As the Coronovirus is rapidly changing, this is understandably a very uncertain and potentially lonely time with lots of groups, activities and services having now been cancelled.

If you are struggling and need help, then please do get in touch with us and we will try our best to help you.  Below is some further information, that I think you might find useful.

  • Dial-Op Information Line

We are co-ordinating a live up to date list of local organisations and agencies that can help during this uncertain time.  As this information is changing on a daily basis, please do phone Dial-Op, our free telephone helplineregarding any enquiry about current services relating to your general health and safe wellbeing including shopping, collecting pensions, bank withdrawals, telephone calls etc.

Lali and her team will provide you with the most up to date information and will signpost you to the relevant services.  You can contact Dial-Op on 01382 305757.

  • Dial-Op Blether Buddies Companion Line

In addition, we currently run a Blether Buddies telephone befriending service.  This is a weekly companionship call, so if you are on your own and could benefit from someone to chat with, get in touch and we will add you to our list.

  • Shopping Services

I have tried several times to send this letter but the information has been continually changing! Below is the most up to date information.

I am pleased to say I have arranged with the following supermarkets a Pensioners Priority Shopping Hour for older people (of pensionable age) and the vulnerable.

Following the success we had on Wednesday with Iceland Foods we are pleased to announce the following:

  • Iceland Foods in Barnhill, Wellgate and Pitkerro Road will run every day 10 – 11am, with the exception of Sunday in the Wellgate which be 11-12noon
  • all Tesco Superstore or Extra stores – Kingsway, Monifieth, South Road and Riverside will run Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9am – 10am – as a result of our input, this is being extended to all of Scotland too!
  • Sainsbury’s will open on Thursday at 7am – 8am. This applies to the big store on Tom Johnston Road only.
  • Asda are allowing from opening time to 9am to allow the most vulnerable, and those who support them, to shop and get what they need.
  • Marks and Spencers dedicated time is Mondays and Thursday between 8am – 9am.

All members of the public are asked to respect this initiative to allow those most at risk the opportunity to shop in a calmer environment.

Please be assured, along with Councillor Lynne Short, Older Peoples Champion, I am still working on getting the remaining Dundee supermarkets on board.  Please keep an eye out on the local press for updates.  If you receive a Blether Buddies call, you will also be advised of any updates.

  • Bin Collections

Food waste collections in Dundee are to stop as of today.  Please combine all food waste with your general waste rather than presenting your kitchen caddies.

  • Buses

From Monday 23rd March, Explore Dundee will be operating a public holiday service only.  This is due to the school closures and the reduced number of people travelling.  Please be advised that Service 4/ 23 will be temporarily suspended.  Up to date information can be found online at

  • Energy Information

The government have agreed measures with the energy industry to ensure that customers who are unable to top up their pre-payment meters remain supplied with energy.  If you are worried about this you should contact your supplier immediately to discuss how you can be kept on supply.

EDF                         – 0333 200 5100

Utilita                       – 0345 2068 333

Bulb                         – 0300 3030 635

Scottish Power         – 0800 027 0072

Scottish/ British Gas – 0333 202 9802

OVO (was SSE)       – 0330 102 7517

Npower                     – 0330 100 3000

eOn                           – 0345 303 3040

  • Offers of Assistance 

We have been encouraged to hear of the many instances of communities coming together to support our vulnerable community members with offers of doing your shopping for you along with a number of other tasks, but please be wary of giving your information out to strangers as you normally would.

Uncertainly such as this brings out the best and sometimes the worst in people.  Please don’t give out money or your bank details to anyone who knocks on your door offering you help and never give out your bank card or pin number to anyone.  If you have friends or neighbours offering to do you’re shopping for you, then they will understand that you will want to pay on delivery of your goods and not before.

If you don’t have anyone to help you do your shopping, there are reputable organisations who can assist with this and Dial-Op will be able to put you in touch with them.

As always, our message remains – please don’t agree to pay for goods or give cash to any unknown people who may arrive at your door or make contact with you over the telephone, and please don’t be persuaded to let strangers into your home.  If this happens get in touch with Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

  • Coronavirus Helpline

There is lots of conflicting information in the media and on the news bulletins which makes it difficult to know what we are supposed to be doing.  Information from the NHS and Scottish Government will give you the most up to date information.

If you don’t have any symptoms but are looking for general information on whether you should isolate or not, please phone NHS Inform on their free helpline on 0800 028 2816.

The helpline is open:  Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8.00am to 6.00pm.

We will also keep our website up to date with the latest information.  You can find it at

  • Online Resources

Feeling bored already?  Why not check out Chatter Pack – a list of free, online, boredom-busting resources.  Find it at:

Whilst the library service is currently out of action, did you know that you could access a number of library services online?  Enjoy a range of e-books, audio-books and e-magazines for free!  If you need help getting started, phone 01382 431537 and the staff will talk you through the process.  See for more information.

Or learn something new with Universal Class – over 500 online courses for you to try for free. Access hundreds of online classes taught by dedicated instructors on a wide variety of topics from computing and accounting to arts & crafts and pet care. Find this on Local studies and family history resources include Ancestry, Find my Past and SCRAN.  You can find these at

In addition, there is a group in Glasgow called Weekday Wow Factor. They are to be running their normal ‘daytime discos’ virtually via Skype.  You can follow them on facebook where you will see their activities in action. They have opened their invitation for anyone to join in with their virtual boogie.

If you have never used Skype before, don’t worry as they can assist you to set the device up by contacting them. You can find a handy tip sheet by following the link.

The next virtual event will take place on Monday, March 23 at 11am. Anyone wishing to take part should send your email address to

  • Call for Volunteers

Can you help or do you know anyone who can?  We are looking for a number of volunteers to help support the vulnerable in these challenging times.

We are looking for drivers, telephone buddies and volunteers for shopping and home deliveries.  Or maybe you can offer a different type of support?  Please contact 01382 305705 or email

  • What’s On Updates

I will keep you informed of changes as often as I can.  We will also post regularly on our facebook page.  You can find us at

I can still be contacted as normal on 01382 305745 and on

Please rest assured, that in Older People’s Services we are doing all that we can to work together with partners to keep front line services going.  Please stay safe and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

I would be grateful as always if you could please share this information with your networks as I conscious that I am unable to get to as many people who may need our support.

Nicola Mitchell

Older Peoples Services Development Officer

Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action

Number Ten

10 Constitution Road



Direct Dial:      01382 305745



Find us on Twitter and Facebook