WE ARE now more than six months into this global pandemic. It is clear we are set to face many more months of restrictions.

The isolation and exclusion faced by so many is taking its toll. Others are despairing due to the impact the latest partial lockdown may be having on their business and employees.

It is important for everyone who is negatively affected by the pandemic and its consequences to be aware that there is still advice and support available. While most local resilience teams have now stood down, East Lothian Council remains ready to help those in need, including the new Self Isolation Support Grant to support those on low incomes who are instructed to self-isolate. Details at eastlothian.gov.uk or on 01620 827827.

Various local charities and community groups have undertaken vital work since the start of lockdown. Some are still providing important services such as food deliveries. Further information can again be found on the council’s website.

Charities also continue to offer information, advice and support, including the British Red Cross with its free and confidential coronavirus support line (0808 1963 651). Others also have helplines, including Age Scotland (0800 1244 222), Citizens Advice Scotland (0800 028 1456), Shelter Scotland (0808 800 4444) and Mind Scotland (0300 123 3393).

Businesses can find information about assistance available, including the new £40m Coronavirus Restrictions Fund, at findbusiness support.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice or on the Scottish Government business helpline number 0300 303 0660.

My constituency office remains closed, but my team and I are working from home. Email iain.gray.msp@parliament.scot

This is an incredibly tough time for many, but there is no need for anyone to suffer alone.