Renfrewshire Council

Staff Weekly News - 17 April 2020

In this week's staff news:

You can download a copy of the staff newsletter here:  Staff Weekly News - 17 April 2020 [645KB]

A message from our Chief Executive, Sandra Black

"You will all be aware of yesterday's announcement that the national lockdown will continue for at least another 3 weeks. This means the changes to our working and home lives will continue for a while longer. I would once again like to thank everyone for playing their part - be it delivering essential services, changing roles to support frontline colleagues, volunteering to help our communities and by staying at home.

Reducing our contact with other people and following social distancing is the best contribution we can all make to keep each other safe, reduce the spread of the infection and step closer to some of the measures being lifted."

Read Sandra's full message here.

Latest information and advice - we've got you covered!

Stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS

Keep up to date with all the latest Coronavirus information and guidance from the NHS, UK and Scottish Governments.

For the latest staff information visit the staff advice on Coronavirus page.

Changes to Council services

Our information, help and guidance on Coronavirus provides details of the changes to Council services as we follow national guidance to manage the impact of Coronavirus. 

Health, Safety and Wellbeing at work

We have developed a section on our website dedicated to bringing you all the information you might need for looking after your health, safety and wellbeing at work. Click here for more information.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All staff have access to the PPE kit they require and we are monitoring supply every day. If you have any concerns about PPE please speak with your line manager.

Coronavirus helpline for local support

A national helpline has been set up to help those considered at high risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19).
The helpline will provide localised advice and support to those who are currently not receiving assistance and those who are unable to get online.
You can call for yourself or on behalf of a friend or relative, but if you are already receiving support through friends, family or a community network then please continue to do so.
The free helpline is available on 0800 111 4000 from 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. For more information visit our section on High risk support

Bereavement Support

The death of someone we love is the most difficult thing we all go through.
The Coronavirus outbreak and the measures that have had to be put in place can make it feel even more difficult, because we are separated from family and friends and our usual support.
We want to help you as much as we possibly can right now. We've published some information and advice online about losing a loved one - the practical steps you must take; the measures currently in place around registering a death and organising a funeral service; and contact details of people who can speak to you about coping with grief. You can find this information on our Death and bereavement support page.
Numbers you can call for support include;Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland on 0845 600 2227, Child Bereavement UK on 0800 02 888 40, Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 and ParentLine on 08000 28 22 33.

Priority Hour Shopping for HSCP staff

We are delighted that several local supermarkets have extended their special shopping hours to allow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) staff to shop during hours reserved for healthcare staff. Asda, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's will all provide a warm welcome to care staff with a Renfrewshire Council HSCP or NHSGGC ID badge during these special hours.

Homecare Hubs

Two dropdown hubs have been opened to support our fabulous homecare staff have safe and well-deserved rest breaks in between visits to clients. The hubs at Montrose and Renfrew Day Centres are open Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm, to allow staff to touch base, collect Personal Protective Equipment and pick up a bite to eat. They are cleaned three times daily and a service coordinator is in place to ensure social distancing is always followed. The Falcon Day Centre will open soon to provide a home care training facility.

Renfrewshire Leisure

As always Renfrewshire Leisure have a huge range of activities to keep all the family active and entertained while at home. Visit their website for details on fitness classes, fun activities, access to e-books through Renfrewshire Libraries and much more! Visit  Renfrewshire Leisure

Frontline Focus

This week we shine a light on the work of our facilities management team, including catering, cleaning and housekeeping teams who are working round the clock to keep staff and residents safe and healthy.

Helping vulnerable families

Colleagues from Soft Facilities Management (FM) have set up the service for the delivery of support packages for vulnerable families across Renfrewshire. Support packs including freshly prepared meals, toiletries and dry goods like cereal and tea bags are being distributed to more than 1,200 households (almost 2,800 people) across Renfrewshire, with more than 37,000 meals delivered so far. Easter Egg treats were included in parcels over the bank holiday weekend to ensure no one missed out.

Catering teams have been set up in Castlehead High and Park Mains High to prepare and pack these meals for distribution - this involves colleagues whose usual days jobs include school catering, janitorial duties and working in the Atrium cafe. Soft FM staff have adapted well to the new challenges and continue to ensure these vital services are delivered.

The Soft FM service has also taken on responsibility for the delivery of the Community Meals service which provides hot meals to more than 500 elderly residents across Renfrewshire.

Jennifer Meighan, a catering manager at Gryffe High School who has been redeployed to this service, said 'I am just happy to be involved and help make sure these residents continue to be provided with a hot meal every day.' 

Jonny Millen, whose day job is Janitor at Kirklandneuk Primary School, is shown below assisting in the kitchen

Support Packages
Packing centre at Park Mains HS
Jonny Millen
Jonny Millen


Cleaning heroes in action

A big thank you to our cleaning staff who are working tirelessly to ensure that buildings remaining open for essential services are thoroughly cleaned and safe for everyone to use. This includes the essential housekeeping service within care homes, which extends to delivering catering, cleaning and laundry services for vulnerable older people. Lynnette Ewing, Facilities Housekeeper at Hunterhill Care Home sang the praises of her staff who 'are committed to delivering the best possible service for residents and keeping everyone safe and well, despite anxiety about the virus'.

Image of cleaner Image of cleaner


Pay it forward

This Easter Sunday our amazing frontline staff currently responsible for delivering support packages and meals, went above and beyond to serve the local community.
Excess meals from Park Mains High School were delivered to local charity "Coming Home" who are working hard to feed veterans at this difficult time. The staff also donated Easter eggs they had been gifted as a thank you for all their hard work.
But that's not all. NHS staff at the Royal Alexandria Hospital (RAH) Paisley, were also delighted to receive a mountain of Easter eggs from the team.
Operations Manager Elaine Scott said, "we'd been fortunate enough to have a surplus of these supplies and we couldn't think of a better place to send them than to our RAH lifesavers and local veterans."

Barney the veteran
93-year-old local veteran Barney was over the moon to receive his package


Thanks for our Waste Collection Team

Gail Scoular, Senior Warden currently deployed to support the waste collection team, was truly moved when she witnessed this beautiful drawing by a young Ralston resident being handed to her colleagues during one of their rounds last week. This is just one of the many heart-warming gestures our waste collection team have seen in recent weeks. Gail said, "We have gone into the streets and received cheers and clapping from residents which is very touching. I'm sure the men had a tear in their eyes!"

Thank you drawing by Ralston 6-year-old  


Our Hubs for Key Worker Cubs!

We've been catching up with staff, parents and kids at our childcare hubs to find out how they are adjusting to school under lockdown. Feedback so far has been outstanding. Amanda McGarrall who works at Hugh Smiley hub said, "I love meeting people from different schools, the children have settled really well and I feel that I am making a difference, it really helps keep some normality in our lives at a difficult time."

Grateful parents have come forward to offer their thank yous and positive feedback, including comments like "I couldn't do my job right now without the amazing staff who take care of my girl" and "my child wakes up desperate to come and play."

Children's Services Head Julie Calder received some great feedback from key workers at the Queen Elizabeth hospital whose children have been attending the St James` hub. They told her, "the staff are all amazing, positive and genuinely interested to see the children when they are dropped off every day. The school is warm, friendly and colourful and has such a great feel. The boys love going to school, they would be there 7 days if they could. A brilliant place."

Some of the kids also had some compliments to share. When asked what they enjoy most about their hub... "we get out to play every day and go on the bikes", "we wash our hands and listen to stories" and "you can colour your pictures and play."

Girl at childcare hub
Little cub on a bike
Boy in toy car
Little cub in a car

Easter Wishes

Kids at West PS Childcare Hub used their creative skills to brighten up Easter for the residents of Braemount Care Home. Just look at the amazing Easter cards they created.

Little girl making Easter cards Easter cards social distancing More Easter cards

Social Shout Outs

Our Facebook and Twitter channels have received more fantastic feedback from the people of Renfrewshire this week. Just goes to show all your hard work is recognised and appreciated. Here are just a few of the comments we have received so far...

"Thank you to all the essential workers. We really appreciate you all working in such challenging times! Also great to read about how your employer is keeping you safe and socially distanced." - Joan Newlands via Facebook

"Hi, we got our new brown bin today, thank you very much as we weren't expecting it until this situation had gotten better. Thanks again" - Steven Larkin via Twitter

"Thank you for keeping your service running during this worrying time Your hard work is appreciated!! We are very lucky in Renfrewshire with the service your still providing us. Many neighbouring councils bin collections aren't running aswell. We should be thankful. Stay safe" - Kirsty Wojtczac via Facebook

"You guys are awesome! You are so much appreciated! You always are, but especially now when it's difficult for you to stay safe. Please do stay safe!" - Kathryn Trinder via Facebook

"Thank you to all you guys. Its very much appreciated in these unheard of times that we are all coping with at the moment. Stay safe and I will be clapping for you all on Thursday along with all the other wonderful people who are keeping us all safe." Blanche Allison via Facebook

"My kids love waving to you guys from the window ❤️ thank you to all refuse workers!" - Kirsten Michelle Weir Stoddart via Facebook

"New green waste bin delivered. Many thanks for a prompt service." - Mark Hamilton via Twitter

"Just wanted to say thank you to the people who are working hard to collect like this. Think it is brilliant that you have worked out a system to keep the team as safe as possible and keep the services going. Brilliant effort, thank you and well done." - Allan Walker via Facebook

"A couple of messages left on bins. One said 'From one frontline worker to another, thank you!' " - David McGee via Twitter

"Thanks Guys, you are doing a great job. My wee guy loves waiting for you at the window as you give such brilliant smiles and waves (and he likes the bin lorry)." - Carol Burt-Wilson via Facebook