MEDIA STATEMENT – Largo Areas Coronavirus Response Team 22/3/2020
The increasing threat to our communities posed by the spread of coronavirus has led organisations in the Largo are to set up a community resilience team under the auspices of Fife Council’s Emergency Planning framework. This group is called the Largo Area Coronavirus Response Team (LACRT) and was constituted, structured and resourced between Monday 16th March and Friday 20th March as speed is of the essence.
The group includes representatives from the Largo Area Community Council (LACC), Fife Council, local voluntary organisations including Largo Communities Together (LCT), local business people and the Largo Parish Church (LPC). LACRT was launched over the weekend to the communities we represent: Upper and Lower Largo, Newburn and Drumeldrie, New Gilston and Woodside and Lundin Links. It is designed to complement and not to replace local emergency services.
LACRT comprises a Steering Group responsible for policy and strategy, and a Management Team dedicated to the delivery of help and assistance to our communities in these difficult times. We will continue to meet regularly as this crisis develops, and are currently meeting on a daily basis. Over the weekend, we have shifted from physical meetings to video-conference meetings, to reduce the potential for accidental transmission of this virus, and to provide resilience for continued operation.
Our launch included the publication of a Newsletter, a direct email to 500 addresses, and posts on relevant websites – including LACC, LCT, and the Church of Scotland. It was also posted on Facebook. The response has been fantastic, with many volunteering to help our efforts and more expressing their support in different ways. We have set up a free 0800 Helpline which was activated on Friday to capture calls for help.
We have already established four local area teams to help coordinate our activities throughout our communities. LACRT has been granted permission from the Church to use the Durham Hall as our base, and other halls in the area – Montrave Hall, the Simpson Institute, and New Gilston – have also offered to support our efforts. The Church has also kindly donated the funds for us to start up last week.
We believe that this kind of initiative is the only way we can deal with the impact of a pandemic such as the coronavirus on our local communities. We are only at the start, but huge strides have been taken to prepare us for what is to come. We are determined to do everything we can to ensure that our communities survive this virus, and can emerge stronger and more united when it has passed.