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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

Coronavirus - Latest Information

Reopening our venues and preparing for your return to work

Our updated Returning to Work Guide (version two) aims to provide a reminder of the changes we introduced to support safe working in our buildings and venues when we first reopened in July 2020. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles continue to apply in all our venues. To view a list of which venues we have prioritised for reopening from w/c Monday 26 April 2021, visit the Covid-19 latest information page of our website.

If you haven’t done so already, all staff returning to work will need to complete Glasgow Life’s mandatory ‘Coronavirus Awareness’ training course on GOLD and a hyperlink to this is included within our Returning to Work Guide. You can also click on this link for details of how to access GOLD remotely.

Your line manager will contact you to arrange a suitable date and time for a phone call to discuss your return to work or to reconnect with you. These documents may be helpful to read through in advance of this:

Upon returning to work, we’re asking staff to be flexible over their shift patterns, working days and work location. We may ask you to work within a different venue or service area from your usual workplace, however we will ensure all appropriate training takes place and will offer support throughout.

If your circumstances have changed since your last return to work then please raise this with your line manager and we will determine how best we can support you.

Scottish Government guidance is that those on the shielding list can now return to work. If this affects you then our Employee Relations team will work with your line manager to offer occupational risk assessments and any other interventions which may be required.

Some training may need to be carried out ahead of the reopening of any of our venues. If this applies to you, your line manager will be in touch to let you know. This training can take place while employees are on furlough.

We will aim to provide as much notice as possible (and a minimum of 48 hours) of your return to work date and we will work with you to address any concerns you may have. It’s important that your line manager has up-to-date contact details for you and that you remain contactable so that they can keep you informed about our ongoing reopening plans.

In the meantime, should you have any questions about this please raise them with your line manager.

Returning to the workplace – occupational risk assessments

Returning to the workplace after lockdown can seem daunting and it’s understandable to feel anxious or have questions about what your working environment will look like. Glasgow Life is committed to supporting all employees with their return to work and making sure everyone has a chance to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. 

Occupational risk assessments for staff

Ahead of reopening any of our venues or offices, we have completed workplace risk assessments with our Trade Union and Health and Safety reps. This ensures that all appropriate safety and hygiene measures are in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission for all staff and customers.

We are also offering the option of an occupational risk assessment for members of staff who have concerns about returning to work, or may be more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill if they contract the virus.

This assessment has been developed by the Scottish Government and uses factors such as age, ethnicity, BMI and any underlying health conditions to give a level of vulnerability of low, moderate, high or very high.

You can then discuss the results and any concerns with your line manager and identify any adjustments that can be made to help you return to work safely. The risk assessment is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

Your line manager will offer you the option of an occupational risk assessment if you were shielding previously or have expressed concerns about returning to work. This will help inform your return to work discussion.

The risk assessment is optional and some staff may feel uncomfortable disclosing personal information with their line manager. If this is the case, please do continue to have a return to work conversation with your line manager to make sure you have a chance to raise any concerns and discuss possible adjustments.

Within the 'preparing for your return to work' section at the top of this page you'll find key documents outlining what you can expect from your return to work discussion with your line manager as well as more information on occupational risk assessments. 

Business and Budget Plan 2021-22

Glasgow Life’s Business and Budget Plan sets out our ambitions and the areas we will prioritise for the financial year 2021-22, as we embark on a journey of recovery and renewal from the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the city’s culture, sport, events and tourism sectors.

We are committed to our vision to inspire every citizen and visitor to become engaged and active in a city globally renowned for culture and sport and this vision is at the heart of our recovery plans. As a charity we work for the benefit of the people of Glasgow. Our cultural and sporting programmes, experiences and events promote inclusion, happiness and health while also supporting the city’s visitor economy. Together these enhance the city’s mental, physical and economic wellbeing.

Our people strategy, financial planning, properties and assets, and the services we deliver will help us continue to operate world-class facilities and services accessible to everyone; manage nationally and internationally recognised collections and archives which local people can enjoy every day and deliver accessible globally-renowned events.

At the same time, we will continue to promote Glasgow internationally as a city which inspires pride in its citizens and supports the local economy and we will create spaces and programmes which make a vital contribution to local communities and the social and economic fabric of the city.

Click on this link to read Glasgow Life’s Business and Budget Plan 2021-22.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and health and wellbeing support

Thank you to everyone across Glasgow Life for your continued commitment and hard work throughout this challenging situation. We know you have many questions about the impact of Covid-19 on Glasgow Life's services and your role, so we've created a list of frequently asked questions. And if you feel that you need some support with any aspect of your mental health, we've put together a variety of resources on our health and wellbeing page. 

Internal and External Vacancies

View and apply for internal vacancies. This link will take you to a list of Glasgow Life and wider Council Family vacancies on My Job Scotland for internal fulfillment. It’s specifically for Glasgow Life staff and should not be shared more widely as not all Glasgow Life vacancies shown here will be available externally.

To view Glasgow Life vacancies that are being advertised externally, or to share them with anyone not currently employed by Glasgow Life, see external vacancies on My Job Scotland. You will need a My Job Scotland account to be able to apply for any opportunities.

Staff update – Wednesday 12 May

Current Glasgow Life vacancies:

We are looking for a digital expert to join Glasgow Life at a senior level; someone with passion, capability and who can lead our organisation through a comprehensive digital transformation.

The position of Digital and Technical Lead is a newly-created and key role, with a wide-ranging remit, which will make a significant difference to our ability to reach our audiences as well as to deliver on performance and financial targets.

The role is anchored within the Marketing Communications team but the post-holder will work to support the whole of Glasgow Life. Responsibilities will include:

  • A large-scale website rationalisation project.
  • The establishment of a dashboard of standardised metrics in communications and digital.
  • The oversight of Glasgow Life’s social media strategy.
  • The development of an efficient and income generating e-commerce platform.
  • The procurement of systems and agency support for the Marketing Communications team.

To be successful in this role you should have the following skills and experience:

  • You will have demonstrable experience working as a digital leader at a senior level in a complex organisation.
  • You will be an exceptional communicator and team player, able to energise those around you and an experienced manager and mentor to those within your team.
  • You will be a strategic thinker with experience of working on innovative projects within a fast-paced digital environment. 
  • You will have the digital expertise and people skills to help steer Glasgow Life through its next exciting chapter.  

This permanent, full-time role is a Grade 9 with a salary of £54,603.30 – £63,237.21.

To find out more, click here to see the full vacancy details on MyJobScotland.

If you don’t already have one, you will need to create a MyJobScotland account to be able to apply. The closing date for applications is Sunday 23 May 2021.

Glasgow Life is also currently recruiting for the following positions:

Managers, please ensure all vacancies are shared with your team members, particularly those who don’t have regular email access or are not at work at the moment.

Staff update – Tuesday 11 May

A message from our Chief Executive: More Glasgow Life services to resume from Monday (17 May)

Dear colleagues 

The last few weeks have brought with them some of the most positive steps out of the pandemic that we have seen since the introduction of the vaccination programme.

Since Glasgow dropped to Level 3 of Scotland's Covid-19 protection framework last month, the reopening of everything from shops and cafes to our libraries, museums and sports facilities has begun to gather pace.

And there was more good news earlier today, as the First Minister confirmed that from Monday (17 May) the majority of mainland Scotland, including Glasgow, will move down to Level 2 restrictions.

With the exception of Moray, which will remain at Level 3, and the Scottish Islands, which will move to Level 1, the rest of the country will follow the Government’s Level 2 timetable from next week and this will continue to contribute to life in Glasgow returning to something much more like normality in the weeks ahead.

For Glasgow Life services, today’s announcement means the long-awaited reintroduction of indoor fitness classes in our Glasgow Club venues, as well as the return of adult outdoor contact sports; something we know our customers have been eagerly anticipating.

Additionally, Nicola Sturgeon said that larger groups of people can meet outdoors (up to eight people from eight households) and, for the first time in what feels like forever, we can now meet indoors and stay overnight (up to six people from three households).  

She also confirmed that during private indoor and outdoor meetings with close friends and family, physical distancing rules do not have to be followed, meaning we can finally hug our loved ones. This well-earned and long-awaited announcement has come earlier than expected, but I’m sure you will all be as delighted as I am to know that this small act of human contact can again become a regular part of our lives.

However, the First Minster did stress that we must all continue to use our common sense and that physical distancing will still be required in all public settings. The Scottish Government will continue to review physical distancing rules with a view to relaxing them further, where possible, in the coming weeks if progress continues. The First Minister will address this at, or before, her next three-weekly review on 1 June.

There was also welcome news for Glasgow’s hospitality businesses, with the confirmation that we can now meet indoors in hospitality settings (up to six people from three households) and alcohol can be served indoors until 10.30pm. To support ongoing Test and Protect efforts, I would encourage you all to download the Government’s new Check in Scotland contact tracing app.

All of these new opportunities are going to be vital to the city's economic and social recovery. If we can keep transmission levels and new infections low, then we can look forward to further relaxation of the national restrictions as we enter the summer, with a potential move to Level 1 on 7 June and then to Level 0 by the end of June.

As it has been throughout the pandemic and the easing of restrictions, and as we look to reopen more venues and sites in the coming weeks, our priority continues to be to ensure that the return of our staff and the public is managed safely.

You can find more information on what activity is permitted in Level 2 on the Scottish Government’s website, here.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 7 May

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project or community initiative, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.   

New Glasgow Sport hub is helping Arden community to get active 

A new community initiative, which Glasgow Sport helped to create in the south west of the city during the first lockdown, is going from strength to strength.

The Active Arden Community Sport Hub was formed in partnership with Glen Oaks Housing Association to tackle health inequalities in the area and to enable local people to access sport and physical activity. Over the past year, the hub has set up a walking group, regular fitness classes and has secured funding to create a community garden. Residents have expressed a significant improvement in their fitness and a number of people have attended training courses and workshops, such as walk leaders and child wellbeing, with a view to taking up volunteering coaching roles within the hub.  

James Tonner, Glasgow Sport Development Officer, said: “The Arden area has few community groups and sports clubs, so opportunities for local residents to get active or even leave their house to meet others had been very limited. Through the creation of a formal Active Arden group, we have started to make a real impact on the health and wellbeing of the community by helping to break down barriers to participation and developing the confidence of local residents.”

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries to return with in-person support from Tuesday

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries are re-launching in Royston, Partick and Castlemilk libraries from Tuesday (11 May).

Cancer support and information will be available through new, weekly, in-person appointments for people living with or beyond cancer, family, friends or carers, and people who are bereaved. The team will also be hosting drop-in sessions to provide information and a space to talk. These will initially be hosted by Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries staff until volunteers can be reintroduced safely.

Additionally, Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is continuing to offer a telephone service. A team of specially-trained volunteers can offer emotional, practical and financial assistance, help answer any questions, and make referrals into Macmillan’s partner organisations for further support. For more information or to book an in-person appointment, email macmillan@glasgowlife.org.uk or call 0141 287 2903. You can also chat to Macmillan online on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Covid-19 home testing kits for people without symptoms

Fast, free and regular testing for people without Covid symptoms is now available to everyone in Scotland. Home testing kits, for use twice-weekly, can be ordered online here or by calling the national testing helpline on 119.  

One pack can be ordered per household, per day and will be delivered by post in 1-2 days. Each pack contains seven tests and includes instructions on how to administer a test and how to report the results. The result of each test should be recorded as soon as possible thereafter here.

Testing kits can also be collected for free from local testing sites. You can find your nearest collection point using this postcode checker. Up to two packs of seven tests can be collected per household and you can do so without an appointment between 3.30pm and 8pm each day. For more information, visit gov.scot/communitytesting.  

Healthy Working Lives: Mental Health Awareness Week – 10-16 May 2021

Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and it’s an opportunity to take some time to assess your own mental health and the wellbeing of those around you. During the pandemic, millions of us have experienced a mental health problem, perhaps for the first time, or seen a friend or loved one struggle, so it’s important to keep the conversation going and to encourage others to talk about how they’re feeling.

The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging us all to reconnect with nature across the week and to share what it means to you. Getting outdoors has been shown to have a positive effect on protecting and supporting our mental wellbeing. You can find tips on connecting with nature, wherever you are, here.

Mental Health UK are also inviting us to immerse ourselves in the 'Five Ways to Wellbeing', Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. By building some small yet effective activities into your daily routine you can feel more positive and get the most out of life. MIND are also asking us to join the fight for improved mental health services, for those who need support, by sharing who we’re fighting for; whether it’s for your younger self who struggled with depression, or a friend who is currently on a waiting list. Find out how to get involved at mind.org.uk.

The Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal also has links to a variety of resources to help with any aspect of your wellbeing, including details of how you can get in touch with our employee assistance provider Workplace Options.

Current Glasgow Life vacancies

All Council Family vacancies are advertised on My Job Scotland. Bookmark this link on your device to view internal Glasgow Life vacancies. Please use this link to view external Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland. Managers, please ensure all vacancies are shared with your team members, particularly those who don’t have regular email access.

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Staff update – Friday 30 April

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

As we come to the end of another challenging week, I want to thank you all for your tremendous efforts, which has seen many of our venues begin to reopen for the first time in four long months.

I know just how much hard work has gone into preparing our buildings, and creating a safe and welcoming environment for our customers and visitors, from teams across Glasgow Life recently. It is to your credit that we now have 24 sports facilities, 19 libraries and three world-class museums open to the public again, with many more to follow in the coming weeks and months.

I think this short welcome back video, which we have shared on our social media channels today, reflect better than I can put into words just how much reopening means to the communities that we serve.

At the same time, we have also announced the full programmes for two of Glasgow’s most important and best-loved festivals this week; Aye Write and Glasgow International. Having both been postponed last year due to Covid restrictions, it is wonderful to see them returning, with a blend of physical and digital programming, in May and June.

Again, I know that the teams involved in the creation and delivery of these events have been working tirelessly to bring them together in formats that will both delight audiences and meet the Government’s ongoing Covid guidelines. They are great examples of how we are continuing to support the recovery of the city’s events and festivals portfolio, and it is a reflection of the public’s eagerness to re-engage with events, and of the popularity of Aye Write in particular, that sales of early bird passes have already exceeded our target.

I also want to mention our Destination Marketing team for their work this week in launching the city’s #LoveGlasgow campaign. They are continuing to do a great deal of work to support our tourism industry, and Glasgow’s wider economic recovery, as well as to ensure the city remains visible within our key target tourism markets, so that when travelling more widely returns, international visitors continue to consider Glasgow a first-choice destination.     

As I have said before, we know how important our services and facilities are to the people of Glasgow and the vital role we will play in helping the city to overcome the long-term impacts of the pandemic, not just in economic terms, but in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Wellbeing has been a constant theme in our internal communications over the past 13 months and I would encourage you all to take the time to take care of yourself. We all need to take a break sometimes; to relax, switch off from work and spend time doing the things we enjoy. Understandably, this may feel strange if you are working from home or not able to work at the moment, but it’s important that we each take time to recharge.

And if you are intending to take a break, why not go out and enjoy some of what our great city has to offer now that restrictions have eased? You’ll be showing your support for our #LoveGlasgow campaign as you shop and dine with our brilliant retail and hospitality businesses.

In the meantime, I wish you all an enjoyable May holiday weekend.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 30 April

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project or community initiative, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Glasgow International unveils full 2021 programme ahead of June festival

As one of the UK’s largest and most influential visual arts festivals, Glasgow International (GI) has today unveiled an outstanding programme for the much-loved event’s ninth edition, which will take place from 11-27 June.

Bringing together more than 70 exhibitions, performances and talks at spaces across the city and online, and showcasing the works of over 100 local and international artists, this year’s festival will again highlight Glasgow as a leading centre for the production and display of innovative contemporary art. The festival had originally been scheduled to take place in April last year but had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

In addition to larger-scale commissions, exhibitions and partner collaborations in more than 30 spaces and venues around the city, GI will also present a complete digital programme, giving artists an alternative space to present their work. For more information, including what’s on and when, visit glasgowinternational.org.

City of Glasgow Swim Team has Tokyo hopes

It’s been a busy month for the City of Glasgow Swim Team following British Swimming’s Paralympic selection trials in Sheffield and Olympic trials in London.

Louis Lawlor, Gavin Roberts and Andrew Mullen swam incredibly well in Sheffield and will find out in a few weeks whether they have qualified for a place at the Paralympics in Tokyo this summer. Meanwhile, Katie Shanahan, Martin McInnes, Gregor Swinney, Max Hagan and Mark Ford travelled to the London Aquatic Centre for Olympic selection trials, where Covid restrictions meant only the top 200 swimmers from across the country could compete. All of the team and coaching staff had to stay in a strict ‘event bubble’, remaining in their hotels when not competing and taking regular Covid tests. Despite the challenges, the team achieved several career best times in their chosen strokes.

Glasgow Life has been able to support the team with maintaining their training during lockdown through the elite performance sport exemption agreed with the Scottish Government and Scottish Swimming, which has allowed for daily access to Tollcross. Congratulations to all the athletes for qualifying for this level of competition despite the many challenges and restrictions they have faced over the past year.

Aye Write reveals complete programme for first fully digital book festival in May

Aye Write has also announced its full programme this week. Having had to postpone last year’s event due to Covid restrictions, Glasgow’s annual book festival is gearing up to deliver a diverse and fully digital programme of events over two weekends next month.

Aye Write is a celebration of literature in all its forms, whilst showcasing Scotland’s rich writing and publishing culture on the world stage. The 16th edition of Aye Write will take place online from Friday to Sunday, 14-16 May and again the following weekend (21-23 May); bringing the festival to audiences worldwide and in the comfort of their own homes.

Featuring a programme of over 60 author talks and discussion panels, from bestselling authors such as Douglas Stuart, Maggie O’Farrell, Kate Mosse and Monique Roffey, there’s something for every reader this year. In all, the festival will feature more than 140 authors and writers from across the cultural spectrum, including stars from stage and screen, politics, current affairs and entertainment. Reflecting the continued popularity of Aye Write, sales of ‘early bird’ passes have already exceeded our target. For more info, and book tickets, visit www.ayewrite.com.

Can you help to record the wildlife in your local area?

Lockdown inspired many of us to get outside and enjoy the nature on our doorsteps. Now that spring has sprung, you may be spotting more insects, wildlife and plants in your garden or when out walking. Did you know that you can contribute to biodiversity research and record wildlife sightings at any point in the year by sharing them with Glasgow Museums' Biological Record Centre? 

The Centre collects records from Glasgow and neighbouring local authority areas and the team would love for Glasgow Life staff to get involved. You can share details of animals and plants that you’ve seen by completing this Word document and sending it to biological.records@glasgowlife.org.uk. It’s always helpful if you can also capture an image, however, this isn't necessary for more common and easily identifiable species. 

Glasgow Museums staff have been capturing wildlife sightings throughout the past year. Allison Whitehill sent in a record of a beetle she saw at Cathkin Braes, which experts identified as an Orchid Beetle; the first sighting of the species in Glasgow since 1875! 

Recording wildlife helps to improve our understanding of the natural world by showing how species distribution changes over time. It also highlights the effects of climate change and habitat loss. You can find out more about the importance of biological records in this short video.

Healthy Working Lives: Stroke Awareness Month

May is Stroke Awareness Month, an annual event organised by the Stroke Association. The campaign aims to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of strokes, including what to do in the event of someone suffering a stroke. A stroke happens when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, and the effects can vary depending on which part of the brain is affected and how severe the stroke is.

Stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK and it can happen to anyone, of any age, at any time. The FAST test can help you recognise the signs.

  • Facial weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
  • Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
  • Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
  • Time to call 999: if you see any of these signs.

To find out more about the signs of stroke, how to prevent strokes, and support available for sufferers and their families, visit the Stroke Association website.

Current Glasgow Life vacancies

All Council Family vacancies are advertised on My Job Scotland. Bookmark this link on your device to view internal Glasgow Life vacancies. Please use this link to view external Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Managers, please ensure all vacancies are shared with your team members, particularly those who don’t have regular email access.

Staff update – Thursday 29 April

CLEAR Value of the Month for May – Learning:

Our CLEAR value for May is Learning. As we begin to move out of the pandemic and continue to reopen our valued facilities we need to continue to evolve and innovate in terms of how we deliver to the people of and visitors to Glasgow.

A new Innovation Strategy is currently being worked up and will be launched soon. This will be accompanied by an innovation toolbox and supporting training. Our strategy and support tools will provide learning on how we can continuously improve our approach around delivering small changes that make a big difference as well as bigger more transformational changes.

Our poster this month promotes innovative thinking and starts to introduce the language that will support our new strategy. Managers, please print and display this poster on staff noticeboards in your facilities.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 23 April

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project or community initiative, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

BBC Scotland’s The Nine goes behind-the-scenes at Riverside as we prepare for reopening next week

From Monday, Riverside, Kelvingrove and the Gallery of Modern Art, together with more of our libraries and sports facilities, will reopen their doors and come alive again with visitors enjoying all that they have to offer.

In recent weeks, colleagues across Glasgow Life have been busy preparing many of our facilities to welcome people back. And while some of us are understandably a little apprehensive about stepping back out into the world after four months of lockdown, excitement for the most significant easing of restrictions since Christmas is definitely in the air.

Earlier this week, BBC Scotland’s The Nine news programme popped into Riverside to capture a behind-the-scenes look at our reopening preparations. Coverage aired on BBC Scotland on Wednesday night, which some of you might have seen, and featured interviews with Riverside Manager Stewart Thompson and our Head of Museums, Duncan Dornan.

How will you celebrate World Book Night tonight?

Our Libraries team is taking part in World Book Night tonight and so can you. The annual celebration, which is aimed at inspiring people to read more, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special ‘books to make you smile’ theme. Charity The Reading Agency, which runs World Book Night, has an exciting evening of free online events planned in partnership with The British Library, beginning at 6pm with a conversation between renowned authors Kazuo Ishiguro and Kate Mosse.  

They are also encouraging as many people as possible to dedicate one hour to reading from 7-8pm (either on your own or virtually with family and friends) and to get involved on social media using the hashtag #ReadingHour. The evening will conclude with a presentation of books to make you smile by writer and presenter, Sandi Toksvig.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next read, you can check out Glasgow Libraries’ World Book Night reading list as well as works by Kazuo Ishiguro available from our digital collection on ebook or audiobook. Pictured is our south area librarian, Alison Nicol, who will be reading Ramble Book by Adam Buxton for her #ReadingHour. For more info, visit the World Book Night website.

#LoveGlasgow campaign encourages locals and visitors to return to the city centre as restrictions ease  

A new campaign inviting Glaswegians and visitors to support and reconnect with businesses and attractions in and around the city centre will launch on Monday (26 April).

Coinciding with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the #LoveGlasgow campaign, led by Glasgow Life’s Destination Marketing team, will remind people that it’s safe to return and enjoy the things we have all missed during lockdown; from our fantastic shops, restaurants and bars to the city centre’s many outdoor and creative spaces, including walking trails, parks, gardens, museums and galleries.

The return of local citizens and day visitors in the first instance will be crucial to the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sectors in the city following the pandemic. Local businesses that have been closed since Boxing Day are ready to restart and are being encouraged to take ownership of the campaign by using the hashtag in their own welcome back messaging on social media. Our Destination Team will also be sharing this promotional video on our People Make Glasgow channels from Monday and the campaign will receive air time on TV and local radio in the coming weeks.

Global sustainability first for Glasgow Convention Bureau   

Glasgow Convention Bureau, which is a part of Glasgow Life, has become the first convention bureau in the world to join the international sustainability scheme, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency. Launched last January, Tourism Declares is a voluntary initiative reflecting a network of more than 200 worldwide members. It’s goal is to align tourism and travel with the target of cutting global emissions in half by 2030 and tackling climate change.

The announcement builds on Glasgow’s position as the fourth most sustainable conference destination in the world and the only UK city to be included in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS–Index). Prior to the pandemic, Glasgow hosted 20 energy, sustainability and low carbon industry-related conferences over a 24-month period; boosting the city’s economy by more than £23 million.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “As Glasgow gears up to host COP26, the Convention Bureau is keen to do its bit. Signing up to Tourism Declares is an important step in our support of the city’s credentials as a world-leader in sustainable business tourism.” You can read the full story, here.

Can you help our Special Collections team to preserve the memories of Glasgow during the pandemic?

The Special Collections team at The Mitchell regularly collects leaflets, posters, tickets and flyers that give a sense of the times and culture we’re living in for use by future researchers and community historians.

These temporary, disposable materials are known as ephemera and, unfortunately, they are often lost or recycled before they can be preserved as a record of a particular time in Glasgow’s history. As such, this year, the team would welcome your help to collect ephemera relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election.

If you live in the city and have received any leaflets, posters or newsletters about the Covid-19 response in your community or the election, the team would be very pleased if you would be willing to send them on. To do so, place them unfolded (where possible) in a flat envelope and post them to: The Mitchell Library, Special Collections – Level 5, 201 North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN.

You should remove or score out any personal information on the leaflets, but do include a note of your name and email address or telephone number so that the team can record your donations. Any personal data will be retained in line with current GDPR legislation. If you would like any more info, please email specialcollections@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Healthy Working Lives: registration opens for Council Family Digital Menopause Café                                                                       

The Council Family Lean in Group is running its first Digital Menopause Café of 2021 and Glasgow Life staff are invited to join. The menopause has become more challenging for some during lockdown and the session is aimed at bringing women together over a cuppa to discuss their menopause journey, share stories and experiences, and to ask questions in a safe space.

The session will take place next Thursday (29 April) from 12.30-1.30pm on Microsoft Teams and you can register by emailing leanin@glasgow.gov.uk.

Current Glasgow Life vacancies

All Council Family vacancies are advertised on My Job Scotland. Bookmark this link on your device to view internal Glasgow Life vacancies. Please use this link to view external Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland. Managers, please ensure all vacancies are shared with your team members, particularly those who don’t have regular email access.

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Staff update – Friday 23 April

A message from our Chief Executive –  Final preparations ahead of reopening our venues from Monday:

Dear colleagues

As you will be aware, the most significant easing of restrictions since lockdown was reintroduced on Boxing Day will go ahead as planned next week.

The First Minister has said that the nation’s collective effort in respecting lockdown measures, together with the continued pace and scale of the vaccination programme, has contributed to a welcome and sustained decline in new virus cases since the beginning of January.

From Monday, all of mainland Scotland will return to level three of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 protection framework, which will mean a full reopening of retail services, partial reopening of the hospitality sector and the reintroduction of non-essential cross-border travel in the UK; providing a much-needed boost to tourism businesses. More information on the city’s new ‘#LoveGlasgow’ tourism and hospitality restart campaign, and how you can support it, will be included in our regular weekly staff bulletin later this afternoon.

This positive news means that we can also press ahead with our planned reopening of more than 90 cultural and sporting facilities across the city over the coming weeks and months. Our libraries, museums and galleries can begin to welcome visitors back, while Glasgow Club members can return to our gyms and swimming pools for individual exercise.

I know that teams across our organisation have been working exceptionally hard to prepare for Monday and beyond. The planning that needs to go into this process is considerable and I want to thank you all for your continued commitment to helping steer Glasgow Life through the most challenging period it has ever faced.

The full list of venues that we are planning to reopen, as well as indicative dates, can be found on our Covid-19 public web-page and, as it has been throughout the pandemic, protecting our staff and customers in line with Government guidance and ensuring that safety is firmly at the heart of our reopening efforts remains our priority.

Looking ahead, the First Minister has said that if the data continues to improve it is her intention that the whole of Scotland will move to level two on 17 May; allowing people to begin meeting indoors again in small numbers and further easing hospitality restrictions. Indoor group exercise, adult outdoor contact sports and some small-scale events may also be able to resume from 17 May.

Thereafter, the Scottish Government's timetable will see the country move to level one on 7 June and then to level zero by the end of June, with life looking “much more like normality” during July. However, the FM has also sounded a note of caution in that the virus is now much more infectious than it was when hospitality settings were last open and we must all continue to act responsibly, use our common sense and stick to the rules in the weeks ahead.

Preparing for your return to work

For staff normally located in venues that are reopening on Monday and throughout next week, your line manager should now have discussed your individual circumstances with you as well as any new arrangements, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. Information on preparing for your return to work, including an update to our Returning to Work Guide, is available at the top of this page.

As I have said, we are asking staff to be flexible over their shift patterns, working days and location. We may ask you to work within a different venue or service area from your usual place of work, however we will ensure all appropriate training takes place and will offer support throughout. We are also continuing to engage regularly with our trade unions about our reopening programme.

Returning to the workplace after lockdown may seem daunting and it’s understandable to feel anxious. We will aim to provide as much notice as possible (and a minimum of 48 hours) of your return to work date and we will work with you to address any concerns you may have. It is important that your line manager has up-to-date contact details for you and that you remain contactable so that they can keep you informed.

The First Minister also announced that staff who have previously been shielding can return to their workplace from Monday. If this affects you, then Glasgow Life’s Employee Relations team will work with your line manager to revisit your previous (or offer you a new) occupational risk assessment or any other interventions that can best support you. Visit this link to read the Scottish Government’s latest guidance on shielding.

As a reminder, the Scottish Government’s default position for all employees continues to be to work from home where you can do so safely, and this is likely to continue until at least the end of June according to the Government’s timetable for easing restrictions.

The customer and visitor experience

The customer and visitor experience within the venues we are reopening will continue to be different for the foreseeable future and capacities will be reduced.

From Monday, and over the coming weeks and months, we will be reminding the public to follow the guidance we have put in place for their safety with regards to accessing and moving around our venues, wearing a face covering (unless they have a legitimate reason not to) and maintaining physical distancing. For some venues, particularly our museums and sports facilities, advanced booking will be required and we will continue to alert our customers and visitors to this through our social media channels.

Our Marketing Communications team has been working to refresh our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and these, together with a short ‘welcome back’ video explaining what customers and visitors can expect when we reopen, will be made available on our Covid-19 public web-page soon. I would encourage you to read through our FAQs once published and to share the video should you wish to.

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns about our reopening plans and/or your return to work, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

Best regards,

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Friday 23 April

A message from our Chief Executive – coverage in the media this week about the future of our facilities:

Dear colleagues

I want to address articles that you may have seen in the media this week expressing concern about the future of Glasgow Life facilities that are not currently planned for reopening.

We have been telling the media for some time now that the ongoing impact of Covid-19 is likely to mean that not all of our venues will reopen. Glasgow Life’s operating budget for 2021/22 is nearly 15% lower than our pre-pandemic budget and the £100m safety net recently announced by Glasgow City Council will be used in its entirety reopening the more than 90 facilities across the city that we have already announced.

Every time we have been able to confirm that more venues will reopen, we have informed the media, our stakeholders and the wider public about which venues will open and provided indicative dates. As an example, the £100m guarantee from the Council will allow us to reopen a third more venues than we predicted in July last year due to further budget certainty.

Over the past 12 months, I have also been clear with you about the ongoing impact of the pandemic on Glasgow Life. I have explained how we now need to review our operating model to develop a new and sustainable approach to delivering our services; one which produces the greatest impact from reduced resources in the years ahead. And I have been honest that this will involve looking at how we will reduce the size of our workforce over time.

However, for staff who would normally be based in facilities that are not planned for reopening, you will still be needed and your line manager will continue to engage with you in the coming weeks about undertaking roles to support the reopening of other venues, as we will need more staff than before to ensure current Covid guidelines are followed as well as to support physical distancing measures and to deal with an anticipated greater volume of customer care.  

And I want to be clear that where a venue is not scheduled to reopen at present, this does not mean that it will be closed permanently. Through the People Make Glasgow Communities Programme (PMGC) and the Council’s Community Hubs model, we are exploring where we may be able to co-locate services as well as how we may be able to give community groups and other organisations the opportunity to play a greater role in the delivery and management of their local facilities.

Three Glasgow Life venues are already being run by local organisations as part of Community Activation Pilots and more than 150 expressions of interest have been received in the eight weeks since the launch of the PMGC initiative.

It is likely that in the coming weeks and months there will inevitably be continued press speculation about our venues and services. However, as has been the case over the past year, I am committed to keeping all staff up-to-date regarding decisions about the future of Glasgow Life and its facilities, and we will continue to share this information regularly with our external audiences. You can find our latest media updates on the news page of our website, here.

As I have said before, I’m confident that we can use Covid-19 as an opportunity to reform our services, possibly in partnership with local organisations, to continue delivering the very best of what we do across all of Glasgow’s communities. In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

Best regards,

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Tuesday 20 April

A message from our Chief Executive: 

Dear colleagues

You may have read this article in the Glasgow Times: David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, announces political retirement.

Having spoken with Councillor McDonald yesterday, I can confirm that he intends to step down from his roles as Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life ahead of the local Government elections next May.

Councillor McDonald has represented his home constituency of Greater Pollok since 2007 and has served on the Board of Glasgow Life since 2013.

Throughout that time he has worked tirelessly for the benefit of Glasgow and its citizens, and his leadership, counsel and unstinting advocacy for Glasgow Life has been invaluable, not least during the considerable challenges presented by Covid-19 over the past year.

Councillor McDonald will continue to chair our Board over the coming 12 months while we focus on the significant task of recovering from the pandemic and developing a sustainable approach to delivering our much-needed and highly valued public services in the future.

In the meantime, he has asked me to convey his sincere thanks to you all for your ongoing support and your incredible resilience, commitment and collective creativity in continuing to deliver for communities across the city.

Best regards,

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Friday 16 April

2021/22 Cycle to Work Scheme is open for Glasgow Life staff:

There are many benefits to cycling and with better weather (hopefully!) on the horizon, now could be a good time to take advantage of the Cycle to Work Scheme if you’ve been thinking about buying a bike.

As well as being a great way to keep fit, cycling can help you save money on travel costs and a bike ride in the fresh air can help improve your mental wellbeing. Cycling is also an environmentally friendly and convenient way of travelling and enables you to get around without using public transport. Glasgow Life has participated in the Cycle to Work scheme for several years and to-date more than 400 staff have purchased bikes through it.

Operated by Wider Plan, the scheme allows you to lease a bike up to the value of £1,500. It works through salary sacrifice, so you exchange part of your salary each month in return for using the bike. Savings are via tax and national insurance, meaning you can save 30-40% on the retail cost of a new bike. Halfords also provide a further 5% discount off the recommended retail price and they can help source any bike up to a value of £1,500 through their own stores and an extensive network of independent bike stores.

To take part you must ensure that you can meet these conditions:

  • You must be paying PAYE tax.​
  • Deductions made through salary sacrifice should not take your wage below the national minimum wage.
  • You must have a contract with Glasgow Life and this must not end during the hire period. 
  • During the lease period the cycle remains the property of Glasgow Life. It is your responsibility to ensure the cycle is covered via your relevant insurance policy.

Signing up is a four step process:

  1. Visit Wider Wallet, and register using the access code S196242G. Registration only takes a few minutes, you'll be asked for your contact details, department/employer and payroll number. Once retailers reopen (from Monday 26 April) in line with Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance, you may also visit any Halfords store in person or a participating independent bike store*
  2. Under 'My benefits package', click the ‘Workplace Bikes’ button and then click ‘Join’. This will take you to Workplace Bikes where you should select your Glasgow Life pay frequency. (Please do not select  Glasgow City Council).
  3. Complete your personal information on the next page and select the value required to cover your bike and equipment. Make sure you choose an amount equal to or greater than the value of the items you wish to purchase as you cannot top up with a separate personal payment. Now click ‘submit’.
  4. Once your application has been approved (please allow 10 working days from the point of electronically signing the online form) you will receive a Letter of Collection. You can then take this to the store where you received your quote to organise collection of your bike and any accessories.

*Information on participating independent cycle stores is available from the scheme order line on 0345 504 6444. If you wish to purchase from an independent retailer, you will need to call the order line prior to submitting your request at step 2 above.​

Further details on how to sign up are available in the scheme’s Frequently Asked Questions. Please also read over the Scheme Rules​​ and refer to the Wider Wallet User Guide.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 16 April

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project or community initiative, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries launches new cancer support phone service

Going through cancer can be a lonely and isolating experience at any time, and the pandemic has made life even more difficult. In response to Covid-19, Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries has created a new telephone support and information service for people living with or beyond cancer, their family, friends or carers, and people who are bereaved.

Launched this week, a team of specially-trained volunteers can offer emotional, practical and financial support, as well as a listening ear during this challenging time. Free, expert and easy to understand information about cancer is also available, to help answer any questions, and the team can make referrals into Macmillan’s partner organisations for further support.

For more information or to book a call, email macmillan@glasgowlife.org.uk or call 0141 287 2903. You can also chat to Macmillan online on Facebook and Twitter.

Kelvin Hall receives Cycling Friendly Employer Award

Kelvin Hall has been recognised for creating a cycling culture within the workplace. A unique partnership between Glasgow Life, the University of Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland, the venue has been named a Cycling Friendly Employer by Cycling Scotland. The award recognises Kelvin Hall’s commitment to encouraging cycling among staff as a healthy, sustainable and accessible way to travel to work.

The venue has created a staff cycling group which operates across the partners, while funding from Sustrans has enabled the team to organise various staff cycling events and to create a ‘repair area’, with a range of tools to help staff maintain their bikes on site. Staff can borrow helmets, panniers and waterproofs while showers, changing facilities, lockers and cycle parking is available. The venue has also teamed up with Glasgow business, Bike for Good, to promote cycling to the local community and to run maintenance sessions.

For more information, you can email Kelvin Hall Programme Manager Jade Graham and to read the case study, click here.  

Take advantage of the great outdoors to help Clear Your Head this Spring

The Scottish Government has launched the Spring phase of its Clear Your Head mental health and wellbeing campaign.

With Covid-19 restrictions set to ease further during April and May, the campaign is filled with useful resources, ideas and practical support aimed at helping people to combat loneliness and isolation and to stay connected or reconnect with family and friends, nature and their wider community as the brighter spring days begin.

You can watch the Clear Your Head TV advert here and find tips and advice on the campaign website here. You can also find resources for families and ideas for entertaining children outdoors on Parent Club Scotland’s website here.

Thinking about buying a bike, why not use the Cycle to Work Scheme?

There are many benefits to cycling and with better weather (hopefully!) on the horizon, now could be a good time to take advantage of the Cycle to Work Scheme if you’ve been thinking about buying a bike.

As well as being a great way to keep fit, cycling can save you money on travel costs and a bike ride in the fresh air can help improve your mental wellbeing. Cycling is also an environmentally friendly and convenient way of travelling and enables you to get around without using public transport.

Glasgow Life has participated in the Cycle to Work scheme for several years and to-date more than 400 staff have bought new bikes through it. If you’re interested, see today's update on our staff portal.

Staff update – Wednesday 14 April

Glasgow City Council encourages well-wishers to sign online book of condolence for HRH Prince Philip:

Ahead of the funeral for HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, on Saturday, Glasgow City Council is encouraging anyone who wishes to pay their respects to sign the council’s online book of condolence.

The Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of Glasgow, Councillor Philip Braat, said: “Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the council is unable to open a physical book of condolence and we are asking the people of Glasgow who wish to share their own tributes or pay their respects to do so online.”

In line with the UK and Scottish Governments, the council will continue to fly the Union Flag above the City Chambers at half-mast until Sunday. The council is also encouraging people not to gather or lay floral tributes in George Square on Saturday.

HRH Prince Philip’s funeral will be broadcast live, from St George’s Chapel within Windsor Castle, on BBC One on Saturday from 3pm and will begin with a national minute of silence. The council’s online book of condolence will remain open until Sunday and can be accessed here.

Staff update – Friday 9 April

First ever Council Family Digital Health and Wellbeing Roadshow to take place this month:

As we emerge from a long winter, it’s a good time to make a fresh start, reconnect with others, and to take some much-deserved time out to focus on your wellbeing.

Glasgow City Council has put together its first ever Digital Health and Wellbeing Roadshow for staff across the Council Family; featuring a series of online wellbeing sessions from Monday 19 April until mid-May.

All sessions are free and will take place on Microsoft Teams. If you’re interested in joining any of the sessions, please inform your line manager and use the links below to register.

Monday 19 April: Bowel cancer awareness – 1pm to 1.30pm

Bowel Cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland, but is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Ross Lamb from Bowel Cancer UK will be discussing the most common signs and symptoms of bowel cancer to look out for as well as the various risk factors associated with the disease. He will also explain the importance of the NHS bowel screening programme and how taking part really does save lives. Register to take part here.

Friday 23 April: Take time to re-assess your stress – 10am to 10.45am

Do you struggle with worry, stress and anxiety? These are natural responses to pressures in life and can help us feel more alert and able to perform better in certain situations. The impact of Covid-19 has created more stress and if experienced for a prolonged period, it can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing if not managed. Join Mark O’Hare from Lifelink, a Glasgow based wellbeing and counselling service, for a session to help you identify and understand the causes behind feelings of stress and learn some strategies to reduce its impact on our day to day lives. Register to take part here.

Monday 26 April: Improving the cancer journey – 2pm to 2.45pm

Did you know that Macmillan Cancer Support, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life work in partnership to provide free cancer support services in Glasgow? This session will explore the emotional, physical, practical and financial support that’s available to all staff who have been affected by cancer as well as family, friends and carers. Macmillan believes that no-one should have to face cancer alone at any stage of their unique journey. Register to take part here.

Friday 30 April: The art of relaxing – 10am to 10.45am

If you often find it difficult to relax, you’re not alone. Many of us have forgotten how to truly switch-off and unwind in this busy, always-on digital world. Mark O’Hare from Lifelink will demonstrate simple techniques to help you relax effectively. This will include some mindfulness practices to help bring your attention to what you want to focus on and help you to become comfortable with your own inner thoughts and feelings. Register to take part here.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 9 April

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk

Drumchapel Community Centre to operate as a Covid-19 testing centre

Drumchapel Community Centre will become the latest Glasgow Life venue to operate as a Covid-19 walk-through testing centre. Necessary infrastructure works have been completed this week, with members of the public able to book a test from tomorrow (Saturday).

The inclusion of Drumchapel means 11 Glasgow Life venues and sites across the city are now being used by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as part of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination and testing programme.

In common with all testing centres, booking is via nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. For vaccination enquiries and advice, NHS Inform’s dedicated helpline is available every day from 8am-8pm on 0800 030 8013.

The Fratelli’s bring rock ‘n’ roll to Riverside

While our venues have been closed, teams across Glasgow Life have been doing a fantastic job ensuring everything is safe, secure and ready to welcome visitors back from the end of this month… but one day was a little different recently for colleagues at the Riverside Museum.

Glasgow’s very own indie-rock band The Fratteli’s chose Riverside’s iconic recreated street as the backdrop for their performance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, broadcast on NBC in the US on Tuesday. As the band couldn’t travel due to Covid-19, they instead asked for permission to film two songs from their new album, ‘Half Drunk Under a Full Moon’ at the museum. They then filmed a third song at The Govan Shed for The Late Late Show with James Corden.

It was a brilliant way to showcase Riverside to a prime-time American audience and to demonstrate how versatile an event space the museum can be. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can all enjoy a proper gig at Riverside again.

Aye Write set to return with digital festival next month

Glasgow’s much-loved Aye Write Book Festival will this year deliver a diverse, digital programme of events over two weekends in May.

Produced by Glasgow Life, the festival usually takes place at the Mitchell Library in March, but had to be postponed in line with the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, the 16th edition of Aye Write will now take place online from Friday to Sunday, 14-16 May and again the following weekend (21-23 May); bringing the festival to audiences worldwide and in the comfort of their own homes.

Aye Write is a celebration of literature in all its forms, whilst showcasing Scotland’s rich writing and publishing culture on the world stage. This year’s programme of over 60 author talks and discussion panels will feature more than 100 writers from across the cultural spectrum, including stars from stage and screen, politics, current affairs and entertainment.

Over two thirds of the programme will be live online, presenting opportunities for audiences to ask questions and engage in the talks. Most of the content will be available online for three weeks after each event, allowing people to watch when they choose. Early Bird Passes, priced £40, went on sale this week and are available until the end of April. For more info, visit the Aye Write website.

Michael pens poem inspired by Joan Eardley painting

You may be familiar with the Joan Eardley painting, Glasgow Kids, a Saturday Matinee Picture Queue that hangs in Kelvingrove. The bright, endearing artwork is hugely popular and was painted by one of the most admired British artists of her generation.

Eardley’s raw, yet tender, depictions of children in 1950s Glasgow contrast vividly with her loose and expressive landscapes painted around Catterline in the north east of Scotland. The artist died at the age of 42 in 1963. Almost 60 years later, her work is being rediscovered by new generations of fans and this year a series of exhibitions and events across Scotland will mark the centenary of her birth.

In Glasgow Museums’ collection we have Two Children, the last painting Eardley worked on which, rather poignantly, was left unfinished on her easel when she died.

This month our own Michael Flynn, Gallery Assistant at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, has written a short poem prompted by Two Children, with his own two daughters in mind: 

A Homage to Two Children and Chalked Wall 3

Joan’s two girls are much like mine,

Content with simple pleasures:

Regardless of whit stage in time,

Will always be my treasures;

Pals an’ sisters baith the gither,

Through thick an’ thin they gel;

Yins called Emma, looks like her mither,

The ither yins called Mel;

Like Eardley’s weans throughout the times,

Their spirit defies the elements;

Seemed happy days, untroubled signs,

While they played among the tenements;

Now ma two have reached an age,

Jist coping wi’ life’s new pressure;

To find an answer, is hard to gauge,

An’ often tough to measure.

© Michael Flynn, 5 March 2021

Staff update – Thursday 8 April

A message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow Life venues reopening from Monday 26 April:

Dear colleagues

As you are aware, the Scottish Government has set out a timetable for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the reopening of society more widely during April and May.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, the First Minister reiterated her commitment to relaxing restrictions further from Monday 26 April and this is expected to allow for a much more significant reopening of culture and sport facilities.  

As such, our focus now is on preparing for the phased reopening of more than 90 Glasgow Life venues from that date, in line with ongoing Government guidance. As it has been throughout the pandemic, our priority will be to ensure that the return of our staff and the public is managed safely.

The full list of venues that we are planning to reopen as well as indicative dates for this activity can be viewed here. It is as definitive as it can be at this time given the range of factors outwith our control; not least any resurgence in infection rates.

We will make this information available to the public tomorrow via our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page. Our communications team has also shared this information with local media for publication tomorrow.

Our planning for which facilities should reopen has been based on a number of criteria, including venues that we know we can reopen safely (such as those which have reopened previously) and which can or will be able to accommodate physical distancing guidelines and are covered by the Scottish Government’s strategic Covid-19 framework. We have also looked to prioritise health and wellbeing as well as the city’s economic recovery, through access to our libraries and physical activity opportunities. Additionally, some venues are continuing to provide essential childcare and food distribution to best support local communities.  

In order to support physical distancing measures in venues when they reopen, as well as to deal with the higher volume of customer care anticipated, we expect we will need more staff than before in each venue to ensure current guidelines are followed.

Preparing for your return to work

Information on preparing for your return to work, including an update to our Returning to Work Guide, is available at the top of this page.

Your line manager will keep in close contact with you in the lead up to 26 April to discuss your individual circumstances as well as any new arrangements, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work on remain on furlough. As I said last week, we are asking staff to be flexible over their shift patterns, working days and location. We may ask you to work within a different venue or service area from your usual place of work, however we will ensure all appropriate training takes place and will offer support throughout.

We will aim to provide as much notice as possible (and a minimum of 48 hours) of your return to work date and we will work with you to address any concerns you may have. It’s important that your line manager has up-to-date contact details for you and that you remain contactable in the coming weeks so that they can keep you informed about our reopening plans.

To ensure our venues are ready to reopen as soon as restrictions allow, some training will be carried out prior to 26 April. If this applies to you, your line manager will be in touch to let you know. This training can take place while employees are on furlough.

Glasgow Life’s Business and Budget Plan for 2021/22

Last week I informed you that our Board has approved Glasgow Life’s Business and Budget Plan for 2021/22. You can now read this in full here.

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns about our reopening plans and/or your return to work, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Weekly staff bulletin – Thursday 1 April

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Switching off and taking a break this Easter weekend

As we prepare for Easter, it’s important we all take the time to enjoy the extra break this weekend and ensure we relax, recharge and connect with family, friends and loved ones; albeit virtually or outdoors! While reopening plans are picking up pace across the organisation, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all staff for your continued hard work and dedication to Glasgow Life.

Donna Foote celebrated for her community work with mural

Library Assistant Donna Foote from Pollokshaws Library has been celebrated for her contribution to her local community with a mural commissioned by Amazon Handmade.

Donna was one of only three women from across the UK chosen to star in a mural celebrating those who have ‘mothered the nation’ through the pandemic. She has been honoured for her work in founding Greater Pollok Services CIC, an organisation which offers food, prescriptions and mental health support for people living in the area.

While her venue was closed, Donna was able to use her Glasgow Life hours to volunteer and over the past 12 months she has recruited and trained local volunteers, set up services to transport vulnerable people, organised donations for those in need, and established a befriending service for those who were shielding.

Donna said, “Greater Pollok Services CIC came about because community support in the area was getting thinner, so a few residents including myself decided to change that, and I set up an organisation that would flow with demand from the community.

“I hope this mural shines a light that anyone can make a difference if they pull up their sleeves and put their mind to it. When I saw it I was overwhelmed and felt so proud of myself, Greater Pollok Volunteers and Glasgow for the difference we have made during the pandemic.”

Donna's mural, painted by Molly Hankinson, can be seen on Eastvale Place in Finnieston; part of SWG3's area dedicated to street art and graffiti.

Healthy Working Lives: April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It's also linked to physical health issues like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.

This April why not try the Stress Awareness Month 30 Day Challenge to get a better understanding of your own stress levels and turn healthy actions into new habits. The challenge asks you to pick one action for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and carry it out every day. Some ideas include going for a walk, writing down future aspirations and goals, and connecting with people in your support network. Visit the Stress Awareness Month website for more healthy actions you can take to reduce your stress levels.

Our Health and Wellbeing section also has lots of links to resources and support for any aspect of your wellbeing.

Current Glasgow Life vacancies

All Council Family vacancies are advertised on My Job Scotland. Bookmark this link on your device to view internal Glasgow Life vacancies. Please use this link to view external Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland.

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Managers, please ensure all vacancies are shared with all staff, particularly those who do not have regular email access.

Staff update – Thursday 1 April

Glasgow Life's Returning to Work Guide (Version Two):

As we continue to move through the Scottish Government’s easing of restrictions and new recovery route-map, focus is increasingly turning to the safe reopening of businesses and workplaces. As we prepare for the reopening of some of our venues, this will see more of us returning to the workplace in the coming weeks and months, which for some of us will be for the first time since March last year.

As it has been from the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, your health and wellbeing remains Glasgow Life's priority and we’ll continue to ensure safety is at the heart of how we all work.

Our updated Returning to Work Guide (Version Two) aims to provide a reminder of the changes Glasgow Life introduced to support safe working in its buildings and venues when we first reopened last summer. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles continue to apply in all our venues.

If you haven’t done so already, all staff returning to work will need to complete Glasgow Life’s mandatory ‘Coronavirus Awareness’ training course on GOLD and a hyperlink to this is included within the guide. You can click on this link for details of how to access GOLD remotely.

Your line manager will contact you soon to arrange a suitable date and time for a phone call to discuss your return to work or to reconnect with you. Heads of Service will inform managers as to when they should begin scheduling these discussions.

Upon returning to work, we’re asking staff to be flexible over shift patterns, working days, and location of work. We may also ask you to work across a different service area from your usual place of work, however we will ensure all appropriate training takes place and will offer support throughout.

If your circumstances have changed since your last return to work then please raise this with your line manager and we will determine how best we can support you.

Scottish Government guidance is that those on the shielding list can return to work from Monday 26 April. If this affects you then our Employee Relations team will work with your line manager to offer occupational risk assessments and any other interventions which may be required.

In order to have our venues ready to open as soon as restrictions allow some training will be carried out prior to reopening on Monday 26 April. If this applies to you, your manager will be in touch to let you know. This training can take place while employees are on furlough.

In the meantime, should you have any questions about this please raise them with your line manager.

Staff update – Thursday 1 April

A message from our Chief Executive – recommendations from Glasgow Life’s Strategic Sprint:

Dear colleagues,

Yesterday, Glasgow Life’s Board considered a report sharing the recommendations from the Strategic Sprint which took place in February. The Strategic Sprint was an opportunity to accelerate an identified piece of work over a fixed time period, involving staff from across Glasgow Life to help shape our future and ensure our long-term sustainability.

The Strategic Sprint focussed on four areas;

  • People Strategy
  • Financial Planning
  • Property Asset Options
  • Review of Services: this was divided into the following four workstreams:
  • Commercial
  • Tourism, Events and the Visitor Economy
  • Digital
  • Charity

Work on the People Strategy and Financial Planning workstreams has been underway since summer 2020 and, as a result, the Board has received separate reports on these areas for 2021/22.

Yesterday’s Sprint report, therefore, focussed on the outputs from the Property Asset Options, and the Commercial, Charity, Digital, and Tourism, Events and Visitor Economy workstreams. In total, 12 recommendations were made across these five work streams. These included:

  • Leading and assisting on social recovery and the health and wellbeing of the city, post Covid-19, by promoting and growing our People Make Glasgow Communities initiative.
  • Generating and maximising income across the organisation, such as a refreshed presence for the online and physical Glasgow Museums’ shop, and exploring new advertising opportunities.
  • Attracting, creating and leading on events which will have both economic and social value to the city, and targeting events which will have a direct impact on or capacity to grow tourism value.
  • Undertake a digital transformation project to upskill staff and create a high-functioning and digitally-enabled organisation.
  • Implementation of a ‘Live Well Community Referral team’ which will co-ordinate, manage and develop Glasgow Life’s ‘social prescribing’ framework and programme of health and wellbeing interventions.

Glasgow Life’s Operations Board will focus on the development and implementation of these recommendations, with the responsibility of each recommendation allocated to a Director, Head of Service or Manager.

All the outputs of the Strategic Sprint will help us to ensure Glasgow Life is in the best position to respond to the changes required as we begin to restart services and reopen venues. 

I hope it will also give the organisation confidence that these plans are being developed in a focussed and inclusive way, identifying new approaches which will enable Glasgow Life to deliver services which have the greatest impact for the city and its citizens.

If you want to know more about the work and recommendations of the Strategic Sprint, please contact Jill Miller, Glasgow Life's Director of Cultural Services, at jill.miller@glasgowlife.org.uk.

As always, I remain committed to sharing information about Glasgow Life’s future with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Wednesday 31 March

A message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow Life’s budget approved for 2021/22:

Dear colleagues

This morning, Glasgow Life's Board met to set and approve the charity’s budget for the coming financial year.

Earlier this month I explained the council has confirmed our service fee for 2021/22 will be reduced by £4.7m, to £72.8m. However, the council has also guaranteed our income will not fall below £100m, by using Covid-19 recovery funding from the Scottish Government.

This guarantee means Glasgow Life will continue to contribute to Glasgow’s economic and social recovery.

Prior to the pandemic, Glasgow Life delivered £115.5m of services made up from £38m generated as income from our services, and £77.5m from the service fee from the Council.

Glasgow Life’s budget and operational plan for 2021/22 sets out a revised approach, recognising we don’t expect income to quickly return to pre-pandemic levels, which will act as a ‘base’ year, allowing us to establish a financial model for the future.

The 2021/22 budget approved by the Board was £117m which is greater than the £100m guarantee from Glasgow City Council. This means that £17m of costs will need to be deficit-funded while we reduce them, creating long-term financial sustainability for Glasgow Life.

This transition has already started through the Strategic Sprint activity, which I will update you about tomorrow, and the introduction of the People Make Glasgow Communities initiative.

You will also be aware that, in recent months, our Senior Management Team has been reviewing how we will reduce the size of our workforce as part of adapting our service provision to ensure Glasgow Life remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

Glasgow Life is committed to delivering organisational and workforce change in a transparent way; through open communication and engagement with all staff and our trade unions about the impact this will have, as well as the opportunities it might bring.

We have been clear since last April that, without a similar level of revenue which Glasgow Life saw prior to 2020, we will not be able to operate the same number of venues or same level of service as we did pre-pandemic.

However, with the £100m guarantee from Glasgow City Council, we are now planning the phased reopening of more than 90 Glasgow Life facilities and a full list of these venues will be announced next week.

I will continue to share information about Glasgow Life’s future with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Monday 29 March

New Glasgow Life vacancy – Employability Skills Project Officer: 

Are you looking to enhance your project management skills in an exciting new role? 

Due to external funding, Glasgow Life’s Learning team is offering a unique opportunity for an Employability Skills Project Officer to support the Glasgow Code Learning Digital Skills Programme for up to 12 months.

The digital skills sector is the fastest growing sector in Scotland and the Glasgow Code Learning Digital Skills Programme was created in response to the skills gap within digital technology. You will manage partner and stakeholder engagement, agreeing and managing project partners’ sub-contracts, operational and logistical management and the reporting of quality and performance information. You will also work with Glasgow Life's Marketing Communications team as well as the programme’s Employer Engagement Coordinator to manage the promotion and marketing of Glasgow Code Learning projects at both a city and national level.

To be successful in this role you should have the following skills and experience:

  • Experience of managing learning and/ or employability projects, partner engagement, performance and quality reporting and evaluation.
  • You will be flexible and adaptable with a positive and proactive attitude.
  • You will be able to work well individually and contribute as part of a dynamic team.
  • Excellent communication skills.

The role is a Grade 6 with a salary of £29,124.24 to £34,124.27.

To find out more and apply click here to see the full vacancy details on myjobscotland.

You will need to create a myjobscotland account to be able to apply and the closing date for applications is Sunday 11 April 2021.

With many of our employees either unable to work at the moment, furloughed or without access to the Glasgow Life network, it’s important that managers ensure all vacancies messages are cascaded and shared with all staff, particularly those who do not have regular email access.

Staff update – Monday 29 March

CLEAR Value of the Month for April – Customer Focus:

This month’s CLEAR Value message comes under our theme of Customer Focus and is aimed at raising awareness of two new mandatory GOLD courses launched to provide learning around our updated complaint handling procedure.

The Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO) has published revised complaint handling procedures, with some updates taking effect from Thursday (1 April). Glasgow Life’s two new complaint handling courses include these changes.  

Course 1: Complaint Handling – Front Line Resolution (Glasgow Life)’. This course is for all front line colleagues, supervisors and managers who work with customers as part of their role. It takes approx. 35 minutes to complete.

Course 2: ‘Complaint Handling – Investigation (Glasgow Life)’. This course is for all personal assistants, supervisors and managers who are responsible for investigating customer complaints and / or providing responses to customers. It takes approx. 35 minutes to compete.

These courses are mandatory and managers are asked to ensure that all colleagues complete the courses that apply to their roles by the end of May 2021. The courses have been built using new software that makes it more responsive for those using smartphones, tablets and laptops. Please see this guide on how to access GOLD from a personal device.

You can find both courses on GOLD by selecting ‘Your ALEO or Service’, then clicking on ‘Glasgow Life’ and ‘Complaint Handling’.

Once you have completed the course please be sure to click the ‘finished’ button at the end so that this training can be recorded on your electronic training record.

Admin and personal assistants have access to all of the new complaint response templates.

Managers, please print and display this poster on staff noticeboards in your facilities.

Weekly bulletin – Friday 26 March

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

2023 UCI Cycling World Championships brand identity unveiled

In August 2023 Glasgow and Scotland will host the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships. This will be the biggest cycling event in history, bringing together 13 individual World Championships events for the first time. Last week, the ambitious brand identity for this prestigious new event, designed by Glasgow design agency Stand, was unveiled. It seamlessly combines the professionalism and credibility of the UCI with the warm, friendly welcome of Glasgow and Scotland.

The ‘squiggly bike’ has been designed to encompass a feeling of playfulness, inclusivity and positivity, acting as a lasting symbol of the event and what it aims to achieve for communities right across Scotland. It also incorporates the UCI rainbow in its design, which will remain in place after the event to support a wide range of activities to develop cycling across the country.

To find out more about the event and to be part of the journey visit cyclingworldchamps.com

Unpaid carers invited to register for the Covid-19 vaccine

People in Scotland aged 16 and over who provide vital face-to-face care and support for others and haven't already been given an appointment are now being invited to self-register for the Covid-19 vaccine.

There are an estimated 700,000 people in Scotland who care for a friend, family member or neighbour affected by a disability, physical or mental ill health, frailty or substance misuse.

The type of care they provide could be anything from regularly helping with the shopping, picking up prescriptions or preparing meals, to personal care such as helping them to wash and dress. It could also be emotional support to someone such as a partner, friend or family member with a long-term health condition.

By getting the vaccine, those caring for others can protect themselves while they look after and protect others.

You can check if you are eligible for the vaccine as a carer by using the self-registration at nhsinform.scot, or phone 0800 030 8013.

Peter Lowis is off to the Rugby League World Cup

Peter Lowis, Learning Assistant based at Maryhill Library, has recently been appointed Team Manager for Scotland’s Rugby League’s Wheelchair side. The team is preparing to compete at the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in England later this year.

Peter said: “Our preparations for the World Cup have understandably been a bit stop/start due to Covid, but we have been doing a lot of distance work and plenty of team bonding sessions over Zoom.

“To help raise funds for the World Cup trip we and are all walking, hopping, pushing and rolling 255 miles, the distance from our base in Edinburgh to the English Institute of Sport.

“I get a lot of support from my colleagues at Glasgow Life to help me manage my day job and rugby commitments. I'd just like give a special note of thanks to both Andrew Olney and Alex Byers as well as my line managers, Emma, John and Nisa who have all given and continue to give me tremendous support.”

To donate to the team’s campaign, click here.

Walking back to happiness with the Good Move team

With Health Walks set to return next week, Heather MacLeod from Glasgow Sport's Good Move Walking team has been reflecting on the last year.

“When lockdown first came into force it was really important for us to continue to support our walkers and volunteer Walk Leaders with regular phone calls and weekly emails.

“We were able to resume some organised walks in September and our walkers and volunteers felt that these helped them cope with the effects of the pandemic. Despite the challenges of the last year, we were able to deliver 159 Health and Themed Walks which were attended by 1647 participants. We also moved our Walk Leader training programme online for easier access and, since December, 44 people from 10 different organisations have completed the course.

“The whole team are very much looking forward to getting things back up and running (or walking!) again and we all just want to say a big thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who have made it possible to restart.”

Find out more about our Good Move Walking groups and the Walk Leader programme on the Glasgow Life website.

COP26 volunteering applications deadline

As part of COP26, Glasgow City Council is looking to enlist the help of friendly, outgoing and enthusiastic volunteers to contribute to the success of this momentous event.

As a COP26 volunteer, you will play your role representing Glasgow and the UK to delegates from around the world. You will provide key information on the conference and conference venues, advice on how to move around the city and promote the best of what Glasgow has to offer. COP26 Volunteers will provide Glasgow’s world-famous warm welcome to ensure that delegates and visitors have the best possible experience, playing a crucial role in the success of an important global event.

The deadline for applications to volunteer at this exciting event is Wednesday 31 March. For more information, and to submit your application, visit the dedicated volunteer website.

Healthy Working Lives: brighter days ahead

Warmer weather and lighter evenings will soon be with us as this weekend, the clocks will change and we enter British Summer Time (BST). On Sunday 28 March at 1am, the clocks will move forward one hour, meaning we lose an hour in bed, but on the plus side we get to enjoy longer daylight hours.

So if you wake up feeling a little sleepier than usual on Sunday, take the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some fresh air in the brighter mornings. And don’t worry, you’ll get the hour back on 31 October when we return to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Our Health and Wellbeing section has lots of links to resources and support for any aspect of your wellbeing, including tips on getting more active now the days are getting longer.

Staff update – Friday 26 March

Payroll input schedules for 2021/22:

Please click on this link for Glasgow Life’s payroll input schedules for 2021/22.

Managers/supervisors should continue to submit their requests on a weekly basis, as the attached schedule is only to highlight the period end deadline. Please adhere to submission deadlines to ensure pay is correct.

If you have any questions regarding payroll deadlines, please email CBSServiceHR@glasgow.gov.uk.

People update – Thursday 25 March

A message from our Chief Executive – workforce planning update:

Dear colleagues

As you are aware, in recent months our Senior Management Team has been reviewing how we will reduce the size of our workforce and adapt our service provision to ensure Glasgow Life remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

The initial phase of this activity began in September last year with a review of our grade eight and above management structures, which has helped to identify savings that can be made by reducing our headcount at a senior level.

Since then, a targeted review of staffing structures has been initiated in a further two Glasgow Life service areas and regular communication will continue with staff who are involved in this process as well as with our trade unions.

As I have said, the options we are looking at for re-shaping our workforce include reviewing all temporary and fixed-term contracts, supporting employees who may wish to voluntarily reduce their hours, highlighting opportunities for redeployment and reskilling across the Council Family, and offering early retirement and voluntary redundancy (ER/VR) in targeted circumstances.

While we have received a number of individual requests from staff in a variety of roles and grades across the organisation asking to be considered for ER/VR, we are not currently in a position to progress these and I would like to remind all staff that any use of ER/VR will only be agreed if a suitable business case is developed and approved.

This must also meet the agreed financial guidelines within Glasgow Life’s ‘Introduction of Mechanisms to Support Workforce Reform’ report. Where a decision is made not to progress an individual’s expression of interest in ER/VR, there is no right to appeal.

Further work is now being undertaken to consider wider service reform across each of our service areas and I will share more details about this in the coming months as this progresses. Please be assured that if we are in a position to offer potential early retirement and voluntary redundancy to our workforce more widely, then this will be communicated to all staff and our trade unions.

In the meantime, should you have any questions about this, please contact the HR Business Partner for your service area:

Sportsuzie.elliott@glasgowlife.org.uk 

Communities and Librariesjenny.jenkins@glasgowlife.org.uk

Arts, Music and Cultural Venues / Museumskerry.gomez@glasgowlife.org.uk

Corporate HQ / Marketing Communications / Events / Retailleanne.brown@glasgowlife.org.uk  

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Tuesday 23 March

Current Glasgow Life vacancies:

During Covid-19, it’s important that you are aware of and know where to find information about vacancies available within Glasgow Life. All Council Family vacancies are advertised on My Job Scotland. This is to ensure that all staff can access them at any time and from any device, whether at work or at home.

You should bookmark this link on your device to view internal Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland. Do not filter your search as this will remove internal vacancies from the search results. Please note that this link is specifically for Glasgow Life staff. It should not be shared more widely as not all Glasgow Life vacancies shown here will be available externally.

To see Glasgow Life vacancies that are being advertised externally, or to share them with anyone not currently employed by Glasgow Life, please use this link to view external Glasgow Life vacancies on My Job Scotland.

You will need to create a MyJobScotland account to be able to apply for any opportunities. 

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

With many of our employees either unable to work at the moment, furloughed or without access to the Glasgow Life network, it’s important that managers ensure all vacancies messages are cascaded and shared with all staff, particularly those who do not have regular email access.

Staff update – Tuesday 23 March

National Day of Reflection – minute's silence at noon today:

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day the UK went into lockdown for the first time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This National Day of Reflection is being led by the charity Marie Curie and has been developed with the support of all four governments and more than 110 other organisations.

Across the UK, there will be a minute’s silence at 12 noon to honour and remember all those who have lost their lives to the virus. It is an opportunity for us to each take a moment to pay tribute in our own way.

Prominent buildings and iconic landmarks will also light up across the country at 8pm and you are encouraged to light a candle and display it in your window as a mark of reflection at this time.

To find out more, visit https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/get-involved/day-of-reflection and search #DayofReflection on social media.

Staff update – Monday 22 March

10 Glasgow libraries reopening tomorrow (23 March) for PC access only:

The Scottish Government has revised the guidance for public libraries to enable them to re-open for essential PC and internet access only, in areas currently within level four of the Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19.  

From tomorrow (Tuesday 23 March), 10 Glasgow libraries will re-open to the public to allow customers to access computers and the internet.

Gorbals, Ibrox and Pollokshaws libraries in the south; Bridgeton, Library at the Bridge (Easterhouse), Royston and Shettleston libraries in the north east; and Drumchapel, Partick and Possilpark libraries in the north west of the city will all re-open to provide free computer access.

A free, pre-booked appointment is required to use the library computers. Customers wishing to book PC access can do so either by calling or visiting one of the 10 libraries during opening hours. All PC sessions are limited to 60 minutes, to cope with anticipated demand. All 10 libraries will follow the same opening hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 2pm – 7pm
  • Wednesday: 11am – 4pm
  • Thursday: 11am – 7pm
  • Friday: 11am – 4pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 2pm
  • Sunday: Closed

In all libraries, one way systems have been introduced alongside hand-sanitising stations, screens, signage, and a PC booking system; all of which are there to help protect visitors and staff. In every venue, capacity will be, by necessity, much lower than usual. Printing, scanning and photocopying will also be available to anyone with a pre-booked computer session.

The 10 libraries will be open for free computer access only. Customers will be unable to borrow books or retrieve reserved items. All overdue library fines will be waived until 1 October 2021.

As announced last week, we expect to begin a phased reopening of more than 90 Glasgow Life facilities from w/c Monday 26 April. Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you in the lead up to this date, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

To view the proposed timetable for the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, please visit the Scottish Government website.

Staff update – Monday 22 March

Learning and Development update – additional webinar training dates:

Spaces on our in-house series of webinars, designed and delivered by our Learning and Development team to support our development and recovery planning, have been filling up fast. With many of the events now full, the below schedule shares some new dates and times of additional sessions.    

To reserve your place on any of these events, please email the Learning and Development team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis.

NEW: Working through change

Covid-19 has imposed change on us all personally and professionally. By understanding how we are affected by change and the natural way we deal with change, we are able to build coping strategies that help us adapt and thrive. This 90-minute session is for Glasgow Life colleagues who feel they might benefit from this learning.

  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am–11.30am NOW FULL
  • Monday 29 March, 1.30pm –3pm NEW DATE – 12 spaces available
  • Thursday 1 April, 10am–11.30am NOW FULL
  • Tuesday 13 April, 10am–11.30am NEW DATE – 12 spaces available
  • Tuesday 20 April, 1.30pm–3pm NOW FULL
  • Tuesday 27 April, 1.30pm–3pm NEW DATE – 12 spaces available
  • Thursday 6 May, 1.30pm–3pm (6 spaces available) 

NEW: Leading change

Covid-19 has brought about much change across Glasgow Life and we need to continue to review and develop new ways of delivering to the people of Glasgow. This event is for those who are responsible for leading and managing change and will define practical ways to lead and manage people through the transition and to be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world.

  • Wednesday 24 March, 10am–11.30am NOW FULL
  • Wednesday 31 March, 1.30pm–3pm (4 spaces available)
  • Monday 19 April, 1.30pm–3pm (7 spaces available)
  • Tuesday 4 May, 10am–11.30am (6 spaces available)

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar is aimed at people managers and will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following date:

  • Thursday 15 April, 10am–11.30am (6 spaces available)

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are for any colleagues across the company who feel they might benefit and are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 15 April, 1.30pm–3pm (6 spaces available)
  • Friday 7 May, 10am–3.30pm (9 spaces available)

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session is for anyone who is getting to grips with the basics of using any video conferencing platforms. The event will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 14 April, 1.30pm–3pm (10 spaces available)

Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool. But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact. This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Friday 26 March, 10am–11.30am NOW FULL
  • Thursday 22 April, 10am–11.30am (5 spaces available)

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on: 

  • Tuesday 13 April, 1.30pm–3pm (3 spaces available)

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 19 March

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Scottish Women’s Convention recognises Lynn Reilly for her community work during pandemic

Lynn Reilly, Assistant Manager at Glasgow Green Football Centre, has been recognised by the Scottish Women’s Convention for her work to support families and her community throughout the pandemic.

In support of International Women’s Day earlier this month, the SWC issued a call to ‘celebrate inspirational women in Scotland’; aimed at showcasing the amazing work being done by women across the country, in all walks of life, over the past year. Lynn was nominated twice as an inspirational woman working hard for her community and making a difference to people’s lives.

Lynn returned to work with Glasgow Sport after a period of furlough in May last year, supporting the reopening of our golf facilities and Glasgow Green over the summer. Whilst assisting staff with their return to work, she was also working for her local community, putting together activities to help families feel less isolated as well as managing her community centre and organising food, clothing and other essential supplies for those who were shielding or found themselves in need.

The fact Lynn received two separate nominations shows her dedication to her community as well as her colleagues. A huge congratulations to Lynn on this recognition of her tireless work. For more information, visit the Scottish Women’s Convention website.

Access free financial support with Citizens Advice Scotland’s new online Money Map tool

The economic impact of Covid-19 has led to enormous pressure on some people’s incomes, budgeting and ability to meet the costs of living.

To help, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), supported by the Scottish Government, has created a free ‘Money Map’ tool. Aimed at cutting through the often conflicting information available online, this new one-stop shop resource brings together a variety of information and support to show people easy and achievable ways to save money and grow their financial resilience.   

Money Map can help you to make the most of your money, reduce your bills, meet the costs of daily living, discover tips and tools to help you start saving, and better explore the financial support that’s right for you.

From checking benefits you might be entitled to, such as Universal Credit, to accessing help with rent and mortgage payments or finding out whether you could reduce your Council Tax and energy costs, visit the Money Map website or call CAS’ Money Talk team on 08000 857 145. 

Anticipation grows for the return of Glasgow Sport’s Walking Football sessions

With the return of outdoor contact sport for adults on the horizon, football coach Simon McLean is looking forward to Glasgow Sport’s Walking Football sessions resuming for the first time in over a year. And it’s not just Simon who can’t wait to get out on our pitches again, he says the growing anticipation is evident in the weekly video calls he has to check-in with our regular players.

Simon said: “Our Walking Football sessions provide immeasurable benefits for players, whether they’re coming back from serious health conditions or injuries; trying to improve their fitness; or looking for company after a bereavement or other life-changing event.  

"We have women who have always wanted to play but never had the opportunity, and players with special needs who love the game every bit as much as anyone. It’s inspiring to see the determination, competitiveness and the magic of team sport that our version of the game brings to players of all ages and abilities. I’ve been catching up online with our core group of regular players lately and you get a real sense of just how much they’ve missed it and what it means to them. They can’t wait for it to return.”

You can find out more about our Walking Football sessions here and on our Football Glasgow Facebook page.  

Healthy Working Lives: How will you improve your sleeping habits on World Sleep Day?

Today (Friday 19 March) is World Sleep Day, an annual, global event to raise awareness of the importance of healthy sleep. Getting enough sleep and having good sleeping habits and routines supports our physical and mental health, which in turn affects every area of our lives.

There is evidence to show that people who sleep well (those with a regular bedtime and rise time) have better moods and motor skills while those who suffer from impaired sleep typically have poorer mental and physical health and a lower quality of life.

The pandemic and ongoing lockdown restrictions have caused changes in all our routines and greater stress and anxiety for many of us; factors that can lead to impaired sleep. Is it time to slow down and refocus your attention on your lifestyle and sleeping habits?

You can find links to resources and support for any aspect of your wellbeing on the Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal. Additionally, here are some free online resources which could help you achieve better sleep:

  • Sleepio is a free personalised digital programme to help improve poor sleep.
  • The NHS offers free bedtime meditation sessions and a Trouble Sleeping booklet, while NHS Inform has a free interactive self-help guide on sleeping problems and insomnia.
  • The Mental Health Foundation has a guide on how to sleep better.
  • MIND also offers guidance on sleep and mental health.

Staff update – Thursday 18 March

A message from our Chief Executive – Reflecting on a year of living with the Covid-19 pandemic:

Dear colleagues

It is almost a full year since the rapid worldwide spread of Coronavirus changed all our lives.

While we now know the virus was present in Scotland from the beginning of March last year (the first case was reported in Tayside on 1 March 2020) the official one year anniversary of the pandemic will be commemorated on Tuesday (23 March); the day that the whole of the UK went into lockdown for the first time.

Today also marks an anniversary for Glasgow Life, as it was 12 months ago on 18 March that we were first forced to close the doors to our venues. The stop-start disruption and shifting Government restrictions we have endured since then have had a considerable impact; on our mental and physical health and on the city’s wider social and economic wellbeing.

For the majority of us, this has been, and may well be, the most difficult period we will ever have to deal with and my heartfelt thoughts and condolences continue to be with those who have lost loved ones to Covid-19.

A year ago today, the changes that were required to how Glasgow Life would operate during the pandemic were sweeping and immediate. I can never say enough how proud I am of the way you have all continued to respond to such unexpected challenges in such extraordinary circumstances. And I want to reiterate sincere thanks on behalf of Glasgow Life’s Board and Senior Management Team, as well as from me, for your incredible resilience.     

However demanding the situation may be, my spirits are always lifted by your collective creativity and commitment, and that is best reflected in how we have continued to support communities across the city throughout the pandemic; working at pace and frequently adapting our services to meet Government guidance or, in many cases, transforming our offer into a digital one.

To mark our own one-year anniversary, colleagues in our marketing communications team have put together this short video, recognising the breadth and variety of activity that Glasgow Life has delivered over the past 12 months; including the first-ever entirely online Celtic Connections Festival, which was ‘attended’ by fans from some 65 countries.

We have put this out on Glasgow Life’s social media this morning and please do share it on your own channels too if you want to. It will also be shown in the waiting areas of the city’s vaccination centres from next week, and this is another demonstration of the significant role Glasgow Life continues to play in the city’s recovery with four of Glasgow’s five vaccination centres located in our venues.

National Day of Reflection on Tuesday (23 March)

On Tuesday, people across the UK will come together for a National Day of Reflection, which is being led by the charity Marie Curie and has been developed with the support of all four governments and more than 110 other organisations. You can find information about this at www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection and through #DayofReflection.

At 12 noon, the nation will hold a minute’s silence and I invite you to join me in observing this moment to pay tribute in your own way. Prominent buildings and iconic landmarks will also light up across Scotland at 8pm and you are encouraged to light a candle and display it in your window as a mark of reflection at this time.  

I know this unwelcome anniversary will mean something different to each of us, but we should all take hope from the First Minister’s comments earlier this week that brighter days are now firmly ahead with increased vaccinations and the substantial easing of restrictions planned over the coming weeks.

Whatever your own thoughts, I hope you can see that – however hard the last year has been – you have each played your part in an unprecedented team effort which has made lockdown just a little bit easier for everyone else. In a year like no other, I think we can all agree that just keeping going has been enough to make a difference.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive 

Staff update – Wednesday 17 March

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

I want to address this article Glasgow Life jobs face axe as unions demand answers, which has been published in the Glasgow Times and other local media today.

Over the past 12 months I have been clear with you all about the impact of the pandemic on Glasgow Life. I have explained how we now need to review our operating model to develop a new and sustainable approach to delivering our much-needed and highly-valued public services; one which produces the greatest impact from reduced resources in the years ahead. And I have been honest that this will involve looking at how we will reduce the size of our workforce as well as how we will work with Glasgow City Council, through its People Make Glasgow Communities Programme, to give community groups and other organisations the opportunity to play a greater role in the delivery and management of their local services and facilities.   

As part of Glasgow City Council’s budget process, Glasgow Life submitted an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), which estimated the possible impact on our workforce of the budget options being considered. I want to stress that this was only an estimate, which was submitted before the council announced its £100m safety net for Glasgow Life. The EQIA makes clear that the figure of 1,000 jobs would be subject to revision and we also made it clear to the Glasgow Times journalist that this estimate was now out-of-date.   

We expect that the council’s £100m financial guarantee will reduce the estimated impact on the size and shape of Glasgow Life’s future workforce and, as such, the EQIA will be rewritten to reflect this. It will also provide time for further cost saving strategies to take effect as part of our recovery planning. This includes putting in place strict vacancy management arrangements, reviewing all temporary and fixed-term contracts, supporting employees who may wish to voluntarily reduce their hours, highlighting opportunities for redeployment across the Council Family, and offering early retirement and voluntary redundancy in targeted circumstances.

The meeting with trade unions referred to in the article is one that was already scheduled for this afternoon to discuss Glasgow Life’s reopening plans following the update from the Scottish Government yesterday about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions over the coming weeks. Separate to this, I am arranging to meet senior representatives from all our trade unions as soon as possible to brief them on the £100m financial guarantee from the council and the impact on Glasgow life’s budget.

We are now working on finalising Glasgow Life’s proposed budget and operational plan for 2021/22, which accounts for the phased reopening of more than 90 facilities. It is our intention to begin this from w/c Monday 26 April, however, as always, this will be dependent on ongoing Scottish Government guidance. Our draft budget and strategic service priorities will be presented to our Board for consideration and approval on Wednesday 31 March and I will update you all following this meeting.

As I have said before, Glasgow Life is committed to delivering organisational and workforce change in a transparent way; through open communication and engagement with all staff and our trade unions about the impact this will have as well as the opportunities it might bring. I’m confident that we can use Covid-19 as an opportunity to reform our services, possibly in partnership with local organisations, to continue delivering the very best of what we do across all of Glasgow’s communities. I will continue to share information about Glasgow Life’s future with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Staff update – Wednesday 17 March

Scottish Government give indicative timeline to ease more restrictions:  

Yesterday, the First Minister outlined indicative dates for the easing of lockdown coming into effect between now and the middle of May. These will be dependent on continued progress in suppressing the virus and rolling out the vaccine. 

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said “brighter days” are ahead of us and now firmly in sight, giving us more confidence to map a path out of lockdown.

The dates most relevant to Glasgow Life are: 

From Monday 26 April

  • libraries, museums and galleries can reopen
  • indoor gyms can reopen for individual exercise

From Monday 17 May

  • adult outdoor contact sports can resume
  • indoor group exercise can start again
  • non-professional performing arts can begin

For more information, and to see the Scottish Government’s proposed timetable for the further easing of restrictions, please visit their website.

As announced last week, we expect to begin a phased reopening of more than 90 Glasgow Life facilities from w/c Monday 26 April.

Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you in the lead up to this date, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough.

All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal and we will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information.   

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

Staff update – Monday 15 March

NEW Safeguarding GOLD course:

At Glasgow Life we have recently moved to a Safeguarding policy to update our Child Protection procedures and include a policy for adults at risk of harm. This brings us into line with national guidance. 

We are asking all colleagues with a customer-facing role and line managers to complete our new Safeguarding GOLD course. This replaces our previous Child Protection course which has now been removed.

You can access the course here.

The course has been built using new software that makes it more responsive for those using smart phones, tablets and laptops. Please see this guide on how to access GOLD from a personal device.

You can find the course on GOLD by selecting ‘Your ALEO or Service’, then clicking on ‘Glasgow Life’ and ‘Safeguarding’. It is the last course at the bottom of the selection.

Once you have  completed the course please be sure to click the blue ‘Finished’ button at the end so that this training can be recorded onto your SAP training record.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 12 March

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Two more Glasgow Life venues to operate as Covid-19 testing centres

Covid-19 walk-through testing centres are being set up at two more Glasgow Life venues this month. Necessary infrastructure works have been completed at Ibrox Football Centre, with members of the public able to book a test now. Similar works will be undertaken at Cranhill Community Centre next week with testing expected to go live from next Friday (19 March). 

Walk through testing centres are also operating at St Francis Community Centre in the Gorbals, Barlia Football Centre in Castlemilk, Pollok Community Centre, and from the car park at the Riverside Museum in Partick. A drive through testing centre is operating from the car park at the Emirates Arena while Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre is being used as an asymptomatic testing centre, providing tests specifically to people without Covid-19 symptoms who may be infectious and spreading the virus without knowing. In common with all testing centres, booking is via nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Pool refurbishment work to begin at Glasgow Club Scotstoun next week

Work to renovate the pool and changing village area in Glasgow Club Scotstoun will begin on Monday (15 March).

Following consultation with members and the local community, Glasgow Life had initially planned to begin the refurbishment in March last year, however it then had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

The project will deliver a complete renovation of the pool tank and a brand new changing village with more lockers and storage space. This will allow for a reconfigured pool depth meaning more Learn to Swim lessons can be scheduled, something which customers are keen to see in the venue.

In order to facilitate the work, the pool will remain closed when the venue reopens this spring, however the gym, fitness studios, sports halls and tennis courts will not be affected. The project will take around nine months to complete and the new pool and wetside area is scheduled to reopen to the public in late 2021.

New People Make Glasgow Greener campaign launched today

A new campaign for a healthier and cleaner Glasgow has been launched today, with an appeal to citizens to help do their bit to deliver a more attractive and sustainable city.

Launching the People Make Glasgow Greener campaign earlier this afternoon, Glasgow City Council leader, Councillor Susan Aitken appealed to Glaswegians’ sense of civic pride and pledged to work with communities to improve their neighbourhoods and the overall city environment. You can listen to her here.

The campaign will incorporate a new litter prevention action programme and comes as the council approved plans yesterday to invest millions in an improvement fund for local parks and green spaces in the next financial year.

The campaign comes ahead of the city’s hosting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November. You can watch the launch video here and you’ll find more information on the campaign at peoplemakeglasgowgreener.com.

Coming Back Out Ball to take place online this summer

The Coming Back Out Ball, a National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men co-production in association with Glasgow City Council, will take place virtually on Saturday 26 June, marking the culmination of a series events which took place across Scotland in 2019 and early 2020.

The Ball was launched in 2019 as the showpiece finale to a year-long cultural programme created for the LGBTI+ elder community in Scotland, and should have taken place last summer. Unfortunately, it was postponed because of Covid, but the team has been working hard to reschedule an online event this year.

To be hosted by Karen Dunbar and Jamie Rea, it represents the first time that this radical community project has been delivered outside of Australia. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Healthy Working Lives: move a bit more every day

Right now, many of us are moving less than usual and we can often feel a bit sluggish and unmotivated. It can be hard to get going, but committing to moving a little more each day can help us all feel more energised and improve our mood. Maybe you’ve tried walking up and down the stairs or taking part in a virtual class with our Glasgow Club. Even better, have a little stretch or get outside for a walk as often as you can. Being in the open air can really make you feel better, particularly now the days are getting longer.

Making some form of physical activity part of your daily routine, as well as taking regular breaks, can make a real difference to your physical and mental health. You can find links to resources and support for any aspect of your wellbeing on the Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal.

If you’re interested in checking out some of the virtual classes that our Glasgow Club has on offer, visit https://glasgowclub.online/join. And just to show that we can all struggle with technology sometimes, the Glasgow Club has created a bloopers reel showing some of the mishaps and interruptions our instructors have dealt with during lockdown. You can watch the video here.

Staff update – Friday 12 March

A message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow Life’s budget planning for 2021/22:

Dear colleagues

Last month I informed you that Glasgow City Council would be setting its budget in March and earlier this week I explained how the council has put in place a £100m safety net to help stabilise Glasgow Life’s immediate financial position and to allow us to continue planning for a sustainable future.

As I said on Monday, this decision is welcome news for Glasgow Life. It gives us the confidence to press ahead with work that has been ongoing throughout lockdown; looking at how we can reshape the organisation and re-grow our income streams over the medium and longer term. It also represents a significant commitment to ensuring the people of Glasgow can continue to access our much-needed and highly-valued cultural and sporting services in their local communities in the years ahead.

Yesterday, elected members met to agree the council’s budget for 2021/22, having examined a range of savings options to address financial challenges across the Council Family brought on by the impact of the pandemic.

The budget that has been passed for next year will allow the council to continue investing in its strategic priorities, including education; social care; communities; parks and green spaces; climate change action and the city’s wider social and economic recovery post Covid.

In terms of what this means for Glasgow Life, the council has confirmed that our service fee will be reduced by £4.7m, to £72.8m, for 2021/22.

However, I want to be clear; while our core funding is being reduced, the council has committed to guaranteeing that our income will not fall below £100m in the next financial year, using Covid-19 recovery funding from the Scottish Government.

On that basis, we are now working on finalising Glasgow Life’s proposed budget and operational plan for 2021/22, which accounts for the phased reopening of more than 90 facilities; the timescales for which will be dependent on Scottish Government guidance and Glasgow being in, or below, level three of the Government’s strategic framework.

Our draft budget and strategic service priorities will be presented to our Board for consideration and approval on Wednesday 31 March and I will update you all again following this meeting.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Wednesday 10 March

Scottish Government begins to ease restrictions:

Yesterday, the First Minister eased some of the current lockdown restrictions around outdoor meetings and activities, advising that the Scottish Government has prioritised changes aimed at having a positive impact on health and wellbeing. 

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said the country’s figures show a clear positive trend and that this will be further improved by a significant acceleration of the vaccination programme over the coming weeks. 

Most of the changes announced will come into play from this Friday (12 March):

  • Up to four adults from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors for social/recreational purposes, including in private gardens.
  • 12 to 17-year-olds can meet outdoors in groups of up to four friends from a maximum of four different households.
  • Outdoor non-contact sport and organised outdoor group exercise can resume for groups of up to 15 people.
  • From Friday 26 March, communal worship will be allowed indoors in places of worship, and the limit will be increased from 20 to 50 people, assuming spaces are able to maintain two metres physical distancing.

Next Tuesday (16 March), the First Minister will set out an indicative timetable for the wider reopening of Scotland’s economy. The Government’s plans to mark a year of lockdown on Tuesday 23 March will also be revealed over the next two weeks.

You can read the Government’s updated Strategic Framework here.

As announced on Monday, we expect to begin a phased reopening of more than 90 Glasgow Life facilities from w/c Monday 26 April; dependent on Scottish Government guidance and Glasgow being in, or below, level three of the Government’s strategic framework.

Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you in the lead up to this date, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough.

All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal and we will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

Staff update – Monday 8 March

A message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow City Council announces £100m financial guarantee for Glasgow Life:

Dear colleagues

Today, Glasgow City Council has announced a financial safety net for Glasgow Life. Using Covid-19 recovery funding which the Scottish Government has made available to local authorities to cover lost revenue, the council has committed to guaranteeing that our income will not fall below £100m.

This important and welcome decision is positive news for Glasgow Life. It will help to stabilise our current financial position and it gives us the confidence to be able to continue with our future planning, in terms of reshaping the organisation and re-growing our income streams over the medium and longer term.

It will also allow us to bring more venues back into use over time and we have identified another 17 facilities, in addition to the 12 libraries we announced in December, that we will look to reopen this year; the timescales for which will be dependent on Scottish Government guidance and Glasgow being in, or below, tier three of the Government’s strategic framework.

The full list of more than 90 venues, including some operated in partnership with local communities, that we are looking to reopen as well as answers to some anticipated questions is available here.

As it has been throughout the pandemic, our priority will be to ensure that the return of our staff and the public is managed safely. On that basis, we expect to begin a phased reopening of our facilities from w/c Monday 26 April.

Background to this announcement  

Before the pandemic, Glasgow Life had an annual operating budget of c£115m, made up of £77.5m of core funding from the council, reflecting our annual service fee, and £38m of earned income, generated from ticket sales, gym memberships, retail, venue hire and fundraising.

As you know, the pandemic has had a considerable impact on Glasgow Life’s finances; all but wiping out our £38m earned income. The significance of this loss cannot be understated, as it supports, and in many cases pays for, the full range of Glasgow Life’s services, from our sports venues, museums and libraries to our concert halls and community facilities.

As a result, it has meant we have had to rely almost exclusively on council funding over the past 12 months in order to be able to operate a limited range of venues and services. While use of the UK furlough scheme, grant support from agencies like Creative Scotland, and managing our expenditure has helped to mitigate these losses, we are still facing a shortfall of just over £20m at year-end.

And with physical distancing restrictions and other public health measures set to continue even after lockdown is relaxed, we expect that the pandemic and its legacy will continue to have an adverse impact on our ability to earn income.

Delivering a sustainable future for Glasgow Life post Covid-19

All of the work that has been ongoing lately – from looking at how we will reduce the size of our workforce and adapt our service provision, to our strategic planning ‘sprint’ in February, and the launch of the council’s People Make Glasgow Communities initiative last week – is about safeguarding the long-term sustainability of Glasgow Life and ensuring we can continue to have a measurable impact on the city’s social and economic recovery from the pandemic.

I have been clear that we must review Glasgow Life’s operating model and develop a new approach to how we provide our much-needed and highly-valued public services; one which produces the greatest impact from reduced resources and remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

On Thursday (March 11), Glasgow City Council will set its budget for 2021/22, which will confirm the level of service fee Glasgow Life will receive from the council for the coming financial year, and I will update you all on this later in the week.

As I have said before, Glasgow Life is committed to delivering organisational and workforce change in a transparent way; through open communication and engagement with all staff and our trade unions about the impact this will have as well as the opportunities it might bring. I will continue to share information about Glasgow Life’s future with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 5 March

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.   

Glasgow secures future conference business worth £84m during pandemic

New figures show that despite the current challenges facing the meetings industry, since last April Glasgow has secured 28 new conferences for future years from a range of sectors, which will bring more than 36,000 delegates to the city and support the city’s economic recovery to the value of £84m.

Throughout the last year, Team Glasgow has championed a partnership approach, working together to keep Glasgow front of mind for organisers as a world-leading conference destination.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “Never has partnership working been more significant than during the last twelve months. Glasgow has continued to win conferences for future years, despite the current restrictions. This is a clear endorsement of the confidence that the global meetings industry holds in our city, and the importance of our world-class academic ambassadors who invite their international peers to meet in Glasgow.”

A huge congratulations and thanks to all the team at Glasgow Convention Bureau for their tremendous efforts.

What will you ‘Choose to Challenge’ in support of International Women’s Day?

On Monday (8 March), Glasgow City Council’s Lean In Network is hosting an International Women’s Day (IWD) event to celebrate this year’s theme: Choose to Challenge. We are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions, and we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. By working together, we can help to create a more inclusive world. 

The Lean In team is asking staff across the Council Family to get involved by taking a picture of yourself raising your hand high to show your commitment to calling out inequality, which can be used on the council’s social media channels throughout next week. All you need to do is email your photo to leanin@glasgow.gov.uk along with your name and job title.

For more info, visit www.internationalwomensday.com.

Protecting all of us, takes all of us – it's time to roll up our sleeves

The vaccines that will help protect us from Covid-19 are being rolled out across Scotland and taking the vaccine when it’s your turn is the best way to protect yourself, others, and the NHS. It's time to roll up our sleeves, so when offered the vaccine please get it.

Visit NHS Inform for the most up to date information and advice on the vaccine or call the Covid-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013, available every day from 8am to 8pm. A dedicated Traveline Scotland helpline has also been set up to provide advice and assistance to people who need to travel to Glasgow’s vaccination centres by public transport. Call 0141 465 1878 to speak to someone who can help.

If your vaccination appointment occurs during working hours you will be permitted paid time off to attend. Line managers are aware that every effort should be made to support you in receiving your vaccination as we continue our collective fight against the virus. Until we've all been vaccinated, we all need to protect each other so remember to: self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms; follow FACTS; and stick to the restrictions.

Glasgow City Council extends Gaelic skills survey deadline

If you want to participate in Glasgow City Council’s Gaelic skills survey then there’s still time to do so. The council’s Gaelic development team is inviting staff across the Council Family to have their say to help assess how many employees can speak, read, write or understand Gaelic. Your support will help the team develop new opportunities to increase Gaelic awareness in an effort to encourage more people to learn and use the language.

The council works closely with Glasgow Life and a range of community organisations to provide learning opportunities and to deliver the Gaelic Arts strategy. Collectively, we delivered a hugely successful and enjoyable Royal National Mod in 2019, which raised the profile of Gaelic in the city and contributed around £4m to the local economy.

Glasgow is the largest centre of Gaelic culture in mainland Scotland and the results of the survey will be the starting point for the Council’s next Gaelic Plan from 2023-27. If you want to take part, you now have until close of play on Monday (8 March). You can complete the survey here.

Healthy Working Lives: looking after your mental health

Nearly a year on, coronavirus restrictions are continuing to affect all of our lives and the lives of our loved ones. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of millions of people around the world, so if you’ve felt overwhelmed at times or are experiencing difficult or unexpected emotions, it can be helpful to talk about it with someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member or even your GP.

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. If you’re feeling anxious, concerned or that you might just need a bit of additional support, you can contact Workplace Options at any time and for free on 0800 247 1100. They’re also available online at workplaceoptions.co.uk (user name GCC, password Employee). The Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal also hosts links to a variety of support and resources to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Staff update – Thursday 4 March

A message from our Chief Executive: job evaluation update

Dear colleagues,

As you know, Glasgow City Council has committed to implementing a new pay and grading scheme across the Council Family and Glasgow Life is part of this job evaluation process.

The process itself involves evaluating each job across the Council Family to make sure it is fairly ranked. The rank order of jobs will then support the work to design a new pay and grading scheme, which will ensure that all staff are paid equally for work of equal value.

Glasgow City Council had originally planned to complete the evaluation work and deliver a new pay and grading system by April this year. However, due to the pandemic, this timescale is no longer possible. Quite understandably, the job evaluation process has been affected by the council’s need to prioritise resources over the past year.

A fuller report on the impact of Covid-19 on the work of the Job Evaluation Team was shared with the council’s General Purposes City Policy Committee earlier this week, which you can read on the council’s website here.

Before the pandemic, the Job Evaluation Team, working with the trade unions, had made considerable progress in identifying which jobs would be evaluated first; resulting in a list of benchmark jobs covering grades one to eight. Many Council Family staff had also volunteered to attend briefing sessions or had participated in the first round of interviews about the work they do for the city. You can view the list of benchmark jobs here.

The council is now looking to recommence its work on the job evaluation process and will be asking more staff from across the Council Family to volunteer to take part; beginning with staff who are able to undertake remote interviews via Microsoft Teams throughout March.

However, the council recognises that not everyone will have the IT equipment or skills to participate in remote interviews, and staff who can’t attend an interview online will not be disadvantaged. Part of the council’s planning is also looking at safe ways to conduct interviews in person, following the latest Government guidance and workplace/individual risk assessments, if required.

Every job across the Council Family will be evaluated, but not everyone will have to be interviewed; it’s a sample of jobs that are required. If your job is a benchmark job then you could be asked to attend an interview. The Job Evaluation Liaison Officers across the Council Family’s HR teams and line managers will identify benchmark job holders to attend interviews. Remember, all you’ll be asked to do is talk about your job and what you do.

Frequently asked questions and more information

A list of frequently asked questions has been gathered, which you can read here, and you’ll find more information about the scheme, and the progress made to date, on the council’s job evaluation web portal, here.

If you have any specific questions that are not addressed on the website, you can email them to the job evaluation team at JE-SUPPORT@glasgow.gov.uk or ask your line manager to submit your question on your behalf.

More detailed information will be provided to the next groups of staff who will be asked to volunteer for interviews, and information about next steps will also be provided to those staff who have already been interviewed. As always, I will continue to keep all Glasgow Life staff updated about future decisions and timescales on the job evaluation process and the implementation of the new pay and grading scheme.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Wednesday 3 March

Learning and Development update, webinar schedule:

Colleagues across Glasgow Life have been enjoying the in-house series of webinars designed and delivered by our Learning and Development team to support our development and recovery planning. With many of the events now full, the below schedule shares some new dates and times of additional sessions.     

To reserve your place on any of these events, please email the Learning and Development team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis.

NEW: Working through change

Covid-19 has imposed change on us all personally and professionally. By understanding how we are affected by change and the natural way we deal with change, we are able to build coping strategies that help us adapt and thrive. This 90-minute session is for Glasgow Life colleagues who feel they might benefit from this learning.

  • Monday 8 March, 1.30pm – 3pm – NOW FULL
  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am - 11.30am – NOW FULL
  • Thursday 1 April, 10am – 11.30am - (12 spaces available)
  • Tuesday 20 April, 1.30pm – 3pm - (12 spaces available)
  • Thursday 6 May, 1.30pm – 3pm - (12 spaces available)

NEW: Leading change

Covid-19 has brought about much change across Glasgow Life and we need to continue to review and develop new ways of delivering to the people of Glasgow. This event is for those who are responsible for leading and managing change and will define practical ways to lead and manage people through the transition and to be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world.

  • Wednesday 24 March, 10am – 11.30am – NOW FULL
  • Wednesday 31 March, 1.30pm – 3pm – (12 spaces available)
  • Monday 19 April, 1.30pm – 3pm – (12 spaces available)
  • Tuesday 4 May, 10am – 11.30am – (12 spaces available)

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar is aimed at people managers and will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following date:

  • Thursday 15 April, 10am – 11.30am - (12 spaces available)

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are for any colleagues across the company who feel they might benefit and are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 17 March, 10am – 11am - (9 spaces available)
  • Thursday 15 April, 1.30pm – 3pm - (12 spaces available)
  • Friday 7 May, 10am – 3.30pm - (12 spaces available)

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session is for anyone who is getting to grips with the basics of using any video conferencing platforms. The event will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates: 

  • Wednesday 17 March, 1.30pm – 3pm - (4 spaces available)
  • Wednesday 14 April, 1.30pm – 3pm – (12 spaces available)

Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool. But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact. This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Thursday 11 March, 1.30pm – 3pm – NOW FULL
  • Friday 26 March, 10am – 11.30am - (5 spaces available)
  • Thursday 22 April, 10am – 11.30am – (12 spaces available)

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Tuesday 9 March, 1.30pm – 3pm - (1 space available)
  • Tuesday 13 April, 1.30pm – 3pm -  (12 spaces available)

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 26 February

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Glasgow Life is helping Scotland’s elite swimmers to continue training during lockdown

Glasgow Life has been working with Scottish Swimming and sportscotland to help support some of the country’s top swimmers to continue their training during lockdown.

Within the guidelines set by the Scottish Government, 12 professional swimmers have been training at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in preparation for their Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic trials in April, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Among the group are Paralympic medallist Andrew Mullen and World Para-Swimming medallist Louis Lawlor, who recently featured in Glasgow Life’s charity campaign. Junior swimmer Katie Shanahan, who won a record six medals at the European Youth Olympics in 2019, is also part of the elite squad. 

Supported by their Glasgow Life coaches Ian Wright and Danielle Brayson, the group also undertakes strength training in the gym at the Emirates Arena, with robust processes in place to ensure they can train safely, including regular Covid tests and physical distancing. Pictured are swimmers Andrew Mullen, Gregor Swinney, Mark Ford, Martin McInnes, Louis Lawlor, Gavin Roberts, Ruairi McKinnon, Katie Shanahan, Drew McKenzie, Evie Davis and Lucy Grieve with Head Coach Ian Wright at Tollcross. 

GoMA to celebrate milestone 25th anniversary with programme of online events for all ages

Glasgow’s much-loved Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year with a special programme of ‘GoMA at Home’ online activities, talks and workshops over the coming months. The venue opened to the public on 30 March 1996 and was formally opened by The Queen on 3 July 1996.

Since opening its doors a quarter of a century ago, GoMA has staged over 200 exhibitions featuring diverse artists from all over the world, as well as collecting powerful work by local, UK and international artists, and developing an award-winning learning programme for all ages, abilities and interests. With nearly 600,000 visits each year, it has become one of the most-visited modern art museums in the UK.

Current Covid-19 restrictions mean that celebrations have moved online, with upcoming free events including highly-popular Saturday Art Club workshops tomorrow (Saturday 27 February) and Saturday 27 March; Coffee with A Curator: Martin Craig on Friday 5 March; a Mindful Art Session on Sunday 7 March and Glasgow Museums’ Toddler Tales on Tuesday 9 March. For more information and to join in the anniversary celebrations click here or visit galleryofmodernart.blog.

Early years activities adapted for Gaelic families and new funding opportunity for Gaelic arts

The Good Move team at Glasgow Sport has worked with staff in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council) to translate resources from their Wee Play programme into Gaelic.

These are being used by families across the Western Isles, but are also available for any Gaelic-speaking families in Glasgow. The Home Activity cards and video guides include fun physical challenges for children under five to try at home using simple items, providing a great way to keep little ones active during lockdown. You can find out more about these resources and access the Gaelic version of the cards, here.

Glasgow Life has also announced a new funding opportunity for artists under the GUIR! programme, which aims to develop new Gaelic work across all creative disciplines and is now in its third incarnation.

The call-out is open to Gaelic speaking artists of all levels as well as non-Gaelic speakers who have an interest in Gaelic culture and who should plan to allocate some of their funding towards working with a Gaelic-speaking artist of their choosing. Applications are open until 5pm on Sunday 14 March and more information is available here.

Want to know more about benefits available through Social Security Scotland?

Daniel Band has been seconded to the role of Benefit Take-Up Officer within Glasgow Life, helping to increase awareness among staff, partner agencies and citizens of the benefits available through Social Security Scotland. Daniel’s 12-month role is funded by the Scottish Government’s Benefit Take-Up and Income Maximisation Fund.

Daniel has recently been involved in a public consultation to find out where and how customers would like to access information on Social Security Scotland benefits. The next step of the project will be the development of training for staff across the Council Family to increase awareness of these benefits and to understand how to signpost customers. This will include a GOLD course, which we would encourage as many frontline staff as possible to complete. Look out for more info in a future weekly bulletin about when the course will go live.

If you would like to know more about Social Security Scotland benefits, such as the new Scottish Child Payment which the government introduced earlier this month, as well as  eligibility and how to apply, feel free to get in touch with Daniel at daniel.band@glasgowlife.org.uk.  

Adele’s fitness fundraising for MIND 

In January, Adele Bethel from Hillhead Library completed a 30-day fitness challenge and raised more than £600 for MIND, the mental health charity, by walking, jogging, cycling and practicing yoga throughout the month.

Adele said: “I kept seeing articles about the rise in mental health problems since the Covid-19 pandemic began, so I wanted to help in some way. In the past I have been a supporter of the Scottish Mental Health and Arts Festival, playing with my old band and giving talks on the importance of music therapy.

“I found exercising every day difficult at first, particularly in the gloomiest month of the year, but my habits have completely changed now and I want to get outside or at least exercise at home every day. I can't recommend the challenge enough, I got so much out of it and was able to give something to a cause I really feel passionate about.”

Well done Adele, inspirational stuff! If you feel that you might need some support with any aspect of your health and wellbeing, there are useful links and resources on our staff web portal. Check them out here.

Glasgow Museums quiz on the Jeremy Vine Show

Earlier this week, Glasgow Museums staff supplied questions for the regular quiz slot on the Jeremy Vine Show on Channel 5.

Jeremy is a huge fan of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in particular. He has visited the museum many times and his debut novel, The Diver and the Lover, which he published last year, is a historical tale based on one of the most popular works in Glasgow Museums’ collection: Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross’.

You can catch up on Wednesday’s episode of the show here, but if you want to test your own city knowledge first, why not see how you get on with the questions below:

1. Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, but what sits on the head of the statue of the Duke of Wellington outside its entrance?

A) Traffic cone
B) Pair of bunny ears
C) Hard hat

2. Glasgow has the UK’s only Museum of Religious Life and Art, named after the city’s patron saint. Who is he?

A) St Mungo
B) St Andrew
C) St Kessog

3. Glasgow Museums’ natural history collection contains more than 200,000 insects, and the largest section is made up of lepidoptera. What are lepidoptera?

A) Beetles
B) Butterflies and moths
C) Wasps, bees and ants

4. Riverside Museum displays one of the world’s first ever Minis, from 1959. What is the world record for how many people can fit inside a Mini?

A) 21
B) 27
C) 31

5. One of Kelvingrove's best-known objects is Sir Roger. What type of animal was he?

A) Dinosaur
B) Gorilla
C) Elephant

Staff update – Friday 26 February

CLEAR Value of the Month for March: Respect

Transforming people’s futures – the role of Glasgow Life in population health 

This month’s CLEAR Value message comes under our theme of respect and is aimed at raising awareness of our new GOLD course on population health.

The impact of Covid-19 has brought health inequality into sharp focus over the past year and our own personal and professional connectedness has been dramatically interrupted. Glasgow Life has a significant role to play in supporting the city’s social recovery by continuing to provide and enable vital support where it’s needed most in the short and long-term, to help build positive health and wellbeing in communities across Glasgow.

Sir Harry Burns is Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University and was Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer from 2005 to 2014. As a world-renowned expert in addressing health inequalities, Sir Harry will guide you through our new Population Health course on GOLD in his uniquely relatable style.

Our course aims to help you:

  • Develop your understanding and knowledge about health inequalities in Glasgow.
  • Find out what the social determinants of health are and why where you were born, where you live and the work that you do can affect your health.
  • Consider why Glasgow Life has a responsibility in supporting people to develop positive health and wellbeing outcomes. 

No matter what role each of us has in Glasgow Life, Sir Harry explains how you can help people make a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

This learning resource is part of ongoing work by Glasgow Life on the subjects of population health and social prescribing, to look at how we can address current health inequality challenges and best match our services with communities’ health and wellbeing needs and priorities going forward. 

You can also read some of Sir Harry Burns’ published works on his Strathclyde University profile page

Please see our guide to accessing GOLD at home and managers are asked to print and display March's CLEAR Value poster on staff noticeboards in your facilities.

Staff update – Thursday 25 February

2020/2021 financial year-end timetable:

With the financial year-end fast approaching, please take note of the following deadlines:

Intercompany billing (GCC/ALEOs)

Invoices/debtor requests to be with the Finance team no later than Monday 15 March.

External billing (non GCC/ALEOs)

Invoices/debtor requests to be with the Finance team no later than Friday 19 March.

Payroll/staff expenses

Any payroll/staff expenses must be processed and approved in My Portal no later than Friday 26 March at 2pm to ensure inclusion in 2020/21. Any transactions processed after this date will fall into 2021/22.

Pecos orders

Pecos orders need to be receipted no later than Wednesday 31 March at 2pm. Any orders receipted after this date/time will fall into 2021/22.

PCards

PCard transactions need to be processed via My Portal no later than Wednesday 31 March at 2pm. Any transactions processed after this date/time will fall into 2021/22.

2020/21 Accruals

Friday 9 April is the deadline for the Finance team to receive all outstanding expenditure and income invoice accruals to be included in 2020/21.

Any invoices received after this date will be processed in financial year 2021/22.

Please note, the Finance team is only able to accrue expenditure which satisfies one of the following three criteria: 

  • PECOS purchase orders which have not been receipted but where we can evidence receipt of the goods/services.
  • Invoices for goods and services which are dated up to and including 31 March 2021.
  • Evidence that goods and services have been received (up to and including 31 March 2021) but not invoiced (Non-PECOS purchase orders).

Credit cards

Credit card statements for March will be issued by the Finance team by Tuesday 6 April. Reconciliations must be returned by close of business on Thursday 8 April to allow transactions to be posted into 2020/21.

Petty cash/cash expenditure

With the closure of our buildings there has been no opportunity for cash reimbursement. However, if possible and where available, reconciliations can still be submitted to the Finance team to ensure expenditure is processed in the 2020/21 financial year.

Cash on site

We appreciate that there may still be income held on site, however, with buildings currently closed there has been no opportunity for collection. If you are aware of this then please let the Finance team know so we can maintain a record and can then arrange collection as and when buildings reopen. 

Should you have any queries, please contact a member of the Finance team.

Staff update – Thursday 25 February

A message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow City Council launches new People Make Glasgow Communities programme:

Dear colleagues

Glasgow City Council has today launched a new initiative, People Make Glasgow Communities; a programme which will give citizens, community groups and other organisations across the city the opportunity to play a greater role in the delivery and management of local services and facilities, to better meet the changing needs of their neighbourhoods.

As part of Glasgow’s mission to empower communities, the Council will use the city’s world-famous brand to encourage expressions of interest from organisations and groups across Glasgow. People Make Glasgow Communities will encourage the people who know, use and are passionate about local resources such as buildings, pitches and community facilities, to make them more relevant and accessible to everyone in the local community.

Throughout the last year, the city has seen thousands of acts of community spirit which have ranged from people helping neighbours and friends in need, to supporting key workers, to pilot schemes where local groups and organisations have stepped in and helped venues and facilities to reopen.

Current best practice shows community services which are locally managed and delivered are the most successful in meeting community needs. Giving people a stake in the services intended for and delivered in their local area is an opportunity for us all to be involved in making our communities stronger and better for everyone.

As Glasgow Life operates many of the Council’s community venues, it’s likely that this project will identify new opportunities to support the city’s social recovery, through citizens and local organisations coming forward to become more involved in the management and operation of their local venues. There will be a variety of exciting and innovative operational models available to groups and organisations as part of the project and this may, in turn, create a variety of opportunities for staff.

Since the start of 2020, several community organisations and sports clubs in Glasgow have already become involved in pilot projects which are exploring new ways of delivering local services. These include three successful Community Activation Pilots at Stepford Sports Complex, Nethercraigs and Springburn. The combined benefit of these pilots is that it is allowing many young people to keep playing sport.

This new programme will play a key role in the city’s renewal plan, giving citizens a say in their local services and facilities, and creating a new model of collaborative working. Answers to some anticipated questions are included below and more information on People Make Glasgow Communities will be available at www.glasgow.gov.uk/communities from tomorrow (Friday 26 February).

If you have any questions or concerns about this, please speak to your line manager or Head of Service in the first instance.

Best regards,

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

What is People Make Glasgow Communities?

People Make Glasgow Communities is the call to action and mechanism by which local groups and organisations can express an interest in being involved in the delivery of local venues and services which their communities value and rely on.

Why is People Make Glasgow Communities needed?

The impact of the global pandemic means it is more difficult to continue to deliver services using traditional operating models, whilst meeting the needs and expectations of the people who value these services. As part of Glasgow City Council’s Property and Land Strategy, the Council (including Glasgow Life) is looking at new ways of operating its current directly-managed estate. 

The aim is to open up new opportunities which align with the city’s wider social recovery programme and establish a more radical approach to community empowerment which shifts the emphasis to ‘power in communities’.

Is this an attempt to sell-off buildings and stop delivering services?

No. The aim is to ensure the services and resources that are loved and used by the people who rely on and enjoy them continue to be accessible in a way which meets the needs of the community. The relationship between the city and local communities will continue to develop, and civic organisations will be involved in developing and supporting new operating arrangements for these services and resources. The range of approaches available in this first phase includes, but is not limited to:

  • Community hubs
  • Community partnerships
  • Community asset transfers

What does this mean for Glasgow Life staff?

As part of Glasgow Life’s ongoing workforce planning, we are committed to redesigning Glasgow Life’s organisational structure in a transparent way. We will do this through open communication and engagement with all staff and our trade unions about the impact workforce planning will have as well as the opportunities it might bring.

Throughout the People Make Glasgow Communities initiative, we will work closely with staff and trade unions to understand any implications for Glasgow Life staff, as well as any opportunities for retraining, redeployment and working within other areas and services across the Council family.

The initial phase of this programme will establish the level of interest organisations have in becoming more involved in the operation and or management of a venue or facility. The next stage of the process will be guided by the interest that this approach generates. There will be a variety of operational models available to groups and organisations as part of the project and this may, in turn, create a variety of opportunities for staff.

Please bear in mind this is only the initial stage of People Make Glasgow Communities and, while we gauge the level of interest from the local community, we are committed to keeping staff informed on how the programme progresses.

Staff update – Wednesday 24 February

First ever Gray Day set to celebrate the life and work of Alasdair Gray:

Glasgow Life is supporting the first ever Gray Day on Thursday 25 February, celebrating the life and work of Alasdair Gray, one of Scotland’s most important and well-loved writers and artists.

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the publication of Gray’s ground breaking novel Lanark and, to mark the occasion, there will be a special Gray Day Broadcast from Òran Mór, hosted by Neu Reekie, featuring readings, conversation and music.

This hour-long online program is a tribute to Gray’s masterwork of Scottish fiction and will feature special appearances from Ali Smith, Yann Martel, Alan Cumming, Denise Mina, Irvine Welsh, Gemma Cairney, Chitra Ramaswamy, Alex Kapranos, Ewen Bremner, Louise Welsh, Salena Godden, Gavin Mitchell, Bernard MacLaverty, Rodge Glass, The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly and more. To find out more and register for your free tickets visit https://www.grayday.info/

Gray Day will also see the launch of a new website, a podcast entitled Gray Matters and a new online film commissioned by artist Craig Mulholland. These will accompany a series of Gray readings by friends, family and fans that the Gray Archive have been posting throughout February. Click here to enjoy, including one from our very own Katie Bruce, Curator Producer at GoMA, on day 25.

Glasgow Museums is privileged to have several works commissioned by Alasdair Gray in our collection as part of his 1977 work for the People’s Palace, The City Recorder. These include a wonderful portrait of Edwin Morgan, currently on display in Domestic Bliss, GoMA. And the good news is it will still be there when we re-open!

You can also find Alasdair Gray’s work in your local library. Click here to explore the catalogue.

Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor David McDonald, said: “The literary and artistic prowess of Alasdair Gray has rightly made him one of Scotland’s most revered artists. We were delighted to host the first retrospective spanning his full career in 2014 to mark his 80th birthday. On the 40th anniversary of his landmark novel, Lanark, it is fitting that his home city pays tribute to his outstanding talent and Glasgow Museums is pleased to be part of the celebration.  

“Alasdair often attributed many happy memories to his time spent at weekend art classes in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and we are very proud to have a number of his works in our collection. Gray Day is a wonderful way to allow Alasdair Gray’s fans to indulge their passion, while providing an opportunity for new audiences to discover his work.”

Look out for more #GrayDay content across Glasgow Life’s social media channels tomorrow.

Staff update – Wednesday 24 February

Scottish Government introduces updated Strategic Framework:

Yesterday, the First Minister introduced the Scottish Government’s updated Strategic Framework and an initial timescale for the easing of restrictions, with a more detailed version of the framework to be published in mid-March.

Indicative dates show that the majority of Glasgow Life’s venues will stay closed until at least late April.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said there are much firmer grounds for cautious optimism however, while the country’s current position is extremely positive and promising, it is still precarious.

She stated it was important to see the impact of schools reopening yesterday before relaxing restrictions further, and there will therefore be at least three weeks between each phase of restrictions easing. Indicative dates for easing of restrictions are:

  • From 15 March, the next phase of school returns, with the rest of primary and more secondary pupils returning to school. Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17 year olds. Socialising rules eased to allow outdoor meetings of four people from two households.
  • From 5 April, it is hoped the Stay at Home restriction will be lifted. Third and final phase of schools reopening if required. Places of worship can open on a restricted numbers basis. Essential retailers list expanded slightly and click-and-collect resumes for non-essential retail.
  • From 26 April, if the data allows, Scotland will move back to the levels system. It is hoped that all level 4 areas will be able to move back to level 3. This will enable the gradual opening up of economic and social activity including non-essential retail, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers, however more details will be set out in mid-March.

As you know, some of our venues have remained open throughout the pandemic for activity which is permitted by the Government, including essential childcare and emergency food distribution, and this will continue over the coming weeks.

Additionally, some outdoor sport facilities which offer activities which comply with the revised guidelines remain open, as do some venues which accommodate professional and elite sport clubs and organisations.

We will continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, including security monitoring, planned and ongoing building maintenance and the regular flushing of water systems, as well as maintain a process of operational readiness to ensure we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we are allowed to do so.

Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you during this period, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal and we will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information.   

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 19 February

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Plans for innovative new Health and Social Care Hub in Parkhead take a step forward

Plans for a new £67m health and social care hub serving the North East of Glasgow have moved a step closer after the Scottish Government approved the Outline Business Case for the centre, which will be built on the site of the former Parkhead Hospital.

Bringing together community health services which are currently located at nine different sites, the hub will be home to three GP practices as well as specialist support services for children, adult community care groups, older people, mental health, addictions, criminal justice and homelessness; all delivered by a range of public and third sector organisations. The Scottish Government will fund the majority of the project, with Glasgow City Council providing £2.5m to relocate Parkhead Library within the new centre. It’s hoped that it will be open to the public in 2024 and we’ll share more info about what this means for Glasgow Life in due course.

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries adds more call appointments to meet demand

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with cancer, the Macmillan at Glasgow Libraries team can help. To meet growing demand, they have added more times that you can book a call to access emotional, practical and financial support. 

Earlier this month, on World Cancer Day, the team’s work featured in the Glasgow Times, helping to spread the word about the support that’s available. One recipient is Liz Wallace from Riddrie, who said: “The experience I’ve had has been indescribable. The fact that I know I’m not going through this on my own, and having someone to talk to other than my family when I’m feeling anxious or a little down, makes me feel better and I look forward to what the future holds.” You can read the full article, and see the cutest photos of Macmillan team member Annmarie Galbraith’s dog Mischa helping her work from home, here.

Appointments with the team are available on Mondays at 10.30am, 1pm or 2.30pm; Tuesdays at 1pm or 2.30pm; and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am, 11.30am or 2pm. To book, call 0141 287 2903 or email macmillan@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Local businesses ‘Powering Up’ their digital skills thanks to BIPC Glasgow

Throughout the pandemic, Glasgow Life’s Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC), which is based at The Mitchell Library, has been delivering ‘Power Up’; a project funded by the Good Things Foundation to help small businesses and start-ups boost their performance through developing their digital capabilities.

With over 200 attendances to-date, the project, which was originally scheduled for delivery at the Mitchell, has moved entirely online and features one-to-one learning and advice sessions delivered by Jamie McCoy, BIPC’s Digital Marketing Expert in Residence.

BIPC Glasgow is also working in partnership with Technology Coaching Ltd to deliver a series of free digital skills webinars over the coming weeks, with sessions exploring how to use web analytics (24 February); digital marketing (4 March); e-commerce and tips for selling online (10 March); and how to build an effective online advertising strategy (18 March). For more information, email business@glasgowlife.org.uk, or click here.

Glasgow City Council’s Gaelic skills survey 2021 – have your say

Glasgow City Council’s Gaelic development team is inviting staff across the Council Family to complete its 2021 Gaelic skills survey. The aim of the survey is to find out how many employees can speak, read, write or understand Gaelic and your support will help the team develop new opportunities to increase Gaelic awareness in an effort to encourage more people to learn and use the language.

The Council’s Gaelic Development Officer, Donald MacPhee, said: “More and more people want to learn Gaelic and to find out about our Gaelic heritage, culture and arts. It’s important we understand what our staff know about Gaelic and work together across the Council Family to improve the service that we offer.

“The council works closely with Glasgow Life and a range of community organisations to provide learning opportunities and to deliver the Gaelic Arts strategy. We delivered a hugely successful and enjoyable Royal National Mod in 2019, which raised the profile of Gaelic in the city and contributed around £4m to the local economy.”

Glasgow is the largest centre of Gaelic culture in mainland Scotland and the results of the survey will be the starting point for the Council’s next Gaelic Plan from 2023-27. If you want to participate, you can complete the survey here until Wednesday 3 March.  

Organ donation law is changing in Scotland – it’s time to make your decision

The law around organ and tissue donation is changing soon, and the Scottish Government has launched a campaign encouraging people to make their donation decision known. From 26 March this year, Scotland will move to an opt-out system of organ and tissue donation to help save and improve lives. 

The change in law means that if people aged 16 and over have not recorded a decision about donation, they will be considered as a possible donor when they die. Everyone has a choice under the new law – to be a donor, or to opt-out of donation.

Whatever you decide, it's important to record it on NHS Scotland’s Organ Donor Register and to tell your family and friends so they can honour it. For more information about the change, or to opt out, visit organdonationscotland.org or phone 0300 123 123.

Staff update – Friday 19 February

Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre to operate as Covid-19 asymptomatic testing facility from 1 March:

Glasgow is set to begin the phased introduction of Covid-19 asymptomatic testing. The programme will offer tests specifically to people without Covid-19 symptoms who may be infectious and spreading the virus without knowing.

Walk-through test centres will begin rolling out in communities across the city next month, with the first being located at Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre. Glasgow Life is currently supporting the army with the coordination of necessary infrastructure works at Govanhill. A second asymptomatic testing centre will be set-up at Glasgow’s Central Mosque in the Gorbals.

People living in these areas who do not have Covid-19 symptoms will be encouraged to come forward for a test from Monday 1 March. Appointments are not necessary for asymptomatic tests and by volunteering to get tested, people will be helping to fight the pandemic. Both centres will operate for several weeks and will be staffed by the Armed Forces. Opening times will be confirmed soon. Please do not attend an asymptomatic test centre if you believe you may have Covid-19.

How and where to get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms

For people with Covid-19 symptoms, walk-through test centres are operating at four Glasgow Life venues: St Francis Community Centre in the Gorbals, Pollok Community Centre, Barlia Football Centre in Castlemilk and from the car park at the Riverside Museum in Partick.

Additional test centres are available at the Arc Sports Centre, located within Glasgow Caledonian University (walk-through), as well as the car park at the Emirates Arena and at Glasgow Airport, both of which are drive-through. The walk-through test centre that was previously sited at Glasgow Club Easterhouse has been relocated locally to the car park of the council’s Social Work Services office, adjacent to Glasgow Kelvin College.

Please be aware that if you have Covid symptoms, you must book a test before attending a test centre. You can do this via nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. This short video explains what to do before, during and after visiting a walk-through test centre.

Use of Glasgow Life venues as mass vaccination centres

Glasgow Life is also working in partnership with Glasgow City Council, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish Government to support the operation of four of the city’s five mass vaccination centres. These are available at Barmulloch Community Centre and Glasgow Clubs Easterhouse, Castlemilk and Donald Dewar in Drumchapel, in addition to the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital on the SEC campus.

For more information, visit our public Covid-19 latest information page. For enquiries and advice, NHS Inform’s dedicated Vaccination Helpline is available every day from 8am to 8pm on 0800 030 8013.

Staff update – Wednesday 17 February

Scottish Government extends current Covid-19 restrictions until at least the beginning of March:

As you will be aware, the Scottish Government has announced that the current Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until at least the beginning of March, and possibly beyond. This means that the majority of Glasgow Life’s venues and services must stay closed until then.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said there is clear evidence that the restrictions are working, and that current restrictions will not be in place for any longer than is strictly necessary.

The Scottish Government is currently preparing a revised strategic framework that it hopes to publish next week, however the First Minister highlighted that any move out of the current lockdown would be careful, cautious and gradual, and would be driven by data and not by dates.

The phased return of schools will go ahead as planned from Monday 22 February. Pre-school children, those in Primaries 1, 2 and 3, a limited number of senior pupils for practical work, and the most vulnerable children with additional support needs will be able to return to school from Monday.

The impact of this change will be monitored and will inform the second phase of schools reopening which will be announced in two weeks’ time. There is unlikely to be any further return to schools before 15 March. You can find full details of all current restrictions here https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19 

As you know, some of our venues have remained open throughout the pandemic for activity which is permitted by the Government, including essential childcare and emergency food distribution, and this will continue over the coming weeks. 

Additionally, some outdoor sport facilities which offer activities which comply with the revised guidelines will stay open, as will some venues which accommodate professional and elite sport clubs and organisations.

Beyond this, the timescale for reopening any of our venues is entirely dependent on future guidance from the Scottish Government. The Government will review the situation again in a fortnight and we will share a further update on what this means for Glasgow Life then. In the meantime, we will continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, including security monitoring, planned and ongoing building maintenance and the regular flushing of water systems, as well as maintain a process of operational readiness to ensure we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we are allowed to do so.

Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you during this period, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal and we will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information.   

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 12 February

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Amber Campbell – Coach Core graduate

Glasgow Sport’s Coach Core programme is an employment and education project which uses a community sports apprenticeship to support young adults that are not in employment, education or training. The project’s main aim is to help young people not only change their future pathways, but to also become a positive influence in their communities too.

Amber Campbell was the youngest graduate in her programme, completing her SVQ in Sports Coaching well ahead of schedule. Since then, she has secured a post as a full-time Gymnastics coach with Glasgow Sport and gone on to gain her Level 2 general gymnastics qualification, British Gymnastics preschool qualification, and completed the British Gymnastics disability add-on module.

Reflecting her dedication, Amber interviewed for and successfully gained a position on the Coach Core Youth Board this year, which works with the management team and the Board of Trustees from the Coach Core Foundation to develop and promote the work of the programme as well as improve opportunities and pathways for young people. 

Amber said: “Coach Core gave me a positive support network and the building blocks to starting my career. I’m looking forward to working with the Youth Board and to be able to give back to the programme and to other young people that are in the same position I was in.”  Well done Amber! To find out more about Coach Core, click here.

Glasgow’s ‘Tales from the Wardrobe’

While Glasgow’s museums remain closed due to coronavirus restrictions, our hard-working curators have been researching some of the fascinating items stored in the city’s collections.

Rebecca Quinton, curator of our impressive European costume and textile collection, has been busy uncovering the intriguing stories behind the makers and wearers of some exquisite items of clothing and accessories.

In a new, occasional series for the Glasgow Times, we will be sharing some of those ‘Tales from the Wardrobe’. The feature started on Tuesday this week with a piece on the city’s once-famous umbrella man, Joseph Wright. In 1884, Wright ran the Glasgow Umbrella Manufactory from premises in Argyle Arcade and was a master of publicity, sending his coveted ‘Drooko’ umbrella to the rich and famous of the time; including the Princess of Wales and various Prime Ministers.

Impressively, he even had posters designed by renowned artist sisters, Frances and Margaret McDonald (Margaret was the wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh). Look out for more Tales from the Wardrobe in Times Past soon, including the story of the maker of this incredible piece of lounge wear.

How will you support Random Acts of Kindness Week?

We all know the difference a small act of kindness can make to your day, even something as simple as a smile from a stranger – and during this time of uncertainty we could all use some kindness more than ever. Scientific evidence supports the positive effects of doing small but kind acts for others, as well as receiving or even just witnessing kindness.

This Sunday to next, 14-21 February marks international Random Acts of Kindness Week, with Random Acts of Kindness Day falling on Wednesday (17 February). So why not take some time next week to complete a kind act for a friend or loved one and support this year’s campaign to help make kindness the norm. Even the smallest act of kindness has the power to change a life.  

When we tune into the kindness happening around us, our days can seem a little bit brighter and things can become more manageable. By making this the norm and including more kindness in our daily lives, we can all help each other through the tough times. For info, visit randomactsofkindness.org.

HarperCollins joins forces with Glasgow Life to donate 10,000 books to families during Covid-19       

Publisher HarperCollins has donated more than 10,000 books to Glasgow Life, by top authors including Michael Morpurgo, Ant Middleton and David Walliams, to help support families during the pandemic.

The donation will see a huge selection of titles, including children’s books and learning resources, distributed through Glasgow Libraries’ Reader Development and Literacy team and Glasgow City Council’s Education Services.

Katrina Brodin, Reader Development and Literacy Programme Manager, said: “Since March 2020, we’ve been working closely with our colleagues in Education Services to get books and other reading materials to our most vulnerable families. Together, we have identified 4,400 families requiring additional support and worked to reach those most adversely affected by the pandemic. These books will be delivered to families via collection at their local school or by home delivery, with additional materials to bring the books to life through creative learning experiences.”

The donation is part of HarperCollins’ ongoing commitment to encouraging and enabling a love of reading via The Literacy Project.

Second phase of city’s successful Artists in Residence project begins  

Glasgow’s innovative Artists in Residence project has begun its second phase of enabling arts activity in every ward across the city. Delivered by Glasgow Life and funded by Glasgow City Council, the initiative started in 2018 as a way of bringing artists and communities together.

In line with ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the artists appointed in this phase of the project are looking at how they can best engage with their communities in new ways, including digitally and remotely, with a variety of programmes set to run across Glasgow from now until June.

The 23 artists and arts organisations currently in residence will produce a wide variety of exciting and creative programmes, including an exploration of the Roma community’s musical heritage in Southside Central (with Ando Glaso); a celebration of some of Glasgow’s parks and green spaces (with Daniele Sambo and Hannah Brackston); and a reintroduction to examples of the city’s lost public artworks (with Walker & Bromwich). For more info on our successful Creative Communities: Artists in Residence initiative, visit our website.

Pop-up outdoor children’s library proves a hit with parents

Anne Roche is a Glasgow Life assistant who is usually based at Anniesland Library, but since January, while our venues have had to remain closed, she’s been running a popular (Covid-safe and socially distanced!) outdoor library for her local community in North Kelvin Children’s Wood and Meadow.

Anne said: “After chatting to parents about how much they were missing the library, I decided to find a way for children to meet up safely and to enjoy taking out new books again. I volunteer with the G20 Youth Festival charity and with their help we put out a request for donations of good quality children’s books. We were completely overwhelmed by the response and people’s generosity.

“All of the books are new or nearly new, and I sort, sanitise and quarantine them from a space at G20 Youth Festival’s base. They help me to transport them to the Children’s Wood twice a week for book-lending sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays, which run for an hour from 11.30am.

“No matter the weather, the children, and parents, have really been enjoying meeting up for stories and games in the woods and we plan to keep going until the libraries reopen. I just wish I had started it last year.” Click on these links for more information about the work of G20 Youth Festival and the Children’s Wood.

Staff update – Friday 12 February

A Message from our Chief Executive – Glasgow Life’s budget planning for 2021/22:

Dear colleagues

You may have seen coverage in the media today that Glasgow City Council will meet next month to set its budget for 2021/22 and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain how this informs Glasgow Life’s budget planning for the coming operational year as well as our current financial position.   

Budget planning is a challenging and complex piece of work at the best of times and one that has been made all the more difficult given the significant impact of Covid-19 on Glasgow Life’s finances. Critically, the pandemic has all but wiped out our earned income, including ticket sales, donations and gym memberships. This is a significant element of our annual budget which supports, and in many cases pays for, the full range of Glasgow Life’s services, from our sports venues, museums and libraries to our concert halls and community facilities. This amounts to losses of some £38m in the current financial year.

While we continue to make use of the UK furlough scheme and have received some recovery grant support from the Scottish Government and agencies likes Creative Scotland, which has helped to reduce our losses, we are still projecting a shortfall of just over £20m at year-end.

As a result, what has become clear is that to ensure the long-term sustainability of Glasgow Life and to have a measurable impact on the city’s recovery post-pandemic, we must review our operating model and develop a new approach to how we implement our much-needed and highly-valued public services; one which produces the greatest impact from reduced resources and remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

You may have seen earlier this month that the Scottish Government set out its proposed budget for 2021/22 and this is expected to be agreed in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 9 March. This directly impacts the setting of Glasgow City Council’s budget based on the funding allocation the council receives from the Government. Glasgow City Council had initially forecast a spending gap of £36.3m for 2021/22, however this has since been revised down to £7.9m as a result of an expected increase in Government funding.   

In turn, the setting of Glasgow Life’s budget is directly linked to the level of service fee that we receive from the council together with our projected income for the financial year ahead. The amount of financial support that Glasgow Life will receive from the council will be decided by elected members when the council meets to set its budget on Thursday 11 March.

Our current funding from the council has supported 61 Glasgow Life venues to open since June last year and a limited range of services to continue or restart. These have been discussed and agreed with the council and are based on a range of criteria including geographical spread, operating cost, capacity for social distancing, support for health and wellbeing, and economic recovery, as well as other city priorities such as supporting essential childcare and emergency food distribution. We have also committed to opening an additional 12 libraries this year subject to local infection rates and Glasgow returning to level three, or below, of the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The cost of operating these 73 venues and associated services is more than all of the income Glasgow Life expects to receive from the council for 2021/22. At the same time, our expectation is that our earned income will not return to previous levels in the near future. This means we do not expect to have the funding to reopen every venue, or restart every service, that we operate in the coming financial year and reflects the urgent need to re-assess how we prioritise and deliver our services in the future.

As a charity, our Board has a legal responsibility to ensure Glasgow Life operates with financial diligence and we are continuing to be prudent with the reduced resources available to us. At the same time, we’re working to ensure, as far as possible, that what is available can deliver the greatest positive impact in communities across the city when restrictions are eased.

I will update you all again in the coming weeks as our budget position becomes clearer. In the meantime, below are some key dates which will influence Glasgow Life’s final budget and operational planning for 2021/22 and beyond:

  • 1-26 February – Strategic planning ‘sprint’ to review the services and programmes we will prioritise going forward as well as options for the future of our property estate.
  • 9 March – The Scottish Government’s budget is approved in parliament.
  • 11 March – Glasgow City Council sets its budget and provides confirmation of Glasgow Life’s service fee.
  • 31 March – Glasgow Life’s Board meets to consider and approve our budget and operational plan for the next financial year.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Staff update – Thursday 11 February

Glasgow Life staff are playing their part to support roll out of Scotland’s Covid-19 mass vaccination programme:

With four Glasgow Life venues currently operating as Mass Vaccination Centres, and another four hosting Testing Centres, many Glasgow Life staff are involved in supporting the delivery of Scotland’s Covid-19 mass vaccination programme.

Glasgow Club Easterhouse is one of the busiest Mass Vaccination Centres in the city, and a multi-team effort across the Council Family and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has seen the introduction of a finely-tuned operation which ensures a smooth and safe visit for all those attending the centre.

The main sports hall, which would normally host all manner of activities from fitness classes to badminton, was turned into the main vaccination area by NHS Scotland, supported by Leuchars-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards from the British Army.

Glasgow Life staff are on hand to oversee all non-clinical indoor areas of the venue to make sure everyone gets through safely. With around 500 vaccinations being delivered in the centre each day, Ryan Connell, a duty manager in Glasgow Club Easterhouse, says it’s something he’s delighted to be involved in.

“We’ve got four Glasgow Life members of staff on each shift, and it’s all go from the moment the doors open at 8am each morning. Eight people are vaccinated per slot, so there’s a steady flow of customers coming in and out of the venue throughout the day. 

“It would be fair to say that we did expect a few hiccups when we first opened but it’s been incredible to see how quickly the whole team has bonded and all the organisations work so well together – we’re like a well-oiled machine!

“It’s obviously a different environment to what we were used to in normal pre-Covid times, but the transition has been pretty seamless and I reckon that’s down to the induction and briefings we had before opening as a Mass Vaccination Centre.

“Obviously we had introduced cleaning protocols prior to the venue closing last year, and having those fundamentals in place has really helped with the new procedures. Our staff have been brilliant at keeping on top of all the touch-points and making sure everything is clean and safe for those using the building.

“We’ve also got two briefings per shift which allows staff members to make suggestions about how we could make things run more smoothly, or any improvements which could be made.

“It’s great to be a part of something like this; both on a personal level and for the organisation. To know that we’re playing our part in the global effort to fight coronavirus is really special.”

Staff update – Monday 8 February

Learning and Development update – latest webinar schedule:

Colleagues across Glasgow Life have been enjoying the in-house series of webinars designed and delivered by our Learning and Development team to support our development and recovery planning. Here are the webinars you can take part in over the next eight weeks.  

To reserve your place on any of these events, please email the L&D team at glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

NEW: Working through change

Covid-19 has imposed change on us all personally and professionally. By understanding how we are affected by change and the natural way we deal with change, we are able to build coping strategies that help us adapt and thrive. This 90-minute session is for Glasgow Life colleagues who feel they might benefit from this learning.

  • Tuesday 16 February, 1.30pm – 3pm (12 spaces available)
  • Monday 8 March, 1.30pm – 3pm (8 spaces available)
  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am - 11.30am (11 spaces available)

NEW: Leading change

Covid-19 has brought about much change across Glasgow Life and we need to continue to review and develop new ways of delivering to the people of Glasgow. This event is for those who are responsible for leading and managing change and will define practical ways to lead and manage people through the transition and to be better equipped for the challenges and opportunities presented by our changing world.

  • Wednesday 17 February, 10am – 11.30am (1 space available)
  • Monday 1 March, 1.30pm – 3pm (6 spaces available)
  • Wednesday 24 March, 10am – 11.30am (10 spaces available)

The virtual leader

More of us are now leading our teams virtually. We are having to think differently about how we connect with our teams and optimise performance. This webinar is aimed at people managers and will give you the time to explore how you are using your leadership style to get the best from your team and will share insights to support you with that challenge. Sessions are available on the following date:

  • Thursday 11 February, 10am – 11.30am (5 spaces available)

Rediscovering our resilience

Building and supporting our personal and professional resilience is more important than ever right now. In this 60-minute session you will explore what resilience is; discover how you can learn to become more resilient; and learn practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are for any colleagues across the company who feel they might benefit and are available on the following dates:

  • Monday 22 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm (7 spaces available)
  • Wednesday 17 March, 10am – 11am (12 spaces available)

Design and deliver great online events

This 90-minute session is for anyone who is getting to grips with the basics of using any video conferencing platforms. The event will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 16 February, 1.30pm – 3pm (5 spaces available)
  • Wednesday 17 March, 1.30pm – 3pm (12 spaces available)

Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool. But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact. This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 24 February, 10am – 11.30am (6 spaces available)
  • Thursday 11 March, 1.30pm – 3pm (9 spaces available)
  • Friday 26 March, 10am – 11.30am (11 spaces available)

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes. This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Thursday 18 February, 10am – 11.30am (7 spaces available)
  • Tuesday 9 March, 1.30pm – 3pm (11 spaces available)

Running online meetings with impact

This 80-minute session is for anyone responsible for running meetings and will give you the skills and knowledge to evaluate and improve your online meetings. You will learn how to create an effective agenda and be given guidelines and rules on running productive online meetings. Sessions are available on the following date:

  • Thursday 4 March, 1.30pm – 2.50pm (9 spaces available)

Corporate induction

  • Available to be delivered via WebEx on request.  

Support with WebEx

WebEx video-conferencing technology is relatively new to most of us. The Learning and Development team will be online 30 minutes before each training session begins to help you navigate the basic tools you will need to get started. They will not be able to fix any technical issues once the session has started, so if you would like some support please be sure to arrive early.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 5 February

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

More Glasgow Life venues to operate as Covid-19 testing centres

Covid-19 walk-in testing centres are being set up at two more Glasgow Life venues. Pollok Community Centre has now been converted to a testing facility with members of the public able to book a test from today (Friday 5 February). Necessary infrastructure works will begin at Barlia Football Centre in Castlemilk on Monday with testing expected to go live from Wednesday (10 February) 

Testing centres are also operating at St Francis Community Centre in the Gorbals and from the car park at the Riverside Museum in Partick. In common with all testing centres, booking is via nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. This short video explains what to do before, during and after visiting a Covid-19 walk-in test centre.

Four Glasgow Life venues are also being used as mass vaccination centres. For more information, visit our public Covid-19 latest information page. For enquiries and advice, NHS Inform’s dedicated Vaccination Helpline is available every day from 8am to 8pm on 0800 030 8013.

Do you know someone who needs support with making a Universal Credit claim?

Throughout the pandemic, Glasgow Life has been finding new ways to support people to make and manage their Universal Credit claims. With our libraries temporarily closed and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 causing a surge in new Universal Credit applications, we moved our support programme to an emergency helpline in March last year and since then we have assisted more than 1,600 people.

Our Financial Capability Project Manager, Steven McTaggart, said: “It’s a difficult time for a lot of people just now and every person who needs to claim Universal Credit in Glasgow is in a different situation, which is why having this personalised support service is so important.”

If you know someone who could benefit from our free helpline, the number to call is 0808 169 9901. Lines are open Mon-Fri from 9am to 5pm.

Glasgow Museums acquires beautiful collection of Covid-19 inspired Indian art

Throughout the pandemic, Glasgow Museums has been collecting material which represents this extraordinary period. Contemporary collecting during the pandemic will help us to record the experience and allow future generations to learn a little about what life was like living through it.                               

As part of this project, our World Cultures curator, Pat Allan, has been instrumental in helping Glasgow Museums to acquire five new Indian artworks, each of which details a different artist’s reflection on Covid-19. This was possible thanks to match funding from the National Fund for Acquisitions (NFA).

This important addition to our World Cultures collection will enhance collecting that is happening closer to home, by showcasing how other nations and cultures have reacted, responded and reflected on these challenging times.

Post Covid we hope to showcase the works as part of existing displays on South Asian art, in temporary exhibitions in the Fragile Art and Cultural Connections galleries in Kelvingrove and in proposed future displays reflecting on the pandemic.

Good Move team helping older and vulnerable adults to stay active at home during lockdown

Glasgow Sport’s Good Move team has launched a new support service aimed at helping older and vulnerable adults to stay active during the period of the Government’s enhanced restrictions. For people who are unable to access the internet or simply prefer paper-based resources, the team has produced a home activity pack which can be posted out to participants and includes low-impact exercise ideas that can be completed at home our outdoors.

If you or someone you know would benefit from tailored at home physical activity support during the pandemic, you can contact our Good Move team on 0300 343 0400 or email goodmoveglasgow@glasgowlife.org.uk. For more information on the variety of support available, click here.  

Plan today so you can have your say in May

On Thursday 6 May, the election for the Scottish Parliament will take place. If you’re 16 or over, live in Scotland and are registered to vote then there are two options available to you – you can vote in person at your local polling station, where Covid-19 protections will be in place to keep you safe, or you can choose to vote from home by applying for a postal vote.

The deadline for applying for a postal vote is Tuesday 6 April, but Glasgow City Council is encouraging people to plan ahead and apply as soon as possible. For details on how to apply for a postal vote in Glasgow or to register to vote, visit www.glasgow.gov.uk/registertovote. If you live outside of Glasgow, please contact your own local authority or visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/postalvote.

Staff update – Friday 5 February

First ever virtual Celtic Connections festival proves a hit with global viewers:

With audiences from more than 60 countries and over 27,000 tickets and passes sold, the first ever wholly digital Celtic Connections festival has been a huge success. 

The very best of traditional, folk and roots music has always been at the core of Celtic Connections; uniting global cultures and musical talent. Over 11 million minutes of musical entertainment were enjoyed by viewers across the world during the 19 days of the festival, which came to a close on Tuesday night.

Some of the biggest names from Scotland’s music scene performed as part of this year’s programme, which was made up of unique digital content from over 30 specially commissioned projects filmed across many of Glasgow’s iconic venues; from the Royal Concert Hall to Kelvingrove Museum.

International artists also contributed to the diverse line-up by recording performances remotely.                                      

Every year, the festival welcomes the world to Glasgow. In light of the pandemic, and in a unique first, this year’s event beamed the city to the world; bringing the spectacular sights and sounds of Celtic into viewers’ homes and directly to their devices.

Audience member Agot Hamre from Norway said: “I have followed this year’s online festival from day one from my home in Norway and I am incredibly impressed by the way you have managed to create a festival feeling even if we are all having to watch and listen from a distance.”

Niamh de Búrca from Dublin added: “What a great show, I really enjoyed it and loved all the songs, singers and musicians...thanks a million! I don't know how you managed to create an atmosphere with no audience, but you did. Maith sibh uilig (well done all)!” 

As part of this year’s digital festival the team also worked with colleagues from Glasgow Club to put on a free easy exercise class set to a Spotify playlist of bands and artists who performed at Celtic, which was compiled by Megan Henderson from the band Braeback.

Megan not only performed at this year’s festival, she is also a keen Glasgow Club member so was delighted to get involved. More than 120 people took part in the class from Carrbridge to Canada and beyond with some going on to sign up for Glasgow Club’s online membership. 

Special mention must go to GC instructor Sharon Gibb whose infectious enthusiasm made for a brilliant class, and she really entered into the spirit of things with her tartan leggings! For anyone who fancies giving it a go, you can try Sharon’s class for free here.

A huge thank you to everyone from across Glasgow Life who came together to deliver such an incredible festival in such difficult times. Your innovation, resilience and commitment created a safe space for technical and filming crews to apply their talents, which in turn helped more than 100 musicians to showcase their art to a global fan base.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making Celtic Connections 2021 such a terrific success.

Staff update – Thursday 4 February

A message from our Chief Executive – Planning for Glasgow Life’s future beyond the pandemic:

Dear colleagues,

I have shared many messages with you over the past 11 months explaining the considerable, and ongoing, impact of Covid-19 on Glasgow Life. Critically, the pandemic has all but wiped out our earned income; a significant element of our budget that pays for Glasgow Life services, which amounts to losses of some £38m in this financial year.

As a result, what has become clear is that to ensure the long-term sustainability of Glasgow Life and to have a measurable impact on the city’s recovery post-pandemic, we must redesign our operating model and introduce a new approach to how we implement our much-needed and highly-valued public services; one which produces the greatest return from reduced resources and remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

Strategic planning ‘sprint’

Building on this, and using the time while Government restrictions remain in place and there is less activity within the majority of our venues just now, teams across the organisation will be involved in a strategic planning ‘sprint’ throughout February.

The aim of this project is to spend a focussed period of four weeks completing a comprehensive review of Glasgow Life’s diverse operations including options for the future of our property estate in order to identify the services, programmes and facilities we will prioritise going forward as well as the criteria we will use to inform our decision-making. It will also align with the activity being progressed by our Senior Management Team looking at options for reducing the size of our workforce.

Sprint outputs will fall under four themes: financial planning, people strategy, property asset options and review of services/programmes, which includes commercial, charity, digital, and tourism and visitor economy workstreams. The work to review options for our property estate will feed into a wider programme being led by Glasgow City Council to look at the future of community assets across the Council Family.

Heads of Service have briefed their management teams on the importance of this project and managers will be aware that there will be a need for some members of staff to step away from their day-to-day roles this month to help facilitate its completion. Please can I ask you to prioritise this where practicable. Should you have any questions or concerns, please raise them with your line manager or Head of Service.

All of the information gathered during this exercise will inform how Glasgow Life responds to the current economic circumstances and our plans for the future. As always, I remain committed to sharing information about Glasgow Life’s future with you as fully and as regularly as possible.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Staff update – Wednesday 3 February

World Cancer Day 2021:

Tomorrow (Thursday 4 February) is World Cancer Day, an international day to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

The Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries team has been working from home throughout the Covid-19 pandemic providing physical, financial and emotional support over the phone and by email to anyone who is affected by cancer. This World Cancer Day we would like to let you know that the team is still here for you, and that you can now book a call with them for free cancer support and information.

Glasgow Life staff are encouraged to refer people into Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries by passing the person’s name and contact details on to the team (with their permission). The team is also here to support you and your family if you are affected by cancer, with a wide range of free, expert and easy to understand Macmillan resources.

For support, information or to book a call with Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries call 0141 287 2903 or email macmillan@glasgowlife.org.uk.

You can also join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter and read more about the support that’s available at www.glasgowlife.org.uk/macmillan.

Staff update – Wednesday 3 February

Scottish Government extends current Covid-19 restrictions until at least the end of February:

As you will be aware, the Scottish Government has announced that the current Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until at least the end of this month. This means that the majority of Glasgow Life’s venues and services must stay closed until then.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said there is clear evidence that the restrictions are working, with average daily cases having more than halved across Scotland in the last three weeks. She also said that she is “cautiously optimistic” that the Government may be able to begin looking towards a careful and gradual easing of restrictions at the beginning of March if case numbers continue to fall.

However, she warned that the situation remains fragile and that we must all continue to play our part by following the rules and staying at home as much as possible, as the pressure on the NHS remains severe.

In a welcome move for some parents and pupils, the First Minister announced plans for a phased return to school from Monday 22 February, following the mid-term break. This will see a full-time return of early learning and childcare for all children below school age as well as pupils in primaries 1-3.

There will also be a part-time return, on a limited basis, for senior pupils to allow work that’s necessary for the completion of their qualifications. Initially, though, it’s intended that there will be no more than around 5-8% of a secondary school’s roll physically present at any one time for these purposes.

As you know, some of our venues have remained open throughout the pandemic for activity which is permitted by the Government, including essential childcare and emergency food distribution, and this will continue over the coming weeks. Additionally, some outdoor sport facilities which offer activities that comply with the revised guidelines will stay open, as will some venues which accommodate professional and elite sport clubs and organisations.

Beyond this, the timescale for reopening any of our venues is entirely dependent on future guidance from the Scottish Government. The Government will review the situation again in a fortnight and we will share a further update on what this means for Glasgow Life then. In the meantime, we will continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, including security monitoring, planned and ongoing building maintenance and the regular flushing of water systems, as well as maintain a process of operational readiness to ensure we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we are allowed to do so.

Your line manager will continue to keep in close contact with you during this period, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal and we will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information.   

Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check our Frequently Asked Questions.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 29 January

Does your team or service area have a great story to tell? It could be about a new project, an award win or raising awareness of how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.    

Update on use of Glasgow Life venues as Covid-19 mass vaccination centres 

Glasgow Club Easterhouse has been confirmed as the city’s fifth mass vaccination centre. It joins Glasgow Clubs Castlemilk and Donald Dewar as well as Barmulloch Community Centre and the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital at the SEC in rolling out the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. The Covid testing centre that was previously sited at Glasgow Club Easterhouse has been relocated locally to the car park at Glasgow Kelvin College. And you may have seen images in the media yesterday of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s whistle-stop tour of Covid-19 facilities in Scotland, which included a short visit to Glasgow Club Castlemilk.

Teams across Glasgow Life have been heavily involved in preparing our venues to start welcoming people who have been invited to receive the vaccine from Monday (1 February).  It has been a tremendous effort in a short period of time, which has also involved Glasgow City Council, City Building, NHS Scotland and the British Army. Once operational, each of our venues will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 1000 people per day.

NHS Inform’s Covid-19 Vaccination Helpline is available every day from 8am to 8pm on 0800 030 8013 or visit nhsinform.scot/rollupyoursleeves.

A dedicated Traveline Scotland helpline has also been set up to provide advice and assistance to people who need to travel to Glasgow’s vaccination centres by public transport. Call 0141 465 1878 to speak to someone who can help.

Could you make Time to Talk about mental health?

Next week, in support of Time to Talk Day on Thursday (4 February), we’re encouraging all our teams to have conversations about mental health. This year’s national campaign is focused on the power of small; because a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

The Covid pandemic means that Time to Talk Day is more important than ever. So whether it’s socially distanced, virtually or over the phone, why not make time next week to catch-up with your colleagues over a cuppa and have a chat about how you’re getting on during lockdown.

And to help keep the conversation going, feel free to share an image or short comment with us at internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk by Monday 8 February. For more tips on how to talk about mental health and wellbeing, visit seemescotland.org and watch a short video here.

Glasgow Libraries launches new Digital Support helpline

Glasgow Libraries has launched a free digital helpline aimed at supporting people during the pandemic with getting online or improving their digital skills. Support is delivered over the phone by Glasgow Libraries’ Learning Team and 10 volunteer ‘digital champions’, offering guidance on everything from creating an email account and using social media or platforms like Zoom, to accessing online resources, jobs and learning, and browsing the internet safely. 

The helpline is funded by the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Fund and is available Monday to Thursday from 9.30am to 4pm, and on Fridays from 9am to 1pm, on 0800 158 3974. For more info, please email Learning Services Coordinator, Gail Mills.

St Mungo Museum Learning Team helps school pupils in Glasgow and Germany mark Holocaust Memorial Day

Our Learning Team at St Mungo Museum has been working virtually with pupils from Rosshall Academy in Glasgow and the Wirtschaftsschule in Nuremberg, Germany, on projects to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, which took place on Wednesday. Pupils from both schools have taken part in a variety of creative activities over video-call with materials and guidance supplied by the team.

This has included engaging with Glasgow Museums’ collection, through the powerful art of Holocaust survivor Marianne Grant and listening to talks by Robert McNeil, artist and ambassador for charity ‘Remembering Srebrenica’, as well as making flower badges depicting the official logo of the charity; eleven white petals to mark the innocence of the victims and a green centre to mark hope for the future. The project is set to continue over the coming months with the pupils preparing presentations and pieces of creative writing as well as designing commemorative armbands to distribute to their friends and family.

Anna Lehr, Learning and Access Curator for Schools, has been leading the project with support from her colleagues William Doherty, Esther Hutchinson, Sarah Leal, Harry Dunlop and John Ferry. 

Anna said: “This is our sixth year working on events with schools to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and of course this time everything has had to take place remotely using Microsoft Teams, which has been a steep but rewarding learning curve. The team have been brilliant in creating and delivering engaging activities and it’s been wonderful to work with our young people both here and in Germany.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is also a key element in the delivery of Glasgow Museums’ Erasmus+ project, ‘Learning from Art and History: Contemporary Conversations in Education’, which is funded by the European Union and is focused on developing innovative ways of driving collaboration between museum educators and teachers. Glasgow Museums is recognised as a leading example of partnership working.”

CLEAR Value of the Month for February: Achievement

During these trying times it’s never been more important to try and find a positive work-life balance and to recognise and reflect on your own achievements amidst the ongoing challenges. Finding the right balance for you can be easier when you have someone to talk to, which is why professional, independent help and support is available to all Glasgow Life staff whenever you might need it through our Workplace Options Employee Assistance Programme.

You can contact them at any time of the day or night, by phone, email or online to discuss any work or personal issues you might have, all in complete confidence. And to help support those closest to you, your family and partners can also access this service, which is entirely free and confidential. Managers, please share this poster with your teams.

Staff update – Thursday 28 January

Planning your annual leave for 2021:

As part of our duty of care, and our health and safety commitment to you, we would like to remind you of our ongoing approach to annual leave during Covid-19. The pandemic has lasted a lot longer than anyone could have anticipated. As such, it’s never been more important for your own wellbeing that you continue to use your annual leave during these challenging times.

While Covid has impacted on all of our holiday plans, you should still make full use of your annual leave entitlement for this year and schedule some quality downtime away from work. We all need time to have a complete break and to recharge. And when restrictions are eased sufficiently and we can begin to reopen our venues and restart our services, we will only be able to do so if we have a healthy and effective workforce.   

We’re therefore encouraging you to start thinking about and planning your leave proportionately across the year. This applies to everyone, whether you’re working within our venues or offices, from home or not able to undertake work at this time. Furloughed staff can take annual leave without disrupting their period of furlough. If you’re on sick leave or maternity leave then normal arrangements apply.

We are committed to ensuring that you have every possible opportunity to use your full annual leave entitlement over the coming 12 months. Your line manager will contact you to agree your proportionate annual leave between now and April and make all reasonable efforts to match your preferences with availability, but as ever this will be balanced with the needs of your team or service.

Key principles

The following key principles outline our continued approach to annual leave provision in light of Covid-19:

  • Your leave requests will be considered and approved by your line manager as normal. This is important to make sure that you are not working for protracted periods without a break.
  • We are all responsible for managing our annual leave entitlement and this should be scheduled proportionately throughout the year.
  • We expect that you will continue to take annual leave. Unless your line manager explicitly asks you to restrict your leave due to the requirements of your service, you should not need to carry forward any annual leave into 2022.
  • As always, we will take a balanced and fair approach. Please be mindful that when the normal delivery of our services resume, we will consider your requests and circumstances in line with our operational requirements and the needs of your team/service.

This means that everyone should be able to plan a break and managers can plan service delivery to avoid any difficulties with excessive leave requests later this year. However, given the fluid circumstances we find ourselves in, in continuing to respond to the pandemic, we will keep these arrangements under regular review.

Paid time off for your Covid-19 vaccination

As the national Covid-19 vaccination programme rolls out across the country, we would encourage you to attend for your vaccine appointment when you are asked to do so by NHS Scotland and where this occurs during working hours you will be permitted paid time off work to attend. Line managers are aware that every effort should be made to support you in receiving your vaccination as we continue our collective fight against the virus.  

Buying additional annual leave this year

Should you wish to purchase additional annual leave this year, please refer to the guidance and discuss this with your line manager in the first instance.

Staff update – Friday 15 January

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

Thinking back to last summer when infection rates were at their lowest, I’m sure, like me, many of you had dared to hope that by 2021 our fight against coronavirus would be well on its way to being won.

None of us could have imagined then that, after more than 40 weeks, we would begin the New Year in a tougher position than when the first lockdown began. However, as we have heard from the First Minister this week, we must accept that Covid-19 and the stringent measures necessary to suppress it will be with us for some time yet.

While there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel with the promise of vaccinations being rolled out more quickly in the weeks and months to come, that doesn’t make the immediate challenges we are facing any less difficult. And while I remain positive we will soon be able to start thinking about and planning for life after Covid, the day-to-day struggles that we’re each dealing with can be both demanding and draining.

Nothing about living life in lockdown is easy and we should all take the time to remember that our experiences of this pandemic will inevitably differ. It’s really tough for people just now for lots of reasons and while some may have found ways of coping or adjusting to it better, others may be struggling with isolation and loneliness as well as through not being able to see the family and friends they rely on for support.

For many of you, the Government’s latest restrictions have reintroduced the dual challenge of working from home and home-schooling. I know just how trying this is and I empathise fully with everyone who is having to balance family needs with work; a situation made all the more difficult, as we saw earlier this week, when technology fails.

At the same time, many of you are having to deal with the ongoing uncertainty of being placed on furlough or not being able to work, while others are being called on to work tirelessly to manage business-critical activities. I want to use this opportunity to recognise the contribution all of you make to Glasgow Life in delivering our mission to improve the lives of Glasgow’s citizens and visitors.

January can be a tough month at the best of times, but the Government’s stay at home order coupled with the dark nights and cold weather are making it much harder, which is why your health and wellbeing – physically, emotionally and mentally – is the most important thing right now.

Wellbeing tips during Covid-19

It’s become very easy during the pandemic, particularly when working from home, to work longer hours and to take fewer breaks. With that in mind, it’s important that we all strive to be a little kinder to ourselves and continue to look out for one another:

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve, especially if you have other caring and family responsibilities.
  • Create a routine and try to stick to it; don’t allow longer hours to become the norm. Remember to take regular breaks. It’s hard to develop new ideas or solutions when you’ve been working flat out or looking at the same thing all day. Taking a break can give you a fresh perspective and boost your creativity. Even if you’re not working just now, it’s still important to have a routine to give your day shape and rhythm.
  • Take at least a 30-minute lunch break and make time for healthy habits; block this time in your diary and use it to make a healthy meal, to get outside for a walk or to exercise, or just use it to switch-off.
  • When organising hour-long meetings, consider keeping your meeting to 45 minutes and use the other time for catching up with colleagues or making a cup of tea/coffee.    
  • Put a reminder in your diary for when you plan to finish work for the day. If working from home, pretend you need to catch your train or bus and finish on time.
  • Technology is incredibly helpful in keeping us connected, but it can also be frustrating. Try and be patient.
  • Use your annual leave. Whether you’re at work just now or not, it’s important that you continue to take leave and have a complete break. We all need time to recharge.
  • Remember to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues, and check in regularly with those who might feel the effects of these current restrictions more than others.

The pandemic has lasted a lot longer than anyone ever anticipated and it’s absolutely okay to feel fed up, anxious or just not like your usual self right now. As your employer, Glasgow Life has a duty of care to you so if you feel that you might need some support during this period, or if you have any questions or concerns, please let your line manager know. The Scottish Government’s Clear Your Head website is also a great resource for helpful advice.

Over the coming weeks, managers will continue to keep in touch with their teams to pass on relevant updates and share essential information, and all corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal.

As we head into the weekend, I want to thank you all for your incredible efforts and your collective resilience, which has kept our organisation running. The commitment you have shown has always been characteristic of what it means to be a part of Glasgow Life and it reflects why we are such an important asset for Glasgow’s communities.

As the First Minister has said, sticking with all of this isn’t easy, and after 10 long months it’s harder than it has ever been, but it’s essential. As difficult as it is to believe it right now, the hard sacrifices we are all making will hasten the brighter days that do lie ahead and this pandemic will eventually pass.

Until then, please do continue to stay safe and take care of yourselves and others.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Interim Homeworking Guidance and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment

To support public health and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Glasgow Life is continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on homeworking. The government’s current position is for employers to maximise homeworking where feasible.

As we continue to reopen venues and restart services, we expect that working from home, for those staff who can do so, will remain our default position. We have created Interim Homeworking Guidance, which sets out our approach to continued homeworking as well as responsibilities for everyone.

This should be read in conjunction with Glasgow Life’s Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment, which must be completed by all members of staff who are working from home, with support from their line manager.

Managers should keep a copy of each assessment on file and staff members should also retain a copy. Please familiarise yourself with these documents and discuss any queries you have with your line manager in the first instance.

Behind the scenes at Glasgow Life

Throughout lockdown we’ll be going behind the scenes at Glasgow Life and shining the spotlight on different areas of our organisation. Read on to find out how we’re responding to the challenges of Covid-19 and what’s on the horizon.