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Applecross community rallies to support vulnerable with assistance of £20,000 coronavirus fund handout

By Hector MacKenzie

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A WESTER Ross community has pulled together to deliver essential services to residents during the coronavirus crisis.

The village of Applecross has benefited from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund which is distributed in the region by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Applecross Community Company (ACC) has secured £20,000 from the fund to support the co-ordination of emergency assistance for residents during the crisis.

Back in March, Applecross formed a Covid-19 community support group, which is a collaboration of the ACC, the Applecross Community Council, the Applecross Healthcare Association and The Applecross Trust. Their aim is to support a resilient Applecross by mobilising the community in response to Covid-19.

The community quickly came together as soon as lockdown hit and has since been doing its best to protect the most vulnerable residents. Volunteers have been busy delivering groceries and a telephone support line is being provided for people who feel isolated.

A special Facebook page has been set-up for the 225 people who live in Applecross, as a support hub for those who might need help and for volunteers to offer their services. The area is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, but businesses have temporarily closed and many residents remain in isolation.

Hands-on support is helping to address people who are unemployed and or have had their business affected.

Ian Philp, account manager at HIE, said: “The community response around Applecross has been remarkable. So many people have offered to support residents and the most vulnerable in the area at this unprecedented time. The Supporting Communities Fund will help community groups co-ordinate the best ways to respond to the crisis over the coming weeks and months.”

David Davidson at the Applecross Shop.
Picture: Roslyn Clarke
David Davidson at the Applecross Shop. Picture: Roslyn Clarke

Roslyn Clarke, local development officer at Applecross Community Company, said: "Applecross is a very popular destination but at this time we are following the government's advice to protect our community. We have an elderly population here, so we have many people at risk and we don't want to put them in danger. Our volunteers have been brilliant, and we are very fortunate that we are all working together as a community.

"It's important now to come together and do our best to protect our residents. When this is over, we will come back as Applecross is always going to attract tourists and we will support our local businesses so that they can flourish again.”

The latest community funding information and details of how other communities across the region are responding to the pandemic are available at www.hie.co.uk/covid19thirdsector

Related: Applecross appeal for visitors to stay away during coronavirus crisis

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