"We are also looking for donations of wool so we can keep them busy knitting and books so those on their own have something to read

Organisers are in the process of arranging drop off points in businesses in each local community."

For more details email openarmscommunity19@gmail.com or phone or text 07983980478

Similar initiatives are under way in other parts of the strath including Boat of Garten and Dulnain Bridge.

Meanwhile the Church of Scotland services have been suspended until further notice and the Catholic Church is also cancelling mass.

Local CoS minister Jim MacEwan said although there would be no services the Church is keen to continue with its pastoral role.

He said: "Like so many other groups, congregations are looking at ways of keeping in touch, especially with those who are more vulnerable or who may be on their own during the present situation.

"Many members are also simply being good neighbours, both as individuals and by joining the great community groups which are one of the few good aspects of this crisis.

"Online worship is being made available locally in some cases, and anyone can share in the worship regularly offered by Sanctuary First, which can be found easily online."

More on this story in today's Strathy.

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