Scottish Parliament congratulates covid:aid for its work supporting people affected by Covid-19 across the UK

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has this week submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament recognising the work and dedication of national Covid-19 charity, covid:aid, for its provision of support to people across the UK who have been significantly affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The motion, which is live on the Scottish Parliament website, is titled ‘Congratulations to covid:aid’ and states:

“That the Parliament recognises Scotland-based charity, covid:aid, and, in particular, the work of founder and CEO Michael MacLennan; acknowledges the charity's dedication to delivering the widest possible range of support to those people, across the whole of the UK, who have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including around Long Covid, grief and bereavement, trauma, loss, financial hardship, vaccines, and other issues; and congratulates covid:aid on the significant amount it has achieved in the 6 months of its existence, having provided tens of thousands of people with services including counselling, courses, advice, and information.”

The motion was proposed by Alex Cole-Hamilton, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and MSP for Edinburgh Western, and has thus far been supported by a cross-party group of MSPs including Jeremy Balfour (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, MSP for Lothian); Monica Lennon (Scottish Labour, MSP for Central Scotland); Colin Beattie (Scottish National Party, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh); Bill Kidd (Scottish National Party, MSP for Glasgow Anniesland); Pam Duncan-Glancy (Scottish Labour, MSP for Glasgow); Pam Gosal (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, MSP for West Scotland); Donald Cameron (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, MSP for Highlands and Islands); and Paul Sweeney (Scottish Labour, MSP for Glasgow).

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “The pandemic has affected everyone. Whether that be their mental or physical health, or their finances. One of my party’s main priorities over the last two years has been to make sure everyone gets the support they need, when they need it, and for as long as they need it.

“The work of charities like covid:aid has been absolutely vital in the battle against Covid and its knock on effects, and it will play an important role in supporting the 100,000 people in Scotland who are suffering with Long Covid. I’m grateful to Michael MacLennan and everyone at covid:aid for the wonderful work they have done to deliver such a wide range of support and information to people up and down the country, and pleased to see his work acknowledged at Parliament.”

Michael MacLennan, founder and CEO of covid:aid, said, “We are delighted that our efforts in the provision Covid-19 support following the coronavirus outbreak have been acknowledged by Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP in the Scottish Parliament. We are a small, new charity with ambitious goals for 2022. I am sure this recognition from Alex and the Scottish Parliament will help drive us towards delivering on those targets and beyond.”

“There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has had, and will continue to have, an effect on the lives of millions of families and individuals in the UK. covid:aid are committed to representing these people as a trusted national charity here to address their needs.”

In October 2021, covid:aid launched its free Covid-19 Support Community and has reached more than 75,000 people through its website alone. Through the innovative Support Community, users have access to a wide range of advice and information on topics such as Long Covid, grief and bereavement, and trauma, as well as short Courses which provide tips and management strategies to help with common symptoms linked to Covid-19, including loss of smell and fatigue. The charity also offers regular Community Q&As with organisations such as the UK’s leading bereavement charity, Cruse Bereavement Support, and Virtual Drop-In Cafés.

In addition to its community services, covid:aid conducts vital work on Long Covid research and tools being developed to assist with post-Covid-infection care alongside national bodies such as the British Lung Foundation. Examples include the National Institute for Health Research-funded LISTEN project and the NHS-funded Long Covid diagnostic tool My Long COVID Needs. The charity won a National Lottery grant in 2021 to conduct a series of workshops for the development of a digital Long Covid toolkit, intending to inform other charities, healthcare providers, and organisations on how to help people suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.

Mr Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, is a co-convenor of the Scottish Parliament Cross-party group on Long Covid. Their aim is to raise public awareness on the impact of Long Covid on the lives of people living with the condition and ensure their voices are heard within government. This aligns with covid:aid’s own commitments in supporting people across the country who are dealing with Long Covid by sharing information and resources and building a community platform through which those affected can share their experiences with others.

Covid Aid is reliant on YOUR donations to provide support to those hit by Long Covid, grief and bereavement, and other Covid-related issues