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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

Coronavirus - Latest Information

Reopening our venues and preparing for your return to work

With the Scottish Government expected to ease lockdown restrictions further as we enter Phase 3 of its route-map on Friday (10 July), the focus will increasingly turn to the safe reopening of Glasgow’s businesses and workplaces.

Our Returning to Work Guide aims to give an overview of the changes we're introducing to support safe working in our buildings and venues after Covid-19. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles apply in all our venues.

We will be taking a phased approach to reopening and we've prioritised 61 venues and facilities, which we're aiming to restart across four phases between July and October. You can read our full announcement about this here.

You can also click on this link to find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the reopening of our venues and services while more service-specific answers are available at these links:

All staff returning to work in the coming weeks will need to complete Glasgow Life’s mandatory ‘Coronavirus Awareness’ training course on GOLD. You can click on this link for instructions on how to access GOLD from home.

Your line manager will contact you soon to arrange a suitable date and time for a phone call to discuss your return. Heads of Service will inform managers as to when they should begin scheduling these conversations with their teams. In the meantime, if you have any questions please raise them with your line manager.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs), volunteering information 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.

We also know that many of you are keen to help maintain the vital services that the Glasgow City Council family delivers across the city everyday, so we've put together information on how you can register for volunteering opportunities.

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.  

We will continue to update this portal regularly, so please bookmark this page and check back often to keep up-to-date with the latest guidance. If you still have questions, please speak to your line manager.

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.

Internal and External Vacancies

View and apply for internal vacancies. 

The vacancies on this webpage are open to Glasgow Life employees only.  If you are not a Glasgow Life employee but wish to work for Glasgow Life, please view our external vacancies on My Jobs Scotland

Coronavirus update – Friday 10th July

Message from our Chief Executive

Yesterday the Scottish Government confirmed the welcome news that we are now in phase 3 of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. I am sure many of you will be looking forward to meeting up with friends and family indoors again, to sharing a meal or a drink together, or simply getting that much-needed haircut. We still need to social distance and follow other safety restrictions, but these small steps towards normality are truly a sign that our collective efforts to suppress the virus are working.

Last week I told you about our own plans for phase 3 and the 61 venues and facilities we have prioritised for reopening between July and October. Following our first phase which saw 11 outdoor golf, tennis and lawn bowls facilities reopening last month, we are now prioritising community facilities that support essential childcare and education. 

As we progress through these changes, and as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, many of us may have mixed feelings about what life will look like in this next phase. While you may be looking forward to having some normality and routine back in your life, you might also be feeling worried or anxious about what lies ahead. This is perfectly normal and you are not alone.

Things are changing for all of us and we need to adjust once again to new ways of going about our daily lives. The key is to take one day at a time and try not to overwhelm ourselves by worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future.

If you would like any support the Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal is full of links to useful resources.  

Some of you may have concerns about returning to the workplace and I would like to reassure you that the safety of our staff and customers is our top priority. If you haven’t already, please do take the time to read through the Glasgow Life Returning to Work Guide, available on the staff web portal, and speak to your line manager if you have any questions or concerns.

I hope you all have a peaceful weekend.

Best regards

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell

Chief Executive

Coronavirus update – Thursday 9 July

Planning your annual leave for 2020

As part of our duty of care and our health and safety commitment to you it is important that everyone takes a break from work and talks to their line manager about when they can take annual leave, taking into consideration the demands of the service. Your holiday plans may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but you should still make full use of your annual leave entitlement for this year.

This applies to everyone either currently leaving home to go to work, working at home, or not able to undertake work at this time, unless you are on sick leave or maternity leave where normal arrangements apply.

Many of your colleagues are requesting and taking proportionate levels of annual leave during this period as normal and as clarified in the original Annual Leave guidance. As many of you are currently in roles where the demands of your job don’t affect your ability to take annual leave there will not be a need for many staff to carry forward annual leave.  

Updated UK legislation and UK government guidance requires employers to do everything reasonably practicable to ensure that staff are able to take as much of their leave as possible in the year to which it relates. To make sure that we are meeting this requirement, unless you are in an area where your manager explicitly asks you to restrict your leave due to service requirements, your manager will offer you appropriate annual leave for this year, taking into account as usual your leave requests if these are submitted. 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.

Your line manager will speak to you about your remaining annual leave for the year and will make all reasonable efforts to match your preferences with availability, in line with the needs of your service area. Unless you are in an area where your 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 in to 2021. It is important that you take as much of your leave as possible in the year to which it relates.

If you are offered the opportunity to take annual leave in 2020 and decide not to accept this, then this leave will not be carried forward to the 2021 holiday year. Availability of annual leave will be explicitly communicated to you by your manager and all reasonable efforts made to match individual preferences with availability, but as ever this will be in line with the needs of the service.

If your manager does ask you to agree to carry over annual leave due to the coronavirus pandemic, then you will be offered the option to carry forward up to 20 days (or pro rata equivalent) to the next two year leave periods. Your manager will speak to you individually about this if this applies to you.

We are committed to ensuring that you have every possible opportunity to agree your leave arrangements with your manager in line with the needs of your service area.  

Changes to purchased annual leave  

If you purchased annual leave you can now cancel this arrangement and get a refund or carry forward this leave, if you want to. This new arrangement recognises the fact that your circumstances may have changed due to this pandemic.  

If you wish to keep your purchased leave, then you don’t need to take any further action.  

You can find out more about purchasing annual leave in the attached PDF here

Cancelling purchased annual leave

If you have not used any of your purchased annual leave then you can request for the full balance to be cancelled. If you have already used some of your purchased annual leave then you can only cancel what’s left and the cost of your remaining purchased leave will be refunded.

CBS will arrange for the refund via your salary payment and this will be visible on your payslip. This may take up to four weeks to process. All refunds will be based on the original value you purchased at the time your request was processed.

Extending your purchased annual leave

You also have the option to extend the balance on your purchased annual leave. If you choose this option CBS will continue with the deduction of your payments and will amend your leave quota to show that this leave can be used by 31 December 2021.

How to submit your request

Send your request to your line manager for approval, including your name and employee number, (if you do not have your employee number please include your national insurance number), and what change you wish to make, either refund, extension or purchase of annual leave.

Managers can submit the request to CBS as follows:

1. If you have access to Pulse send requests to CBS Payroll using the categories below.

 

2. Managers without Pulse access should send approved requests by email to CBSservicehr@glasgow.gov.uk

 

 

Coronavirus update – Friday 3 July

Merchant City Festival goes online this weekend:

Tomorrow (Saturday 4 July), we'll be bringing the magic of Merchant City Festival to you in your own home, with a free online programme in partnership with festival regulars Surge. Glasgow Life has been working with the arts producers to bring some of the festival to life this weekend, despite the lockdown.

This specially commissioned Surge takeover will present a full day of free performance, music and a symposium, ending with a live DJ set from Balkanarama; all accessible to festival fans online. Visit merchantcityfestival.com for details on how to join in the fun from 1pm until 12.30am across 4/5 July.

Scheduled on the weekend when Merchant City Festival was originally set to take place, it will give regular festival visitors a flavour of the usual live event, featuring new and established works from Scotland and further afield.

In the months ahead, festival organisers and partners are working on a series of post-lockdown performances to be staged in streets and venues across the city, in line with public health and government guidance as lockdown measures are relaxed.

Get all the latest news via Facebook / Twitter / Instagram @GlasgowLife #MCF2020

Coronavirus update – Friday 3 July

Learning and Development update:

Our CLEAR Value for July is ‘learning’ so there's no better time to take part in some of the great online learning opportunities we have this month, including:

· A series of 60-90 minute webinars, with new topics added. Check out the schedule below.

· A wide range of GOLD e-learning courses including the mandatory ‘Coronavirus Awareness’ course that will help prepare you for returning to the workplace. Please see the attached guide on accessing GOLD from home here

· Fully funded Skills Network qualifications. Over 40 colleagues across Glasgow Life are now signed up and competing level 2 and level 3 qualifications.

· FutureLearn.com is currently offering a free online course on Psychological First Aid as well as many other valuable courses.  

Please also take the time this month to read through the Glasgow Life Returning to Work Guide, available on the staff web portal, and ask your line manager if you have any questions.

Webinars: new dates and topics added

Colleagues from 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.

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 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 dates:

·         Wed 8 July, 10am - 11.30am

·         Wed 8 July, 1.30pm - 3pm

·         Wed 15 July, 1.30pm - 3pm

·         Fri 17 July, 10am - 11.30pm

·         Wed 22 July. 1.30pm - 3pm

·         Fri 24 July, 10am - 11.30pm

Feedback: “I found the training extremely helpful, both in terms of providing tools for the current situation and leadership more generally.”

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 available on the following dates:

·         Thurs 9 July, 10am – 11am

·         Thurs 9 July, 1.30pm – 2.30pm

·         Tues 14 July, 10am – 11am

·         Thurs 16 July, 10am – 11am

·         Thurs 16 July, 1.30pm – 2.30pm

·         Mon 20 July, 10am – 11am

·         Thurs 23 July, 10am – 11am

·         Thurs 23 July, 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Feedback: “No matter how resilient we are, we can all forget how damaging our own self critic can be. This course was a great start to my Tuesday and a gentle reminder of what is important.”

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 introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on: 

·         Thurs 16 July, 10am - 11.30am

·         Tues  21 July, 10am – 11.30am

·         Tues 21 July, 1.30pm – 3pm

·         Wed 22 July, 10am – 11.30am

·         Fri 24 July, 10am – 11.30am

·         Tues 28 July, 10am – 11.30am

·         Tues 28 July, 1.30pm – 3pm

·         Wed 29 July, 10am – 11.30am

Design and Deliver Great Online Events

This 90-minute session will help you set-up, design and deliver great online events, maximising the impact of your online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates: 

·         Tues 14 July, 10am - 11.30am

·         Thurs 16 July, 1.30pm - 3pm

·         Mon 27 July, 10am - 11.30am

Feedback: “I really enjoyed the training and thought it was well planned out, stimulating and interesting. It provided excellent technical tips on how to use WebEx as well as a great refresher for designing content, motivating your audience and generally facilitating training/meetings/webinars.”

Running Online Meetings with Impact

This 80-minute session 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 dates: 

·         Mon 13 July, 10am - 11.20am

·         Mon 20 July, 1.30pm - 2.50pm

Feedback: “A really enjoyable session with lots of great hints and tips and thank you for sharing the tools, they are really useful and I will start using them this week.” 

How to book

To reserve your place, please email stuart.grierson@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, first-served basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

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.

CLEAR Value of the month, July 2020

Coronavirus update – Thursday 2nd July

A message from our Chief Executive:

Phased reopening of some of Glasgow Life's venues and services from July to October

Dear colleagues

After 14 weeks of lockdown, local communities and businesses are understandably eager to re-engage with our venues, services and staff once more. As one of Scotland’s largest charities, we are at the heart of Glasgow’s communities; delivering some of the city’s most used and most valued services.

So many people enjoy, and in many cases, rely on our services, so we know that demand for the reopening of our venues is extremely high. We need to balance that expectation, however, against the complex planning which is now required to reopen any of our buildings. 

As we prepare for a new way of living and working after coronavirus, our fundamental concern must be to ensure that our facilities are safe for our staff and visitors in the weeks and months ahead. As such, we will be taking a phased approach to reopening some of our public buildings. I have outlined these phases below and we will be sharing this information with the media tomorrow (Friday 3 July).

What will be reopening in each phase?

We have prioritised 61 of our venues and facilities which we intend to reopen across four phases between July and October.

We have already delivered the first phase of our recovery plan with the reopening of 11 golf, tennis and lawn bowls facilities across the city last month.

The second phase prioritises the reopening of community facilities to support essential childcare, in line with the Scottish Government’s decision that childcare provision will return from 15 July. Given this date, we are working with childcare operators to help them reinstate their services as safely and as quickly as possible this month.

Phase three of our plan, which will run concurrently with phase two throughout July, will see more of our office-based and frontline staff returning to work to prepare venues for reopening to the public. Some key tenants will also be given access in this phase.

Meanwhile, phase four, from August to October, will see continued support for childcare and education provision, greater access for tenants, and the reopening of venues to the public more widely, including some of our museums, libraries, arts and sports facilities, in line with ongoing public health and government guidance.

The considerable impact of Covid-19 on Glasgow Life’s finances and workforce means we are facing a very different future. Without doubt, the effects of this crisis will be felt for some time to come. We need to initially prioritise childcare and education, to help maintain vital services in local communities whilst also supporting the city’s economic recovery in the longer-term. 

Like every organisation, Glasgow Life is facing a significant loss of income as a result of Covid-19. The complete shutdown of Glasgow’s museums, libraries and sports venues for more than three months, together with the cancellation of most of the city’s events and festivals this year means the millions of pounds of income which supports our services has been wiped out.

It’s hugely reassuring that Glasgow City Council has agreed to support us financially during this difficult period and we’ll continue to work together to review and prioritise which venues and services we can restart or reopen and when. However, there are no easy solutions and it’s highly unlikely that Glasgow Life will be able to return to anything like its normal service provision in the near future.

As it has been from the outset, the safety of the public and our staff will remain at the heart of our decision-making.

Please read through our Q&A document here, which will hopefully start to answer the many questions that I know you will have. If you have any further questions, please speak to your line manager who will collate all queries so we can respond to them as we move forward with our reopening plans.

Best regards

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Health and Wellbeing update – Monday 29 June

Health & Wellbeing update with Glasgow Club:

Glasgow Club has plenty of ideas and activities to keep you motivated and active this summer, whatever the weather.

Golf, tennis and bowls are back!

You can now get outside and enjoy the fresh air while playing golf, tennis or lawn bowls at some of our venues. Knightswood and Lethamhill golf courses; Kelvingrove, Knightswood, Queen's Park and Drumchapel Tennis; and Kelvingrove, Queen's Park and Knightswood Bowls are all open, you just need to book your slot in advance.

Exercising outdoors is a great way to unwind and improve your mood and we have lots of ideas for activities you can do on your own or with the family and tips for getting started with walking, running and cycling. Find out more.

Online “Live” classes

You might not be able to join your friends at the gym, but your favourite instructors can bring their workouts to you at home. Download the Glasgow Club app and you’ll have access to our free online content to get you started. Our live streaming workouts are also available on the Glasgow Club Facebook page and if you miss (or want to repeat) a class, it’ll be available on-demand in the Home Workout Videos section soon afterwards.

Looking after your mental wellbeing with Glasgow Club

We all know it's important to take care of your mind as well as your body. You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious and it's okay to feel like this. Visit for tips and tools for staying mentally fit and make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.

Yoga and Pilates are both a great antidote to the aches and pains that can come from spending more time sitting if you’re working from home and from tension and stress during challenging times. Click on this link to find some great sessions you can follow whenever you like.

More links and resources

The Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal is full of links to help support your mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your wellbeing you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options any time for free on 0800 247 1100. They are also available online (user name GCC, password Employee).

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 23 June

Free Psychological First Aid Course:

FutureLearn.com is offering free online training in Psychological First Aid. The course gives you practical and emotional tools to help support people with different needs to cope with the psychological impact of coronavirus.

The course is primarily aimed at front line workers, but is also valuable for our managers and supervisors to help support their teams, especially those that are furloughed, not working at present or working from home. We would encourage all Glasgow Life managers and supervisors to consider taking this course.

The training takes 3 to 4 hours to complete and you can study at your own pace. If you complete the course, please forward a copy of your certificate to stuart.grierson@glasgowlife.org.uk who will ensure your SAP training record is updated.

Online training update and availability

Colleagues from across Glasgow Life have been enjoying the in-house series of webinars designed by our Learning and Development team to support our development in lockdown. If you would like to take part, please find details of courses and dates available below.

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 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 dates:

· Wednesday 24 June, 1.30pm to 3pm

· Wednesday 1 July, 10am to 11.30am

· Wednesday 1 July, 1.30pm to 3pm

· Wednesday 8 July, 10am to 11.30am

· Wednesday 8 July, 1.30pm to 3pm

· Wednesday 13 July, 10am to 11.30am

Feedback: “I found the course really interesting and it made me reflect on how I work and how that has changed since we entered this surreal situation. We can all focus on negatives around lack of equipment etc, however, what I have learned is how to help support my team and the work they have been turning out from home is amazing!”

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; learn to become more resilient; and discover practical tools to help produce your own resilience plan. Sessions are available on the following dates:

· Tuesday 30 June, 10am to 11am

· Thursday 2 July, 10am to 11am

· Tuesday 7 July, 10am to 11am

· Thursday 9 July, 10am to 11am

Feedback: “I work in a nursery as well as the library so found this subject right up my street. It was great to listen to you both; it definitely makes for a better course when people are genuine and passionate about what they are delivering. Love the resilience report and have shared it with my colleagues already as a way of reflecting on ourselves.”

Design and deliver great online events using WebEx

This 90-minute video session will help you set-up, design and deliver great WebEx events, maximising the impact of your online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates:

· Wednesday 24 June, 10am to 11.30am

· Thursday 25 June, 1.30pm to 3pm

· Tuesday 30 June, 10am to 11.30am

· Thursday 2 July, 1.30pm to 3pm

· Tuesday 14 July, 10am to 11.30am

· Thursday 16 July, 1.30pm to 3pm

Feedback: “This course is a great inspiration for anyone who is a wee bit ‘feart’ of technology and the hints and tips are so useful. I continue to be amazed at what is possible with help and encouragement and not forgetting heaps of patience. Keep up the great work.”

Running online meetings with impact

This 80-minute session 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 dates:

· Monday 29 June, 10am to 11.20am

· Monday 29 June, 1.30pm to 2.50pm

· Monday 6 July, 10am to 11.20am

· Monday 6 July, 1.30pm to 2.50pm

· Monday 11 July, 10am to 11.20am

Feedback: “A really enjoyable session with lots of great hints and tips and thank you for sharing the tools, they are really useful and I will start using them this week.”

How to book

To reserve your place, please email stuart.grierson@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, first-served basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

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.

Coronavirus update – Friday 19 June

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

Since lockdown began, Glasgow Life has received hundreds of enquiries about which of our venues and facilities will be reopening and when.

This has only continued to increase in recent weeks as we move through the Scottish Government’s phased approach to easing lockdown restrictions.

As such, I want to take this opportunity to clarify Glasgow Life’s current position and explain the significant financial and other challenges we face in re-starting services.

Within its route-map, the government has outlined phase three as the period when culture, sport and leisure services may begin to re-open more fully. In line with this, our focus is on planning for the re-opening of some of our venues to the public during this phase.  

As it has been from the outbreak of the pandemic, protecting our staff and customers remains our priority, and we’re continuing to be led by the government’s guidance to ensure safety is firmly at the heart of our plans. We will need significantly more staff than before to be on site at all of our venues to ensure government guidance on physical distancing is followed.

Glasgow Life is one of Scotland’s largest charities, and Covid-19 has had a considerable impact on our operations to the extent that the financial and staffing constraints we’re now facing are unprecedented.

We have nearly 1,000 staff on furlough and many more with shielding, underlying health or childcare issues; further reducing our staff availability.

While the government’s Job Retention Scheme will hopefully provide some financial relief, it will not compensate fully for the significant losses we’re anticipating this financial year, which will run to tens of millions of pounds.

Glasgow City Council has agreed to support us financially to ensure our long-term sustainability and we’re doing all we can to mitigate these losses, including engaging fully in a number of national and local recovery forums to map a way forward.

However, the impact of Covid-19 means that we will have to review and prioritise which venues and services we can restart or reopen and when.

We will be working in partnership with the council to do this over the weeks and months to come, but there are no easy solutions and it is very unlikely that Glasgow Life will be able to return to anything like its normal service provision in the near future.    

We will continue to put the safety of the public and our staff at the forefront of any decisions we take and I will share more details about what we expect will be a phased approach to the reopening of some of our services and venues in due course.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 18 June

 

Glasgow’s host city status confirmed for UEFA EURO 2020:

UEFA has confirmed to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) that Glasgow will remain a host city for the Euro 2020 finals next summer.

As you'll know, the tournament was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will now take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021, with Glasgow hosting three Group D matches at Hampden Park on 14, 18 and 22 June 2021, followed by a round of 16 match on 29 June.

There have been many logistical challenges in rearranging a tournament hosted in 12 cities across Europe, but UEFA and the Local Organising Structure (LOS) partners agreed that Glasgow could meet the tournaments’ requirements to co-host.

UEFA Euro 2020 will be a memorable experience for the city next year as we welcome football fans from all across Europe. Having the tournament confirmed for 2021 is an important step in our economic and cultural recovery from coronavirus.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “Glasgow is delighted that it has been reconfirmed as a host city for the UEFA European Championship in 2021. There has been a huge amount of work undertaken by all the LOS partners to get us to this point, driven by the passion we know our citizens have for football and the desire to welcome fans from across Europe to our fabulous city, once the current health emergency is addressed.

“We believe this is an important signal that Glasgow and Scotland is committed to being open for business once again. UEFA EURO 2020 will make a significant contribution to creating a festival atmosphere in the city centre, provide an opportunity for communities to gather and celebrate together and give a welcome boost to businesses in Glasgow following an exceptionally difficult year.” 

For more information on UEFA EURO 2020, visit: https://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro-2020/

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 17 June

Glasgow Museums recreating works of art at home:

A smile is a circle that sets everything straight.

While there has been a lot to deal with in the last months, there’s also been much to smile at. From huge, nationwide acts of generosity, which saw Captain Tom Moore, the spectacular centenarian raise over £32 million for NHS charities, to individual acts of kindness, like collecting shopping for someone who can’t or discovering a surprise delivery of baking on your doorstep.

Our colleagues in Glasgow Museums have also been raising a few smiles recently with their wonderful art recreations.

Lockdown has inspired countless arts and craft projects and brought out the inner Dali in many of us. One such challenge was set by the Getty Museum in America, who invited their followers to recreate an item from their collection using everyday objects you’d find at home. Some of the responses were superb, including replicas of famous works from Glasgow Museums’ world-class art collection.

Laura Bauld, a curator working on the refurbishment of The Burrell Collection, said: “We noticed the Getty Museum had challenged people to recreate a favourite artwork using only the things they had at home. It was a great opportunity to highlight some of the outstanding paintings gifted to the city by William Burrell.

“We’ve worked with these pieces for nearly four years now, we’ve come to know them and love them. We thought it would be a wonderful way to pay them homage, a wacky way to place them in the spotlight and share them with our audience and others via social media.

“Everyone I work with at Glasgow Museums takes great pride in using the amazing array of objects in the city’s collection to engage and inspire the people of Glasgow and beyond. So while we were living in different times and working in different circumstances, this was a chance to bring our paintings to people in a different way. How could you not smile at our efforts to recreate a masterpiece?”

It was particularly challenging for Laura and her colleagues to get the angles of the paintings right and, as you can see below, many engaged the help of partners and even pets to get the poses and likenesses spot on. And, of course, a few alterations had to be made.

Laura explained: “It was tricky finding objects that can be used to represent some of the things in paintings that are 400 years old. What are you going to find in your flat
that could be a sixteenth-century sword? We’ve used toilet rolls, towels, I even used a sonic screwdriver toy as a sword for one recreation. It’s been a real challenge but a lot of fun and the feedback’s been brilliant.”

The recreations went down a storm on Glasgow Museums’ social media pages and even featured on BBC Scotland’s The Nine TV news show as well as online in The Sunday Post.

Please enjoy this selection of some of the creative ways our Museums colleagues have been inspiring people while they can’t visit our museums.

Laura Bauld and her partner recreate Mother and Daughter by Augustin Theodule Ribot

Morven Rodger recreates Woman Looking through Field Glasses, 1869, by Edward Degas

Allison Whitehall’s partner recreates Portrait of Edmond Duranty, 1879, by Edgar Degas

Allison’s dog Roxy even gets in on the act recreating The Dog by Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Iona Shepherd and her partner recreate Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1530, by Lucas Cranach

Jo Meacock recreates Woman Adjusting her Stocking, formerly attributed to Jean-François Millet

Lastly, a final recreation from Laura, imitating the Flemish tapestry Our Lady of Sands Beatrix Soetkens in Bed, 1518

Recreate your own masterpiece

If you have been inspired by our colleagues in Museums, then why not recreate your own favourite work of art with bits and bobs you have around the house? We’d love to see your creations. Please send your at-home masterpieces to
internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk and we will share them for all to enjoy.

Coronavirus update – Monday 15 June

Glasgow Life outdoor sports facilities to re-open this week:

We are pleased to announce that we can start to welcome back customers to our outdoor sports facilities from this week.

The following facilities will re-open to customers from 7am this Thursday (18 June):

Knightswood and Lethamhill golf courses
Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Drumchapel tennis Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Knightswood bowls

To keep our staff and customers safe, we've put in place a number of changes at these venues. There will be more staff on duty than usual to make sure everyone is following social distancing and members of the public will no longer have access to changing rooms, toilets and other shared spaces.

Staff have also been given health and safety training and we have carried out risk assessments for each venue to
make sure we can safely follow current coronavirus operating guidelines.

Online booking

Anyone wanting to play at one of our facilities will have to book in advance and bring proof of booking with them. Online booking is open at: https://myglasgow.club/outdoor

Coronavirus update – Friday 12 June

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

This week marks our twelfth week in lockdown, although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the days and weeks. At times I find it hard to believe we went into lockdown in March and we’re now in mid-June.

However, I’m very pleased to share with you some positive news about the work our teams have been doing as we prepare to re-open some of our golf, tennis and bowls facilities.

You’ll be aware that restrictions on non-contact outdoor sports have been eased now that we’re in phase one of the Scottish Government’s four-phase recovery route-map.

The planning that needs to go into this process should not be under-estimated. As well as the Sport team, colleagues from HR, Health and Safety, Facilities Management, Learning and Development and Marketing and Communications have all been involved so that we can do this as safely and quickly as possible.

This has included devising appropriate staff training, creating new booking processes, reviewing cleaning and maintenance regimes and undertaking health and safety risk assessments. Throughout all of this we have been working closely with the trade unions.

Our focus is on reopening Knightswood and Lethamhill golf courses; Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Drumchapel tennis courts; and Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Knightswood bowling greens in phase one.

The work to achieve this is going well and we will have further updates to share with you early next week. When these facilities re-open to the public they will have increased levels of staff so that we can ensure government guidance on physical distancing is followed.

While we’re still a long way from ‘normal’, these first small steps feel very encouraging and I hope, like me, you will take some comfort from that.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 11 June

Education Services update

Please find linked a briefing paper from Glasgow City Council’s Education Services on their Framework for Recovery, Resilience and Reconnection.

This sets out the planning for how schools in Glasgow will return as part of the phased approach. Glasgow has been working closely with the other local authorities in the West Partnership to develop, as far as possible, a consistent approach.

Please note, some of the links in the document are to Education Services’ intranet site so may not work if you are accessing them from outside the Glasgow Life network.

We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 10 June

Pride Month update:

Pride Month takes place in June every year. It’s celebrated around the globe in tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many celebrations have been postponed or cancelled, however there is still an opportunity to show your support online.

Pride Breakfast

A virtual Pride event for all LGBTQ+ people in Scotland on Zoom.

Saturday 13 June, 9.30-11am

Global Pride

The world's first #GlobalPride a 24-hour stream of content that celebrates the diversity of LGBTI+ people everywhere.

Saturday 27 June

LGBT Health & Wellbeing

LGBT helplines:

Here for you every Tuesday/Wednesday (12-9pm) and Thursday/Sunday (1-6pm). Call 0300 123 2523, email: helpline@lgbthealth.org.uk or visit: http://lgbthealth.org.uk.

Workplace Options, Employee Assistance Provider: 0800 247 1100 (Open 24/7).

Carers Week – Wednesday 10 June

Carers Week 8-14 June: 

Glasgow Life is a Carer Positive Employer. We support Carers Week 2020.  

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

“Caring impacts on all aspect of life from relationships and health to finances and work. As carers are experiencing even more challenging circumstances this year, it is vitally important that we both recognise the contribution that carers make to their local communities, but that we also connect them to support to help them manage their own health and wellbeing. This is why our theme for Carers Week 2020 is Making Caring Visible. All of us, wherever we live, whatever we do, have a part to play.”

carersweek.org

Help and support for carers

  • The Scottish Government has launched a National Wellbeing Hub providing information about the help and support that is available to health and social care staff and unpaid carers.
  • If you are an unpaid carer providing personal care and wish to source PPE, you can find out more here.
  • To find out what help and support is available in Scotland, visit the Carers Scotland website.
  • Visit Carers Week to find out more including how to get involved.

Making carers visible

Outwith our daily working lives, many of us will also be unpaid carers. Employees in this position may need support in their caring role but this is not readily visible to others.   

Support resources are also available at:

  • Glasgow HSCP
  • Glasgow Carers Partnership's Carers Information Line 0141 353 6504 is available to phone for information, advice and signposting to relevant services or visit Carers Information Line.
  • If you are looking after someone and want further information or to access the online carer self-referral form, visit here.

Round-the-clock support from Workplace Options

Workplace Options, our employee assistance provider, is available to help and support you and your family members. This service is free, confidential and independent and available to you 24/7. They provide information, resources and counselling on any of the challenges that life may bring, including:

  • If you're feeling anxious or concerned about the current situation
  • Managing change
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Debt and money management
  • If you require legal assistance.

Contact them by:

  • freephone  0800 247 1100
  • email assistance@workplaceoptions.com  
  • dedicated helplines are available for employees who require support with LGBTi issues on 0800 138 8725or BME issues on 0800 288 4950.

Carers’ peer support network

You can also get help and support by emailing our HR Equality and Diversity mailbox at: HREquality@glasgowlife.org.uk 

Follow Carers Week on Twitter: #MakeCaringVisible #CarersWeek #CarerPositive

Health and Wellbeing update – Monday 8 June

Cycle to Work Update:

National Bike Week 2020 is an annual celebration of cycling and takes place this year from 6-14 June.

There are many benefits to cycling. As well as being a fantastic way of keeping fit, 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.

For beginners’ tips, ideas to help your kids get started and information on safe cycling routes around the city, the Glasgow Club app and website has lots of useful information.

Cycle to Work

Glasgow Life has participated in the Cycle to Work scheme for several years now and to date over 400 staff have taken advantage of 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 save 30-40% on the retail cost of a new bike. Halfords also provide a further 5% discount off the recommended retail price.

Neil Youngman is Acting Assistant Manager at Tollcross International Swimming Centre and recently purchased a bike for the second time through the scheme.

“My first time using the Cycle to Work scheme was in 2013. My colleagues and I wanted to use bikes for commuting to work during the nice weather and exploring some of the downhill trails around the city. However, none of us had the right bike. The Cycle to Work scheme allowed us to go to Halfords and choose a bike that catered to our needs without the big upfront costs. The monthly payment came straight out of our wages and because of the way the scheme works, it was heavily discounted.

“Seven years on, I have recently picked up my new bike using the Cycle to Work scheme again. This time I opted to buy from one of the independent bike shops that the Halfords voucher allows you to use. My needs this time are very different. My two-year old twin daughters love being outdoors and love exploring, so I got a new bike that allowed me to take the girls out with a kids’ trailer attached to the back. They absolutely love it.

Not only that, it’s a great way for me to escape the city with the abundance of cycle routes that can take you all the way to Loch Lomond and The Kelpies. I find cycling lets you clear your head if things start to get a bit much and also has the benefits of helping you to stay fit.

“The Cycle to Work scheme is definitely the way forward if you’re looking to get out and about whilst keeping healthy.”

If you're interested, more information is available on the Intranet. If you don't currently have Intranet access, you can register at Wider Wallet using access code S196242G and following these instructions. It will only take a few minutes to register.

Coronavirus update – Friday 5 June

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

This week we've been celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2020 and saying thank you to our incredible team of Glasgow Life volunteers for their dedication over the past 12 months.

As you know, in line with Scottish Government guidelines, all of our volunteering activity is currently paused. However, we still have so much to celebrate and be thankful for since last June.

Over 700 volunteers have donated more than 45,000 hours to the people of Glasgow, bringing their skills, energy and enthusiasm to a wide range of roles. Our volunteers helped deliver major events such as Celtic Connections, the World Pipe Band Championships and the European Short Course Swimming Championships last year.

However, it’s not just the high-profile events where our volunteers shine. People from all walks of life have given their time in our museums, arts and music venues, libraries, community spaces and sports centres to lead tours, help people back in to exercise and to teach the use of digital devices.

This year, we’ve had to get creative to show our gratitude to our volunteers, as we unfortunately can’t get together for our usual celebration event. Teams from across Glasgow Life have risen to the challenge and recorded a series of special videos from their homes to say a great big digital ‘thank you’ to our volunteers. You can watch it, along with several other ‘thank you’ videos, on our website.

Glasgow Life staff have also been generously donating their time to volunteering over the past few months and earlier this week we heard from three colleagues who have been putting their skills to good use in the community during lockdown.

Libby Hamilton from Glasgow Sport and Elizabeth Devine from Glasgow Museums have been sewing masks and gowns for their communities and GPs, while Joyce MacDonald from Glasgow Sport has been volunteering as a call handler for the British Red Cross.

Their enthusiasm and dedication to the organisations and charities they’re working with is truly inspiring and if you would like to find out more about volunteering please visit the Employer Supported Volunteering page of our website.

I was very moved this week to read your stories of the small acts of kindness you’ve witnessed in your street, at the supermarket and at work during lockdown.

From neighbours helping neighbours to strangers doing something to make the day a little bit better for someone else, these small acts really do show the best in people and the power we all have to make a positive difference in our community.

You can catch up on these stories and also read a truly beautiful and inspirational poem, written by John Smith from our Riverside Museum team, on our staff portal.

I hope you’ve had a chance to reunite with some friends and family outdoors this week as we adjust to the government’s first phase of easing restrictions.

Seeing the people you care about in person, and not just on a screen, makes such a difference and gives us the motivation to keep following the guidelines so we can continue to protect those around us and progress to the next stage as quickly, and safely, as possible.

Wishing you all a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Health and Wellbeing update – Friday 5 June

Your Lockdown Recipes:

Thank you to everyone who sent in their favourite recipes over the past week; it’s been great to see how you’ve been getting creative in the kitchen during lockdown.

Here are a couple for you to try out at home this weekend. Let us know how you get on and if you’d like to see your recipe featured in a future update please keep sharing them with us at internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Dawn’s baked feta and tomatoes

Recipe

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees
  • Place a 250g block of feta in an oven-proof dish
  • Cut 20 cherry tomatoes in half and throw over
  • Add a handful of olives and a splash of olive oil
  • Add two minced garlic cloves and a teaspoon of oregano
  • Bake for 18 minutes
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crackers, sourdough bread or pittas and enjoy.

Gordon’s sourdough starter

It’s been hard to get dried yeast in the shops for the last few weeks so this sourdough starter uses dried fruit instead.

 You will need:

  • A sterilised jar with a lid (use boiling water to sterilise)
  • 20 raisins/sultanas or 5 dried dates
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 200g of white flour
  • 200mls of cold water

Method:

Add the fruit, syrup and water to a jar. Stick the lid on tight and shake until the syrup is mixed. Store in a cupboard and shake every 12 hours to remix.

After 3-5 days the fruit should be floating and the liquid should be cloudy. If the jar hisses when you open it, you have some yeast water.

Strain out the fruit and mix 200g of white flour with the yeast water then put it in a jar or container and return it to the cupboard. Within 12-24 hours you should have a pretty active, bubbling starter to make bread.

Once it’s active, either start making bread immediately or store it in the fridge. It will start bubbling again after a few hours at room temperature if it’s been in the fridge.

Every 3 or 4 days use some of the starter to make bread or simply take half out, give it to someone, and mix in another 100g of flour and water. You should have about 400g of starter all the time.

Keep a fairly regular check on your starter though as it can go a bit wild! 

Coronavirus update – Thursday 4 June

Test and Protect: 

The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland have now rolled out Test and Protect to control the spread of coronavirus in the community.

Everyone aged five and over who has Covid-19 symptoms of a new continuous cough, temperature or loss or change in sense of taste or smell should go to NHS Inform online or phone 0800 028 2816 to book a test.

If you need to self-isolate because you're following government guidance or have been told by NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service to do so, then you will be paid.

Visit NHS Inform for the latest guidance from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including physical distancing measures and advice for infected households.

What to do if you have symptoms

You and other members of your household should self-isolate straight away. This means not leaving home.

If you are at work when you experience symptoms then you should leave work to self-isolate straight away, inform your line manager and, if possible, wear a face covering and avoid public transport on your way home.

You will need to request a test and, if the result is positive, you will be asked to help NHS Scotland identify who you’ve had contact with. This will be done confidentially.

How to book a test

Go to NHS Inform online or call 0800 028 2816 to book a test.

You may be tested in the first five days from the onset of symptoms. To check your symptoms go to NHS Inform. If you have symptoms then a negative test would allow you to leave self-isolation and return to work more quickly.

Glasgow Life is following the government's guidance on testing in order to protect the running of essential services. If you are currently leaving home to go to work then you could be considered a priority. You can read the government’s guidance on testing here.

What happens if you are contacted by the Test and Protect service

As you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus you must not leave home for 14 days.

A test will be arranged if appropriate. The other members of your household do not need to isolate unless they have also been contacted by the Test and Protect service or start to develop symptoms. For more information go to Test and Protect at NHS Inform.

Reporting your absence

You should continue to report your self-isolation absence in the normal way to your line manager when you have symptoms, someone in your household has symptoms or you’ve been contacted by the Test and Protect service.

You should also go online at NHS Inform and get an isolation note as proof you need to stay off work. You don’t need to get a note from a GP.

If you need any support to self-isolate then you should discuss this with your line manager. You can also contact the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000 if you can’t get any help from friends and family.

While self-isolating you should maintain regular contact with your line manager and in particular keep them informed if you exhibit any symptoms and receive a subsequent positive diagnosis of Covid-19.

If you need to self-isolate, your absence will be treated as sick leave but will not:

  • be counted against your sick leave entitlement;
  • be used in connection with any Absence Management process.

If you are able to work from home whilst self-isolating you will be asked to do so.

Where to get tested

The main drive-through test centre is at Glasgow Airport and you will need a car to attend. Tests are also available through mobile testing units across the country, which move every five days or so. If you book a test you will be offered one at the centre closest to your own postcode. A home testing kit is also an option on the website, but this is subject to availability.

Support to book a test

If you need any support to book a test please email your HR Team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk giving your name, SAP number and telephone number.

Frequently asked questions

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

To check your symptoms go to NHS Inform.

If my symptoms get worse what should I do?

If you are concerned about worsening symptoms, please call NHS24 on 111.

I had symptoms a few week ago, should I now be tested to find out if I’ve had the virus?

No. The test is only guaranteed to be accurate if you are currently symptomatic. The test will confirm if an individual who is showing symptoms of the virus actually has it. It will not confirm whether they have had it and have now recovered.

If I receive a negative test when should I return to work?

Even if you receive a negative result, it’s important to still apply caution. If everyone with symptoms who was tested in your household receive a negative result, then you can return to work if your work cannot be done from home, providing you are well enough, and have not had a fever for 48 hours. You should discuss your return to work with your line manager.

If I receive a negative test then develop symptoms, what should I do?

If, after returning to work, you develop symptoms then you should follow the NHS Inform guidance and self-isolate. You should then consider going for another test.

How do I get my test results?

Results are communicated to individuals directly by text message within 48 hours and are intended to be fed back into public health records in due course. When you get your test results you should share the results with your line manager.

I have a question about test results?

Any questions about accessing testing, the website, or results should be made through opshub@dhsc.gov.uk

Coronavirus update – Thursday 4 June

Update on work to re-open some of our outdoor sports facilities:

Following the Scottish Government’s decision to ease the lockdown on non-contact outdoor sports, we’re working to re-open some of our golf, tennis and bowls facilities as soon as possible.

The safe operation of our services and protecting our customers and staff remains our priority and we’ll continue to be led by the government’s guidance on Covid-19.

This includes ensuring that our staff undertake appropriate training and that booking processes, cleaning, any maintenance and necessary risk assessments are completed before we re-open facilities. We expect venue opening will be phased and appreciate everyone’s patience.

All venues will have increased levels of staff when they re-open, to ensure government guidance on social distancing is followed.

We're aiming to complete this work as soon as possible to allow us to re-open the following facilities in phase 1: Knightswood and Lethamhill golf courses; Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Drumchapel tennis courts; Kelvingrove, Queen’s Park and Knightswood bowling greens.

For our latest updates and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit https://bit.ly/2U6usMg.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 4 June

Where is the hope? – a poem by Glasgow Life's John Smith: 

Poetry and kindness have flourished during lockdown and Glasgow Life staff have been excelling at both.

Our talented Riverside Museum technician, John Smith, has composed this moving and inspirational poem about the coronavirus crisis. Reflecting on the fear and loneliness felt by many people during this difficult time, John finds hope in the heroism of frontline workers and applauds the everyday selflessness of simply staying at home.

‘Where is the hope?’ copied in full below, celebrates the kindness of strangers. That same spirit has led many Glasgow Life employees to volunteer their time to support key frontline workers and local communities while our venues remain temporarily closed.

Enjoy... and try not to cry!

Where is the hope?

When the tunnel seems endless, the dim light so faint

 When forced to stay indoors, without complaint

Where is the hope?

When all around us it lurks, poised, waiting to strike

When the lockdown continues, for fear of a spike 

Where is the hope?

When people are dying, daily quotas increasing

When a proud generation's number, are rapidly decreasing

Where is the hope?

When the PPE is scarce but in such high demand

When politicians make promises, with their heads in the sand

Where is the hope?

When our heroes suffer and are slowly wiped out

When their pleas are ignored, despite the united shout

Where is the hope?

When businesses close, it’s a worldwide theme

When employees struggle, on the furlough scheme

Where is the hope?

When families and friends, are separated in isolation

When virtual communication, their only consolation

Where is the hope?

When retail therapy lacks fun and is now such a chore

When having to queue, in gaps of two metres or more 

Where is the hope?

When holding hands or a cuddle, are frowned on for instance

When signs of affection, are now expressed from a distance

We will find hope.

In the kindness of strangers and their selfless deeds

In this time of uncertainty, as society bleeds

We will find hope.

In the knowledge that staying home, has purpose and meaning

In the daily blogs, which are live and now streaming

We will find hope.

In the strength and commitment, of our front line workers

In their will to succeed, despite social distancing markers

We will find hope.

In our everyday heroes, positively charged like an atom

In new found stars, the bakers, the trainers and old Captain Tom

We will find hope.

In testing, tracing and infection mapping

In community rejoicing and Thursday night clapping

We will find hope.

In our new awareness of nature, with its beauty and sounds

In parks that surround us and our own garden grounds

We will find hope.

In trying to help, in our own little way

In embracing new challenges and enjoying each day

We will find hope.

In the knowledge, of which I am sure

In record time, we will have discovered a cure

We will find hope.

In those we love, unconditional and so dearly

In them we will find meaning, with love, expressed so clearly

Your Kindness Stories – Wednesday 3 June

Your kindness stories:

Thank you to everyone who sent in stories of the small acts of kindness you’ve seen around you during lockdown, which we’ve rounded up below.

Anonymous

I have a neighbour who is nearly blind, but used to take great pride in her garden. I walk past it every day walking my dog and the grass was nearly up to my knees.

I decided to cut it for her and she was so grateful to have it looking good again even though she couldn’t actually see it. This is what friends and neighbours should be doing; looking after the elderly and helping them during this difficult time. 

I don’t want to disclose who I am as there’s no praise required, only the joy in helping an 80-year-old lady to enjoy her garden again.

Christine Harrison, Glasgow Life Assistant, Whiteinch Library

I would like to acknowledge the kindness shown to me near the start of lockdown, by the staff marshalling queues outside Sainsbury’s in Crow Road.

As I have arthritis and walk with a crutch, I approached the (very long) queue fully expecting to have a lengthy and uncomfortable wait. Instead, the lovely member of staff waved me straight in and, equally kindly, no one in the queue objected. 

A small gesture, but very much appreciated and thoroughly reflective of the kindness of front line workers during this time.

Rhiann McEwan, Glasgow Life Assistant, Emirates Arena 

As I was looking out my window watching the world go by, the ice cream van stopped in my street. An elderly woman came out, realised she'd left her purse at home, and by the time she got back out the door again it was gone. 

However, she was determined to find this ice-cream van and set off on a mission in her slippers to do so! Thankfully, a delivery driver spotted this and walked her back to her house, leaving his van across the street.

After a short conversation it became clear that the ice-cream van had moved onto the next street much to the disappointment of the woman, but this driver decided to take it in his own hands.

After refusing the woman’s money he got into his van and brought back an ice-cream for her. Seeing the smile on her face and the happiness that this stranger had brought to her day reminds us that people really do make Glasgow.

Paulina Matuszak, Community Services Supervisor, Pollokshields Library 

I’d like to give credit to our lovely and caring library staff who check on our most vulnerable customers. Special thanks go to Margaret from Cardonald, Eunice from Pollokshields and Ewan from Elder Park who phone our loyal customers regularly to make sure they’re safe. Also, a big shout out to Helen from Pollokshields who looks after her neighbours and treats them to some home-made baking goodies. 

Margaret from Cardonald Library 

Some baking from Helen at Pollokshields Library

Margaret Ramsey, Family Support and Engagement Worker, St Rochs Primary 

I have really appreciated the support and encouragement of my manager, Laura Kennedy, in implementing new and safe ways of undertaking face-to-face work with parents in what are very challenging times for them. Through listening, supporting and encouraging, Laura has shown me kindness and enabled me to find safe ways to show kindness to the families we work with.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 2 June

New Learning and Development webinars; book your space today:

Colleagues across Glasgow Life have been using WebEx to run video meetings while working from home. Over the coming month, the Learning and Development team will be using this platform to deliver some new online learning events and you can book your space today. 

Design and deliver great online events using WebEx

This 90-minute video session will help you set-up, design and deliver great WebEx events, maximising the impact of your online meetings. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Friday 5 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Monday 8 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Tuesday 9 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday 10 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Thursday 11 June, 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Friday 12 June, 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Monday 15 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Tuesday 16 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday 17 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Thursday 18 June, 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Friday 19 June, 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Monday 22 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Tuesday 23 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Wednesday 24 June, 10am to 11.30am
  • Thursday 25 June, 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Friday 26 June, 1.30pm to 3pm

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 available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 9 June, 10am to 11am
  • Thursday 11 June, 10am to 11am
  • Tuesday 16 June, 10am to 11am
  • Thursday 18 June, 10am to 11am
  • Tuesday 23 June, 10am to 11am
  • Thursday 25 June, 10am to 11am
  • Tuesday 30 June, 10am to 11am
  • Thursday 2 July, 10am to 11am

Rediscovering our resilience for managers 

Managers face the same resilience challenges as their teams. This session covers the same topics as the all staff course, then explores how managers can support their team’s resilience as we move to the ‘new normal’. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 17 June, 10am to 11.40am
  • Wednesday 17 June, 1.30pm to 3.10pm 
  • Wednesday 24 June, 10am to 11.40am
  • Wednesday 24 June, 1.30pm to 3.10pm 
  • Wednesday 1 July, 10am to 11.40am
  • Wednesday 1 July, 1.30pm to 3.10pm
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10am to 11.40am
  • Wednesday 8 July, 1.30pm to 3.10pm

Running online meetings with impact

This 60-minute session 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 dates:

  • Monday 15 June, 10am – 11am
  • Monday 22 June, 10am to 11am
  • Monday 29 June, 10am to 11am
  • Monday 6 July, 10am to 11am

How to book

To reserve your place, please email stuart.grierson@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, first-served basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

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.

Please note that all other Learning and Development classroom events scheduled for June have been cancelled.

National Volunteers' Week 2020 – Monday 1 June

Volunteers’ Week 2020

National Volunteers’ Week 2020 starts today (1 June), celebrating volunteers across the country and the invaluable support and services they provide throughout the year.

Glasgow Life has a dedicated team of volunteers who help deliver many of our annual events such as Celtic Connections and Aye Write, as well as services like Book Bug, Health Walks, Digi-Pals and many more. Over 700 volunteers have donated an incredible 45,000 hours of their time to Glasgow Life in the past 12 months and this week we will be saying 'thank you' to them all.

A great big digital thank you

We may not be able to host our usual special celebration event in the City Chambers this year, but we can still shout about how grateful we are for the work done by our amazing volunteers.

From today, and throughout Volunteers’ Week, we will be releasing a number of virtual and digital ‘Thank You’ messages on our dedicated webpage and YouTube channel. Take a look and please join us in thanking our volunteers for the inspirational support they provide both to us and to the people of Glasgow throughout the year.

Staff stories

This week we'll also be celebrating Glasgow Life colleagues who have been volunteering during lockdown. On Wednesday, look out for stories from staff who have taken the opportunity to help out in their local community and develop new skills while they're unable to do their usual job. We'll also be sharing some of your stories of the small acts of kindness you have witnessed over the past few weeks.

You can make a difference: volunteer now

Volunteering not only benefits those around you, it can also help your own wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety and increasing your levels of physical activity. You can build confidence, develop new skills and make new friends, all while making a real difference in your local community.

To see the latest volunteer roles for Glasgow Life staff and to find out how to apply, please visit our Employer Supported Volunteering page. If you would like to know more about the volunteering roles available to you, or if you have any questions, please contact volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

If you know of an organisation that could benefit from Glasgow Life staff volunteering their time, please let us know at volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Coronavirus update – Friday 29 May

 

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

After almost 10 weeks, and what has no doubt felt at times like a lifetime of lockdown, you’ll be aware that some restrictions are being eased from today.

We can now reunite with our families and friends outdoors, and while we may not yet be able to hug them, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a welcome first step from the Scottish Government as we begin its four-phase plan towards reopening society, and our economy, while continuing to suppress the virus.

Nicola Sturgeon was clear that our collective effort in respecting lockdown restrictions has led us to this point, and it’s heartening to know that coronavirus related deaths in Scotland have been falling for four consecutive weeks.

However, she also sounded a note of caution that while such progress is grounds for optimism we must all continue to act responsibly and use our common sense and good judgement in the weeks, and more likely months, still to come.

As part of phase one of the government’s plan, the reintroduction of some non-contact outdoor sports has also been approved from today and this will have an immediate impact on Glasgow Life.

We’re currently working to identify which of our golf, tennis and bowls facilities we can re-open and we will confirm where and when this will happen just as soon as we can.

Similarly, the construction industry has been given permission to begin site preparations ahead of the resumption of construction works and we are assessing, with our contractors Kier, what this means for restarting work on the Burrell Collection.

As it has been from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, protecting our staff and customers remains our priority and we’ll continue to be led by the government’s guidance to ensure safety is firmly at the heart of the re-opening of our services and venues.

In the meantime, with some glorious weather forecast for the coming days, I hope you all get a chance to spend some quality time outdoors with your loved ones and friends this weekend.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Health and Wellbeing Update – Wednesday 27 May

Free mental health qualifications with the Skills Network:

Our CLEAR Value for June 2020 is Health and Wellbeing so this month we would like to tell you about a range of free, fully-funded, mental health distance-learning courses you can take with the Skills Network

Distance learning means you can study at your own pace, in your own home, at a time that suits you. You have the freedom to revisit areas of the course as little or as much as you like without having to keep to the same schedule as others.

Since Glasgow Life teamed up with the Skills Network in April, a number of colleagues have taken the opportunity to study for a range of qualifications through distance learning. Earlier this month we heard from some of them:

Understanding Autism

“I am really enjoying the course, I find it very useful and informative, the platform is well laid out and easy to use, and the Skills Network check in weekly to see how everything is going.” Savannah McKibbin, Glasgow Life Assistant

Behaviour that Challenges in Children

“Very easy to navigate through the modules and enjoy learning at my own pace. Lots of information, videos and tips along the way and thoroughly enjoying it so far. So glad I chose to do it.” Stacey Ballantyne, Community Services Supervisor

Sign up for a course today

Skills Network courses are available to all Glasgow Life staff and are completely free. The mental health courses are ideal for anyone wanting to learn how to recognise and support people experiencing mental health problems.

Courses available include:

· Awareness of Mental Health Problems: Level 2
· Children and Young People's Mental Health: Level 2
· Bullying in Children and Young People: Level 2
· Understanding Autism: Level 2
· Information, Advice or Guidance: Level 2
· Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care: Level 2
· Equality and Diversity: Level 2
· Dignity and Safeguarding in Adult Health and Social Care: Level 2
· Understanding Mental Health: Level 3
· Understanding Autism: Level 3
· Dementia Care: Level 3

Learn more about the Skills Network, their qualifications and how to apply here.

Looking after your mental health

There's never been a more important time to look after ourselves, and to be kind and supportive to others. The new Health and Wellbeing section of our staff portal is full of links to help support your mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your wellbeing you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options any time for free on 0800 247 1100. They are also available online at workplaceoptions.co.uk (username GCC, password Employee).

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 27 May

New staff volunteering opportunity with G53 Together:

G53 Together is a new helpline that offers support with food, prescriptions and mental health issues for people living in the Pollok area. They are looking for 10 volunteers from Glasgow Life to help as call handlers. They are especially keen to hear from employees living in the Greater Pollok area.

What tasks will I be asked to help with?

Volunteers will take calls from people looking for support because they are self-isolating or cannot get out to the shops. They will also refer callers to other community groups and agencies for further support.

Where will I be based?

The helpline is based on Brockburn Road in Pollok, but it will also be possible to work remotely.

What hours am I required to work?

The call centre is open from 9am-9pm, Monday to Saturday. There are:

· 4-hour and 6-hour shifts available;
· 3 to 4 shifts per week.

What skills and experience are required?

· Call handling and case management experience, specifically with vulnerable individuals who may be emotionally distressed;
· Experience of using case management software (not essential);
· Excellent digital skills;
· Ability to follow instruction and use initiative when required;
· Clear and effective communicator.

Do I need a PVG?

Yes, all call handlers are required to be a member of the PVG (Protecting of Vulnerable Groups) scheme.

Will training be provided?

All volunteers will receive appropriate training for the role.

Are you interested in volunteering with G53 Together?

Please discuss with your line manager to confirm if your role is deemed an essential service. If not, you can apply to volunteer.

If your line manager approves, complete the Employee Supported Volunteering online form. The volunteering staff team will pass on your details to G53 Together and they will contact you directly.

Employees on volunteering leave must still report to their Glasgow Life line manager in line with our policies and procedures around maximising attendance and annual leave. You must also notify your host organisation if you are not able to attend your volunteering shift.

After you have competed your volunteering leave, you will be asked to complete an online survey about your time as a volunteer.

More information and support

If you would like to know further information about the volunteering roles available to you or if you have any questions, please contact volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

If you know of an organisation that could benefit from Glasgow Life staff volunteering their time, please get in touch at volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Volunteering case studies

We are looking for positive stories to share with colleagues about volunteering. If you are in a voluntary role, or you are about to start one and would like to share your story with us, please contact internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Health and Wellbeing Update – Tuesday 26 May

Eating well for your mental and physical wellbeing: 

Eating well and as healthily as you can will help your body cope better during lockdown. Good food gives you the energy to face the day and can improve your mood. Planning and preparing healthy meals and snacks can also be a fun activity to do with others in your household.

Where possible you should focus your meals and snacks around starchy food like pasta and rice, using fruit and vegetables to maintain your energy levels. It's also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated and healthy. 

Share your lockdown recipes 

Some of you may already be using the extra time you have at home to try out new recipes and share them with friends and family. We would love to see what you have been creating and baking during lockdown.

Send us your recipes and we will share a selection next Friday in a special round-up. Send your photos along with your name, where you work in Glasgow Life and a brief description to internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk

To get you started, here is a recipe for banana cake we are assured is failure proof.

Kirsten’s easy banana cake

Ingredients:

125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
190g self-raising flour
60ml milk
1 teaspoon Demerara sugar (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C/Fan 150 C/Gas 3;
  2. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin;
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat;
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, mix well;
  5. Remove from the heat and add the mashed bananas and mix well;
  6. Add the beaten egg, mix well;
  7. Stir in the self-raising flour and the milk;
  8. Pour mixture into the lined load tin. Sprinkle the top with a teaspoon of Demerara sugar;
  9. Bake for 35 minutes then check, it may need longer; You will know it is ready when a skewer comes out clean;
  10. Leave to cool, then enjoy!

Healthy eating ideas

Coming up with three healthy meal ideas every day can sometimes be a challenge so we have found some great resources to help:

Mental Health Awareness Week – Friday 22 May

Special end of week video message from our Chair:

To round up Mental Health Awareness Week our Chair, Cllr David McDonald has recorded a special video message around the theme of kindness.



Have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Thursday 21 May

Music and wellbeing:

For today’s Mental Health Awareness Week message we're looking at the importance of music to our mental health and wellbeing.

It's sometimes easier to play someone a piece of music to let them know how you're feeling because we have such strong emotional connections to music. We can use music to express what can’t be said in words. It can change your mood or comfort you, help you manage stress levels and anxiety and even improve your memory.

Making, listening to and sharing music connects us to the people around us. It's our personal playlist across the decades, reminding us of past highs and lows and how far we've come. It can take us back to particular places and times, but it can also catch us by surprise and lead us to make new connections and have new unexpected experiences.

Most importantly, music gives us pleasure and joy and now more than ever, music is providing a great source of comfort to people under lockdown. 

Experience Glasgow’s music scene from home

Glasgow is not afraid of making noise. As the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, we are home to one of the most vibrant music scenes in the UK. Glasgow's musicians have been dreaming up inspiring ways to enjoy the city's legendary music scene from home; from playlists by DJs to operatic performances, to live streamed festivals. 

Here are some other ways you can continue to enjoy new and live music from home:

 Looking for some support?

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your wellbeing you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options any time for free on 0800 247 1100. They are also available online atworkplaceoptions.co.uk (user name GCC, password Employee).

Mental Health Awareness Week – Wednesday 20 May

New Health and Wellbeing page within our staff web portal: 

To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week we’ve created a new Health and Wellbeing page within our staff web portal.

Filled with a variety of resources and links to information and support, we’ve organised it by themes to make it easier to find what you're looking for:

  • Staying safe and well
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Financial wellbeing
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sleep
  • Eating well
  • Physical activity
  • Spiritual wellbeing and mindfulness 

The page is available now at: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/mental-health-and-wellbeing 

Looking for some support?

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your wellbeing you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options any time for free on 0800 247 1100. They're also available online at workplaceoptions.co.uk (user name GCC, password Employee).

Glasgow Life Business Plan 2020/21 – Wednesday 20 May

Glasgow Life has published its Business Plan for 2020/21, setting out our key priorities for the year ahead. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the government's decision to implement a national lockdown, resulting in the temporary closure of all of our venues and services, has had an immediate and significant impact on our operations. As such, this will influence our ability to achieve the ambitions set out in this plan and therefore it remains a ‘draft’ until we emerge from lockdown.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Tuesday 19 May

The health and wellbeing benefits of volunteering:

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and today we're looking at the health and wellbeing benefits of becoming a volunteer. 

Volunteering has many obvious benefits for our communities, helping to provide support and services where they're needed most, but there are also lots of benefits to you as the volunteer too.

Research by Volunteer Scotland shows that volunteering can help:

  • Improve your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, alleviating depression and reducing social isolation and loneliness;
  • Improve your physical health by increasing your levels of activity and motivation to make healthier lifestyle choices;
  • Increase life expectancy through social connections and a more positive outlook.

Helping others in your local community also feels good. It can help you build confidence, develop new skills and make new friends. It's an incredibly positive way to spend time in lockdown and can make a real difference to those around you.

Making a difference

Last week we told you about some exciting new volunteering opportunities available to Glasgow Life staff who are not able to do their usual job because their venue is closed or they can’t work from home. If this is the situation you find yourself in at the moment, Glasgow Life can support you to volunteer during your normal working hours.

Colleagues from Sport, Libraries and Museums have already applied and will start volunteering with the British Red Cross as volunteer call handlers and delivery drivers in the next few days. Here’s what they had to say:

“So far my experience with the British Red Cross has been excellent. Staff respond quickly to emails and are really accommodating with shifts. I applied last Wednesday and start tomorrow manning their phone line. It’s only taken a week to get started. I'm really looking forward to starting with them.” Heather MacLeod, Glasgow Sport

“I applied to volunteer because I felt I wanted to help get us all through the current situation we find ourselves in. I jumped at the chance to apply for a role with the British Red Cross and I'm now helping to coordinate and deliver food parcels, toiletries and make welfare calls to vulnerable people and those living alone. I feel a great sense of pride knowing I'm helping others. There is an amazing team spirit and everyone there is keen to help. I can highly recommend it.” Joyce MacDonald, Glasgow Sport

“It will allow me to help support my local community during this unprecedented time.” Savannah McKibbon, Glasgow Libraries

You can make a difference: volunteer now

You will need to discuss any volunteering with your line manager first and read through our Employee Supported Volunteering (ESV) policy.

To see the latest volunteer roles for Glasgow Life staff please visit the Employer Supported Volunteering page of our website. If you would like to know further information about the volunteering roles available to you or if you have any questions, please contact our volunteering team at volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Glasgow Life staff can also volunteer to deliver essential services for Glasgow City Council. You can check the full list of opportunities available on the council’s MyJobScotland pages.

If you know of an organisation that could benefit from Glasgow Life staff volunteering their time, please let us know at volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Volunteering case studies

We're looking for positive stories to share with colleagues about volunteering. If you're in a voluntary role, or you're about to start one and would like to share your story with us, please contact internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Monday 18 May

Mental Health Awareness Week:

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation to get people talking about mental health and to provide support to those who need it.

This year’s theme is kindness, reflecting the potential of the small acts of kindness that many of us are seeing in our communities at the moment.

Kindness is important at this uncertain time, with friends, neighbours and even strangers going out of their way to make someone else’s life that little bit easier during lockdown.

It could be as simple as a quick phone call to catch-up or picking up a few extra items at the supermarket, but these small acts have the power to strengthen relationships and build communities.

One act of kindness can lead to many more, inspiring us to be kinder to those around us, as well as to ourselves. Helping others is also good for our own mental health, reducing stress and improving our emotional wellbeing. 

Celebrate the kindness around you

We would like to celebrate the small acts of kindness you are seeing around you in your family, street or community during lockdown. 

Send your stories and photos to internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk and we will share a selection at the end of this week. Don’t forget to include your name and where you work in Glasgow Life.

Looking for some support?

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your wellbeing you can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options any time for free on 0800 247 1100. They are also available online at workplaceoptions.co.uk (user name GCC, password Employee).

The NHS and SAMH also have lots of great advice on mental wellbeing while staying at home.

Coronavirus update – Monday 18 May

 

Tell us how #MuseumsSparkJoy for you:

Today is International Museums Day and to celebrate our Museums team is taking part in Museums Galleries Scotland's #MuseumsSparkJoy campaign, and so can you.

Museums are for everyone, and the aim is to help highlight the important role our museums play in people's lives across the city and show how we are continuing to reach out to visitors online during lockdown.

Look out for special #MuseumsSparkJoy content across our social media channels today and join in by sharing your thoughts and memories of how museums spark joy in your life too.

You can also post on your own social media using the #MuseumsSparkJoy hashtag and tagging or mentioning Glasgow Life. We would love you to share what you love and miss most based on your own favourite venue, objects or images.

For more information about the #MuseumsSparkJoy campaign, visit the Museums Galleries Scotland website.

Coronavirus update – Friday 15 May

A message from our Chief Executive:

You will have seen from the update on Wednesday that we are having discussions with the trade unions around furloughing some members of our staff.

I wanted to reassure you that every furloughed member of Glasgow Life staff will receive 100% of their normal pay and this will not have any impact on their pension or benefits.

This has been a challenging time for all organisations, including Glasgow Life, and to help protect our services for the future we are using the Job Retention Scheme purely to receive financial support from the government.

We will issue further communications in the coming days and will write to staff being furloughed to confirm next steps. You can read the full briefing here and if you have any concerns or questions please do speak to your line manager.

One constant theme throughout each of our weekly lockdown updates has been the importance of looking after yourself, in particular your physical and mental wellbeing.

Earlier this week, the once-a-day limit on going outside for exercise was lifted in Scotland. This means we can all now go outside more often to exercise locally; either alone or in our household groups.

Getting outside in the fresh air each day is such a great way to relieve stress, enjoy a change of scene and get moving. Hearing the birds singing and seeing the changes in the plants and trees as summer approaches really does help provide a sense of perspective and it’s a reminder that things will change and get better.

Taking notice of what’s happening around us, and practicing awareness or mindfulness, can be a great way to reduce our anxiety at difficult times and increase our appreciation for what already surrounds us.

I hope you found the wellbeing round-up message earlier today useful. It’s full of practical tips and links on how to look after all aspects of your wellbeing and is available here

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Coronavirus update – Friday 15 May

 

BEHIND THE SCENES AT GLASGOW LIFE

Focus on: Arts, Music and Cultural Venues

Glasgow Life operates some of the city’s most iconic cultural venues, including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (GRCH), Tramway, the Old Fruitmarket and City Halls, as well as the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, and many public halls.

We also deliver a dynamic, international, year-round events programme which includes major festivals such as Celtic Connections, the Glasgow Mela, Glasgow International and the Merchant City Festival, along with services designed to help local people experience the life-enhancing benefits of engaging with the arts and culture.

In our fourth behind the scenes feature, we look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our Arts, Music and Cultural Venues (AMCV) service.

We spoke to David Laing, Head of Service; Karen Taylor, Events Manager; Kevin Meek, Operations Manager for Cultural Venues; Alison Jack, Business Development Manager; Janie Hopkins, Tramway Manager; and Katie Duffy, Senior Projects and Programmes Manager.

What’s been the impact of the crisis on your services?

David: It’s been profound. Our venue programmes and festivals, worth £30m to the local economy, are much loved by citizens and draw visitors from across the world. As Scotland’s largest concert, arts venues and festival operator, our service is a linchpin of the country’s live culture sector as well as being significant on an international scale.

The Aye Write book festival had to be cancelled after just one day. We’d hoped to reschedule the Mela and Merchant City Festival from June and July to later in the year, but the government’s position on mass gatherings looks set to continue so unfortunately that likely won’t be possible.

We are, however, delivering aspects of some of our festivals digitally. Although we were disappointed to have to postpone the biennial Glasgow International Festival (GI) until spring 2021, the team pulled out all the stops to put together a fantastic digital programme, which presents several really exciting artworks online.

What was the process for rescheduling or cancelling events?

Karen: Our priority has been to retain as much business as possible for when we move into recovery, so we’ve tried to reschedule events such as touring artists into 2021 or 2022 wherever possible. However, our partner organisations such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra have had to cancel their full orchestral seasons.

As well as cancelling 268 live events across our cultural venues, we’ve also had to cancel a number of conferences and, sadly, 14 weddings due to take place in the Old Fruitmarket this summer. We’ve been talking to a lot of stressed wedding clients, trying to secure them alternative dates for next year.

Rescheduling events can often be harder to manage than cancellations. Some customers request refunds, others want to attend the new date or sometimes the venue might change and have different capacity. The process is complex and we’re working hard to ensure we communicate with everyone and accommodate their needs as far as we are able to.

Processing refunds must be a challenge?

Alison: Our hardworking Box Office team has been processing all customers’ refunds remotely as quickly as possible. It’s an enormous task and tricky logistically, as customers have to be contacted and each transaction refunded individually. We’re still counting how many ticket holders we’ve served in total but with 268 cancelled events, it’s tens of thousands!

What about future events, are tickets still on sale?

Alison: The team has begun setting up new shows and online sales are still open for business at Tickets Glasgow. More than 50 events are scheduled from early summer onwards, subject to ongoing government guidance.

What about Summer Nights at the Bandstand?

David: The entirety of this year’s Summer Nights programme has had to be rescheduled, which is disappointing for artists and audiences who eagerly look forward to this series of very special concerts in a wonderful summer setting. Most of the events were sold out months ago as they’re really popular. However, we’re delighted to say that nearly every artist we had booked will be returning in summer 2021.

How are you managing the venues that you’ve had to temporarily close during lockdown?

Kevin: We’d been scenario planning around the Covid-19 situation when lockdown was announced, so the plans sprang into action. The biggest challenge was ensuring that the buildings were closed immediately, safely and securely, but also that we were able to put operational measures in place to ensure their sustainability in the short, medium and longer-term.

We still have some staff working at venues; to organise and facilitate the necessary building and operational checks, and to allow statutory maintenance to take place such as insurance inspections of rigging equipment, so that when we do return to staging events, our venues and equipment are fit for purpose and we’re as prepared as possible.

This has been a massive job in terms of management, co-ordination and delivery, and we’re hugely grateful to the teams continuing to undertake these essential tasks.

Regularly communicating with our staff and checking on their welfare and wellbeing has been our priority. For example, we have a large pool of bank staff who faced the prospect of not working for the foreseeable future, so we’ve been working closely with our HR team to put measures in place to support them financially.

What’s been the impact on Tramway?

Janie: Most of this year’s work has had to be postponed or cancelled, including the cutting-edge contemporary performance festival ‘Take Me Somewhere’ as well as our new ‘GLARE’ multi-arts festival aimed at emergent artists; a number of international partnership projects and much more. Where events have been postponed, we’ve been working hard to accommodate them within next year’s programme, which includes Dance International Glasgow.

What’s keeping the Tramway team busy while working remotely?

Janie: They team is focusing on retaining Glasgow’s international links by attending online festivals and events, speaking virtually at conferences and continuing to build collaborations leading to co-commissioned contemporary work.

They’re also exploring innovative new ways of working in light of the social distancing guidelines. For example, troubleshooting how we might work with artists on stage, with production staff backstage, adapting exhibition spaces for the public and looking at ways we can do things differently.

A major project we’re undertaking is the development of Tramway TV; a dynamic online platform that lets artists share work and create dialogue at a time when many are suffering financially due to the Covid-19 crisis. Helping artists stay connected to audiences and each other will help safeguard the cultural ecosystem. The platform will also provide a sensitive and responsive space for artists to explore new modes that can be experienced outwith the constraints of physical space.

What about the future?

Janie: Tramway is currently working with the Scottish Futures Trust on making a virtual reality model of the building, as part of a new range of digital options that we hope will include streaming facilities in the future. At the same time, we’re curating experimental contemporary performance and visual art which can be made available digitally with a view to continuing to grow our audiences and catering for at-risk individuals who can’t attend in person.

Creative Communities is an ambitious programme to place an artist in residence in each of Glasgow’s 23 council wards. How has it been affected by the Coronavirus crisis?

Katie: The lockdown began less than a fortnight before the deadline for applications. When our mainly Tramway-based team moved to home-working, we considered extending the deadline, but the message from artists was that the project was giving them something to work constructively towards. If anything, social distancing makes participation in the arts even more important.

Clearly, the delivery timeframe needed to change, but we knew many artists were already processing the situation, adapting their thinking to the circumstances and realising that the programme could play a really important role within communities affected by the Coronavirus crisis.

Despite these difficult times, the response to the call-out was excellent and we received around 60 applications. And although home-working has presented some technological challenges, we’re reading through all those applications now.

When the project gets underway, might the created works reflect the extraordinary times we’re living through?

Katie: Perhaps. The whole notion of togetherness and access feels really uncertain at the moment. At its heart, this project is about connecting people in communities and it’s possible that, because of what’s happened, people will feel more wary of that kind of approach. We might have to look at different ways of bringing people and artists together.

Social distancing means people are finding those already and of course, artists always have amazing responses to challenging situations and contexts; they are used to finding creative ways of working with them.

That’s what’s exciting about Creative Communities. We received applications from brilliant artists and I’m sure there will be some really innovative ideas about how people can still come together to be creative and connect with others around them, within this extraordinary climate.

What’s been the impact on the 300 people who work across our arts, music and cultural venues teams?

David: Our teams have been incredibly diligent and flexible while working remotely; pulling together to take on huge amounts of additional work in very challenging circumstances. As always, they have my heartfelt thanks for their incredible passion and commitment.

Coronavirus update – Friday 15 May

Looking after your wellbeing in lockdown: 

There's lots of great resources out there to help you and your family stay safe and well during lockdown. It’s important to look after yourself right now so we've pulled together a round-up of some of our previous wellbeing messages, adding in a few new practical tips and links for you to help look after you mental, physical and financial wellbeing. You can check it out here.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 14 May

Glasgow’s Poet Laureate pens poem for the age of coronavirus:

Jim Carruth, who has been Poet Laureate for Glasgow since 2014, was inspired to write the piece while thinking about the family, friends and famous city parks that he was missing because of social distancing.

The Poet Laureate for Glasgow is in the gift of the Lord Provost’s Office and is managed by Glasgow Life. Jim Carruth is the third Poet Laureate for the city, following Edwin Morgan and Liz Lochhead.

Lord Provost Philip Braat said the poem would “find an echo in the hearts of many Glaswegians at a time when everyone in the city is pulling together to keep each other safe by restricting our movements and social contacts.”

The Long Bench

For the times ahead
when we will be

as if at either end
of the long bench

where distance kept
is love’s measure

and death dances
the space between

when words alone
are not enough

and queued memories
reach out to touch

let longing be a store
of nut and seed

that grows each day
in strange hibernation

readying for its end –
the sharing of the feast.

For more information about Jim Carruth and his poetry, visit www.jimcarruth.co.uk

 

Coronavirus update – Thursday 14 May

 

Keeping our vital Universal Credit advice service open: 

Lockdown has meant financial uncertainty for many so more people are turning to our Universal Credit advice service for help and support.

Since 2018, Glasgow Life colleagues in our libraries have been helping people apply for Universal Credit online and giving advice to those worried about their financial situation.

When the lockdown was announced, our Universal Credit support team continued to work directly with clients while following social distancing guidelines, but it became clear that we needed a safer way to deliver our service. We have now set up a new emergency helpline so people can continue to get the vital support they need while staying safe at home.

Anyone can call up for Universal Credit advice with each application taking between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. Through the helpline we can also help people access translation services as well as signposting them to other sources of assistance like Citizens Advice, Jobs & Business Glasgow, Housing Benefits, One Parent Families Scotland, local food banks, Glasgow Disability Alliance and Money Matters.

48-year old Owen from Knightswood who has used the service, said: “Nobody ever explained what I was entitled to before. I was just passed from pillar to post because nobody wants to help you. This is much more personal and much more approachable. I can’t speak any more highly about the service, and I wish more people knew that this help was available.”

Steven McTaggart, Financial Capability Project Manager at Glasgow Life, said: “Over the last few weeks we have noticed some changes in the people seeking our help. Before coronavirus, they were mainly people out of work but more and more we have been receiving requests from people who have either been recently made unemployed or people who are still working. We have been working very hard to deliver the support we can to those who need it, when they need it.”

If you know anyone worried about their current financial situation, let them know about our new helpline number: 0808 169 9901.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 13 May

 

Glasgow Life update on furlough:

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as ‘furlough’, is designed to help employers retain their employees and protect the UK economy. The furlough grant covers 80% of an employee’s salary cost, up to £2,500 a month, plus national insurance contributions.

What is ‘furlough’? 

The word furlough means a temporary leave of absence from work.

What does it mean in terms of pay and conditions?

Subject to final agreement, Glasgow Life is proposing to top up the salary of furloughed employees to 100%, meaning all furloughed employees will receive their salaries as normal. There will be no impact on pay or pensions for furloughed employees.

Which Glasgow Life employees will be furloughed?

£73 million of our funding for staff costs comes directly from Glasgow City Council, and that funding is continuing. Under the terms of the Job Retention Scheme we cannot furlough staff whose salary is paid from that funding.

The remaining amount of our funding comes through income generation by Glasgow Life; £38 million of which is directed back to the charity. Employees whose salary is funded by the income generation, and those whose salary is funded by external income through non-public sector bodies can be furloughed.

Without the income generated through Glasgow Club, retail, tickets sales etc, Glasgow Life is in a very challenging financial position due to Covid-19. We have analysed our staff and financial profile and we will look to furlough approximately 1,100 employees across cultural services, retail, sport and events.

What does this mean for furloughed employees?

Furloughed employees must not undertake any work for Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council or another ALEO.

Furloughed employees will still be paid 100% of their salary.

Tax, national insurance contributions and any other statutory deductions will be deducted from salaries in the usual way.

Employee and employer pension contributions will still be deducted and paid, unless the employee has opted out or stopped saving into their pension.

All other terms and conditions will remain the same; employees can take annual leave while furloughed.

Furloughed employees can take part in external volunteer work or training linked to their role but cannot undertake any work for Glasgow Life or volunteer work for either Glasgow Life or Glasgow City Council or another ALEO.

Length of furlough

The Job Retention Scheme has been extended to October. The minimum furlough period is three weeks. Employees can be moved in and out of furlough on a three-week or longer basis.

Returning to work

When they return to Glasgow Life, employees will return to their current posts.

Is this agreed?

Glasgow Life is in the process of negotiating a collective agreement with the trade unions to furlough approximately 1,100 employees. The purpose of this communication is to keep you fully up to date as the discussions with the trade unions progress.

What happens next?

We will confirm when an agreement is reached and will send letters to notify affected staff. Please be reassured that all furloughed employees will receive their salaries as normal. The Job Retention Scheme is purely to enable Glasgow Life to receive financial support from the government at this difficult time.

If you have any questions please speak to your line manager who will contact the Glasgow Life HR team at GL Employee Relations (ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk).

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 12 May

 

Changes to lockdown rules on exercising:

Yesterday, the once-a-day limit on exercise was lifted in Scotland.

This means you can now go outside more than once a day to exercise, but you must still stay local and only exercise alone or in your household group. This change does not allow you to mix with people from different households, to gather in groups or to relax outdoors for sunbathing/barbeques etc.

Your exercise periods should begin and end at home, you should not travel to start your exercise and you must remain two metres away from others while you are outside.

You can continue to protect yourself and others by:

  • Staying at home;
  • Only going outside for essential food, health and work reasons;
  • Staying two metres (six feet) away from other people;
  • Washing your hands regularly and as soon as you get home.

Looking for some exercise inspiration?

The Glasgow Club has plenty of ideas to keep you active both indoors and out with classes and activities that can be adapted for all levels of fitness.

You don’t have to be member, just download the free Glasgow Club app or visit our special Working (out) From Home website for tips on getting started, ways to look after your mental wellbeing and ideas for activities you can do outside with the family.

There’s so much to try, including football, cycling, gymnastics, dance and yoga. You can even join in one of our daily virtual live classes from the comfort of your own home or garden.

Why not encourage your family and friends to try one of our classes?

Coronavirus update – Monday 11 May

Volunteering opportunities:

Making a difference

Our doors may be closed but Glasgow Life staff are still making a real difference to the citizens of Glasgow.

Since the start of lockdown over 700 members of council family staff have volunteered to help out in priority areas of the city, including Public Health, Social Care and Education.

Glasgow Life staff have also been offering practical support to communities by opening up venues to provide places for charities to make up food parcels and linking up organisations with the community groups and resources they need.

You can make a difference – volunteer now

If you're not able to carry out your usual job because your venue is closed or you cannot work from home, Glasgow Life will support you to volunteer during your normal working hours.

In a previous update, we outlined how Glasgow Life employees could volunteer to help deliver essential services for Glasgow City Council. More information on how to register is available here.

Glasgow Life is now able to offer staff further opportunities to volunteer and make a real difference in their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Our Employee Supported Volunteering (ESV) policy applies to all staff, whether you work full time or part time. This policy means that with the agreement of your line manager, you can now volunteer to help out with local registered charities so long as they have appropriate insurances in place and meet all safety requirements such as PPE and social distancing.

Volunteering in this way will not only help out those most in need in your local area, it will also give you the chance to increase your skills while you cannot do your regular job. Doing something positive during lockdown is also beneficial for your own wellbeing.

Staff volunteering in their local area will help Glasgow Life to build new links and networks within the communities we work in, which will be beneficial when we all get ready to start opening our venues and delivering our services again.

Volunteering opportunities available now

British Red Cross are looking for 20 volunteers to help with call handling and deliveries.

What tasks will I be asked to help with?                   

Call handlers will be taking calls from people looking for support because they are self-isolating or cannot get out to the shops as well as making ‘check in chat’ calls to people referred to the British Red Cross. Call handlers may also have to take calls from delivery drivers if a problem arises when they are out.

Drivers will be asked to pick up and deliver food and prescriptions to people unable to get to the shops or pharmacy.

Where will I be based?

Call handlers are based at the British Red Cross office in Hillington. Driver locations will vary. 

What hours am I required?

Shifts are likely to be 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday. Shorter shifts may also be available.

Do I need a PVG?

Yes all volunteers must already be members of the PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) scheme. 

Is a car provided?

No, drivers are asked to have access to a car.

Are out of pocket expenses paid?

Yes, these will be paid by British Red Cross.

Will training be provided?

All volunteers will receive training.

Will PPE be provided?

Yes appropriate PPE will be provided

Interested in volunteering with British Red Cross? 

Discuss with your line manager to confirm if your role is considered an essential service. If you're not an essential services worker, you can apply to volunteer.

If your line manager approves, complete the ESV online form. The volunteering staff team will pass on your details to the voluntary organisation and they will contact you directly.

Employees on volunteering leave must still report to their Glasgow Life line manager in line with our policies and procedures around maximising attendance and annual leave. You must also notify your host organisation if you are not able to attend your volunteering shift.

After you have competed your volunteering leave, you will be asked to complete an online survey about your time as a volunteer.

More information and support

If you would like further information about the volunteering roles available to you or if you have any questions, please contact volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

If you know of an organisation that could benefit from Glasgow Life staff volunteering their time, please get in touch at volunteering@glasgowlife.org.uk.

Coronavirus update – Friday 8 May

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

Yesterday the government announced that lockdown will be extended in Scotland.

With this announcement coming towards the end of our seventh week of lockdown, the news will have left some of you feeling very disappointed, while others will be relieved.

Whatever your reaction, there is no doubt that for each and every one of us these are challenging times. We’ve gone weeks without being able to enjoy things we had previously taken for granted, like meeting friends, enjoying holidays or meals out.

However, as hard as it is, it's working. The government has made clear that the progress we have all worked so hard to achieve is fragile and we are advised not to put it at risk. So we must dig deep and continue to follow the guidance.

In my last message I highlighted that the priority for us all must be our physical and mental wellbeing. This remains essential and I would urge you all to take time to care for yourselves and those around you.

If you have not already done so, please do make use of the wonderful resources that our teams across the organisation have created: you can take part in live exercise classes in the comfort of your own home, or dive into our extensive online library services to help cope with social distancing. Visit our website to find your next fun lockdown activity.

I am very proud of the role that Glasgow Life is playing in the community in supporting people with their wellbeing. One of the real positives I have taken from the last few weeks has been the many supportive messages on our social media channels. Despite the huge challenges we are all currently facing, Glasgow Life is continuing daily to make a positive impact on the people of Glasgow.

Once again, I put on record my thanks to you for all your fantastic efforts and perseverance in these difficult times.

VE Day

Earlier today, we participated in the two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Unfortunately, many of the events that had been planned to take place across the country today were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, a virtual programme of events is taking place to bring people together to commemorate this important milestone in our history.

Glasgow Museums will be highlighting the work of Marianne Grant, a Jewish artist from Prague who recorded her experiences of imprisonment during the holocaust. Marianne settled in Glasgow after World War II and there is a permanent display of her artworks in the Conflict and Consequence gallery at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

You can find out more about Marianne Grant’s work on the Glasgow Museums Facebook page.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 8 May

BEHIND THE SCENES AT GLASGOW LIFE

Focus on: Glasgow Museums

Glaswegians love culture: our museums are the most-visited attractions in our city. People are rightly proud of our incredible art, world-class transport collection and natural history highlights from around the globe, crossing the ages.

For many, these cherished objects and the stories they tell form an essential part of their lives. They stimulate imagination, thought and escapism. The Glaswegian museum collection is an important part of who we are as individuals and part of our identity as a city.

Right now, perhaps more than ever, it’s vital we maintain access to Glasgow’s outstanding museum collection as well as our essential services.

In the next in our series we delve behind the scenes at Glasgow Museums to discover how the team continues to deliver culture during lockdown.

We spoke to: Duncan Dornan, Head of Glasgow Museums; Clare Gray, Learning and Access Curator; Moira McCall, Marketing Business Partner; Rebecca Quinton, Research Manager for Art; Tarn Brown, Conservation Manager; Irene O’Brien, Senior Archivist; Michael Gallagher, Archivist; Neil Ballantyne, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Manager.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected Glasgow Museum’s role in the city?

Duncan: Like all services across Glasgow Life, Glasgow Museums has been embracing the challenge of operating in a radically different way since lockdown was imposed.

For the first time in history, we closed all nine of our incredibly popular museums as well as Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, which is the epicentre of our research and conservation work. Given the circumstances, it was a strangely emotional day as we tried to adjust to a new way of living while figuring out a fundamentally different way of working.

Last year we recorded over four million visits to Glasgow museums. On that first day working from home it became immediately obvious that communicating with our audiences was still our priority. As a charity, Glasgow Life is committed to bringing meaning to people’s lives through culture, sport and learning. We know people continue to want access to the museums they love, albeit in a different way.

Our venues were closed, but we have hundreds of thousands of followers on our social media channels and most importantly our creative and adaptable colleagues working remotely. If people couldn’t come to us, we could still go to them. Many people suddenly had time on their hands, or were home schooling children, and there was renewed interest in discovering something new. It was a good time to embrace social media and share some of the delights of the 1.6 million objects in our collection.

How has the Glasgow Museums team adapted to this new way of working?

Clare: The Learning and Access (L&A) team work on all kinds of activities and events when the venues are open, so it seemed natural they could develop engaging content for social media too and they have really excelled!

After a lot of asking ‘How do you do this?’ and learning as we go, we now post every weekday at 2pm. Each week we have a range of content: Museum School Social for those being home-schooled, Postcards from Glasgow Museums for older and inter-generational audiences, Toddler Time for under-fives, a Collection Focus post for adults and families and Glasgow Museums Art School for families.

What has the response been like so far?

Clare: It’s a joy to see people’s responses to our posts. Often it’s a picture of something they’ve created, or an insight into a conversation we’ve sparked. The other day we were missing the banter at the People’s Palace so we posted a picture of a chamber pot and asked them to solve an argument for us. Is this a chanty, a gazunder, or do you call it by its Sunday name, a chamber pot? Do you have a different name altogether? Let us know!

Our Facebook friends were eager to share their thoughts. The origins of the word ‘chanty’ was suggested to be singing, or chanting, while using the pot to cover the noise. Gazunder was said to come from the practice of keeping the pot under the bed. The pot gazunder the bed.

While the Palace team was playing with all this patter, others in the L&A team were preparing to create craft videos. They began by raiding their cupboards and recycling bins, mindful that people would be restricted to using materials they might find around their homes.

People also shared memories and mentioned favourite objects and exhibitions and it made us smile. Someone even posted a video of Kelvingrove’s majestic organ in full flow, it was great to see.

Other teams have been doing this too. Art curators are writing entries on past exhibitions for the Gallery of Modern Art as well as creating new content.

Blogs are being used to share more detailed information with new entries being created for the Legacies of Slavery in Glasgow Museums’ blog and also the brand new Burrell Project Blog.

Moira: Audiences always come first with all our marketing activity for Glasgow Museums. Despite this unusual situation, the main focus of our work remained the same: to provide our audiences with engaging and interesting content based around our museum collections.

The response has been great across all our social platforms with engagements increasing by a staggering 155% across our Twitter feeds since the start of April. Facebook has also seen a great uplift with comments and shares both increasing by over 30%. We had to adapt some of what we do and deliver it in a different way, but our audiences are clearly enjoying it.

Among the many difficulties presented by Covid-19, there have been small opportunities too. We understand building work on the Burrell has stopped, what other work has been going on with the project?

Duncan: The Scottish Government’s unprecedented lockdown measures caused a temporary suspension of all construction work, except on essential buildings. This meant Kier Construction stopped work on the £66 million refurbishment of the Burrell Collection for the moment.

Rebecca: While our most critical meetings have moved over to digital platforms, we’ve reduced the overall number of project meetings. And with the temporary suspension of the public programme while museums are closed, curators have had more time to focus on the collections. They are drafting new or enhanced entries for Glasgow Museum’s online collections database, which contains a wealth of information on the City’s collection.

With so many archives and institutions releasing digitised collections and articles online for free in recent weeks, it has also been a good time for curators to undertake more in-depth research on specific areas of the collection. Subjects researched by the Art team curators during the first month of lockdown have included provenance research on Tudor and Stuart needlework, design sources for the engravings on seventeenth-century silver and the watercolours by Joseph Crawhall in the Burrell Collection.

Tarn: There is also very practical work going on to keep the project moving. In many ways we are just as busy as before lockdown. We’re currently compiling information for the exhibition designers to use when we procure companies to make the mounts that will display the collection in the new displays.

Conservators have been working with colleagues in the documentation team to pull together all this information, using the central collections management database. We are also speaking to contractors to make sure they are ready to help install the displays when the time is right.

Many of the objects in our collections were created in response to, or in some cases even during, a crisis. Can you tell us what museums are doing to illustrate what a resilient and creative bunch we are?

Duncan: Collections in archives, libraries and museums are the most reliable and engaging records of previous crisis. They also help us to understand and come to terms with the present by comparison with the past. It’s important that collections react to this situation with a carefully considered approach to collecting, which will support the interest of future generations.

Archives have already put out a call for diaries of the lockdown experience, while museums are developing a priority list of items to speak of the experience of Glaswegians. This will allow people to look back and understand what we are currently experiencing.

Audrey Hepburn said ‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible’. We think she would have liked our Glasgow City Archives team. You’ve embraced our #glasgowlifegoeson campaign, can you tell us how?

Irene: Someone once said, sometimes the best things happen when you’re forced to think differently, we just can’t remember who! Glasgow City Archives has certainly adopted that frame of mind.

The Mitchell is usually buzzing with people using our records to answer all sorts of questions and to allow that to continue we’ve launched ‘Ask the Archivist’ via Facebook, which is proving extremely popular.

Michael: We’ve issued a call-out to all Glaswegians to start keeping a diary of their long days in lockdown. We want to encourage the people of Glasgow to record their experience of coronavirus, which we’ll keep forever in the City Archives. That way, future generations can gain a real insight into life under lockdown during a global pandemic from a variety of perspectives. No detail is too big or small. It’s often the day-to-day minutiae that paints the most vivid picture.

Dali’s Christ of St John on the cross is often said to be Scotland’s favourite painting. With a collection of international significance to care for, can you tell us a little about how our venues are being maintained during lockdown?

Neil: We moved quickly to close our museums to the public in response to the situation, which happened the Tuesday before lockdown was announced, but we couldn’t simply shut the doors and walk away.

Our venues house priceless works of art, unique specimens that can’t be replaced and precious natural history objects that require careful conservation. We had to work out what checks were required and how frequently they had to be carried out and agree who would carry them out.

We asked the whole museums team if they could help and quickly received an amazing response. It has made it possible to schedule important, regular checks across our unique buildings and collections.

These checks include looking for things like vandalism, fly-tipping or anti-social activity and internally staff conduct fire tests, flush through the taps and toilets to prevent legionella and check for moths or other pests that might harm the collection. This also provides a window for Facilities Management or contractors to come in to carry out essential maintenance. It has been great to include a range of staff in these activities.

This means that when we reopen, and our planning for that has already started, visitors can come and enjoy the collections entrusted to our care for generations to come.

New exhibitions like the one on Glasgow photographer Eric Watt at Kelvingrove were due to open in early summer, what is the plan now?

Duncan: We are proud of the extensive, varied exhibition programme we offer and our constantly changing displays are one of the key reasons people return to our venues. Throughout the coming weeks, while our venues are closed, colleagues will continue to progress work on future displays and exhibitions so everyone can enjoy them when the buildings reopen.

We will have lost some time in preparing works and spaces. It’s also possible that we’ll have to work out a process to allow social distancing in museums when they reopen and this may result in areas of the museums buildings finding new temporary uses. But we know people are keen to get back into our museums to enjoy all that they have to offer and we’re very much looking forward to that day too.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 7 May

Learning and Development team update:

Learning new things during lockdown is a great way to keep your mind active, develop a new skill and maybe even have some fun.

It’s also great for your wellbeing, providing a positive focus and routine to your day, as well as helping you to think about future opportunities and the exciting places your learning can take you.

Even if you are using your own device, there are lots of great online resources available to keep learning from home during lockdown. We don’t just mean children, many of our Glasgow Life colleagues have been busy taking advantage of their time in lockdown to complete an incredible number of learning and development activities.

Going for GOLD

During April, Glasgow Life colleagues completed a fantastic 10,526 online GOLD courses, covering 430 different course types.

The top five most popular courses were: 

  • Glasgow Life: Dealing with Difficult Situations completed by 310 learners;
  • Glasgow Life: Child Protection completed by 296 learners;
  • Glasgow Life: Health and Safety Essentials completed by 218 learners;
  • Action Counters Terrorism completed by 208 learners;
  • Essentials Skills for Work completed by 207 learners.

 This impressive total was reached by 723 colleagues, each completing an average of 14.5 courses each.

How you can access Glasgow Life’s learning resources 

We have more than 2,700 colleagues across Glasgow Life so there is plenty of opportunity for more of us to get involved in learning. Please read the instructions on how to access GOLD online learning from home here. The training grid shows you which courses you should start with and will help you prioritise your learning with your line manager.

Skills Network update 

Since Glasgow Life teamed up with the Skills Network in April, a number of colleagues have taken the opportunity to study for a range of qualifications through distance learning. Let’s hear from some of them:

Lean Organisational Management Qualification

“Not having undertaken learning or study in such a format for many years I have to admit I was slightly cautious about committing to such a course, but so far the course has been very manageable and easy to follow. It has been good, especially at this time to have something new to learn and focus on.” Pamela Brockett, Event Manager.

Lean Organisational Management Qualification

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to enhance my skills and gain a qualification, which will contribute to my personal and professional development. I have just passed my first assignment and am enjoying this experience of online learning. It is also helping me staying busy during this lockdown, using the extra time spent at home doing something constructive and valuable.” Angela Massafra, Museums Learning and Access Curator.

Understanding Autism

“I am really enjoying the course, I find it very useful and informative, the platform is well laid out and easy to use, and the Skills Network check in weekly to see how everything is going!” Savannah McKibbin, Glasgow Life Assistant.

Behaviour that Challenges in Children

“Very easy to navigate through the modules and enjoy learning at my own pace. Lots of information, videos and tips along the way and thoroughly enjoying it so far. So glad I chose to do it.” Stacey Ballantyne, Community Services Supervisor.

Learn more about the Skills Network, their qualifications and how to apply here.  

Coronavirus update – Thursday 7 May

National two-minute silence for VE Day 75 to be held tomorrow:

Tomorrow (Friday 8 May), marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the day when we remember the end of World War II. VE Day 75 is an important milestone in our history and there will be special virtual events for people across Scotland to take part in safely and remember.

Two-minute silence

At 11am on Friday 8 May, we are asking colleagues to take part in a two-minute silence, wherever possible. This is to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by those who experienced the Second World War.

You can find out more about the virtual events planned as well as learning resources available for those of you who are home-schooling at Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 6 May

Demand for Glasgow Life’s online services surges during lockdown:

Glasgow’s love for learning, exercise and entertainment has seen thousands more people subscribe to our digital services in recent weeks.

With the introduction of live workouts from Glasgow Club, a steep rise in library membership and the development of virtual cultural experiences, we’ve been enabling people all across the city to enjoy our content online.

Over 120,000 home workouts have been completed and the Glasgow Club app has been downloaded thousands of times since lockdown began.

Members missing their favourite instructors are now able to take part in live classes in their own homes every day, which have proved a huge success. 

Glasgow Club video content has been viewed over 100,000 times on Facebook and YouTube. 

People are also making use of our extensive online library services to help cope with social distancing and over 2,500 new members have registered. 

Library ebook issues are more than 50% ahead of usual with almost 8,000 being issued in the past month.

Audiobook use continues to rise week-on-week with almost 5,000 being accessed in the past four weeks while in the same period more than 10,000 emagazines were downloaded.

As well as 24 hours-a-day access to our online services, there’s also a variety of curated content on our social media channels, which can be found by searching #glasgowlifegoeson.

Don’t forget, all of our fantastic and free online services are there for you and your family to enjoy too. Anyone can join in. Why not try one of our live workouts, browse our amazing collection of online magazines or stream some of our 15 million free songs. Visit our website to find your next fun lockdown activity.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 5 May

Help us document coronavirus – Glasgow City Archives:

What did you do during coronavirus granny? It’s a moving question that may echo through the generations, just as we asked grandparents about their involvement in World Wars.

Did you clap for carers every Thursday night and put a rainbow in your window? Did you drink quarantinis over the fence with neighbours you hardly knew before lockdown, or stockpile toilet rolls in the bath? If so, our archivists want to hear from you.

Glasgow City Archives, usually based in the Mitchell Library, are asking Glaswegians to start keeping a diary of their days during Covid-19.

Archivist Michael Gallagher, said: "We want to encourage the people of Glasgow to record their experience of coronavirus, which we will keep forever in the City Archives. That way, future generations can gain a real insight into life under lockdown during a global pandemic from a variety of perspectives.

"We’re asking people to keep a daily diary. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You can add sketches and drawings to your entries as well. What are you doing, feeling, seeing and even eating? How is the situation affecting you, your friends and family?"

The City’s Archives is a fascinating treasure trove of official and private records and it’s part of their job to tell the story of Glasgow and its people. Collections in archives, libraries and museums are the most reliable and engaging records of previous crisis. They also help us to understand and come to terms with the present by comparison with the past.

A single diary provides a unique perspective into a particular point in time and is an invaluable resource for research. Glasgow City Archives provide public access to the thousands of diaries already in our care, which are hugely powerful and personal records of people, places and times that are past.

One is by Thomas Cairns Livingstone, whose scribbling between 1913 and 1933 were later made into much-loved books ‘Tommy’s War’ and ‘Tommy’s Peace.’ The merchant shipping clerk recorded seemingly ordinary details like the weather and music he liked to listen to, accompanied by quirky drawings.

His entry for Sunday October 15 1916 was typical of his work. He wrote: "Out at Queen’s Park before breakfast. Better sort of day but a trifle cold. Agnes went to church today but did not get in. To cheer her up, I took her to Sighthill Cemetery after dinner."

Michael stressed: "Anyone can take part, the more variety we have the better. We would love to capture entries from all walks of life and all ages, including children. Don’t worry about creating a wonderful piece of literature – we don’t want that! The important thing is that we document your experience of living through an extraordinary time. Keeping a diary helps your own wellbeing. Writing down your own thoughts is an exercise in self-care."

Your diary can be in electronic format or hand-written. You can make it anonymous or very personal. It’s really up to you.

The Glasgow City Archives will release details on how to submit diaries after lockdown restrictions are lifted. To find out more, visit its website.

Also keep an eye out in the Glasgow Times every Tuesday, or on the Glasgow City Archives Facebook page. In the spirit of #GlasgowLifeGoesOn they have moved their incredibly popular Ask the Archivist service online.

Archivist Barbara Neilson, said: "The Mitchell is usually buzzing with people using our records to answer all sorts of questions and to allow that to continue we’ve launched Ask the Archivist via Facebook, which is proving extremely popular."

This week the team are taking questions on anything relating to police records. Go on, #AskTheArchivist! Comment or direct message us your questions by 10am on a Thursday and we’ll post answers at noon on a Friday.

Coronavirus update – Monday 4 May

Coronavirus testing for Glasgow Life staff and household members showing symptoms:

The government has expanded the testing of Covid-19 to include additional workers and their families who have symptoms in order to keep essential services running in Scotland.

If you have symptoms and are eligible to be tested, then a negative test would allow you to leave self-isolation and return to work more quickly.

Glasgow City Council is following this guidance to protect the running of essential services for Glasgow. Key workers in the health and social care sector will remain the priority for testing.

Who can be tested?

You can read recent guidance on who should be tested here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-for-key-workers-in-Scotland/.

The guidance is open to interpretation, however if you are currently required to leave your home in order to work then you are likely to be eligible to be tested.

If you are one of those people and you are self-isolating (unable to leave your home) with Covid-19 symptoms then you should book a test.

You can also refer your household members for testing if they are experiencing symptoms. They can be tested because if the results return negative this allows you to continue working rather than self-isolating for 14 days. 

You should continue to follow government guidance on self-isolation on NHS Inform and report your absence in the normal way and to your line manager.

When to get tested?

You should arrange to get tested in the first three days of coronavirus symptoms appearing.If you are self-isolating because a person you live with has symptoms, you can refer them for testing. To check your symptoms go to NHS Inform.

The test is only guaranteed to be accurate if someone is symptomatic. The test will confirm if an individual who is showing symptoms of the virus actually has it. It will not confirm whether they have had it and have now recovered.

How do I get a test?

You should book a test for yourself or a member of your household on the government’s website at https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/

Glasgow’s drive-through test centre is at Glasgow Airport. You will need a car to attend the centre. A home testing kit is also an option on the website but this is subject to availability.

If you need more support

If you need any support to book a test, then you can contact the Employee Relations team on ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk. Please provide them with your payroll/employee SAP number and a telephone number.

Coronavirus testing FAQs:

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

To check your symptoms go to NHS Inform.

If my symptoms get worse what should I do?

If you are concerned about worsening symptoms, please call NHS24 on 111.

I had symptoms a few week ago, should I now be tested to find out if I’ve had the virus?

No. The test is only guaranteed to be accurate if you are currently symptomatic. The test will confirm if an individual who is showing symptoms of the virus actually has it. It will not confirm whether they have had it and have now recovered.

If I receive a negative test when should I return to work?

Even if you receive a negative result, it’s important to still use caution. If everyone with symptoms who was tested in your household receive a negative result, then you can return to work if your work cannot be done from home, providing you are well enough, and have not had a fever for 48 hours. You should discuss your return to work with your line manager.

If I receive a negative test then develop symptoms, what should I do?

If, after returning to work, you develop symptoms then you should follow the NHS Inform guidance and self-isolate. You should then consider going for another test.

How do I get my test results?

Your results will be sent to you directly by text message within 48 hours. These will then be fed back into public health records in due course. When you get your test results you should share the results with your line manager.

I have a question about test results?

Any questions about accessing testing, the website, or results should be addressed to opshub@dhsc.gov.uk.

I need help with transport to the test centre, what do I do?

We may be able to help you with transport to the test centre and back. You should contact your HR business partner to discuss this support.

Coronavirus update – Friday 1 May

A message from our Chair:

Dear colleagues

As we come to the end of our sixth week in lockdown, like me, you may be experiencing good days and bad days trying to come to terms with this very different way of life. That's to be expected, everyone is facing challenges and it's more important than ever that we look out for each other and take time for ourselves.

Throughout the last six weeks, I have been heartened by the stories that show the positive spirit of the people of Glasgow. Seeing communities coming together and people giving up their time to help others has been wonderful. It really epitomises what this great city is all about.

I have also loved seeing the colourful window displays in my local neighbourhood, which feel like a friendly wave as I walk past on my daily exercise. So I was delighted this week when Glasgow Life launched our own People Make Glasgow addition to the city’s windows.

We hope these new window displays will help unite the people of Glasgow in a show of positivity, publicly saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who continues to keep the city running.

They are a celebration of the dedication and kindness of the people of Glasgow and express solidarity with those on the frontline, and with each other. The response so far has been fantastic with lots of people taking part, over 54,000 social media impressions achieved and great media support.

To show your appreciation and support for the people who make Glasgow, you can download a poster template here: https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/people-make-glasgow-window-display.

This windows campaign very much resonates with the vital role Glasgow Life plays within the city in providing opportunities for people to come together through shared experiences.

Currently, much of what we do has moved online to ensure the people of Glasgow can continue to enjoy the services they love, from our online library services and live workouts from the Glasgow Club to the development of virtual cultural experiences.

Our #GlasgowLifeGoesOn campaign has been hugely successful, with over 120,000 home workouts completed so far and more than 2,500 new members being welcomed to Glasgow Libraries since lockdown began.

None of the above would have been possible without the dedication and creativity of our team. I want to thank you all once again for everything you are doing to continue to deliver our valuable services.

I am very proud of the incredible commitment of our Glasgow Life team and the positive impact you are making on people’s lives. Together, I am confident that we can look forward to more good days than bad ones.

People really do make Glasgow.

Best regards

Councillor David McDonald
Chair of Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 1 May

Pay – our commitment to our workforce:

The council family has been working hard to make sure that all employees who work on a regular basis for us are paid; and this includes our casual, agency and part-time workers who work regular additional core hours.

Pay dates remain as set and payslips will continue to be produced in the usual way. Our May pay date is next Tuesday (5 May).

Pay queries during Covid-19

Please read our staff briefing on our key commitment to our workforce on what to do should you have any pay queries at the current time. 

Please note that due to the current situation staff resources are being allocated to making sure you receive core pay on time. Please only raise an essential pay query to your manager as outlined in the process in the briefing.

Background

Our key commitment to our employees during this time has been to safeguard your continued employment in line with your contractual arrangements for both our core workforce of permanent and temporary employees.

Our workforce comprises of a wide range of employees who support our diverse Glasgow Life activity. As a business we have worked hard to find solutions to support our key workforce groups. This includes employees on standard conditions as well as our flexible workforce who support us during our peak level of activities.

Arrangements in place

The following arrangements are now in place to support our flexible workforce in terms of their continuity of employment and/or earnings:

Bank staff: Employees in this group will receive an average wage based on their earnings between January and March 2020.

Part-time employees who work regular additional core hours: It was recognised that there is a small number of part-time workers in certain areas of the business who regularly and consistently work additional fixed hours that are not within their contractual hours.

Employees in this group have been identified and agreement has been reached that they will receive a relevant number of additional hours pay on a four weekly basis. This will be linked to the regular additional hours they have worked over a set period.

Agency workers who are not employees of Glasgow Life: We have committed to safeguarding continuity of this group’s earnings. We have confirmed with the relevant staffing agencies that we have extended the opportunity for agency workers to receive an average wage, based on their earnings between January and March 2020, in line with the same commitments we have made to our casual employees.

Some of the staffing agencies are also considering furloughing their employees. Where this is the case, staffing agencies will contact these staff directly.

These arrangements for our flexible workforce have been agreed up to the end of June 2020 and will be subject to further review.

Pay queries

We will process pay as normal during Covid-19 with pay dates remaining as set and pay in line with contractual arrangements. Due to a reducing workforce this guidance sets out how we will handle pay queries during this period. We ask for everyone’s understanding during this time.

Key principles

Our key principles during this time will be:

Core pay: Priority will be to make sure all employees receive their core pay in line with contractual arrangements;

Overtime: If an employee has not received overtime payments this will be rectified in their next pay. During this period there will be no BACS facility for overtime.

Actions for staff

Check your payslip if you’re able to, to confirm what you have been paid and to identify if there is any issue with your pay.

Paper payslips for non-My Portal users will be issued to your home address as normal. Electronic payslips will be available on MyPortal in the usual way.

We appreciate that some employees do not have access to systems to be able to check payslips. If that is the case please only raise pay queries where they are absolutely necessary as this unprecedented situation has put strain on our systems. You will be able to view backdated pay slips when you do get access again. It is not possible to issue paper payslips to MyPortal users.

If you do need to raise a query, you should speak to your line manager and provide them with your name, your payroll / employee number and details of your query.

Your manager will then raise your query and provide a response. If you want to query overtime payments, please note this will be rectified in your next pay.

Information for managers

Should you receive a pay query from a team member, please make sure they have followed the steps above as far as possible.

Email your Glasgow Life payroll contact at GLPosition.Management@glasgowlife.org.uk with PAYROLL QUERY in the subject box. Include the information requested above. All queries should be sent from Glasgow Life email addresses.

We will provide a response to you as quickly as possible. When you receive this, you should communicate this to your team member immediately.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 30 April

Financial wellbeing:

The disruption caused by coronavirus has affected many households, leaving them with less money coming in, but with bills and debts still to pay. Fortunately, there are practical steps we can all take to improve our financial wellbeing during these uncertain times.

Here are five top tips:

1. TAKE NOTICE: what is your actual current financial situation?

Take time to sit down and look at your current income and outgoings to identify where you are financially.

Step Change, the debt charity, has guidance on what to do if coronavirus is affecting your financial situation here. They also offer free online support to help you make a budget.

The Money Advice Service also has a free budget planner which will help you to identify your current financial situation.

2. BE ACTIVE: address any immediate financial concerns and find out what help you may be entitled to.

The Money Advice Service has guidance on ‘coronavirus and your money’ which outlines key things you can do immediately to take control of your finances.

The UK Government has an online assessment tool to help identify what financial support may be available to you relating to your individual circumstances.

Our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options also offers support on debt issues and is available 24 hours a day. You can call them for free on 0800 247 1100.

3. LEARN TO BUDGET: can you manage your finances more effectively?

Use an online budget planner like the one from Money Advice Service.

Read 11 steps to handling a reduced income by Step Change.

You can also complete the Managing Personal Finances course on GOLD.

4. STAY CONNECTED

Worrying alone about money can have a negative impact on your mental health. Confide in someone you trust, or seek financial and/or emotional support from professional services.

You can contact our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options at any time on 0800 247 1100 or visit workplaceoptions.co.uk (the user name is GCC and the password is Employee).

5. SUPPORT OTHERS

It feels good when we are able relate to, and help others. Share your knowledge and personal experience to provide valuable support to others in your family or team.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 29 April

Spotlight On Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries: 

Finding out that you or someone close to you has cancer can be a difficult and confusing time. Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries offers a free and confidential support service where anyone affected by cancer can get emotional support and high-quality cancer information.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Macmillan Cancer Support has replaced face-to-face contact with virtual support. Thanks to the hard work of its staff and partners; Glasgow Life, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Glasgow City Council the team is offering emotional, financial and practical support both online and over the phone.

Services available

Macmillan has a range of support services available in the city. 

Improving the Cancer Journey sends everyone newly diagnosed with cancer in Glasgow a letter offering them an assessment of all their support needs, from how to claim benefits to emotional support. Everyone who responds is given a one-to-one support worker who helps them access all the support they need, from other Macmillan services, other charities or organisations.

All the services can be reached by calling 0141 287 2903 (9am-5pm) or emailing macmillan@glasgowlife.org.uk .
 
The Macmillan Support Line, mainly staffed by Glasgow-based nurses, can help with clinical, practical and financial information on 0808 808 0000. The line is open seven days a week from 9am-5pm.

Information on cancer and coronavirus is available on Macmillan’s website at macmillan.org.uk. Peer support is also available from Macmillan’s online community at community.macmillan.org.uk. Open 24-hours a day, the online community lets people with cancer and their loved ones talk to others in similar situations.

Scotland's Service Directory

Glasgow residents are now being offered a simpler way to find local health and support services online through a new collaboration between NHS 24, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (The Alliance).

Called Scotland's Services Directory, the digital service will collate local quality-assured health and care services in one website. Scotland’s Service Directory has been developed by NHS 24 in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and The Alliance.

The directory is being made available on NHS Inform, Scotland's national health information website at www.nhsinform.scot/scotlands-service-directory.

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries is now live on Scotland’s Service Directory, along with the ‘Click To Be Contacted’ functionality. This new function allows professionals to instantly refer people affected by cancer into the support and information service.

Using this function, the team will respond within two working days with cancer support, information or simply to talk. People who are affected by cancer can also self-refer, providing their details and indicating their preferred method of contact.

You can find out more and click to be contacted today at https://bit.ly/2wVpLMm.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 29 April

Glasgow International Goes Online:

This month we should have been celebrating the start of Glasgow International (Gi), Scotland's biennial festival of contemporary visual art.

The festival was due to take place from 23 April until 10 May and bring a host of artists and exhibitions to venues across the city. But as with so many other major events, it has been postponed until 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the last week the Gi team have published an exclusive Digital Programme, marking the original dates of the 2020 festival, and including an audio introduction by Festival Director Richard Parry.

Artists including Jenkin van Zyl, Yuko Mohri, Alberta Whittle and Liv Fontaine have made new work for the digital programme, which also showcases works by artists Georgina Starr, Urara Tsuchiya and Sarah Forrest.

These artists, who were all part of the planned Glasgow International 2020, have been selected to create or contribute work for the digital programme to give audiences a taste of what the festival aimed to bring them this year.

We hope you’ll be able to join the event virtually. The full programme is freely accessible now until 10 May at glasgowinternational.org.

More about Gi
Gi has become a hotly anticipated art festival across Scotland and beyond. 2020 would have been its 9th edition, once again bringing exhibitions and installations into Glasgow Life venues including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Tramway, GoMA and Kelvin Hall.

Culture fans can follow @GIfestival on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find out about additional upcoming content.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 28 April

Show your support for new People Make Glasgow windows campaign:

Glasgow Life has launched a new campaign today aimed at uniting the people of Glasgow in an exhibition of positivity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tapping into a trend that has been widely embraced in recent weeks, we’re encouraging families and households across the city to create their own unique People Make Glasgow posters and to display them alongside the rainbows already in their windows.

And we would love for all of our staff and your families to get involved too!

The aim is to create a sense of togetherness using our iconic and much-loved city brand and to say “thank you” – whether it’s simply to your neighbour for helping you with your shopping, or to our frontline key workers for their incredible efforts in keeping us safe and keeping our communities running.

You can join in by downloading the brand template here or by coming up with your own version and displaying it in your window or on social media.

If posting on social, please use the hashtags #PeopleMakeGlasgow and #GlasgowLifeGoesOn, and remember to tag @PeopleMakeGLA and @GlasgowLife. We’d also be grateful for your ‘likes’ on our own social channels, including Linkedin.

Young artist Scarlett Shaw (6) from Springburn helped us to launch the campaign by presenting the first posters thanking her local fire and ambulance crews – and it goes without saying that this was part of a specially arranged visit for this purpose. For everyone’s safety, the stations are not generally open to visitors.

There’s been a terrific response to the campaign in the media today and you can read more about it here.

Coronavirus update – Monday 27 April

 

One minute silence for International Workers' Memorial Day to be held tomorrow:

Every year the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April (#IWMD20).

This day commemorates those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. It also marks a call to renew efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work. The day is officially recognised by the UK Government.

Theme for 2020: coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic affects every worker regardless of their role. Tens of thousands of workers worldwide have died. More have fallen ill or continue to go to work risking their lives. Others are facing yet to be understood difficulties and losses.

One minute silence

At 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 28 April), we are asking employees where possible to take part in one minute's silence. It will be a moment to pay tribute to the sacrifice made by so many workers in the past and in current circumstances, to remember those who've sadly lost their lives, and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk. 

Coronavirus update – Friday 24 April

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

As the fifth week of lockdown comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on how strange and unnatural everything still feels.

I think it’s important to recognise that while we need to comply with government guidance, this situation is difficult for each of us in different ways.

Our everyday routines have been replaced with days that seem to melt into each other. Being continuously on our own, or with the same small group of people, isn’t easy. Looking after children while juggling work commitments, or caring for others, is particularly demanding in these uncertain times.

I know it can be challenging to concentrate on work, and it’s hard not to feel worried; for our families, friends and for our own health. We’re all living through the toughest test our generation has faced. It isn’t easy and it’s okay not to feel okay.

It can become addictive to follow daily news coverage and information updates, and it’s worth reflecting on how being exposed to endless speculation helps us. We all need to find our way through this and an important part of it is understanding that this isn’t in any way ‘normal’.

The priority for us right now, and in the weeks still to come, must continue to be our mental and physical wellbeing. While we may not be able to spend our weekends and free time quite how we’d like to, please look for ways to take care of yourself and those around you.

With this week’s good weather forecast to last throughout the weekend, going out for a walk and some fresh air will exercise your mind just as much as your body. Or why not get involved in The 2.6 Challenge on Sunday to help raise vital funds for charities like Glasgow Life.

And remember, if you do feel like you need some support, you can call our employee assistance provider, Workplace Options, 24 hours a day, every day of the week, for free on 0800 247 1100.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the countless unseen acts of kindness and support that I know all of you have been doing. Your generosity and commitment are what makes Glasgow Life such a wonderful asset for the people of Glasgow.

I also want to say thank you for your resilience and continued hard work to ensure the organisation is still able to function during this difficult period. This commitment and dedication has always been characteristic of what it means to be a part of Glasgow Life. Maybe the ‘new normal’ isn’t so different from the old normal after all.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Coronavirus update – Friday 24 April

 

Get involved in The 2.6 Challenge this Sunday to help support Glasgow’s most vulnerable communities:

Dear colleagues

This weekend Glasgow Life needs you!  We’re encouraging as many people as possible to take part in The 2.6 Challenge and you can read more about it here.

To get you encouraged and inspired, let me tell you about Morag.

Every week, members of Glasgow Life’s ‘Young at Heart’ programmes enjoy Tai Chi classes, which are led by Jamie Simpson.

Morag never misses a class, she loves exercising as well as the ‘great chat’ that goes along with the sessions. Undeterred by lockdown, she and many of her fellow group members asked whether this was something they could continue to enjoy from home during this period of social isolation and distancing.

With some guidance from Glasgow Life, nearly all of the group have been set up to follow Jamie’s sessions virtually via their mobile phones, laptops, tablets or through their TV screens. Morag was delighted to hear that we’re increasing the number of weekly sessions to three.

She said: “Tai Chi keeps me active, but I also find it very therapeutic as it’s a relaxing way to exercise. It’s been a great way to make and keep in touch with friends; I love to hear how the rest of the group is getting on and I’m over the moon that Glasgow Life has found a way to keep us together during these difficult times.”

This Sunday the Young at Heart group are going to take part in The 2.6 Challenge by doing 26 minutes of Tai Chi. Some members are over the age of 90, while Morag is a sprightly 72-years-young. So if they can do it, we hope you’ll be inspired to get involved too.  

Your own 2.6 Challenge can be as simple as walking or running 2.6 miles, singing along to 26 songs on your playlist, reading 26 pages (or chapters!) of your favourite book or challenging your household to complete 26 ‘toilet roll’ keepie-uppies in less than 2.6 minutes. The only requirement is that the activity must follow government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

Any support that you, or your friends and family, can give will allow us to continue to deliver lifeline programmes and services for vulnerable people and families throughout this crisis, whether that’s delivering virtual health and wellbeing classes for the elderly or providing one-to-one support sessions for Universal Credit applicants.

With thanks from everyone in the Communities team and from all of our Young at Heart members.

Stephen

Stephen McDermott
Community Engagement and Volunteering Officer

You can make a 2.6 Challenge donation to Glasgow Life this weekend via our JustGiving page and look out for updates across our social media channels. Remember to tag us on your own social posts too using @GlasgowLife and the hashtags #TwoPointSixChallenge and #GlasgowLifeGoesOn to help spread the word.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 23 April

Show your support for World Book Night tonight:

Our Libraries team is taking part in World Book Night tonight and so can you. For this year’s special lockdown event, the theme is the ‘National Shelf Service’ and showing support for our NHS and other key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reading charity The Reading Agency, which runs World Book Night, is holding a reading hour from 7-8pm, which will finish just before tonight’s #ClapForCarers at 8pm.

The aim is to encourage as many people as possible to spend an hour reading (either on your own or virtually with family and friends) and to get involved on social media using the hashtag #ReadingHour.

Some of the world’s best known authors on the Reading Agency’s 2020 booklist have taken to YouTube today to show their support for World Book Night. There’s also a series of ‘National Shelf Service’ programmes available featuring eBook recommendations for children and young people from professional librarians across the UK.

A new study conducted by The Reading Agency has found that the nation is reading more during lockdown, with one in three adults picking up a book more regularly, rising to one in two among young people. For more information about World Book Night, visit https://worldbooknight.org/

Coronavirus update – Thursday 23 April

Ramadan awareness – 24 April to 23 May 2020:

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins tonight. Ramadan is a very important time in the Islamic calendar and Muslims across the world will be preparing to take part. This year’s Ramadan will be different, as the coronavirus outbreak means that many people will not be able to visit friends and family or their local mosque.

We have put together some considerations for our staff and managers during this time and would like to wish all our colleagues of the Muslim Faith a Happy Ramadan.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It’s a time for particular spiritual reflection, prayer and doing good deeds as well as spending time with family and friends. Normally, people will make a special effort to connect with their communities and reach out to people who need help. This year, Ramadan takes place from 24 April until 23 May and during this time, Muslims across the world spend 30 days fasting.

Why does it fall now?

Ramadan falls during this month because this is when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It’s the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and the date changes each year because Islam uses the lunar calendar.

What is fasting?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won’t eat or drink between dawn and sunset. This is called fasting. Fasting is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah, or God. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims believe people should live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and Hajj (making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca).

When does the fast begin and end?

The fast begins just before dawn with a light meal known as the Suhoor, which confirms the intention to fast for the day. The fast ends at sunset when the call to prayer, called Adhan, is announced. The time when the fast ends is known as Iftar and is usually when families and friends will get together to break their fast.

As the fast is during daylight hours, its exact length changes depending on what time of year Ramadan falls. In Scotland, we have longer fasts in summertime and shorter fasts in wintertime.

The Muslim Council of Britain is advising families and friends to video-call each other during Iftar this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many Muslims also usually go to their mosque to pray, when lockdown restrictions aren’t in place. Some mosques have been holding virtual services online for people to join. 

Does everybody fast?

No, not everyone fasts during Ramadan. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and those who are ill, or who are travelling, don’t have to fast.

What happens at the end of Ramadan?

There is a special festival to mark the end of Ramadan. This is called Eid al-Fitr; the Festival of Breaking the Fast. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Muslims will not only celebrate the end of fasting, but will also thank Allah for the help and strength that they were given throughout the previous month.

Considerations for our colleagues respecting Ramadan

Fasting will affect people in different ways and we should do all that we can to support our colleagues whilst considering service delivery requirements.

If you’re fasting:

Talk to your manager if you need any support during Ramadan.

Tell your colleagues about Ramadan and that you’re fasting.

 If you’re a manager of someone who is fasting:

Consider leave requests, changes to working hours/patterns or break times. This will help physically during Ramadan or give your team member(s) additional time to take part in prayer or worship.

The effects of fasting may be felt most strongly in the afternoon. Consider what types of work are best delivered in the morning and afternoon and consider if any changes can be accommodated if needed.

If a colleague is fasting, please be considerate when you’re eating or drinking. 

Coronavirus update – Friday 17 April

Guidance on annual leave provisions because of Covid-19:

We appreciate the efforts of all of our staff during these unprecedented times to help make sure we’re able to continue to deliver essential services and support the most vulnerable across the city.

During times like this it’s vitally important that Glasgow Life maintains its duty of care to you. Whilst we have essential services that we must continue to deliver, we can’t deliver them without an able and effective workforce.

Annual leave provision because of Covid-19

The government has recently made an amendment to the Working Time Regulations 1998 to include The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

This change allows an employee to carry forward up to 20 days’ annual leave where they have been unable to take annual leave due to the current situation and the demands of the role they undertake.

Where this is the case, the council family has agreed that staff who may not be able to take annual leave in 2020, due to the Coronavirus situation, can carry forward up to 20 days (or pro-rata equivalent), into the next two annual leave periods in both 2021 and 2022.

Many of you are not currently in roles where the demands of your job will prevent you from taking planned annual leave. It’s therefore anticipated that there will not be a need for many staff to arrange to carry forward their annual leave.

Staff health and wellbeing

As part of our duty of care and our health and safety commitment to you, it’s important to understand that whether you’re delivering essential services on the front line, or working from home, everyone needs to take a break from an extended delivery of service.

This is key to making sure you maintain good health and wellbeing. Taking annual leave from the workplace is the best way to do this. This is particularly important for any of you who have been experiencing stress, work related or otherwise, due to the current crisis.

This also includes those who have been unable to undertake meaningful work and are at home – it’s important for you to know that you will not be called upon by your manager to assist whilst taking your leave.

The proportionate use of annual leave across the calendar year can be a health, safety and wellbeing concern for you. This is even more relevant at the current time. The fact that we can’t take a planned trip away doesn’t mean that we can’t take our annual leave. We’re therefore encouraging staff to adhere to our conditions of service, and use a proportionate amount of leave entitlement during this period.

While at this time no employee will be forced to take annual leave that was booked prior to the crisis and managers can be flexible in responding to requests to change leave, it’s important to recognise that any request to change annual leave will need to be considered within the operational needs of the organisation and the conditions of service.

Key principles

The following key principles outline the approach we’re taking in relation to annual leave provisions because of Covid-19.

  • We will aim to honour any leave which was approved before Covid-19.
  • New leave requests will be considered and approved by line managers. This is important to make sure that staff are not working for protracted periods without a break.
  • We are all responsible for managing our annual leave entitlement therefore staff and managers should discuss and agree leave to be taken during this period as usual.
  • We would expect that staff will continue to take annual leave. This provides you with the opportunity to take a break from work.
  • As always we will take a balanced and fair approach. We will consider your circumstances against service delivery requirements. If due to the current situation you wish to cancel or amend annual leave this should be discussed and agreed with your line manager.
  • Please be mindful that when the normal delivery of our services resume, we will need to manage annual leave requests in line with our operational requirements and in line with the conditions of service.
  • Given the fluid circumstances we find ourselves in, in responding to the Covid-19 situation, we will keep these arrangements under review.

Coronavirus update – Friday 17 April

A message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

By now you will all be aware of last night’s announcement by the UK Government regarding the extension to the coronavirus lockdown. Staying at home and social distancing has become our new normal and so it will continue for another three weeks.

The government was clear that the nation’s collective effort over the past three weeks has helped to slow the spread of the virus as it nears its peak. However, lifting any restrictions now could lead to a spike in new infections and put additional, unnecessary pressure on our NHS and other frontline health, social care and emergency services; all of whom are working round the clock to keep us safe.

The health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority and we will continue to follow government guidance. This means that our services and venues will remain closed until at least Thursday 7 May. We will keep a minimal number of venues open for business-critical operations and where communities need urgent assistance; and I would particularly like to thank the ongoing dedication of our teams.

Given that the temporary suspension of our services is set to continue, it remains as important as ever that we communicate with our customers. Equally, with nearly all of our colleagues now working from home, you will continue to receive regular updates regarding our ongoing alternative working arrangements.

I know this is an extremely trying period for us all and it’s likely we still have some way to go before it’s over, but defeating this virus is one of the greatest challenges we will face in our lifetimes and we should be proud of the role we will play in overcoming it. Staying home and social distancing will save lives.

Glasgow Life Goes On

The response to our new #GlasgowLifeGoesOn campaign has been tremendous and demonstrates just how much the people of Glasgow value the range of services we deliver.

The Glasgow Club app has been downloaded more than 2,000 times in the past fortnight and more than 60,000 fitness sessions have been completed. At the same time, our online library has recorded a 50% increase in users with nearly 4,000 ebooks issued and more than 3,000 audiobooks and emagazines downloaded. Around a thousand new members have registered with Glasgow Libraries. These figures show that demand is only increasing.

Across Glasgow Life, our teams are working hard behind the scenes to make more of our much-loved programmes and activities available online while also doing everything they can to ensure we’re ready to reopen our doors and welcome the people of Glasgow back into our venues as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Keeping in touch

Spending more time at home and being isolated from friends, family and colleagues can be difficult for our mental health. Managers will continue to keep in touch with their teams on a regular basis to pass on relevant updates and share essential information, and all corporate communications will continue to be added to our dedicated staff web portal. If you manage a team, please take a moment to check you have everyone’s contact details.

Protecting our mental and physical health is going to become increasingly important as the weeks at home continue so please use this time to take care of yourself and those around you. Make time to do the things that you enjoy and check in regularly with those who might feel the effects of social distancing and isolation more than others.

If you’re concerned about the current situation or feeling like you might need some additional support, please speak to your line manager. Workplace Options is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you can call them for free on 0800 247 1100.

As we head into this next period of lockdown, I want to reiterate my sincere thanks, as well as the thanks of our Board, Leadership and Senior Management teams, for your incredible efforts and commitment in recent weeks.

Our thoughts continue to be with the families and loved ones of those directly affected by coronavirus. Glaswegians are renowned for our friendly and caring attitude and now, more than ever, we need to do everything we can to support each other through this crisis.

Have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 15 April

Corporate update:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve had lots of questions from colleagues across Glasgow Life over recent weeks, from working from home and government guidance around self-isolating and social distancing to keeping in-touch with your teams, volunteering opportunities, pay queries and how you can access support.

To help you find answers to your questions more easily, we’ve updated Glasgow Life’s FAQs into new topic areas:

  1. Working arrangements
  2. Homeworking
  3. Pay and contracts
  4. Maximising attendance and sick pay provisions
  5. Annual leave provisions
  6. Disciplinary and appeals procedures
  7. Other helpful guidance

You can find the current guidance on all these topics on our  Frequently Asked Questions page

April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month has taken place every April in the UK for nearly 30 years and is aimed at increasing awareness about stress, its causes and cures.

The coronavirus pandemic has made life all the more challenging so it’s especially important that we address and manage any stress or anxiety we may be feeling during these uncertain times to avoid it having a negative impact on our health and wellbeing.

What can I do?

Visit stress.org.uk for tips on understanding stress and a 10-step stress management plan, which includes a simple test to measure your stress levels.

Stay connected (virtually!) and check in with your friends and family regularly. Don’t be afraid to talk about feeling stressed or anxious as everyone will experience it at least once in their lifetime.

Look after yourself – don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you might feel too stressed! Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. Being active helps to reduce stress, increases our energy levels, can make us more alert and helps us sleep better. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the perfect time to download the Glasgow Club app.

Make time to relax and do something that you enjoy. Something as simple as reading a good book or listening to music can be a major contributor to boosting our mental health. Why not have a browse through our vast online eLibrary which stocks a huge range of digital content, including more than 12,000 eBooks and audiobooks, over 100 popular magazine titles and 15 million songs, all of which are free to download to a mobile phone, PC or tablet.

Sign up to join Glasgow City Council’s volunteering programme. Evidence shows that helping others is hugely beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing.

Learning boosts our confidence. There are more than 30 wellbeing courses available to you on GOLD, on topics such as: dealing with stress; managing emotions; mindfulness; relaxation; everyday energy; and letting go. Log-in to GOLD now to get started.

Get support – if you’re stressed or anxious and feeling like you might need a bit of additional support, our employee assistance provider, Workplace Options, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can call them for free on 0800 247 1100. You can also access services at workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee.

More free mindfulness sessions this week

Workplace Options are running more free mindfulness sessions this week. Until Friday 17 April, you can participate in 10-minute live, web-based sessions that will help you focus, relax and reset.

Sessions are available at multiple times. To take part, click on the session you’d like to attend from the selection below and submit a short registration form.

Wednesday 15 April

2pm / 2.30pm / 9.30pm / 10pm    

Thursday 16 April

8.30am / 9am / 10pm / 10.30pm    

Friday 17 April

5pm / 5.30pm  

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 14 April

Learning and Development opportunities:

Whether you’re using Glasgow Life IT kit or your own personal devices, there are some great online resources available to keep everyone learning from home during Covid-19.

Despite the challenging times we’re facing, colleagues across the organisation have certainly shown their commitment to learning. In March alone, nearly 10,000 GOLD courses were completed. To put that in context, just over 7,500 courses were undertaken throughout the entirety of last year!

GOLD eLearning: 

Our Learning and Development team has compiled step-by-step guidance on accessing the GOLD portal from home and there are some e-learning modules that should be prioritised; some of which are Glasgow Life specific.

These can be found by clicking on the yellow box that says ‘Your ALEO or Service’ and then clicking on ‘Glasgow Life’. Mandatory courses for everyone are:

  • Health and Safety Essentials
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations (Glasgow Life)
  • Child Protection (Glasgow Life)
  • Asbestos Awareness (Glasgow Life)
  • Legionella Awareness (Glasgow Life)
  • Information Security 2019

And under Health, Safety and Wellbeing, you’ll find:

  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
  • Mentally Healthy Workplace

Action Counter Terrorism (ACT) Awareness Modules:

All Glasgow Life colleagues are also requested to complete the new mandatory ‘ACT Awareness’ training modules now available on GOLD.

The Skills Network:

Glasgow Life now has its very own microsite set-up with The Skills Network offering a range of Level 2 and 3 fully funded qualifications on a distance learning basis. Examples of certified courses include:

  • Understanding Autism
  • Customer Service
  • Principles of Team Leading
  • Understanding Stewarding at Spectator Events
  • Lean Organisational Management Techniques
  • IT User Skills 

For more information, call 01757 600705 or email Scotland.sales@theskillsnetwork.com.

Here are some other free training resources you may be interested in:

Cornerstone on Demand are sharing their most popular e-Learning courses for free for a limited time. They’re focusing on the 12 skills most worth learning in 2020 based on data from their 40 million learners.

FutureLearn.com

You can enjoy free online courses and try high-quality online education from top universities and specialist organisations. Just visit www.FutureLearn.com and view their scheduled programme.

Alison.com

Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online, or ALISON, is an e-learning platform aimed at enabling people to gain education and workplace skills. It’s a free resource where you can sign up as an individual learner.

You can take part in more than a thousand professional e-learning programmes, including diplomas, and subjects covered include accounting; business and legal; customer service; project management; operations management; quality management; social media and lots more. Check out their website at www.alison.com for more information.

Our Learning and Development team will be sharing more news soon on some great webinar sessions they’ll be running over the coming weeks to help keep everyone learning.

Where you’re completing learning in work time, please remember to always agree and prioritise this with your line manager.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 9 April

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

I know that many of you have friends, family members and partners in the NHS and other frontline health, social care and emergency services; all of whom are working tirelessly to contain this virus, protect our communities and keep us safe.

Until around a month ago, most of us wouldn’t have considered how equally dependent we are on our supermarkets, pharmacies and delivery services. These have become lifelines for all of us.

These roles are difficult and demanding enough under normal circumstances, and even more so during these unprecedented times. I wanted you to know that everyone in Glasgow Life is wholeheartedly thankful for their extraordinary efforts.

Over the past couple of weeks there has been a global, and deserved, outpouring of gratitude and support for those heroes who, every day, are putting the needs of others first and keeping the society we normally take for granted going.

All of this is more eloquent and resonant than anything I can say, but I do hope the knowledge that you, and those you care about, are in all our thoughts provides some comfort. And I know that many of you will be paying tribute to our essential workers by clapping at 8pm tonight.

It’s now nearly time to enjoy the long weekend, and with a couple of extra days off I hope you can all take some time to relax, recharge and connect with friends and family; albeit virtually!

Thank you again for your hard work keeping Glasgow Life running over these past three weeks. I know it’s not been easy, and it’s been heartening to hear how you’re all supporting each other and volunteering to help keep the city’s essential services operating during these uncertain times.

Have a safe and happy Easter.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 9 April

BEHIND THE SCENES AT GLASGOW LIFE

Focus on: Communities and Libraries

As one of Scotland’s largest charities delivering services in culture, sport and learning across Glasgow, our organisation has undergone a rapid and radical change since the government announced its unprecedented lockdown measures.

Having closed our venues in all but the most exceptional cases, we’ve had to get used to a new way of living and working, which would have been unthinkable only three weeks ago.

What hasn’t changed though is our commitment to supporting and bringing meaning to the lives of the people of Glasgow.

Behind the scenes, teams across Glasgow Life have been working to ensure #GlasgowLifeGoesOn; developing online versions of some of the most popular activities and programmes that we know 75% of Glaswegians enjoyed and relied on in 2019.

So, over the coming weeks we’ll be shining the spotlight on different areas of our business to look at how we’re responding to the challenges of coronavirus and what’s on the horizon.

This week we had a telephone chat with our service head Andrew Olney, to learn more about the work going on in Communities and Libraries. Here’s what he told us.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected libraries and communities in Glasgow?

With a mission based around bringing people together in community settings, and with the majority of our venues across the city welcoming the general public and providing space for our partner organisations, we were acutely aware that the situation would have an immediate impact on our service delivery.

So how did you go about closing Glasgow’s 33 libraries and 24 community centres?

Sensibly, the team had already begun planning, so we were able to close most of our libraries and community centres to the public on the day the lockdown guidance came out. Closing down a public building isn’t as simple as just shutting the doors though. We had to prepare the buildings for a complete closure to both staff and customers and create a process for regularly checking the heating, water and alarms, as well as security monitoring. That took a little more organising behind the scenes.

Did you keep some buildings open at this stage?

Yes, initially we kept eight buildings open. Most of our community centres lease space to local charities delivering childcare. They couldn’t close at such short notice as families were relying on them, and at this stage people were still going to work. We also had a local charity that was undertaking food distribution.

When the government updated its advice a few days later, nearly all of the childcare charities that we provide space for took the same decision that we had and suspended their operations, meaning we could close six of the buildings we had kept open until then. 

Are any buildings still open now?

Yes, Possilpoint is currently open three days a week. There’s a fantastic charity there called Young People’s Futures which is working to distribute food in the north of Glasgow. There’s been a lot of positive coverage of their efforts on social media, and it’s great that they’re being recognised and are able to continue supporting vulnerable people in the community during this difficult time.

Govanhill Community Centre is also open one day a week to support a local charity that’s providing essential childcare services for key workers and we’ve temporarily opened three libraries on a part-time basis to process Universal Credit applications for people who need digital support or access.

Why is Universal Credit so important?

Access to Universal Credit is a lifeline for many people and families; particularly during this crisis. Our teams have been busy, handling more than 120 applications in the past fortnight.

Last year we supported nearly 1,700 people with making Universal Credit claims, helping to secure at least £10.5m in financial benefit for those customers. More than a quarter of those people also required access to translation services, which are provided free of charge through our programme.

How will this service continue?

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put in place the technology and framework needed to be able to process applications over the phone, and from Tuesday (14 April) we’ll move to a completely virtual service. During lockdown, people won’t have to come into our libraries in person, and our team will be able to handle an increased number of applications.

How are you keeping staff safe?

We undertook risk assessments and put arrangements in place in each venue to ensure our staff and customers were able to follow the latest public health guidance. We’re fortunate that our staff are very conscientious and aware of their importance in helping people in difficult financial situations through these extremely challenging times.

What other changes have you put in place?

Some changes are ours and some are being delivered with our partners. We’ve amended our application process to enable new users to join online and access our services from home. This includes our vast eLibrary, which stocks a huge range of digital content, including more than 12,000 eBooks and audiobooks, over 100 popular magazine titles and 15 million songs, all of which are free to download to a mobile phone, PC or tablet.

Our aim as a library service is to give people the opportunity to increase their skills and knowledge, whether that’s simply enjoying reading a good book (which in itself is often an undervalued contributor to boosting our mental health!) or accessing the many research, study and businesses support eResources we have available.

So far, our engagement rates have been hugely positive and we’re working to build on that in the weeks to come.

At the same time, The Macmillan Cancer Information Service which is operated through our libraries has moved to phone-based consultations, and the Business and Intellectual Property Centre based at The Mitchell is in the process of moving online. It has a programme of useful webinars provided by the British Library and a variety of free resources to support businesses.

We’re also currently scoping technologies and testing models to allow us to deliver online learning provision and virtual groups for our youth clubs to ensure we can continue providing these important services.

Fundamentally, we want to inspire the people of Glasgow to engage with our services: read, learn and have the chance to widen their horizons. It’s early stages, but it’s looking as if we’re managing to do this in new ways and our whole team is really excited.

How has your team responded?

The Communities and Libraries team has always been passionate about supporting the people of Glasgow and I’m grateful to be able to work with such talented and dedicated people.

Their reaction to the challenges we’ve faced in the past few weeks, not just in our service delivery but in supporting work across the city, and their willingness to find solutions has been inspiring. I want to say a huge thanks to each and every one of them.

While it may seem difficult to look ahead at this point, I think how we’re responding to this situation will help us to deliver our services even more effectively in the future.

I think the agility and flexibility we’ve shown, together with our digital first approach, can enable us to better meet the needs of all of our customers while freeing up capacity for our frontline staff to focus on those people who are most in need of our support.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 8 April

Managing absence during Covid-19:

This guidance sets out the approach Glasgow Life will take in relation to managing absence during Covid-19.

Key principles

Wellbeing: we will continue to support employees to manage their health and wellbeing.

Sick pay: normal sick pay provision will continue for those absent due to non Covid-19 sickness. Those absent due to Covid-19 will be supported throughout their absence with full pay and this absence will not count towards sick pay entitlement.

Self-isolating: there is a different approach for those who have a sickness absence as a result of being unwell with Covid-19 symptoms and those who are unable to present for work as a result of following the Government’s self-isolating ‘stay at home’ and shielding guidance.

Self-isolating

  • It is important that if you are self-isolating that you continue to maintain contact with your line manager, on days 1, 4, 7 and every seven days thereafter.
  • If you are absent from work because you are following the Government’s self-isolating stay at home guidance you will receive full pay and this will not count towards sick pay entitlement. We are aware that people may experience more than one period of self-isolation at this time.
  • If you are self-isolating, but have no symptoms and feel well or have mild symptoms and feel fit to work you should work from home where possible.
  • Once you have completed the seven day or 14 day period of isolation you are fit to return to work, taking into account current Government guidance. A return to work discussion will be completed by telephone by your manager.

Underlying health condition

  • Where possible, adjustments have been made to enable these employees to work from home. Any employee in this category will receive full pay during the Covid-19 outbreak or in line with Government guidance.

Shielding

  • Our most vulnerable employees may need to follow ‘shielding’ guidance and in effect should not leave their home at all, potentially for a period of up to 12 weeks. The NHS will issue these individuals with written confirmation of their need to shield and you may be asked to provide a copy of your letter to confirm this.
  • Where possible these employees should continue to work from home, although we understand that during this time you may experience a period of sickness. You should continue to discuss your shielding status with your line manager.
  • Employees who are shielding will be paid full pay for the duration of shielding.

Non Covid-19 sickness absence

  • As you are aware, if you are ill you must contact your line manager as soon as possible on the first day to report absence. If your manager is not available, leave a message and provide contact details for them to call you back.
  • If your absence from work continues, you should contact your line manager on the 4th day and again on the 7th day of your absence and every 7th day thereafter.
  • When you are fit to return to work, a return to work discussion should be completed by telephone with your line manager.

Long-term absence and capability

  • For any employee absent for a period of over four weeks it is important that you continue to maintain contact with your line manager, every seven days as normal.
  • When you are fit to return to work, a return to work discussion should be completed via telephone with your line manager.
  • Maximising attendance arrangements and capability cases will continue to be progressed during the pandemic.
  • Covid-19 related absence will be disregarded in making capability decisions.

Terminally ill employees

  • In circumstances where an employee is terminally ill, as is normal, reasonable steps will be taken to explore with the employee how to secure the best outcome for the employee and their family.
  • Social isolation, limited staffing levels and restricted access to medical practitioners may make this difficult.

Occupational health

  • There has been a temporary change to the way we deliver occupational health, for the time being all appointments will be by telephone.
  • If an occupation health appointment is required, your manager will complete a referral and follow the normal consultation process.

Employee assistance

  • Our employee assistance provider, Workplace Options can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on (freephone) 0800 247 1100. You can also access services at workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee. The Covid-19 helpline is also available on 0800 028 2816.

As the situation around Covid-19 changes this guidance is subject to change.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 7 April

Be wary of phishing scams and other cyber-attacks:

Criminals will use any opportunity they can to steal from people and this includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

With more people now working from computers, laptops and other personal devices at home, there is an increased risk of phishing scams and other cyber-attacks.

As such, Police Scotland is advising people and businesses to be extra vigilant at this time.

Understanding different types of cyber-crime:

Phishing is a cyber-scam most commonly used to steal your sensitive data (log-in details, passwords, account and credit card numbers). Criminals, posing as legitimate sources such as your bank or trusted brands, will use emails and text messages to try and persuade you to confirm or correct your information by clicking on a link and entering your personal details.

Ransomware is often sent to organisations or individuals by email and nearly always includes a malicious attachment or link, which appears legitimate. However, once opened it will infect your computer with software that scrambles the data and requests payment before it can be restored. There has been a significant increase in this type of cyber-attack against public sector organisations.

Top tips to help prevent cyber-attacks:

Cyber-scams can be difficult to recognise, but there are things you can look out for to help identify suspicious emails:

Be aware of the title – particularly if it uses ‘click-bait’ as an incentive to get you to open it. If it seems unusual, or too good to be true, it nearly always is.

Check who the email was really sent from – you can hover your mouse over the sender’s contact name to see what email address pops up. It’s very common for criminals to display a fake name and make it look like it’s coming from someone legitimate, but you’ll often find when you hover over the name displayed that it’s originating from an entirely different email address.

Don’t open attachments or click on any URLs within any emails you receive that you think are suspicious. Raise this with the GCI service desk as outlined below.

Make sure your signature is on every new email that you send – so your colleagues can feel more confident that the email came from you and, if concerned, have your number to phone for confirmation.

Compare new emails against older ones – if you start receiving suspicious emails from a person or organisation you regularly communicate with, check whether it matches previous emails from them. Does the display name, format and email signature look identical on both?

If you receive notification that an email sent to you has been quarantined, don’t ask for it to be released; unless you were expecting it as part of your normal business activity or have checked with the sender that it’s genuine.

Other clues to watch out for, include – unusual or poor grammar or phrases; emails sent at odd times; and a sense of urgency to respond.

Use strong passwords and change them regularly. If you’re ever duped into providing a password, immediately change the passwords on all your other accounts.

How to report a suspicious email you have received:

If you have received a suspicious email and clicked on the link or opened an attachment, please contact the CGI service desk immediately on 0141 287 4000 or via GCCServiceDesk@cgi.comdo not forward it to CGI or your colleagues as it may be harmful.

If you receive a warning of a security threat from someone other than the CGI service desk, do not forward it on to anyone as it may be a hoax. Report it immediately to your line manager and to CGI.

If you receive a suspicious email to your personal device that is non-work related, you should report it to the organisation that it is purporting to originate from and/or Police Scotland.

Further advice:

Citizens Advice Scotland offers an online scams helper and a live web chat service (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

Coronavirus update – Monday 6 April

Corporate update:

Free live mindfulness sessions this week

Spending more time at home and being isolated from friends, colleagues and family can be difficult for our mental health.

Following the UK Government’s advice to stay home may also make it harder for you to do the activities which normally help keep you feeling mentally and physically well.

However, there are techniques you can learn and use to look after your mental wellbeing, which may be of help during this difficult time.

Glasgow Life’s employee assistance provider, Workplace Options, is running a series of free, live, web-based sessions from Tuesday 7 April until Friday 10 April. You can participate in 10-minute mindfulness exercises that will help you focus, relax and reset.

Sessions are available at multiple times. To take part, click on the session you’d like to attend from the selection below and submit a short registration form.

Tuesday 7 April

Noon / 12.30pm / 1pm

Wednesday 8 April

9am / 9.30am / 4.30pm / 5pm

Thursday 9 April

5pm / 5.30pm

Friday 10 April 

Noon / 12.30pm

Get support

If you’re feeling anxious or concerned about the current situation, and feel like you might need a bit of additional support, Workplace Options is available 24 hours a day and you can call them for free on 0800 247 1100. Any issues or worries you have can also be raised with your line manager, and our dedicated online staff portal is updated regularly with FAQs and new information.

Easter public holidays

All staff taking annual leave for the Easter public holidays on Friday 10 April and Monday 13 April should do so as planned.

Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector survey

Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS) is coordinating a directory of community support available in the city to help people and families affected by Covid-19.

If you volunteer for, or are aware of, a group or organisation that’s providing community support during the coronavirus outbreak, then GCVS is keen to hear from you. Please take five minutes to complete their short survey and for more information, visit glasgowhelps.org.

Coronavirus update – Friday 3 April

A message from our Chair:

Dear colleagues,

We have now reached the end of our second working week following the UK Government’s guidance to stay at home.

I’d like to say that life is settling into more of a routine, but nothing about the current situation is routine. We need to take each day as it comes and work together to get through the tough times that we know are ahead.

This week saw our Glasgow Life Goes On campaign go live, highlighting the variety of online services we’re offering to the people of Glasgow, and the early response has been fantastic.

Thousands of online eBooks, magazines and audiobooks have been downloaded, providing our citizens with enjoyable ways to spend their time while social distancing. At the same time, Glasgow Club has delivered more than 34,000 online fitness sessions to people choosing to exercise at home.

We anticipate that these numbers will continue to grow in the weeks to come as we expand our online offer and engage further with our users.

This work continues the important and meaningful services provided by Glasgow Life, which are much-loved by thousands of people across the city. I want to offer a huge thanks to all those who have worked hard to bring this successful campaign together.

With the weekend ahead, it’s important you now take some time to relax. Pack your laptop and work things away at the end of the day, or you might want to send an email to colleagues letting them know you’re signing off.

For those of you who will be working this weekend, whether on call or carrying out important checks on our facilities, thank you. Your effort and dedication is hugely appreciated.

While we can’t get out and about to enjoy it the way we might like to at the moment, I hope you can all ‘switch-off’ and have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Best regards,

Councillor David McDonald
Chair of Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 3 April

Work out from home with Glasgow Club this weekend:

With Glasgow Club venues closed across the city, we know many of you are missing the opportunity to attend classes or go to the gym. Or maybe you haven’t been a gym-goer before now and feel you could do with boosting your physical and mental wellbeing.

One of the few things which hasn’t changed in this upside down world is the recipe for feeling good. This weekend, why not try working out from home with Glasgow Club? Thousands of people are already part of our new virtual sporting community, and the feedback has been brilliant.

To get started, all you have to do is download the Glasgow Club app, or visit myglasgow.club/customer where you’ll find everything you need to get involved. There’s a fantastic range of free workouts to suit different fitness levels, with new additions coming all the time from our health and fitness team.

The app allows you to stream fitness classes and participate in easy-to-follow equipment-free routines. Our partners at Les Mills have provided us with 95 free workouts across eight categories.

There’s also general advice on maintaining a healthy body and mind. We know it's important to take care of our mind as well as our body, and social distancing can lead to us feeling bored, frustrated or lonely, so we’ve compiled a load of tips to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing. Yoga and pilates are both a great antidote to tension and stress during challenging times, and we’ve created sessions you can follow whenever you like.

And remember, unless advice changes, you can still go outdoors for a walk, run or cycle each day. We’ve got ideas on getting started with walking, running and cycling.

So whether you want to try something new this weekend, or return to a favourite class, download the Glasgow Club app or visit the website and jump in!

Coronavirus update – Friday 3 April

Home comforts: cultural fun in your own living room!

As we all follow the social distancing guidance, staying in is the new going out.

While settling in with your laptop might not match hitting the town on a Saturday night or tramping through the glens in your hiking boots, there’s still lots of fun to be had!

For anyone needing inspiration, here’s a brief guide to some great online cultural entertainment.

For kids

The National Youth Orchestra Scotland is offering daily musical activities for the family. Guiding you through songs with actions, these cleverly curated sessions will keep your little ones happy while exercising their vocals and their muscles.

Elsewhere, the Creative Review has compiled a great list of online children’s activities, from games to drawing and storytelling sessions.

If your family longs for a good day out, popular children’s entertainer, Mr Fibbers, has come up with the next best thing. No tickets are necessary for his free Facebook event, but you may like to pretend-book your places so everyone can look forward to the show on Sunday 12 April at 2pm.

Get musical

Scotland’s musicians have been doing their best to entertain the locked-down nation from their living rooms, and you may already have heard of the #CovidCeilidh phenomenon, which has made headlines worldwide. But did you know it was all started by Celtic Connections regular, Duncan Chisholm?

The fiddler and composer has inspired other traditional musicians, including Celtic Connections creative producer and Capercaillie star Donald Shaw, to self-record some brilliant performances which are free to access.

For classical music buffs, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s twitter stream is packed with clips of orchestra members staging impromptu performances in their kitchens and living rooms. Meanwhile, Live Music Now Scotland has commissioned a series of Covid-19 at-home concerts, including performances especially for older people in care homes and some for children.

If you’re a fan of the opera, Scottish Opera’s Twitter page is the place to be. There’s a great performance of Let’s Make Our Garden Grow from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, staged in the glass house of Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens.

And if you and your housemates are keen to create music but have no instruments, don’t miss the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s brilliant YouTube video demonstrating how to create a samba band from pots, pans and colanders. It’s a culinary gem.

If you prefer to try your hand (well, your vocals) at beat-boxing, celebrated Glasgow beat-boxer and Tramway performer Bigg Taj has created this helpful online tutorial especially for the isolation era.

For more information and inspiration, keep an eye on Glasgow Life’s social channels in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus update – Thursday 2 April

 

Important pay information:

This guidance sets out how we will handle pay queries in the coming months and we appreciate your patience during this challenging time. 

Glasgow Life will process pay as normal during Covid-19, with pay dates remaining as set, and pay in line with existing contractual arrangements.

Key principles

Core pay: Our priority will be to make sure all employees receive their core pay in line with contractual arrangements.

Overtime: If an employee has not yet received overtime payments, this will be rectified in their next pay. During this period there will be no BACS facility for overtime.

Actions for staff

  • Check your payslip if you’re able to, to confirm what you have been paid and to identify if there is any issue with your pay.
  • Paper payslips for non-My Portal users will be issued to your home address as normal.
  • Electronic payslips will be available on MyPortal in the usual way. We appreciate that some employees do not have access to systems to be able to check payslips. If that is the case please only raise pay queries where they are absolutely necessary as this unprecedented situation has put strain on our systems. You will be able to view backdated pay slips when you do get access again. It is not possible to issue paper payslips to MyPortal users.
  • If you do need to raise a query, you should speak to your line manager and provide them with your name, your payroll / employee number and details of your query.
  • Your manager will then raise your query and provide a response. If you want to query overtime payments, please note this will be rectified in your next pay.

Information for managers

  • Should you receive a pay query from a team member, please make sure they have followed the steps above as far as possible.
  • Email your Glasgow Life payroll contact at Management@glasgowlife.org.uk with PAYROLL QUERY in the subject box. Include the information requested above.
  • All queries should be sent from Glasgow Life email addresses only.
  • We will provide a response to you as quickly as possible. When you receive this, you should communicate this to your employee immediately.

Payroll processing dates

The payroll schedule dates for P1, P2, and P3 are outlined below for information.

SAP period

Period start

Period end

CBS cut off for overtime and mileage

Deadline for all other changes passed to CBS for input (i.e. change of hours, work schedules, leavers & recruitment)

Portal users deadline date (must be input & authorised)

Pay date

 

Sunday

Saturday

Monday

Friday

Friday

Tuesday

1

15/03/20

11/04/20

23/03/20

20/03/20

27/03/20

07/04/20

2

12/04/20

09/05/20

20/04/20

17/04/20

24/04/20

05/05/20

3

10/05/20

06/06/20

15/05/20

15/05/20

22/05/20

02/06/20

Pay award

A three-year pay deal was agreed with the Scottish Joint Council (SJC) and Glasgow Life’s Board agreed its implementation for all Glasgow Life employees. In April, staff will receive their final pay increase of 3%.

Bank staff – information for staff

Further to our message that Glasgow Life will pay an average pay to our bank employees whose average normal hours of work have been reduced by the impact of Covid-19, we can now confirm that the first average hours payment is due to be paid on 5 May 2020 and every four weeks thereafter, in line with the payroll schedule.

This payment is made on the basis that bank staff must remain available for work should they be required for Glasgow Life’s business critical activities, and it is essential they provide contact details to their manager.

Please contact your line manager if you have not received the bank staff update.

Bank staff – information for managers

HR colleagues are already working on individual cases that have been highlighted by managers. Managers who have any other questions, should contact their HR Business Partner in the first instance.

Coronavirus update – Wednesday 1 April

 

IT update:

Over the last week, CGI and Glasgow City Council’s Strategic Innovation Team (SIT) have been developing measures to support alternative working arrangements. Here is a quick update on some of the key issues being raised:

Password resets

CGI has confirmed password resets are now no longer required on laptops. This removes the need for users to connect to the network to update Windows passwords.

Security updates

Currently there is no technical requirement for users to return to a site to connect their device to receive the latest security updates. The risks around this are being assessed by the Information Security Board.

VPN requirements

The only way to connect to the Glasgow Life network and drives is by using a VPN token. SIT is currently working with Business Partners to collate a list of staff who urgently require this facility. If you or a member of your team requires a VPN token, please contact Michael Harvey (contact details at the end of this email).

WhatsApp

This app has been enabled on new corporate iPhones. If you require WhatsApp, please contact Michael Harvey. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to enable the app on older LG devices.

Web-based mail

Web-based mail is not currently available, however SIT and CGI are exploring the possibilities to enable this in the future. Updates will be provided in due course. 

Equipment requests

All equipment requests should go to Michael Harvey including: reallocation of an asset, unlocking of a device, or the request to have a device prioritised for a business critical user.

If you have any further questions on any of the above please contact Michael Harvey on michael.harvey@glasgowlife.org.uk or 07901 513124.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 31 March

 Looking after your mental health:

Many of us are feeling worried or stressed about how coronavirus could affect our lives, as well as our loved ones.

Spending more time at home and being isolated from friends, colleagues and family can be difficult for our mental health. Following the UK Government’s advice to stay home may also make it harder for you to do the activities which normally help keep you feeling mentally and physically well.

However, there are things you can do and techniques you can utilise to look after your mental wellbeing during this time.

Keep in touch

Scheduling phone or video calls with someone outwith your home at least once a day can be helpful: whether that’s a colleague, a friend, or a family member. It’ll allow you to keep in touch and also give you a chance to talk about how you’re feeling.

Get outside

Current UK Government advice is that you can go outside for exercise once a day, either on your own or with people from your household. Make the most of this, and try to go for a quick walk every day if you can. Fresh air and nature can make a huge difference to our perspective.

Meditate

If you’ve never tried meditation before, then now might be the perfect time for you to give it a go.

Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person: it’s about training in awareness and getting a healthier sense of perspective, which could be useful throughout this uncertain period.

There’s an array of meditation resources online, and some websites (such as Headspace) offer a free trial period which could allow you to find out if it works for you.

Get support

If you’re feeling anxious or concerned about the current situation, and feel like you might need a bit of additional support, then our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options, is available 24 hours a day. You can call them for free on 0800 247 1100.

During this period of uncertainty and as we all get used to alternative working arrangements, please make sure you prioritise your mental wellbeing. Any issues or worries you have can be raised with your line manager, and continue to check back here regularly for new information and updated FAQs.

Coronavirus update – Monday 30 March

Glasgow Life Goes On:

In the last week, the people of Glasgow have been getting used to a radical new way of living.

Like many other charities, the work which Glasgow Life carries out in every part of the city has changed too. We’ve had to close our venues in all but the most exceptional cases where people need urgent assistance and our staff have been adapting to alternative working arrangements.

The work we do brings extra meaning to the lives of people who live in or visit Glasgow. Our museums, libraries, sports facilities, events and community centres across the city recorded around 19 million visits last year. The programmes and activities we deliver help transform lives.

Throughout these uncertain times, we want to continue to support Glasgow’s citizens. Behind the scenes, teams across Glasgow Life have been working on a new campaign to ensure Glasgow Life Goes On; developing online versions of some of the activities and programmes that 75 percent of Glaswegians enjoy and rely on.

Already, the Glasgow Club app has been downloaded over 1,000 times since last Monday, and users have completed over 34,000 online fitness sessions. You can work out from home, for free, by visiting myglasgow.club/customer at any time. You can try a new class or complete one of your old favourites, all from the comfort of your own home.

Thousands of people are also making use of our extensive online library services to help cope with social distancing and nearly 500 new members have joined.

Almost 2,000 eBooks have been downloaded in the past week while more than 1,000 audiobooks are being listened to and some 2,400 free magazines have been accessed. Now we’re all staying at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to download and enjoy the books we’ve been planning to read for years.

And there is much more to come. Everyone will soon be able to access more of Glasgow libraries, museums, sport, arts and music activities and programmes for people to participate in and enjoy.

Thank you to all of you who have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to allow us to offer these vital online services to the people of Glasgow, and to those of you who continue to work hard to improve and expand the online activities already available.

You can read more about our Glasgow Life Goes On campaign here and please do share your pictures, stories and thoughts on social media using the hashtag #glasgowlifegoeson.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 27 March

End of the working week – time to relax and recharge:

Dear colleagues,

As we approach the end of the first working week following the UK Government’s updated guidance to stay at home, I hope you’ve all adjusted to your alternative working arrangements as well as possible.

It has been a week of new experiences as we’ve all figured out the best ways of continuing to keep in touch with our teams, and thank you for being open to trying out different ways of working as we adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in.

However, as the weekend approaches, it’s now time to relax and recharge. If you’ve set up your work station at a table or somewhere in a space you’d normally sit to unwind, then please make sure you pack it away tonight so it’s out of sight over the next few days. 

This might seem a small act, but it’ll signify a definite end to your working week: almost like leaving the office on a Friday evening!

Some of you will be taking on duties for the organisation this weekend, such as perimeter checks at our venues or being on call, and I’d like to thank you for doing so. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

Please be sure to stick to the UK Government’s guidance to stay home this weekend, although remember you can go out for exercise once a day. This will also go a long way in helping you ‘switch-off’ so, if you can, get outside for some fresh air each day.

If you have feelings of anxiety or unsettledness about the ongoing situation, our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options, has a pre-recorded session on how to keep calm and focus on improving wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. They are also carrying out shorter live sessions on a regular basis, and we’ll link you to these next week. 

Thanks again for your continued hard work. It’s been heartening to hear how you’re all supporting each other as we find our way through this uncertain time.

Wishing you a safe and relaxing weekend.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 27 March

19/20 financial Year End timetable – final reminder:

Dear colleagues,

With the 19/20 financial Year End fast approaching and Glasgow Life’s finance team working from home, please take note of the following information and imminent deadlines:

Invoices / payments

The finance team will not be available to accept invoice requests (to be paid or raised) in paper format. All requests should be submitted electronically to the following email address – accountsstaff@glasgowlife.org.uk. In line with audit procedures, authorisation of the requested payments should also be included in the body of your email.

Queries

Staff will not be available to answer telephone enquiries. Please direct any questions or queries to the accountsstaff@glasgowlife.org.uk mailbox. This is being monitored daily and a member of the team will respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible.

Petty cash / cash advances / cash collections

All petty cash and cash advance requests have been suspended at this time. Cash collections have also been suspended until further notice.

Pecos orders

Pecos orders must be receipted no later than Tuesday (31 March) at 2pm. Any orders receipted after this date/time will fall into 2020/21.

19/20 Accruals

Please note that Friday 10 April is the deadline for receipt by finance of all outstanding expenditure and income invoice accruals to be included in 2019/20. Any invoices received after this date will be processed in financial year 2020/21.

Please note we are only able to accrue expenditure which satisfies one of the three following criteria:

  1. PECOS purchase orders which have not been receipted but where we can evidence receipt of the goods/services;
  2. Invoices for goods and services which are dated up to and including 31 March 2020;
  3. Evidence that goods and services have been received (up to and including 31 March 2020) but not invoiced (non-PECOS purchase orders).

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to email the finance team.

Best regards,

Tracy Walker
Financial Controller
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 26 March

 

 Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

Over the last week, everything familiar and safe has been turned upside down by something outwith any of our collective experience. The scale and implications will define our generation.

I am certain though that some things remain constant, because they must.

The first constant is Glasgow Life’s concern for the health, welfare and wellbeing of all of its dedicated and talented staff and volunteers. Some staff are still able to work from home, and I would like to thank them for doing so. They are keeping essential business processes in place to ensure our obligations to our suppliers are met and payroll continues.

Meaningful work may not be possible for everyone. Many of you are not able to work at the moment because of the nature of what you do. The priority, for now and for the weeks to come, is your mental and physical health and wellbeing. Please use this time to take care of yourself and those around you.

You are still employed by Glasgow Life, so keep in touch with your line manager and let them know if you need support or are ill. We all need to follow the instructions we have been given by the Scottish Government.

The second constant is the people of Glasgow. The city is going to be hit hard. We are all going to be called upon to exercise strength where we have it and compassion and pragmatism when it’s needed. It’s not yet clear how we’re going to do this, but planning is well underway.

The third constant is the basic decency and concern for others that I’ve seen across this organisation over the last decade. That means continuing to look out for each other. Continuing to check we are all well. It means thinking about the consequences of our actions. It means following the Government’s instructions. Most of all it means getting by as best we can, hour by hour and day by day.

I, like you, am doing what I can in the midst of one of the biggest challenges our country will ever face. When this ends, our collective recovery will begin. When people can meet and be part of a crowd and enjoy playing sport, appreciating art or enjoying music and when we are once again ready to welcome visitors to Glasgow and to demonstrate our reputation as the world’s friendliest city.

It may not be with us soon, but we can all look forward to that day.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 26 March

 People Strategy and Resources Team update:

Dear colleagues,

Glasgow Life’s People Strategy and Resources Team is now working from home in line with the Scottish Government’s guidance around Covid-19. The team will be checking emails during normal working hours and will respond as quickly as possible. If you have an HR enquiry, please contact one of the following members of the team:

Employee Relations (ER) team

Shirley Macpherson (Communities and Libraries)

0141 353 9946 / 07760 551 232 

shirley.macpherson@glasgowlife.org.uk

Lyndsay Kennedy (Sports Ops)

0141 353 9945 / 07721 237 045

lyndsay.kennedy@glasgowlife.org.uk

Catherine Keltie (Sport Dev, Museums, Corporate, Arts and Music)

0141 276 4331 / 07741 102 618

catherine.keltie@glasgowlife.org.uk

In addition, you can contact the ER Team using this email address: ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk

 

HR Business Partners

Jenny Jenkins (Communities and Libraries)

07584 535 761

jenny.jenkins@glasgowlife.org.uk

Suzie Elliott (Sport)

07880 339 508

suzie.elliott@glasgowlife.org.uk

Leanne Brown (Corporate, Retail and Events)

07584 175 733

leanne.brown@glasgowlife.org.uk

Kerry Gomez (Museums, Art and Music)

07827 873 723

kerry.gomez@glasgowlife.org.uk

 

Resourcing and Equalities

Louise Markwick

louise.markwick@glasgowlife.org.uk

Frances Watson

frances.watson@glasgowlife.org.uk

 

Position Management

Liz Knox (Information Officer)

elizabeth.knox@glasgowlife.org.uk

Marie Anderson (HR Information Officer)

marie.anderson@glasgowlife.org.uk

In addition, you can contact the Position Management Team using this email address: GLPosition.Management@glasgowlife.org.uk

Thank you very much for your patience during these exceptional circumstances and we hope you are keeping safe and well.

Kind regards,

The People Strategy and Resources Team

Coronavirus Update – Wednesday 25 March

Alternative working arrangements hints and tips:

Most Glasgow Life employees now have alternative working arrangements, and not working in an office can be a big adjustment for some of us. 

In order to help you with this transition, we’re sharing some simple and useful tips which could be useful to help you with your temporary working arrangements. 

TOP TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME

1: Keep your morning routine

Stick to your established morning routine if you can: wake up, get ready, washed, and dressed as if you are going to the office. This will help you get into the mind-set that you are at work.

2: Have a designated workspace

Try to set aside a work area separate from your sleeping area, as this will help you get into work mode, as well as making it easier to switch off at the end of the day. You don’t need a home office to do this, a small desk set up in a corner of the room, or a laptop at the end of the kitchen table can do the trick. Try to avoid sitting on the sofa as it won’t be comfortable to be hunched over a keyboard for long periods of time.

3: Set your work times

Before you begin work each day, set your working times and stick to them. This should include your lunch break and other short breaks away from your workspace. For those of you with children or young people at home, we understand that having set work times can be a challenge, and that’s why we’re providing regular updates on school closures and the plans we have in place.

4: Get moving

Make sure you schedule in time for some physical activity, whether this is indoors or outdoors. If you can, take a walk each day for some fresh air. This might be getting active in your garden, or doing one of our Glasgow Club at home fitness classes. Getting away from work for a brief period of time will exercise your mind just as much as your body.

5: Keep in touch

While you might not see your colleagues every day, it’s important to keep talking. A quick, ‘How are you?’ email to your team in the morning can be all it takes to brighten your day or someone else’s. Staying connected will help us all through the coming weeks and months.

6: If you need it, get support

If you’re feeling anxious or isolated, remember that support is out there. You can always speak to your line manager about any issues you’re having, and remember you also have access to our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options. You can call them any day, any time, for free on 0800 247 1100.

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 24 March

Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

Following the message I shared with you late last night outlining the process we are undertaking from today to fully lock-down Glasgow Life’s venue estate, please find below for information an email from Glasgow City Council’s Chief Executive, Annemarie O’Donnell, which has been distributed to all GCC staff this morning.

I will continue to keep in touch with you in the coming days and throughout this period of lock-down while temporary operational arrangements are in place across Glasgow Life. In the meantime, please continue to check back here for our latest updates.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Message from Annemarie O’Donnell to all Glasgow City Council staff – Tuesday 24 March 2020

You will by now all be aware of last night’s announcement by the Prime Minister and the First Minister. You can read more detail about those announcements here

In essence we should now only leave our homes to buy food, to exercise, to support vulnerable people or for essential work.

I have said this to you many times before, but it bears repeating: Glasgow City Council provides essential support to each and every citizen.

There is not one single person living in this city who does not rely on us. It is absolutely crucial that we keep collecting people’s bins to protect people’s health, that we keep supporting vulnerable people, that we keep looking after vulnerable children and the children of other key workers, that we keep our roads open so that the emergency services can move about freely, that we keep providing financial support to people who need it.

This is not an exhaustive list, but every citizen uses at least one of these services.

And many of us do not directly deliver those services, however we are still essential to support the delivery of those services. For example, our schools and depots need to be cleaned and our staff need to be paid. There are a number of tasks we carry out which may not look like front line delivery, and which cannot be delivered from home, but without which we could not deliver essential services.

Over the coming days we need to play our part by reducing as far as possible the number of people we have traveling to work, but we need to keep delivering for the city.

There are some things I want you to do today:

Speak to your manager

There are some tasks which are obviously essential and obviously can’t be carried out from home, and similarly there are some tasks which obviously can be carried out from home. For those people the decision whether to work in or out of the home is a simple one.

However for everyone else, there will need to be local decisions based on whether your job contributes to our essential services. That decision must be taken by your manager in discussion with the senior leadership of your service or ALEO, rather than by you.

If after discussion to your manager it is clear you are not currently contributing to the delivery of those essential services then you should go home whether you have work to do at home or not.

Make sure your manager has a way of contacting you

Decisions on which tasks and staff are essential will be taken on a day to day basis. If you are deemed to be essential today, that may not be the case for the whole time we are dealing with this. Very importantly, if you are not deemed essential today that may also change.

I need to be very clear about this so that there is no misunderstanding: even if you are not essential for the delivery of services today you may become so at some point in the future.

It is vitally important that your manager is able to get in touch with you if we need you to come back into work at some point in the coming days or weeks.

If you are a manager then you should be considering to what extent your part of the business contributes to those essential services and ensuring that you have up to date contact lists.

I know that you will have hoped for greater clarity on who should and should not come to work. However our business is really complex and many of these decisions will need to be taken locally and on a day to day basis.

This is an extremely trying period for everyone and I know it is making many of you anxious. We have a long way to go, and there will be many more challenges before the end.

But this is the greatest challenge our country has faced in decades and we should all be very proud, as I am, of the role we will play in overcoming it.

Regards,

Annemarie O'Donnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow City Council

Coronavirus update – Monday 23 March

Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

Following the announcements this evening by Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon, I can confirm that Glasgow Life will now move to a full lock-down.

These arrangements will take a little time to process, as they require our facilities management team to put in place all necessary measures across Glasgow Life's significant estate of 171 venues.  

Instructions for tomorrow, Tuesday 24 March

Museums staff – please do not come into work tomorrow. Your line manager will contact you if you are required to support the lock-down in the coming days.

Arts and Music staff – please do not come into work tomorrow. Your line manager will contact you if you are required to support the lock-down in the coming days. 

Sports staff – Emirates will remain open to a skeleton staff processing payroll. Crown Point will remain open to support the essential community support services provided by PEEK.

Libraries staff – we understand the importance of the Universal Credit service to our community. While the majority of the service remains closed tomorrow (other than for a limited number of existing appointments at Anniesland), we will look to review how we support the community moving forward as this had been identified as a crucial service. The Mitchell will open at 10am to allow tenants CAB and MCR Pathways to vacate the building and for arranged building checks to take place as agreed.

Community centre staff – eight of our centres have been providing much-needed services to local families, and we cannot close at such short notice. These eight centres will open tomorrow pending review.

 I will continue to keep in touch with you during this period of lock-down. Please share this message with your colleagues and continue to check back here regularly.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Monday 23 March

Accessing GOLD and other online learning resources:

There are some great online resources available to keep everyone learning over the coming weeks. Whether you’re at home or work, on a Glasgow Life device or your own personal tablet or smart phone – learning is accessible from most devices.

GOLD (Glasgow Online Learning & Development)

This guide provides step-by-step guidance on accessing and navigating the GOLD portal from home and there are some e-learning GOLD modules that should be prioritised; some of which are Glasgow Life specific.

These can be found by clicking on the yellow box that says ‘Your ALEO or Service’ and then clicking on ‘Glasgow Life’. Mandatory courses for everyone are:

  • Health and Safety Essentials
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations (Glasgow Life)
  • Child Protection (Glasgow Life)
  • Asbestos Awareness (Glasgow Life)
  • Legionella Awareness (Glasgow Life)
  • Information Security 2019

 And under Health, Safety and Wellbeing, you’ll find:

  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Mentally Healthy Workplace

 If you want to prep for the arrival of Office 365 over the coming months, you can also click into ‘Computer Skills’ and then onto ‘Office 365 – Quick Starts’ and work your way through those that you use most often in your role.

FutureLearn.com

You can enjoy free online courses and try high-quality online education from top universities and specialist organisations. Just visit www.FutureLearn.com and view the up and coming programme.

Alison.com

(Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online) is an e-learning provider aimed at enabling people to gain education and workplace skills. It’s a free resource where you can sign up as an individual learner. You can take part in over a thousand professional e-learning programmes, including diplomas. Subjects covered include accounting; business and legal; customer service; legal studies; project management; operations management; quality management; social media… and lots more. Check out their website at www.alison.com for more information.

The Skills Network

Glasgow City Council has partnered with the Skills Network to offer staff a range of Level 2 fully funded qualifications on a distance learning basis. To find out more, visit theskillsnetwork.com or call 01757 600705 or email Scotland.Sales@theskillsnetwork.com.

Where you are completing learning in work time, please remember to always agree and prioritise your learning with your manager.

Coronavirus update – Friday 20 March

Updated information for staff regarding school closures:

Dear colleague,

As you will be aware, the Scottish Government will close schools and nurseries from the end of today (Friday 20 March). As such, Glasgow Life is putting in place the following support arrangements:

  • Interim special leave of five days for all employees to help with childcare planning

These are initial contingency plans and longer term arrangements are being developed and will be communicated next week to support families.

Special leave from Monday 23 March

From Monday, if you require to take leave because of childcare commitments and because you cannot make alternative arrangements or work from home, then you can use this new special leave of up to five days on full pay.

If you are taking special leave then you need to contact your manger as soon as you know that you can’t make childcare plans. You should also keep in touch with your manager next week so that we can update you on longer-term arrangements.

Best regards,

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Friday 20 March

Message from our Chair:

Dear Glasgow Life colleagues,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your dedication and hard work during these uncertain times caused by the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Glasgow Life provides vital culture and leisure services to thousands of people every day and the closure of all our venues was not a decision that was made lightly. The focus and commitment shown by all of you as we worked to close our venues, and your ongoing efforts to minimise the impact these closures will have on citizens has not gone unnoticed: please know it is very much appreciated by both me and the wider Glasgow family.

As we receive ongoing and updated guidance from the Scottish Government, I hope we can all continue to work together to ensure we’re ready to reopen our doors as soon as it’s safe to do so, and welcome the people of Glasgow back into our venues across the city.

In the meantime, please remember to look out for your friends, families, and colleagues. In this uncertain time, it’s important to keep in touch and check in with those who might feel the effects of social distancing and isolation more than others.

Our thoughts continue to be with the families and loved ones of those directly affected by COVID-19. Glaswegians are renowned for our friendly and caring attitude and now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other and do what we can to support everyone through this crisis.

Once again, thank you for your continued commitment in the weeks ahead.

Best regards,

Councillor David McDonald
Chair of Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 19 March

Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleague,

As you will be aware, we received notification from the Scottish Government late afternoon on Wednesday 18 March of their plan to close schools and nurseries from tomorrow (Friday 20 March).

This is short notice due to the speed of unfolding events and we are seeking clarification on the plans to support families.

In the meantime, if you require to take leave you should either use annual leave or use Glasgow Life’s one-day of paid Time Off for Dependents Leave to cover Monday 23 March (or your next scheduled working day after this date). Line managers should record this leave using the normal process.

We hope to have further guidance tomorrow on support which will be made available to parents and carers of children at school or nursery, and we will share this with staff as soon as we can.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Thursday 19 March

Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleague,

Following the difficult decision earlier this week to close all Glasgow Life buildings to the public, it is now even more important that we ensure both our staff and customers have access to vital information about our services and receive regular updates on the business.

Managers will be in touch with their teams on a regular basis to pass on relevant updates and share essential information such as:

  • How to stay safe and steps you can take to prevent the spread of the virus
  • What to do if you become unwell
  • Any temporary alternative working arrangements for you or your colleagues

A regular update will be issued with information on temporary operational arrangements and any other important guidance you need. Please continue to check this page. If you still have questions please speak to your line manager.

Keeping in touch
I understand that face-to-face briefings may no longer be a viable option as alternative working arrangements are put in place, so please ensure your line manager has your contact details so you can keep in touch.

If you manage a team, please take a moment to check you have everyone’s contact details. No member of staff should feel socially disconnected, so please take time to check in with your manager and colleagues to make sure you’re feeling healthy – both mentally and physically.

Outwith the business and guidance updates, I’d like to reinforce the importance of maintaining contact in general. These are uncertain and troubling times, and nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of our family, friends, and colleagues.

Communicating with customers
Even though our venues are closed to the public, it is vital that we continue to communicate with our customers during this unsettling time. Many of Glasgow Life’s services are lifelines for people in the city.

Ongoing services
We have a range of free online services including an online library, which gives access to a huge range of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and eMusic – as well as a range of eResources.

We will also keep a number of venues open for business-critical operations, such as Universal Credit applications, thanks to the dedication of our teams.

Thank you to everyone across Glasgow Life for your continued commitment and hard work in this quickly developing situation.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Coronavirus update – Tuesday 17 March

Message from the Chief Executive:

Dear colleague, 

In line with the government’s advice on reducing social contact, Glasgow Life has taken the difficult decision to suspend all services from this evening. This will mean every Glasgow Life venue across the city will shut to the public from close of play on Tuesday 17 March. We expect the suspension to continue until the end of April.

All Glasgow Sport activities will be suspended, including indoor and outdoor activities as well as the outreach programme. Museums, concert halls and libraries will close. Community facilities will close to the public and we will contact tenants to discuss access. We will prioritise how we continue to deliver our targeted essential services.

If you are due at work tomorrow, Wednesday 18 March, please report as planned. Your manager will work closely with you over the coming days to provide clarification on work you will be required to deliver during these difficult times.

Our priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and we will continue to follow government advice.

Thank you for your continued support during what we know are very challenging times. We have prioritised public messaging at this time to alert our users. We will issue further updates as we have them.

Bridget

Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life