Renfrewshire Council

Message from Chief Executive, Sandra Black - 12 June 2020

The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 has now continued to fall for the sixth consecutive week with this week's figures representing the lowest number of deaths since late March. While the progress has been significant, it is important it's sustained and if the current trend continues the First Minister hopes to announce further careful easing of restrictions next week.

That's why it's so important that we continue to stay at home where possible, stay two metres away from anyone not from your own household and please continue to adhere to the physical distancing guidance.

It's only by continuing to follow the guidance that we can help support the NHS and our colleagues still battling the illness or having to remain in isolation, while also taking another careful step on the route map out of lockdown.

At the beginning of the week the Scottish Government confirmed that people who were considered most vulnerable and who have already received a letter advising them to shield up until 18 June, must continue to so until the end of July at the earliest.

I understand just how difficult it must be for any of our staff, or anyone being asked to shield and their families. If you do receive a letter please contact your manager who will be able to provide you with the appropriate support and guidance.

Our response as a council to this pandemic has shone a light on the hard work and commitment of our staff and this was further evidenced this week, with the news that staff at our three dedicated distribution sites have now delivered more than 250,000 meals to vulnerable people and families across Renfrewshire. It's been a real team effort consisting of teams from across the council, including redeployed staff, AMEY employees and volunteers who have all been busy prepping and cooking fresh meals, packing bags, procuring items; managing the helpline and taking calls or delivering food parcels to those most in need, and all while adhering to physical distancing guidelines. This is a remarkable achievement and a great example of teams and individuals from across the council coming together to provide a vital service to the community. Thank you.

It was great to see the appreciation on our social channels for the fantastic work of our staff at our childcare hubs as all the children they've been supporting returned to their own school or nursery this week. It's been a real council family effort and I want to thank all our hub heroes, including our cleaners, catering teams, janitors, school, teaching and early years staff as well as our colleagues at Renfrewshire Leisure for all their hard work as we prepare to welcome back those children starting primary or secondary school later this month and all our pupils in August.

I'd also like to thank everyone that took the time to have their say on our staff communications in last month's staff survey. The way we are all working has changed dramatically in recent months, so it was really encouraging to see that an overwhelming majority of you thought the information we're providing at this time was useful. You also told us you wanted more frequent and bite-sized communications from your Managers and Heads of Service, with many of you saying you would like to view more video and digital content. We will share the full results and next steps with you in the next few weeks.

Last year we launched the Our Values campaign, inviting every employee to join the conversation about what it's like to work here, defining our culture and helping to identify the values that are most important to our organisation. We spoke to more than 4,000 people - our own staff, members of the public, community groups, partners and young people, who all shared their experience of, and aspirations for the council. I'm pleased to say that we'll be sharing the outcome of those discussions with the launch of our values next week.

Without giving too much away it will come as no surprise to learn that many of you have been living by these values for some time. In fact, they have been at the heart of our response to the crisis and evident in your actions and attitude every single day. Please take the time to read more about them and keep in touch for more information on how these will be embedded in our day-to-day work going forward.

I hope like me you enjoyed hearing from our colleagues from across the council as part of our activity to celebrate Carers Week and this year's theme, Make Caring Visible.  What was especially pleasing to hear was how managers have supported our carers during this particularly challenging time. All the information from the week is available on our website: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/10339/Carers-Week-2020---Make-Caring-Visible  And if you have any ideas on how we can make life easier for our working carers then please complete the following short survey https://arcg.is/0aCLO9 or contact HR/OD or your manager.

Thank you.

Sandra