Coronavirus Caring for People Helpline

A dedicated helpline has been set up for people across Argyll and Bute who may need help during the coronavirus outbreak. The Caring for People helpline brings together partner agencies and covers a wide range of issues including help for those who are experiencing difficulties accessing food or prescriptions, business advice including access to grants and anyone who has financial or personal concerns.

The contact number 01546 605 524 is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. An answer machine service will be available to leave a message out-with office hours and at weekends. A member of staff will get in touch during office hours. We want to do our best to get help where it is most needed. If you have other options, please leave this line open for vulnerable people who may not be able to help themselves. Thank you.


As part of the partnership approach within Argyll and Bute, local teams will help coordinate the response to requests made through the Coronavirus Caring for People helpline.

The helpline number can be used by British Sign Language users through contactSCOTLAND-BSL.

Access to a browsealoud function for visually impaired and language translation is available through Argyll and Bute Council’s website

The council website has a dedicated coronavirus page providing a central place for people to access local information and links to useful contacts and resources. .

Health Advice

See for advice.

If you don’t have symptoms and are looking for general information, phone the NHS free helpline on 0800 028 2816.

Call 111 if you have symptoms of COVID-19 that worsen while self-isolating or do not clear up after 7 days.  Call 999 in emergencies

Need help or want to volunteer?

For those that need help please ask them to phone the Argyll and Bute Caring for People Helpline service on 01546 605524 open 9-5 Monday to Friday or via the online help form that can be found here

For people looking to volunteer please can they register on the volunteer Argyll and Bute website for everything from telephone befriending to helping with shopping, DIY emergency repairs, dog walking services etc.

Seileachan April 2020

The latest Seileachan is now available as a PDF – just click the image to view or download. 

This issue is being sent out earlier than usual (no April lottery results, sorry!) by email to all the addresses we have. Remember, the link on the right is to a PDF – you can print it and put a physical copy through a letterbox if you have a neighbour who cannot access it electronically.



Seil & Easdale Community Council Newsletter

Vol. 24 No. 2 March 2020

Copy for the next issue should be sent to the editor, Sue, by 31 May: email hidden; JavaScript is required The Seileachan is also available on the community website: (together with full minutes and agenda) and on The Slate:

This issue is being sent out earlier than usual (no April lottery results, sorry!) by email to all the addresses we could accrue, data protection or no. It will also be available on the relevant, local, facebook groups. Clearly, deliveries could not be made house-to-house as usual. A few paper copies are being made available for inclusion in selected deliveries from the shop; not everyone has access to email or the internet. Please forward this to anyone you think may not have received a copy and apologies in advance for any cross-postings. Silver lining – a month off for our hard-working distributors!


The Seil & Easdale Community Council (CC) has its own facebook page, which will help with communication with the wider community.

email hidden; JavaScript is required



Remember, help is available – whether you need urgent supplies, prescriptions delivered or would just like a friendly chat. Zim Knight is co-ordinating the team of volunteers and can be contacted via the Seil & Easdale Community Council Facebook page which is updated regularly and includes latest information from the Surgery. Or for those not online please call Julie Ferris 300090 or Anne Foster 300025 and we will get help to you.

Be safe – 99.9% of people are doing a brilliant job supporting each other. Sadly, a very tiny minority will see this as an opportunity to exploit the situation. Stay alert for internet or phone scammers and if anything causes you concern report it to the Police on 101.

There will be no blue bin collections during the lockdown. Flatten your recycling and store it somewhere. Green bin collection is to continue on schedule, as far as possible. The amenity site at Moleigh is closed. Many thanks to the crews for maintaining this vital service at such a difficult time.

The speed with which all our lives have changed since the agenda for the 24 March meeting was initially published is incredible. That meeting was, of course, cancelled so here is an update on the information we would have reported.

Still awaiting decision.

Due to pressure of work and COVID-19, Argyll & Bute were unable to complete agreed works by 1 April to ensure the 418 public service bus would continue to meet the licence conditions as stipulated by Scotland Transport. This Monday (23 March) Seafari agreed to immediately undertake, on behalf of Argyll & Bute, all works necessary to ensure the public service bus could continue to turn at the former Highland Arts.

Seed for Life is an Argyll-based charity. As well as supporting a sustainable food aid programme feeding 1,400 schoolchildren in Bemvu, Malawi, we are funding 25 pupils through four years of secondary education. Education can lead to better paid jobs and break the traditional cycle of poverty. Funding the scholarships is by donation and costs £70 per pupil per year. If you would consider sponsoring a scholar or making any donation please make a direct payment to Seed for Life SCIO (sort code 83-26-04, account 00259439) or ask for a sponsorship form from George Hannah (chair) Gerry Foster (treasurer) or Dave Alsop (project manager).

Unfortunately, due to current public health advice, the Isle of Seil Golf Club is postponing its Come and Try days, Coaching and Competitions until further notice. The course is kept in good condition by our volunteer greenkeepers and mechanics. A priority is to repair the wooden bridge. We have a supporter ‘Friends of The Isle of Seil Golf Club’ membership at £20. We will be offering beginner coaching on Tuesdays; junior 4.30 to 5.30pm and adults 6 to 7pm. In addition to our medal Tees, there are new forward Tees being established to encourage easier play and fun competition. We welcome new members of all playing ability. For further information, please contact the secretary, Pat Mill on 087; or email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

First, many thanks to Nick Bowles for setting up and maintaining the Community website, for the past 17 years.

As Community Councillors we receive far too much information to post on our Facebook page, mostly from Argyll & Bute, often involving consultations or surveys. We will try and post anything urgent and the Secretary maintains a mailing list to distribute information, but we cannot inform everyone of everything that could be relevant to them. Please be aware that you can subscribe to the Council’s “Keep in the Loop” service to get notifications about council activities that affect you. Full details in the banner to the website:

The community website,,  has been re-purposed as a central hub to give the community a one-stop shop for information and local news during the Covid-19 crisis, including important information about contacting the surgery and collecting prescriptions, and reduced bus timetables.

* Ferries to Easdale Island and Luing are for their residents and key workers only.


Please ring the disabled bell outside the shop. There is a box outside, at the top of the steps, for you to put your shopping list in, plus cash/card. Go back to your car, and your shopping will be returned to you.

If you ring the shop in the morning, leave a message and Wendy will get back to you in the afternoon. Or email: email hidden; JavaScript is required,uk Deliveries daily, free of charge, by volunteers. She can now take card payments over the phone.

The shop now has fresh granary loaves (large and small), individual granary rolls and lemon & sultana scones, all baked by the Puffer on Easdale Island. Please add to your orders from Wendy, in advance.

A facebook group page has been set up as a place to offer or request help and support for those isolating in our community.



The Seileachan has received an unusual request from someone living Staffordshire who would like to correspond by letter or email with someone on Seil. Please contact the editor if you are interested in taking this any further.

The hall is closed for all events, meetings and club/group activities until further notice. The playpark is also closed. The playing field is still available for walking and general play, but the usual social distancing must be adhered to and no more than two in a group. The goal posts are out of service.

March Lottery winners
£50 Caroline Morgan
£10 Wendy Dugdale, Geordie Lawson. James Fenton


If any of those involved in the Forward Planning exercises which identified community priorities has suggestions for taking issues forward, please let the Community Council know.

We had hoped to open a discussion about road safety at the public meeting. To recap:

The CC purchased the road safety signs with the intention that they would be moved occasionally, since people tend not to notice things once they’ve got used to them. Concerns were expressed about the safety of children waiting for the school bus at Clachan Seil, which is why the CC decided to move the signs there for a while. For whatever reason, someone then decided to move them overnight to the Bridge.

Somehow, we need to make driving without due care for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users as socially unacceptable as it now is to drink and drive. Driving at a safe speed is certainly a key element, but so is leaving a safe distance when passing pedestrians and bikes and generally driving with consideration for others.
At our next public meeting, which hopefully is not too far away, please come and share your ideas and suggestions for making our roads safer for everyone.

Things we’ve considered so far: signs that flash your speed when you pass; stickers such as ‘Slow Down,’ ‘Watch your Speed’ for wheely bins etc; information leaflets on safe driving on single track roads. We continue to value the support from PC MacLeod and will discuss all enforcement/monitoring options available.

Argyll & Bute resources are obviously stretched given the current situation, but we can all continue to report any concerns via their website.

We continue to update the plan to conform with the Argyll & Bute format – but current events show how effective our community is in pulling together in a crisis.

All applications can be viewed on the Argyll & Bute website.

: to be confirmed!

West Coast Motors – 418 Bus Service

Safety is our number one priority during this time and we urge you to listen to the government’s extremely important instruction and only travel if essential.

We would ask all customers to consider paying with contactless cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay or our app tickets rather than cash. Cash is still accepted however we would ask for each of you to try to avoid on bus cash payments. Two return trips per day.

Depart Oban: 0858 (Station) and 1400 (Supermarkets)

Depart Ellenabeich: 0947 and 1508.


TESCO From Monday 30 March
Mon-Sat 8am till 10pm , Sunday 10am till 8pm
Older, Vulnerable Customers: Mon, Wed, & Fri 9am till 10am
NHS Staff: Tues, Thurs & Sun 9am till 10am

Mon-Sat 8am till 10pm,  Sunday 8am till 8pm

Mon-Sat 9am till 7pm,  Sunday 9am till 6pm

Mon-Fri 8am till 8pm,  Sat 8am till 7pm,  Sun 9am-6pm
Older & Vulnerable Customers:  Mon & Thurs 8am-9am
NHS & Emergency services:  Tues & Fri 8am till 9am

Mon-Fri 8am-8pm,  Sat 8am-7pm,  Sun 9am-6pm

Mon-Sat 9am till 4pm

9am till 3pm

Mon-Sat 9am till 4pm

Mon-Sat 9am till 6pm Sun 10am till 5pm

Mon-Wed-Fri 9am till 1pm

Mon-Sat 9am till 4pm Closed 1.30-2.30 for lunch

Mon-Fri 11am till 6pm Closed 1pm-2pm for lunch

Mon-Sat 10am till 5pm Closed 1pm till 2pm for lunch

Mon-Sat 7am till 6pm

Mon-Sat 7am till 6pm, Sun 8am till 6pm

Mon-Sun 7am till 7pm

Mon-Sun 7am till 6pm

Mon-Sun 7am till 8pm

Mon-Fri 6am till 6pm, Sat-Sun 6am till 5pm

Shop closed but doing local delivery

Online ordering only. Can collect from store

CLOSED online home delivery available


Argyll & Bute Council – changes to bins, roads and amenity services

Keeping people safe from the spread of coronavirus means making changes to how we work.

We must concentrate on the services that will help to keep people safe, and that the council must deliver by law.

To ensure we have enough people to do what we need to do, we have made some changes to services.

We will continue to:

  • Collect the general waste bins, maintaining the current schedule. Please put your general waste bin out on your usual day and we will collect it as soon as we can.
  • Providing burial and cremation services but limiting attendance to immediate family members only (up to a maximum number of 8);
  • Limit ferry and air travel via our ferries and Oban airport to emergency/essential travel only
  • Make repairs to dangerous defects in infrastructure and follow up inspections as required;
  • Respond to emergency call outs and winter maintenance as necessary; and
  • Provide any home to school transport as required for essential/key workers.
  • Commercial waste uplifts for businesses that are permitted to continue to trade and have a contract with us. Those that deal with food will have their food waste collected separately.

These are services which we have had to stand down
to comply with government guidelines around social distancing, for the three weeks that current guidance on staying safe is in place, and to meet staff shortages:

  • Public conveniences to be closed.
  • Emergency road repairs to continue; all other road works to cease on account of lack of materials and staff. All roadworks to cease and current jobs will be made safe and traffic management will be removed where possible.
  • Following Scottish Government instructions, play parks will close immediately, along with outdoor gyms. Football pitches should no longer be used for matches, but can be used for exercising as long as social distancing is respected.
  • Civic amenity sites will close to the public immediately.
  • We will not be collecting blue bins/bags. Please store your recycling where possible or flatten your recycling to get as much as possible into your blue bin and bag any extra.
  • We will not be collecting glass or domestic food waste.
  • There will be one more collection of commercial waste for businesses that have to close as a result of the response to Covid-19. It will then stop for customers who don’t need it. There will still be a service for businesses that are open and have a contract with us eg supermarkets.

The situation is fluid and we may need to make changes at short notice. Urgent changes will be posted on our website: Service Disruptions Page. Information on longer-term changes will be issued on our social media channels, website and local press.

We would appeal to members of the public to work with us during this challenging time. We are working hard to protect our frontline staff. You can help us by reading the guidance about waste disposal if someone in the household has or is suspected of having COVID-19: NHS Coronavirus Self Isolation Advice.

We will resume services wherever possible. Until then, our focus is on maintaining the most vital services.

Kind regards,

Argyll and Bute Council

Latest coronavirus advice and info from the Practice 26/03

The advice is look at NHS INFORM, if you need more advice the 0800 0282816 number and if you have worsening symptoms (also described on NHS inform website) then call 111.

The Oban Hospital is splitting its staff and building in to two, Covid and Non Covid. If you meet the criteria you will be assessed in the Red side (COVID side) or admitted straight to ward B (COVID WARD), all via 111. When the Hospitals are full people will have to be looked after at home.

We are all working hard to stay well and stop the virus spreading. This is the best protection we have to coping with what lies ahead.

Stay safe , stay well.

Kind regards

Mary Phillips
Practice Manager
Easdale Medical Practice

Balvicar Shop

25th March 2020

The shop is open and will stay open but if you feel unwell or wish not to come in then please do not come in.

There is a box outside for shopping lists, post and electric keys to be left in. For post, please put a note in about whether the parcel is to be first or second class etc. For electric keys, leave a note of how much you would like on the key.

Ring the disabled bell, at the bottom of the stairs and get back in your car. Shop staff will process your wish (with gloves on) and put it back in the box for collection.

A delivery service is available for the vulnerable isolated. The shop can take card payments over the phone.



No Blue Bin Collections

NO blue bin collections during the lockdown. Flatten everything and store it somewhere. Green bin collections to continue on schedule as far as possible.