This Page provides key points of contact for individuals, businesses and anyone needing support or information in the community of Assynt.
A 2-side leaflet containing the information in similar form can be downloaded as a pdf here: Assynt Covid19 Information Leaflet
(Please note corrected contact details for Flossie’s beach store on this updated version of leaflet – previous printed version had a phoneline not being staffed.)
Further updates will follow below as they arise. Please get in touch with ideas of what other information you think should be on this page.
Highland Council Helpline (free)
Get advice/ask for assistance on benefits, education & social care etc. You can also register as a volunteer. General Covid-19 support line. Open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm.
0300 303 1362
Community Care Assynt
Providing hot meals deliveries, and also helping with deliveries of groceries, prescriptions etc. to at-risk and ‘shielding’ individuals. Helping with other general Covid-19 action. Also currently managing newspaper deliveries.
A food bank is currently being set up, and deliveries of regular food parcels will very soon be available by prior arrangement. Please do make use of this service if you are struggling with accessing enough nutritious food at this hard time. Contact Bill at the Assynt Centre on the below number to arrange. He will ask for some basic info to assess your need, and note dietary requirements.
Thanks also to Assynt Leisure Centre for offering use of the leisure centre for this new service.
01571 844144 (Bill Wardley-Smith, manager)
Assynt Community Council
Acting as a liaison between Highland Council, government and the community. Maintains a list of isolated, at-risk and/or ‘shielding’ individuals in Assynt, and a register of volunteers able to help those people with picking up and dropping off shopping, friendly phonecalls, keeping an eye on those people’s thumbs up / thumbs down window signs, etc. Contact them for advice, or to add your name as a volunteer.
(Liam Taylor, chairperson)
Assynt Medical Practice
Operating a ‘Locked Door’ Policy, which means those wanting to collect a prescription for example, will have to ring the bell to attract staff attention.
Prescription pre-order forms can be posted through the letter box, or for the time being, telephoned in.
All appointments are now by telephone assessment. Patients will only be asked to attend the Health Centre if essential.
Anyone who has Respiratory Symptoms must not attend for any reason, without prior telephone discussion or assessment. For any medical advice, please contact by telephone.
Emergency Contact number is 01571 844226.
The line is closed between 6pm Friday and 8am Monday. Between those times, the NHS 24 helpline should be used instead. For NHS 24, dial 111.
Health & Social Care
For Care at Home, District Nurses, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Lairg-based Handyperson Service for over 65s, and other welfare agencies: Please contact this ‘Single Point of Contact’:
01408 664018 (Sutherland)
Emergency out-of-hours Social Work: 0845 769 7284 (Highland Council – line shared with TEC Services)
Not currently visiting Assynt, but is offering video or telephone consultations and delivery of medication. Appointments can be made for visits to Rogart for emergencies and vaccinations.
OTHER LOCAL SHOPS & SERVICES
Lochinver Stores – Open Mon-Sat 7am-4pm – 01571 844207
Inver Park Stores – Open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm – 01571 844360
S Greenlees & Son Butchers – Open Tues-Sat 9am-4pm – 01571 844392
Flossie’s Beach Store – Clachtoll groceries shop currently offering deliveries – anyone looking to order groceries please contact through Facebook, www.facebook.com/flossiesbeachstore/ or email: email@example.com or online order at: form.jotform.com/200914089349056
(Please note incorrect info on earlier printed version of leaflet – phone number listed there for Flossie’s is unstaffed during lockdown.)
An Cala – Offering takeaway meals, Fri/Sat 5-8pm – 01571 844598
Drumbeg Stores – Open Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-4pm – 01571 833235
The Jammery (Culkein, Stoer) – Open for pre-order collections only, from secure boxes outside the shop. Fresh bread & baked goods available on Thursdays (pre-order by midday Wednesday).
www.facebook.com/jammery-culkein 07785 228182
MacKay’s Hardware – Open 9am-12 noon, Monday – Saturday. Closed Sunday.
DM Seafoods – Assynt delivery round on a Wednesday includes a range of fresh fruit and veg
www.dmseafoods.co.uk 07771 986956
Post-Tatoes – Order by midnight Tuesday, for delivery Friday from Scourie to Lochinver (and in between). Small fruit and veg box – £15.00; large fruit and veg box £30.00.
https://post-tatoes.co.uk 07710 605107
Assynt News – Publishing local information – 01571 844518 (Jess Thomas, editor)
INDIVIDUAL / BUSINESS SUPPORT
Scottish Government Support for Covid-19
Latest information & advice on COVID-19 plus links to up to date support for businesses and individuals.
0300 303 0660 https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice
Advice helpline for those running a business. Open Mon-Fri, 8.30-5.30. Select option 1 to speak to the Covid-19 team. The website has links to support packages.
Business Gateway also have a helpline.
Business Gateway Highland team – 01463 896791
Citizens Advice Scotland for Individuals and Business
Scotland’s largest independent advice network – includes information on benefits, work, debt and money, consumer issues, housing, family, law and courts, immigration and health. The website provides useful links and there is also a helpline if you need to talk to someone.
01971 521730 (Joan Mackay, manager for North & West Sutherland, based at Kinlochbervie) Open Mon-Fri 9-5.
Citizens Advice helpline for Universal Credit – 0800 023 2581
Scotland-wide helpline provided by Citizen’s Advice Scotland for those enquiring about Universal Credit, though you can talk to local CAS contact (above) first if you prefer.
Shielding (Highland Council)
If you fall within one of the groups recommended to shield and need support, call the Highland Council on 01349 886669
Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI)
An independent charity which supports work with community groups, clubs, charities and other third sector organisations.
if you want to offer your services as a volunteer, you can contact HTSI.
ScotGov helpline for those without existing support networks – 0800 111 4000
New helpline set up by ScotGov to assist those without a network of support and at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
Helps those lacking family or other support or who aren’t online. Callers will be connected to appropriate Highland Council services.
Al-Anon Family Helpline – Helps relatives, friends and colleagues of problem drinkers. 020 7403 0888
Alcoholics Anonymous – 24 hour helpline. Talk to a trained councillor to help you deal with your problems. 0800 9177650
Alzheimer Scotland – Action on dementia – 24 hour helpline. 0808 808 3000
Childline – Helpline for children and young people up to 18 years. Talk to a trained counsellor to help deal with your problems. 0800 11 11
Know the Score – Information about illegal drugs. 0800 587 5879
The Samaritans – Will listen to and support anyone of any age about anything. No worry, no anxiety, no feeling is too trivial. 116 123
Mikeysline – Helpline set up to address chronic loneliness, depression, self-harm and suicide in the Highlands. Text 07779 303 303 www.mikeysline.co.uk
Women’s Aid Outreach Service – Confidential information and support if you are suffering from domestic abuse or need a safe place to stay. (0345 number is Caithness & Sutherland Women’s Aid.)
0345 408 0151 (Mon-Fri 9-5)
24-hr national helpline: 0800 027 1234
RSABI helpline – Helpline for those currently or formerly involved in crofting or other agriculture. Aims to offer emotional, practical and financial support in times of need. 0300 111 4166 https://rsabi.org.uk/
Just Ask (Highland Council/NHS) – Enquiry line for parents, carers, children, young people: staff available include educational psychologists, occupational therapists, primary mental health workers etc. Line open Tues & Thu 1-4 pm.
SOME USEFUL COVID-19 NEWS UPDATES
New Guidance on essential worker testing (from late April 2020)
(published here 30/04/20)
The UK Government has announced that if you’re an essential worker who is self-isolating (not able to leave home), you can now apply for you and your household to get tested for coronavirus (Covid-19). If your test result turns out to be negative, you can safely return to work, as long as: you are well enough, you have not had a high temperature for 48 hours, and anyone you live with also tests negative. Access to this testing will be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers which includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services than before (though priority will still be health and care workers).
The main group affected by the extension are essential workers in critical national infrastructure fundamental for safety and security, and life-line services. This includes environmental protection, animal health and welfare and staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including food supply chain and food processing workers, energy and water supply.
Also, staff directly involved in delivering other essential services. This includes staff providing childcare for key workers, public transport workers, postal services, financial services, supermarket workers and construction workers.
When to get tested
You should get tested in the first 3 days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day 5. No testing should be undertaken after day 5, unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case-by-case basis by local microbiologists.
To deliver this service a new key worker-only testing centre has been established at the Inverness campus. This went into pilot phase on Sunday 26th April, supplementing the two testing centres already in place in & around Raigmore Hospital.