// Lockdown Life // Castle Furniture Project

Posted on the 24th July 2020

The reuse sector’s response to the crisis

Castle Furniture Project is based in Fife, across the water from Scotland’s capital. They have two sites, one in Cupar and one in Glenrothes.

When the pandemic hit, the mental health and furniture reuse charity saw its operations stop. However, they were quick to set-up a new initiative to support one of the most at-risk groups during the pandemic – the elderly.

The Elders Crisis Contact Centre (ECCC), partially funded by Foundation Scotland from the response fund, offered a comprehensive service.

The scheme is an expansion of Castle’s pre-existing Befriending service. It was inspired by the concerns raised by their Befriending Scheme members over the closure of the Befriending Lounge during the current crisis and the inability of volunteer Befrienders to visit their ‘Befriendees’.

Part of the service includes:

  • Collection of prescriptions, utility cards, essential groceries (up to 5 items), delivered to your door free of charge;
  • ‘Time to Talk’ which provides the opportunity for a chat with volunteers about anything and everything;
  • Crisis support;
  • COVID-19 information;

Lesley Meiklejoh, Volunteer Coordinator for Castle’s Befriending Scheme said:

“Our service provides support for people who are lonely or isolated giving companionship and support throughout the pandemic. Many of our members had already started to self-isolate before current restrictions were implemented and will remain vulnerable to the virus for many months to come.

“They were feeling the effects of lockdown far sooner than the rest of the community. We realised we had to find a way to continue supporting them, and any other people in need of help, as quickly and effectively as possible. Without such support, the physical and mental wellbeing of our older and elderly population could deteriorate rapidly. For this reason, ECCC is available to all older and elderly people in the Fife area.

“Please do use our service and pass on our contact details to as many people as you can. We are here to help and, of course, we’d love to have a chat with you. Give us a call.”

In addition, the charity supported people with access to domestic appliances and the installation of domestic appliances in hostels.

Find out more about the Contact Centre, including how to volunteer here: https://www.castlefurniture.org/contact-centre.

The number to call for the ECCC is 01334 898 669.

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