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Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Latest Information

Coronavirus - Latest Information

Reopening our venues and preparing for your return to work

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 during Covid-19. While some of the changes may differ according to where you work, the general principles apply in all our venues. To view a list of which venues we have prioritised for reopening, visit the Covid-19 latest information page of our website. 

All staff returning to their workplace 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 to arrange a suitable date and time for a phone call to discuss your return. These documents may be helpful to read through in advance of this:

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.

Returning to the workplace – occupational risk assessments

Returning to the workplace after lockdown can seem daunting and it’s understandable to feel anxious or have questions about what your new working environment will look like.

Glasgow Life is committed to supporting all employees with their return to work and making sure everyone has a chance to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. 

Occupational risk assessments for staff

Before any of our venues or offices reopen, we are carrying out workplace risk assessments with our Trade Union and Health and Safety reps. This is to make sure that appropriate safety and hygiene measures are in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission for all staff and customers.

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

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

These results can then be used for the manager and employee to discuss any concerns and identify any adjustments that can be made to help staff return to work safely. The risk assessment is available on the Scottish Government’s website.

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

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

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

Interim Homeworking Guidance and Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment

To support public health and reduce the spread of Covid-19, Glasgow Life is continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s guidance on homeworking. The government’s current position is for employers to maximise homeworking where feasible.

As we continue to reopen venues and restart services, we expect that working from home, for those staff who can do so, will remain our default position. We have created Interim Homeworking Guidance, which sets out our approach to continued homeworking as well as responsibilities for everyone.

This should be read in conjunction with Glasgow Life’s Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment, which must be completed by all members of staff who are working from home, with support from their line manager.

Managers should keep a copy of each assessment on file and staff members should also retain a copy. Please familiarise yourself with these documents and discuss any queries you have with your line manager in the first instance.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and health and wellbeing support

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

Internal and External Vacancies

Staff update – Thursday 25 February

2020/2021 financial year-end timetable:

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

Intercompany billing (GCC/ALEOs)

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

External billing (non GCC/ALEOs)

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

Payroll/staff expenses

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

Pecos orders

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

PCards

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

2020/21 Accruals

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

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

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

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

Credit cards

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

Petty cash/cash expenditure

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

Cash on site

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

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

Tracy Walker
Financial Controller
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Thursday 25 February

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

Dear colleagues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

What is People Make Glasgow Communities?

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

Why is People Make Glasgow Communities needed?

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

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

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

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

  • Community hubs
  • Community partnerships
  • Community asset transfers

What does this mean for Glasgow Life staff?

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Wednesday 24 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Wednesday 24 February

Scottish Government introduces updated Strategic Framework:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 19 February

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

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

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

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

Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries adds more call appointments to meet demand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Friday 19 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use of Glasgow Life venues as mass vaccination centres

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

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

Staff update – Wednesday 17 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 12 February

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

Amber Campbell – Coach Core graduate

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

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

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

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

Glasgow’s ‘Tales from the Wardrobe’

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

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

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

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

How will you support Random Acts of Kindness Week?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Friday 12 February

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

Dear colleagues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Staff update – Thursday 11 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Monday 8 February

Learning and Development update – latest webinar schedule:

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

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

NEW: Working through change

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

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

NEW: Leading change

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

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

The virtual leader

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

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

Rediscovering our resilience

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

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

Design and deliver great online events

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

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

Visualising to engage

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

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

Online safeguarding guidelines

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

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

Running online meetings with impact

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

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

Corporate induction

  • Available to be delivered via WebEx on request.  

Support with WebEx

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

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 5 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plan today so you can have your say in May

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

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

Staff update – Friday 5 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Thursday 4 February

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

Dear colleagues,

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

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

Strategic planning ‘sprint’

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive

Staff update – Wednesday 3 February

World Cancer Day 2021:

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

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

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

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

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

Staff update – Wednesday 3 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 29 January

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could you make Time to Talk about mental health?

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

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

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

Glasgow Libraries launches new Digital Support helpline

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna said: “This is our sixth year working on events with schools to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and of course this time everything has had to take place remotely using Microsoft Teams, which has been a steep but rewarding learning curve. The team have been brilliant in creating and delivering engaging activities and it’s been wonderful to work with our young people both here and in Germany.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is also a key element in the delivery of Glasgow Museums’ Erasmus+ project, ‘Learning from Art and History: Contemporary Conversations in Education’, which is funded by the European Union and is focused on developing innovative ways of driving collaboration between museum educators and teachers. Glasgow Museums is recognised as a leading example of partnership working.”

CLEAR Value of the Month for February: Achievement

During these trying times it’s never been more important to try and find a positive work-life balance and to recognise and reflect on your own achievements amidst the ongoing challenges. Finding the right balance for you can be easier when you have someone to talk to, which is why professional, independent help and support is available to all Glasgow Life staff whenever you might need it through our Workplace Options Employee Assistance Programme.

You can contact them at any time of the day or night, by phone, email or online to discuss any work or personal issues you might have, all in complete confidence. And to help support those closest to you, your family and partners can also access this service, which is entirely free and confidential. Managers, please share this poster with your teams.

Staff update – Thursday 28 January

Planning your annual leave for 2021:

As part of our duty of care, and our health and safety commitment to you, we would like to remind you of our ongoing approach to annual leave during Covid-19. The pandemic has lasted a lot longer than anyone could have anticipated. As such, it’s never been more important for your own wellbeing that you continue to use your annual leave during these challenging times.

While Covid has impacted on all of our holiday plans, you should still make full use of your annual leave entitlement for this year and schedule some quality downtime away from work. We all need time to have a complete break and to recharge. And when restrictions are eased sufficiently and we can begin to reopen our venues and restart our services, we will only be able to do so if we have a healthy and effective workforce.   

We’re therefore encouraging you to start thinking about and planning your leave proportionately across the year. This applies to everyone, whether you’re working within our venues or offices, from home or not able to undertake work at this time. Furloughed staff can take annual leave without disrupting their period of furlough. If you’re on sick leave or maternity leave then normal arrangements apply.

We are committed to ensuring that you have every possible opportunity to use your full annual leave entitlement over the coming 12 months. Your line manager will contact you to agree your proportionate annual leave between now and April and make all reasonable efforts to match your preferences with availability, but as ever this will be balanced with the needs of your team or service.

Key principles

The following key principles outline our continued approach to annual leave provision in light of Covid-19:

  • Your leave requests will be considered and approved by your line manager as normal. This is important to make sure that you are not working for protracted periods without a break.
  • We are all responsible for managing our annual leave entitlement and this should be scheduled proportionately throughout the year.
  • We expect that you will continue to take annual leave. Unless your line manager explicitly asks you to restrict your leave due to the requirements of your service, you should not need to carry forward any annual leave into 2022.
  • As always, we will take a balanced and fair approach. Please be mindful that when the normal delivery of our services resume, we will consider your requests and circumstances in line with our operational requirements and the needs of your team/service.

This means that everyone should be able to plan a break and managers can plan service delivery to avoid any difficulties with excessive leave requests later this year. However, given the fluid circumstances we find ourselves in, in continuing to respond to the pandemic, we will keep these arrangements under regular review.

Paid time off for your Covid-19 vaccination

As the national Covid-19 vaccination programme rolls out across the country, we would encourage you to attend for your vaccine appointment when you are asked to do so by NHS Scotland and where this occurs during working hours you will be permitted paid time off work to attend. Line managers are aware that every effort should be made to support you in receiving your vaccination as we continue our collective fight against the virus.  

Buying additional annual leave this year

Should you wish to purchase additional annual leave this year, please refer to the guidance and discuss this with your line manager in the first instance.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 22 January

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

MBE for disability sports coach Alec Watt

Alec Watt, one of our disability sports coaches at Glasgow Club Donald Dewar and founder of the Glasgow Eagles Sports Club, has been recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for his dedication to supporting young people with additional needs and disabilities.  

Alec has been involved in disability sport for over 35 years and established the Eagles in the early 1980s. His drive and enthusiasm for providing sporting and physical activity opportunities to people with disabilities holds no bounds and throughout his career he has had a positive influence on the lives of several young athletes who have gone on to represent Scotland and Great Britain at the Special Olympics.

Alec joined Glasgow Life in 2006 following an earlier spell in social work. Over the past 15 years he has been involved in weekly coaching activities for primary and secondary school pupils across Glasgow as well as major city events including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Glasgow Mela. In 2019 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Glasgow Sports Person of the Year ceremony. Congratulations Alec, your award is thoroughly deserved and we’re all delighted to see your hard work recognised.

Woodside Library consultation gets underway ahead of £1.9 million refurbishment project

Woodside Library has been awarded a significant £1.9m investment boost thanks to Glasgow City Council’s Community Asset Fund. The money will be used to refurbish the venue, including replacing the original dome and renewing the heating system, however we’re also inviting local residents and people who love Woodside Library to have their say on how we can create a library that will best meet a wide range of community needs for years to come.

Given the current restrictions in place due to Covid-19, we have developed an online survey as the safest method of consultation. The survey will be open from now until Friday 12 February. If you live in the Woodside area we would welcome your views and your help in sharing the survey as widely as possible. You can watch a short video with more information about our aims for the refurbishment project here.

Could you be a COP26 volunteer – apply now

Applications have opened for the volunteer programme for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Taking place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) from 1-12 November, the international summit is expected to bring together the largest gathering of heads of state ever hosted in the UK, alongside climate experts and campaigners, to agree coordinated action to tackle the climate emergency.

Glasgow City Council is looking for a team of around 1,000 volunteers to support the staging of this globally significant event and provide a warm Glasgow welcome to all visitors. A variety of volunteer roles will be available, including providing information on the conference and the venues, supporting delegates staying in and travelling around the city and promoting the best of what Glasgow and Scotland has to offer. Anyone interested in volunteering at COP26 can submit an application at www.ukcop26.org/volunteer until Wednesday 31 March.

Update on planned works at Scotland Street School Museum

Last year, Education Services colleagues at Glasgow City Council identified an opportunity to create additional nursery provision for the local community at Scotland Street School Museum. Proposed work will allow part of the building to be reinstated for its original purpose of delivering education, alongside a continued museum offer.

Funding has been secured to carry out essential building repairs, which will safeguard the long-term future of this historic Charles Rennie Mackintosh building. As a start, scaffolding will soon be erected around the outside of the building to allow City Building to undertake further survey work. These enhancements will ensure the local community, citizens and visitors to the city can use the school to its full potential over the coming years. We will continue to update you as plans progress to give local children the opportunity to play and learn again in Glasgow’s most famous school whilst also exploring opportunities to provide the public with a fuller understanding of this architectural masterpiece.

New TV and film studio to be created at Kelvin Hall

A major new TV and film studio is to be built within the Kelvin Hall. The near £12m production facility, which will benefit from up to £7.9m of support from the Scottish Government through Screen Scotland, is expected to give a huge boost to the city’s dynamic screen and creative sectors.

It’s anticipated that the first part of the new hub will be ready to open later this year, with discussions already well advanced with potential tenants. Film and TV production is currently estimated to be worth up to £500m to Scotland each year, with around 60% of that in Glasgow.

The new studio will build on the city’s success of landing one of two new commissioning hubs created by Channel 4 and it’s thought that the project can also provide a boost to Glasgow’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. You can read Glasgow City Council’s full announcement here.

Family Finances Team helped to deliver some festive cheer to families in need in December

Our Family Finances team provides free support to help families improve their financial resilience and wellbeing. They offer one-to-one advice to parents and carers to assist them with accessing better paid employment, free training and education, and gaining control of their household finances.

Given the current Covid-19 restrictions, the team are mainly working from home at the moment providing telephone support, but last month they were out and about in Glasgow’s communities delivering some much-needed (and socially distanced!) festive cheer.

Having partnered with One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), the Glasgow Basket Brigade and Glasgow’s No. 1 Baby and Family Support Service, who each provided generous donations, team members Paul Gillan, Nuala Dickson and Gillian Fannan donned their masks and Santa hats to deliver Christmas gift baskets to the families they are working with.

For more information about the work of our Family Finances team, please email Project Manager, Marlene Bryceland, who is supported by Project Officers Julie Maguire and Justin Hanley.

Staff update – Wednesday 20 January

Three Glasgow Life venues to be used as mass vaccination centres from February:

As part of the national effort to protect communities and administer Covid-19 vaccines, Glasgow Life is working with Glasgow City Council, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government to convert three of our venues into mass vaccination centres.

Glasgow Clubs Castlemilk and Donald Dewar, in Drumchapel, as well as Barmulloch Community Centre will be used to supplement the vaccination programme which is already underway at the city’s NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital on the SEC campus.

The new centres, which are due to open in early February, will have capacity to vaccinate up to 1000 people per day. They are among 80 new facilities being set up around the country by the British Army for NHS Scotland.

City Building staff are now working alongside the army to prepare our venues for their new roles and you may see coverage of this in the media soon.

A number of Glasgow Life staff will be required to work to support the use of our buildings as part of the vaccination programme and we are engaging with Glasgow City Council and our trade unions about the roles and responsibilities our staff will undertake. Staff that will be needed will be informed in the coming days. We know that you will have questions and a detailed briefing will be shared with line managers next week.

Visiting Glasgow Club Donald Dewar today, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: “It is absolutely vital that we get this vaccine rolled out across the population as soon as possible, starting with the most vulnerable and Glasgow City Council is glad that we have been able to assist.

“This is the biggest vaccination programme ever undertaken in Scotland and the logistical and organisational expertise of the military combined with the availability and accessibility of council-owned venues will accelerate the roll-out of the vaccine by NHS staff.

“Right now, City Building staff are working alongside the army to put in place the necessary infrastructure, so that we can hand over our facilities to the NHS and vaccinations can begin as soon as possible. NHS Scotland is aiming to have over half a million people in Scotland vaccinated by the beginning of next month. Glasgow City Council stands ready to assist in whatever way we can.”

Staff update – Wednesday 20 January

Scottish Government extends stay at home order and existing restrictions until mid-February:

As you will be aware, the Scottish Government has extended its stay at home order and current enhanced restrictions until at least the middle of February. This means that the majority of Glasgow Life’s venues and services must stay closed until then.

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

Beyond this, the timescale for reopening any of our venues is entirely dependent on future guidance from the Scottish Government. The Government will review the situation again on Tuesday 2 February and we will share a further update on what this means for Glasgow Life then.

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

Support and advice for parents and carers

Schools and nurseries must also remain closed until the middle of next month after the First Minister said that community transmission of the virus is still too high.

While the Government hopes to be able to set out a firmer timetable for getting children back into school at its next review on 2 February, this remains a difficult and exhausting time for parents and carers who are having to balance work, home-schooling and family needs.   

To support parents and carers just now, a range of practical tips and advice is available from Parent Club Scotland through their Winter Startback Hub.

Glasgow City Council has also written to all parents and carers of children who are eligible for free school meals to let them know that during this period the council will make a payment of £25 for each eligible child every fortnight.

The first payment will be made into parents/carers’ nominated bank accounts this Friday (22 January) to cover the weeks beginning 11 and 18 January, and then every two weeks thereafter until the Government announces the reopening of schools. You can find out more information about this here.  

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

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

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

Staff update – Tuesday 19 January

Current vacancies:

During Covid-19, it’s important that Glasgow Life staff are aware of and know where to find information about vacancies available within the organisation.

All vacancies, both internal and external, are advertised on MyJobScotland. This is to ensure that all staff can access them at any time and from any device, whether at work or at home. You will need to create a MyJobScotland account to be able to apply for any opportunities.

All staff can view Glasgow Life vacancies on MyJobScotland by clicking on the ‘internal and external vacancies’ tab on the right hand side of this page.

From here, click on the first link marked ‘view and apply for internal vacancies’, which will take you to a list of Glasgow Life and wider Council Family vacancies on My Job Scotland for internal fulfillment. Do not filter your search as this will remove internal vacancies from the search results.

You should bookmark this link http://bit.ly/glinternalvacancies on your work and/or personal device and please note that this is specifically for Glasgow Life staff. It should not be shared more widely as not all Glasgow Life vacancies shown here will be available externally.

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

Glasgow Life is currently recruiting for the following positions:

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

Staff update – Friday 15 January

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

Thinking back to last summer when infection rates were at their lowest, I’m sure, like me, many of you had dared to hope that by 2021 our fight against coronavirus would be well on its way to being won.

None of us could have imagined then that, after more than 40 weeks, we would begin the New Year in a tougher position than when the first lockdown began. However, as we have heard from the First Minister this week, we must accept that Covid-19 and the stringent measures necessary to suppress it will be with us for some time yet.

While there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel with the promise of vaccinations being rolled out more quickly in the weeks and months to come, that doesn’t make the immediate challenges we are facing any less difficult. And while I remain positive we will soon be able to start thinking about and planning for life after Covid, the day-to-day struggles that we’re each dealing with can be both demanding and draining.

Nothing about living life in lockdown is easy and we should all take the time to remember that our experiences of this pandemic will inevitably differ. It’s really tough for people just now for lots of reasons and while some may have found ways of coping or adjusting to it better, others may be struggling with isolation and loneliness as well as through not being able to see the family and friends they rely on for support.

For many of you, the Government’s latest restrictions have reintroduced the dual challenge of working from home and home-schooling. I know just how trying this is and I empathise fully with everyone who is having to balance family needs with work; a situation made all the more difficult, as we saw earlier this week, when technology fails.

At the same time, many of you are having to deal with the ongoing uncertainty of being placed on furlough or not being able to work, while others are being called on to work tirelessly to manage business-critical activities. I want to use this opportunity to recognise the contribution all of you make to Glasgow Life in delivering our mission to improve the lives of Glasgow’s citizens and visitors.

January can be a tough month at the best of times, but the Government’s stay at home order coupled with the dark nights and cold weather are making it much harder, which is why your health and wellbeing – physically, emotionally and mentally – is the most important thing right now.

Wellbeing tips during Covid-19

It’s become very easy during the pandemic, particularly when working from home, to work longer hours and to take fewer breaks. With that in mind, it’s important that we all strive to be a little kinder to ourselves and continue to look out for one another:

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve, especially if you have other caring and family responsibilities.
  • Create a routine and try to stick to it; don’t allow longer hours to become the norm. Remember to take regular breaks. It’s hard to develop new ideas or solutions when you’ve been working flat out or looking at the same thing all day. Taking a break can give you a fresh perspective and boost your creativity. Even if you’re not working just now, it’s still important to have a routine to give your day shape and rhythm.
  • Take at least a 30-minute lunch break and make time for healthy habits; block this time in your diary and use it to make a healthy meal, to get outside for a walk or to exercise, or just use it to switch-off.
  • When organising hour-long meetings, consider keeping your meeting to 45 minutes and use the other time for catching up with colleagues or making a cup of tea/coffee.    
  • Put a reminder in your diary for when you plan to finish work for the day. If working from home, pretend you need to catch your train or bus and finish on time.
  • Technology is incredibly helpful in keeping us connected, but it can also be frustrating. Try and be patient.
  • Use your annual leave. Whether you’re at work just now or not, it’s important that you continue to take leave and have a complete break. We all need time to recharge.
  • Remember to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues, and check in regularly with those who might feel the effects of these current restrictions more than others.

The pandemic has lasted a lot longer than anyone ever anticipated and it’s absolutely okay to feel fed up, anxious or just not like your usual self right now. As your employer, Glasgow Life has a duty of care to you so if you feel that you might need some support during this period, or if you have any questions or concerns, please let your line manager know. The Scottish Government’s Clear Your Head website is also a great resource for helpful advice.

Over the coming weeks, managers will continue to keep in touch with their teams to pass on relevant updates and share essential information, and all corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal.

As we head into the weekend, I want to thank you all for your incredible efforts and your collective resilience, which has kept our organisation running. The commitment you have shown has always been characteristic of what it means to be a part of Glasgow Life and it reflects why we are such an important asset for Glasgow’s communities.

As the First Minister has said, sticking with all of this isn’t easy, and after 10 long months it’s harder than it has ever been, but it’s essential. As difficult as it is to believe it right now, the hard sacrifices we are all making will hasten the brighter days that do lie ahead and this pandemic will eventually pass.

Until then, please do continue to stay safe and take care of yourselves and others.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Thursday 14 January

Celtic Connections opens tomorrow with an innovative digital first festival:

Glasgow’s first-ever completely virtual Celtic Connections festival opens tomorrow (Friday 15 January).

In light of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s event is taking place entirely online and will present more than 30 unique digital performances across 19 nights through until Tuesday 2 February; bringing the spectacular sights and sounds of Celtic into your home and directly to your device.

The very best of traditional, folk and roots music has always been at the core of Celtic Connections; uniting global cultures and musical talent. Some of the biggest names from Scotland’s music scene are set to perform as part of a series of specially commissioned projects filmed across many of Glasgow’s iconic and much-loved venues. International artists have also contributed to the eclectic line-up by recording performances remotely.

The event has undoubtedly caught the attention of music fans across the world with more than 10,000 festival passes purchased in 35 countries. With a global audience in mind, all concerts will be available to view for a week after they are first streamed, allowing fans in different time zones to enjoy the range of content when it suits them. Broadcast partner BBC ALBA will also air some exclusive performances on its TV channel throughout the festival.

Although the event has gone online this year, the education element of the festival still holds as important a place as ever. The Celtic Connections Education Programme is now in its 23rd year and has reached more than 200,000 children across Scotland since it began in 1999. The education offering this year will include 27 mini concerts, consisting of Scots and Gaelic song, clarsach and an ‘introduction to Indian music’. These will be made available online so that teachers from schools across the country can use them as a resource for home-learning.  

The education programme is supported directly by Glasgow Life’s Celtic Rovers membership scheme, which will provide access to exclusive Rovers-only performances and behind the scenes content during the festival. For more information about becoming a Celtic Rover, visit celticconnections.com/support-us.

The festival’s Dementia Friendly concerts will also go online this year, offering bespoke performances to people living with dementia, their carers and friends. Both concerts will be free to watch and available to access through the Celtic Connections website. The two concerts will feature Catherine Tinney and Luc McNally on Tuesday 19 January and Robbie Greig and Hamish MacLeod on Tuesday 26 January.

An ‘all access’ festival pass costs £40 or you can purchase tickets for individual shows. For info about what’s on and when, visit www.celticconnections.com. To buy tickets, visit celticconnections.vhx.tv.

Staff update – Friday 8 January

Learning and Development update: Learning in lockdown and beyond

There are some great online resources available to keep everyone learning over the coming weeks. Whether you’re on a Glasgow Life laptop or your own personal tablet or smart phone, learning is accessible from most devices. 

Please find below details of our latest webinar schedule, classroom first aid and fire warden training, and e-learning opportunities available to all on GOLD and other online learning platforms.

Webinar schedule

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

NEW: Working through change

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

  • Thursday 21 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 9 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Thursday 25 February,1.30pm – 3pm
  • Monday 8 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am 11.30am
  • Tuesday 30 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

NEW: Leading change

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

  • Wednesday 17 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Monday 1 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 24 March, 10am – 11.30am

The virtual leader

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

  • Wednesday 13 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 11 February, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

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

  • Monday 18 January, 10am – 11am
  • Wednesday 3 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Monday 22 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 17 March, 10am – 11am

Design and deliver great online events

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

  • Tuesday 16 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 17 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

Visualising to engage

Many of us are quite adept when it comes to using MS PowerPoint and there is training on GOLD to allow us to learn the technical aspects of this presentation and training tool. But using it effectively to maximise your audience engagement and retention is crucial, especially when presenting digitally where we may have a shorter time frame to make an impact.

This 90-minute masterclass is open to all colleagues and introduces the key concepts of how to design slides which maximise that impact whether you are delivering online or offline content. Sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 19 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 4 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 24 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 11 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Friday 26 March, 10am – 11.30am 

Online safeguarding guidelines

New guidance has been developed to assist colleagues across Glasgow Life to plan and deliver our services in the digital world in a safe and appropriate way. This is an interim policy in response to Covid-19 and will be reviewed when government restrictions and advice in relation to social distancing etc. changes.

This 90-minute webinar is for anyone responsible for organising or developing online activities and introduces the policy and aims to support its implementation. Sessions will run on:

  • Tuesday 12 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Wednesday 27 January, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Thursday 18 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 9 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

Running online meetings with impact

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

  • Tuesday 26 January, 10am – 11.20am
  • Thursday 4 March, 1.30pm – 2.50pm

Corporate induction

  • Available to be delivered via WebEx on request.  

Support with WebEx

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

Classroom training

The classroom training below is only for colleagues who will be supporting venues that will open/reopen once the current lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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

Fire Warden (1 Day)

  • Monday 15 February – City Halls
  • Friday 12 March – City Halls
  • Tuesday 30 March – City Halls

Emergency First Aid (1 Day)

  • Tuesday 16 February – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Friday 12 March – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

First Aid at Work (3 Days)

  • Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 February – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 March – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

e-Learning on GOLD (Glasgow Online Learning & Development)

You can access the e-learning platform GOLD from home on your own device. Please see this step-by-step guide on how to access GOLD and the modules that you should prioritise. You can find these by logging on to GOLD, clicking on the yellow ‘Your ALEO or Service’ box and selecting ‘Glasgow Life’.

Mandatory courses for everyone are:

  • Information Security 2020
  • Health and Safety Essentials
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations (Glasgow Life)
  • Asbestos Awareness (Glasgow Life)
  • Legionella Awareness (Glasgow Life)

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

  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Mentally Healthy Workplace

If you would like to prepare for the arrival of Office 365 in 2021, you can also click into ‘Computer Skills’ and then onto ‘Office 365 – Quick Starts’ and work your way through the programmes that you use most often in your role.

The Skills Network

Since Glasgow Life teamed up with the Skills Network last April, over 40 colleagues have taken the opportunity to study for a range of fully funded qualifications through distance learning. The most popular courses have been:

  • L2 Cert in Awareness of Mental Health Problems
  • L2 Cert in Understanding Autism
  • L2 Cert in Event Planning
  • L2 Cert in Team Leading
  • L2 Cert in Lean Org Management Techniques             
  • L2 Cert in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Learn more about the Skills Network, their qualifications and how to apply here, or call 01757 600705 / email Scotland.Sales@theskillsnetwork.com. Where you are completing learning in work time, please remember to always agree and prioritise your learning with your line manager.

FutureLearn.com

You can enjoy free online courses and try high-quality online education from top universities and specialist organisation at www.FutureLearn.com.

They are currently 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 frontline 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.

Alison.com

Alison (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 in a range of subjects including: accounting; business and legal; customer service; legal studies; project management; operations management; quality management; social media; and many more. Check out their website at www.alison.com for more information.

Staff update – Wednesday 6 January

CLEAR Value of the Month for January: Environmentally Responsible

In 2020, Glasgow was recognised as a Global Green City. Now we are preparing to host the most important global climate event of a generation, COP 26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in November. 

As citizens and employees, we can all be sustainable role models. Please use this poster to consider some simple actions we can all take to help us be more sustainable.

Staff update – Tuesday 5 January

Covid-19 latest: Enhanced level four restrictions and 'stay at home' guidance introduced across Glasgow and mainland Scotland

Following yesterday’s announcement by the First Minister, all of mainland Scotland will be placed under enhanced level four restrictions as part of the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19. This change came into effect from midnight last night (Monday 4 January). These restrictions will see the country return to a position largely similar to the lockdown of March 2020.

What this means for Glasgow Life

As is mandatory under the new restrictions, most of our venues and services will remain closed until at least the end of January. This includes our museums, libraries, Glasgow Club gyms and Tramway.

Although we expect to be in a position to reopen at the beginning of February, it is important to note that the Government has not ruled out an extension to the current restrictions. We will keep you informed when any further update comes from the Scottish Government.

It's important that everyone understands this Stay at Home guidance and what it means for you and for Glasgow Life.

While the majority of our venues and facilities will have to remain closed until at least the end of January, some of our venues will remain open to support activity which is permitted by the Government within the enhanced restrictions. This includes community centres delivering essential childcare and venues supporting tenants who deliver permitted activities, such as food distribution.

Some outdoor sport facilities, which offer activities that comply with the Government’s revised guidelines, will also open as will some venues which accommodate professional and elite sport clubs and organisations.

How service areas are affected

Following the updated guidance, Glasgow Life venues will be impacted differently, and some building maintenance will still be required. Your line manager will contact you to discuss requirements for your venue or service area.

Communities:

Some childcare providers will continue to operate and, in these instances, our venues will remain open to facilitate these services. Some venues will also remain open for emergency food distribution.

Libraries:

All previously opened libraries will remain closed. The additional 12 libraries planned to open between January and March 2021 will be paused and the dates for opening these venues will be confirmed once further information becomes available. Online library and learning services will continue to be available.

Museums:

All previously opened museums will remain closed.

Arts, Music and Cultural Venues:

Venues will remain closed to the public, however, in order to accommodate filming for Celtic Connections and other planned online events, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, City Halls/Old Fruitmarket, and Tramway will open for these purposes only.

Glasgow Club and Glasgow Sport:

All Glasgow Club gyms will remain closed and fitness classes will continue to be suspended. Some venues will reopen in order to facilitate elite sport training and competition which is permitted under the new restrictions. Some outdoor venues will reopen to support permitted activity for young people, and where activity can be undertaken by a maximum of two people from two households.

Outdoor facilities are likely to remain closed this week as a result of being unplayable due to ongoing freezing weather conditions. We will continue to offer activities at glasgowclub.online/join.

What this means for you

Your line manager will keep in close contact with you this week, and over the coming weeks, to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance and check the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

We will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media channels and dedicated Covid-19 public web-page: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information.   

As it has been throughout this pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Scottish Government’s regulations and associated guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Statutory and planned building maintenance

Glasgow Life will continue to undertake statutory and planned maintenance works on previously opened venues. All works will be planned in conjunction with operational managers to ensure that Glasgow Life staff are available to facilitate access to the venues for this purpose. Any access will be managed in accordance with the latest Government guidelines and legislation.

In addition to contractor access, Glasgow Life staff will need to ensure the daily turnover of tanks and flushing of outlets to simulate ‘normal’ daily water use. This means that the water tanks should have a daily turnover of fresh water equal to the tank capacity and therefore complies with the control of legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems. Operational managers will be in contact with relevant venue and facilities staff members to discuss this requirement as appropriate.

Further guidance

The following guidance is aimed at further clarifying Glasgow Life’s response to the enhanced restrictions:

1. For those who were shielding

The Scottish Government has provided new guidance for people who are in the shielding category. If you were shielding and you cannot work from home, the clear advice now is that you should not go into work at all. The Chief Medical Officer is writing to everyone who falls into this category, and his letter will count as a Fit Note for those who need it. Please talk to your line manager about any concerns you may have.

2. Travel

It is now illegal to travel outside of your local council area unless it is essential and for specific exempt purposes. You can, however, still travel for work and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are shielding. You should avoid car sharing with anyone outside of your own household and there is no need to carry any identification to travel to work. A travel ban between Scotland and the rest of the UK will also be in place during these enhanced restrictions.

3. Contact

If you are not working during this period, you are not required to contact your line manager. However, you must remain contactable and respond to any calls or messages from your line manager. Line managers will continue to keep in close contact with their teams and all corporate updates will be added to our staff web portal. You should bookmark this web-link on your work or personal device: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/emergency-information.

4. Annual leave

You should continue to use your annual leave during this period, including if you have been placed on furlough, and any leave that you have already booked in will stand. In line with previous annual leave guidance, you should ensure that all of your annual leave entitlement is booked and taken by the end of January 2021.

5. Self-isolating

You should not come to work if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS’ Test and Protect service, your local Health Board or through the Protect Scotland app.

If you have Covid-19 symptoms you should visit www.nhsinform.scot to book a test. If you cannot get online you can call 0800 028 2816. You should self-isolate straight away if you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if someone in your support bubble/extended household has symptoms or has tested positive. The self-isolation period has now been reduced from 14 to 10 days.

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your line manager may ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. Glasgow Life will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete. Once you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.

If you are unfit to attend work because you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’re unable to work from home while you are self-isolating, your line manager should record this using Glasgow Life’s Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) and this should be returned to our HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk after your self-isolation period has ended. This will not be recorded as sickness absence and you will still be paid as normal. For more information on self-isolating visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect/covid-19-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-infection.

6. Employee assistance

Glasgow Life’s employee assistance service, Workplace Options, provides confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues including mental health and wellbeing; relationships; family and childcare matters; finance and debt management; and consumer rights. You can contact them for free on 0800 247 1100 and at assistance@workplaceoptions.com or log-in to www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee.

It’s vital that we all continue to play our part to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by minimising social contact as much as possible. Please follow the renewed Scottish Government guidance and stay home except for essential purposes. If you’re leaving home for any essential reason, ensure you maintain two-metre physical distancing, wear a face covering as required and practice good hand hygiene to keep yourself, your family and friends, and your colleagues safe.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 18 December

Community Engagement and Volunteering colleagues deliver some festive cheer to Glasgow’s care homes

Our Community Engagement and Volunteering (CEV) team has been delivering some festive cheer to Glasgow’s care home residents this month as part of their Dementia Friendly Communities project funded by the Life Changes Trust.

The team hosted three virtual Christmas celebration events earlier this month in partnership with the Weekday Wow Factor, a Glasgow-based social enterprise which provides support to older people across the city with a focus on enhancing physical and mental health through leisure activities.

As part of the project, the team also delivered Christmas hampers to the 12 care homes that participated in their three online events, made up of donations from Glasgow Life staff and support from Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Tunnocks.

The events were such a success that the team is now planning to deliver two online Burns Night events in January. 

Reminder – Glasgow Life’s festive opening hours

We have now published our festive opening hours for venues that will be open between Christmas and New Year. For the most part, the venues that we have reopened during the pandemic will close from Thursday (24 December) and reopen w/c Monday 4 January. However, there are service-specific exceptions to this and some venues will close earlier than 24 December.

Some of our sport facilities as well as Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums will remain open on certain dates between Christmas and New Year, while some sport venues will reopen on Sunday 3 January. Your line manager will have informed you of the festive closure and reopening dates for your venue. Our marketing communications team has shared this information with local media as well as with our customers through our website and social media channels. For more information on which venues will be open and when, click here.

All of these dates may be subject to change should Glasgow be moved back into level four lockdown restrictions at any time. Staff who would normally be based in Albion St or any of our other office locations are reminded that offices will close at the end of the day on Thursday (24 December) and reopen on Tuesday 5 January for a small number of essential staff who are supporting business-critical operations. If you are currently working from home then you should continue to do so after the festive break.

Changes to self-isolation period

Should you be contacted by the NHS’ Test and Protect service, your local Health Board or through the Protect Scotland app and told to self-isolate, due to having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you now only need to do so for 10 days instead of 14.

This also applies to people who have been instructed to quarantine after returning from a trip overseas. You can find more information on this change, which came into force this week, on the Scottish Government’s website. We have also updated the Frequently Asked Questions section of our staff portal.

Something on your mind? Professional, independent support is just a phone call away

It’s been a really tough year for all of us and as we prepare for the festive break it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Professional, independent help and support is available to all Glasgow Life staff whenever you might need it through our Workplace Options Employee Assistance Programme. You can contact them for free at any time of the day or night, by phone, email or online to discuss any work, family or personal issues you might have, all in complete confidence. And to help support those closest to you, your family and partners can also access this service.

When you contact Workplace Options, a trained adviser will listen and help work out what support you might need. This can range from offering you practical advice and explaining how to access key information and resources, through to referring you for short-term counselling sessions.

It’s quick, easy and free to get in touch with Workplace Options, just call 0800 247 1100 or email assistance@workplaceoptions.com. You can also log-in to the website at www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee. For information on other resources available to you, check out the Health and Wellbeing pages of our staff web portal.

Wishing all Glasgow Life staff a safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year

Your weekly bulletin will be back with more updates from across the organisation next month. If your team or service area has a story to tell, then let us know. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk. Until then, stay safe and have a peaceful Christmas and New Year.    

Staff update – Wednesday 16 December

A video message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues

As we approach the end of an extraordinarily challenging year, I want to thank all of you for your incredible commitment and resilience over the past 10 months.

Glasgow Life is extremely fortunate to have such a skilled, dedicated and innovative workforce, and it is those strengths which are helping to steer our organisation through the toughest period of its history. Your continued hard work is greatly appreciated.

I hope you all have the chance to enjoy a well-deserved break over the festive period, and you take the time to relax and recharge.

On behalf of our Board and Senior Management Team, I would like to extend Glasgow Life’s warmest wishes to you and your family. Please do stay safe, have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you next year.

To view a short Christmas video message from Bridget, click here.

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Wednesday 16 December

Learning and Development update – classroom training and webinar schedule:

Please find below the Learning and Development training schedule until the end of March 2021. To reserve your place on any of these events, please email the Learning and Development team at: glLandDenquiries@glasgowlife.org.uk with the name, date and time of the session you would like to attend. There is a maximum of 12 participants for each session and spaces will be provided on a first-come basis. If there is high demand, the Learning and Development team may be able to run additional sessions.

Classroom training

Fire Warden (1 Day)

  • Thursday 28 January – venue tbc
  • Monday 15 February – venue tbc
  • Friday 12 March – venue tbc
  • Tuesday 30 March – venue tbc

Emergency First Aid (1 Day)

  • Thursday 21 January – venue tbc
  • Tuesday 16 February – venue tbc
  • Friday 12 March – venue tbc

First Aid at Work (3 Days)

  • Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 February – venue tbc
  • Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 March – venue tbc

 Webinar schedule

NEW: Working through change

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

 

  • Thursday 21 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 9 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Thursday 25 February,1.30pm – 3pm
  • Monday 8 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Tuesday 23 March, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 30 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

NEW: Leading change

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

  • Wednesday 17 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Monday 1 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 24 March, 10am – 11.30am

The virtual leader

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

  • Wednesday 13 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 11 February, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

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

  • Monday 18 January, 10am – 11am
  • Wednesday 3 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Monday 22 February, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 17 March, 10am – 11am

Design and deliver great online events

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

  • Tuesday 16 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 17 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

Visualising to engage

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

  • Tuesday 19 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 4 February, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 24 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Thursday 11 March, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Friday 26 March, 10am – 11.30am 

Online safeguarding guidelines

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

  • Tuesday 12 January, 10am – 11.30am
  • Wednesday 27 January, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Thursday 18 February, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 9 March, 1.30pm – 3pm

Running online meetings with impact

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

  • Tuesday 26 January, 10am – 11.20am
  • Thursday 4 March, 1.30pm – 2.50pm

Corporate induction

  • Available to be delivered via WebEx on request.  

Support with WebEx

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

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 11 December

A message from our Chair:

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of communities across Glasgow this year. It has also created unprecedented operational and financial challenges for Glasgow Life. Throughout the past 10 months, what has become clear is that Glasgow Life will need to change and adapt to meet these challenges, to ensure we can provide and enable vital support where it’s needed most in the short and long-term.

Our Chair and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald has written a short blog about the important role our organisation plays in supporting the mental, physical and economic wellbeing of Glasgow and how we will continue to do so in the future. You can read it here.

Join the Beatson’s virtual 5K Santa Dash this weekend

Glasgow’s annual Santa Dash is considered by many to be the start of the festive season fun, but this year, due to physical distancing restrictions, Glasgow City Council had to cancel their traditional event.

However, the council’s charity partner, The Beatson Cancer Centre, has arranged a special virtual event so we can all stay safe as we run, walk or cycle a socially distanced 5k route of our choice.

So why not grab your trainers and Santa hat this Saturday and Sunday (12 and 13 December) and make the dash in support of the Beatson Cancer Charity. To register to take part and pledge your donation of £5 for children / £10 for adults, visit the Beatson Cancer Charity website. Under 5s and furry friends can dash for free.

Help shape the council’s renewal plans for the city – have your say by Friday 18 December

Life has been very different for most of us during Covid-19, so Glasgow City Council has created a short council family staff survey to understand more about the impact the pandemic has had on you personally and at work. The survey aims to understand the levels of confidence you have in using council services, going out in the city and in returning to your workplace.

Although we’re still very much in the midst of dealing with this crisis on a day-to-day basis, the council wants to plan for the time when restrictions are gradually being eased and its focus can shift to how we recover, reintroduce services and adapt, based on our learning and experience gained during Covid, as well as how the people of Glasgow can benefit.

All council family staff are being asked to complete the survey, which is anonymous and will take around 10 minutes. You have until Friday 18 December to share your views.

Glasgow Museums publishes evocative book of Eric Watt’s photographs of Glasgow

Eric Watt was one of Scotland’s greatest, yet largely unknown, street photographers. After his death in 2005, Eric’s family generously donated more than 3,500 photographs to the city.

Glasgow Museums has now published an evocative collection of almost 100 of Eric’s photographs, revealing different aspects of the city he grew up in, through a period of great change from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Coming into view: Eric Watt's photographs of Glasgow documents the changing face of the city, from new high-rise housing and the M8 motorway to the growing South Asian population. This is complemented by striking pictures of kids at play and Glaswegians enjoying rare leisure time at the football, horse racing and big city events.

Priced £12.99, it could make for a great Christmas gift and is available from Glasgow Museums online shop here

 

Staying safe over Christmas and the festive period

As you start to plan your festive celebrations, it’s important to know and follow the Scottish Government’s guidance to keep your family and friends safe this Christmas.

Look out for the Government’s campaign highlighting the relaxation of the rules on household meetings from 23 to 27 December to understand what you can and can’t do. The campaign asks us all to carefully consider the risks involved before making any decisions on mixing with other households. You can watch the TV advert here.

The safest way to spend the festive season is with your own household. If you choose to meet others, find out how to do it as safely as possible here.

Staff update – Wednesday 9 December

Reopening of Glasgow Life venues in level three – guidance for staff:

With Glasgow set to return to level three of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 protection framework from 6pm on Friday, the following Glasgow Life venues which were previously open in level three will reopen to the public as follows:

From Saturday 12 December at 8am

Sport – Emirates Arena; Glasgow Club Bellahouston; Glasgow Club Scotstoun; Glasgow Club Gorbals and Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

From Saturday 12 December at 11am

Museums – Kelvingrove; Riverside and Gallery of Modern Art.

From Tuesday 15 December at 11am

Arts, Music and Cultural Venues – Tramway. Libraries – The Mitchell Library.

From Tuesday 15 December at 2pm

Libraries – Bridgeton; Drumchapel; Easterhouse; Gorbals; Ibrox; Partick; Pollokshaws; Possilpark; Royston and Shettleston.

In reopening our venues we need to consider a range of factors, principally the need for additional staffing at our larger sites to help keep our customers safe, and this has a direct impact on the number of venues we are able to reopen.

Historically, this time of year is quieter for Glasgow Club and, as a result, we would normally operate a reduced service in the week prior to Christmas Day. Our level three response sees that plan come into action a little earlier than usual. This means that Glasgow Clubs Castlemilk, Crownpoint, Donald Dewar, Glasgow Green, Kelvin Hall, Maryhill and Toryglen will reopen on Monday 4 January. Similarly, our golf courses and tennis courts, which would normally be closed for a period of time during the winter, won’t reopen as part of the move out of level four.

Given this reduced use, the five sport venues which we have prioritised for reopening will ensure a geographical spread of Glasgow Life’s largest sport centres across the city, meaning we can maximise the greater capacities of these facilities and provide customers with access to a range of gyms and pools.

As it has been throughout this pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Your line manager will contact you this week to discuss your individual circumstances, the needs of your service area and whether you will be required to return to work or remain on furlough. We will aim to give you as much notice as we can of your return date and you should be available for work in line with your current working pattern. Should you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

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

We will share more information next week on our operational plans for the festive period including which venues will be open between Christmas and New Year.

Staff update – Tuesday 8 December

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

As you will now be aware, from 6pm on Friday (11 December), Glasgow will return to level three of the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament earlier this afternoon as part of her weekly review, the First Minister said that prevalence of the virus in all 11 local authorities that have been subject to level four restrictions has fallen during the past three weeks. However, she also warned that now is not a time for complacency and we must continue to do all that we can to further suppress the spread of Covid-19 to help combat the inevitable pressures on our hospitals and other critical NHS services during winter.

What this means for Glasgow Life

As it has been throughout this pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Our Senior Management Team is now working to finalise arrangements for the reopening of the majority of our venues that were previously open in level three and I will share more information with you about this in the coming days. We will inform our key stakeholders and tenants as well as prioritise messaging to alert customers through our website, social media and other relevant channels.  

As the First Minster stated, non-essential travel in and out of level three areas will not be permitted. You can, however, still travel for work purposes and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are shielding. Remember, car sharing should be avoided and there is no need to carry any identification to travel to work.

Your line manager will work closely with you over the coming days to agree your return to work plan and all corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/emergency-information. Should you have any questions, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

Glasgow Life set to reopen 12 more libraries early next year

In other news, I’m delighted to let you know that Glasgow Life will tomorrow (Wednesday 9 December) confirm that a further 12 community libaries will reopen to the public in early 2021, bringing the total number open to 23.

It is our intention that the following additional libraries will open by the end of March: Anniesland Library, Cardonald Library, Castlemilk Library, Dennistoun Library, Govanhill Library, Hillhead Library, Knightswood Library, Langside Library, Pollok Library, Pollokshields Library, Riddrie Library and Springburn Library.

Their reopening does, of course, depend on Glasgow remaining in, or below, level three over the coming weeks and months. If you normally work in these venues, your line manager will contact you this week to discuss your individual circumstances. We will aim to give you as much notice as we can of the date you will be required to return to work, in line with ongoing Government guidance. 

As it has been throughout the pandemic, it’s my ambition to always share Glasgow Life news with you before it appears in the public domain. Our communications team has also provided local media with an embargoed press release about this today and it is likely that you will see media coverage from tomorrow.

As we enter this next phase, it’s vital that we all play our part to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by minimising social contact as much as possible. As our venues reopen, please continue to follow the rules, including all signage and guidance, maintaining physical distancing and wearing face coverings as required, to keep yourself, your colleagues and our customers safe.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 4 December

New festive light show illuminates Glasgow City Chambers

After months of planning and weeks of installation works, all coordinated by Glasgow Life’s events team, the incredible Christmas transformation of Glasgow’s City Chambers was unveiled on Tuesday.

The spectacular new festive light-show, which is part of this year’s Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign, is being delivered in partnership with 21cc; the company which usually manages the city’s fireworks displays at Glasgow Green and the switching on of the Christmas lights.

More than 35,000 people across the UK have already been able to enjoy a short video of the two-hour sequence on social media from the comfort and safety of their own homes, and their reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The show will run early in the morning (while it’s still dark) and each evening until Saturday 2 January.

If you’ve not had a chance to see it yet, you can watch the video here and you can keep up-to-date with all of the city’s festive content by following Glasgow Loves Christmas and #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas on social media.

Celtic Connections reveals line-up for first-ever virtual festival

The line-up for Celtic Connections was revealed this week with some of the biggest names from Scotland’s music scene and across the world set to perform as part of an innovative digital-first festival from 15 January until 2 February.

The very best of traditional, folk and roots music has always been at the core of Celtic Connections; uniting global cultures and musical talent. In light of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on the live events sector, next year’s festival will bring the spectacular sights and sounds of Celtic into your home and directly to your device, with a series of specially commissioned performances broadcast over 19 days from across many of Glasgow’s iconic venues. Fans can get unlimited access to every performance for only £30 by booking an ‘early bird’ festival pass, with more than 2,200 passes sold in the first 48 hours.

A special Celtic Rovers festival membership, which supports Glasgow Life’s live traditional music programme and helps with the costs of delivering the Celtic Education programme, is also available for £45. In addition to the festival pass, Celtic Rovers members can access exclusive Rovers-only performances and behind the scenes content. This option is also proving hugely popular, with membership sales surpassing our targets within the first 24 hours of launching. For more info, visit celticconnections.com/support-us.

Conventions and North East Communities colleagues take part in Active Staff walking challenge

Colleagues from Glasgow Convention Bureau and our North East Communities team were among nearly 370 teams from across the city’s public sector who took part in this year’s Active Staff autumn walking challenge last month.

Organised by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the four week challenge saw teams cover 1,010km across a virtual route that was the equivalent of walking from Salamanca to Granada in Spain. Some 45 teams from the council family got involved and Glasgow City Council awarded prizes to the top three.

Karla Cunningham, Helen Davidson, Wendy Russell, Lisa Kerr and Shona Brierton (plus Shona’s dog Toby) from our Convention Bureau, under the excellent team name ‘Walk me up before you go go’ finished in second place and 25th overall; with each winning a head torch for their tremendous efforts.

Karla said: “We really enjoyed it, so much so that we’ve now started our own ‘winter wonderland walk’ with a plan to cover the equivalent 2,317 miles from Glasgow to Lapland by Christmas; though we’ve roped in a few other members of the conventions team to help us get there in time.”

Claire Peat, Community Services Officer at Dennistoun Library, and her North East Communities teammates Elaine McCulloch, Graeme Crichton, Nicola Byfield and Fiona McLeish, who are all based at Shettleston Library, also took part, with Claire winning a £25 Sports Direct voucher. She said: “Although we didn’t quite finish it, we all got out and walked much more than we’ve ever done before and we definitely improved our overall fitness.”

Can you support Glasgow’s Spirit of Christmas appeal?

Glasgow charity Cultivating Mindfulness is again running its Spirit of Christmas appeal, aimed at providing Christmas gifts to disadvantaged children in communities across the city. Since 2014, the campaign has supported more than 45,000 children and young people affected by hardship or living in poverty.

Many teams across Glasgow Life chose to support the campaign last year and you can get involved again by pledging a gift donation online and selecting your nearest drop-off point. Each child and young person then receives a gift bag filled with age relevant toys and treats for a girl or boy of a certain age group.

Cultivating Mindfulness works with around 85 other charities, food-banks and children’s organisations to ensure that all donations are placed directly into the hands of allocated and referred children who need them the most. Join the Spirit of Christmas Facebook group, which has more than 36,000 members, to find out what age groups and locations are available in your area. More info can also be found on the charity’s website.

Asymptomatic testing centres open in Dalmarnock and Pollokshields

Mobile testing sites have opened in Dalmarnock and Pollokshields – two communities that have experienced high rates of Covid-19 transmission – to help identify asymptomatic carriers. Working with the NHS, Glasgow City Council is encouraging everyone living in these areas to take a quick and simple test that will determine whether you have coronavirus without knowing.

Asymptomatic carriers don’t display any outward signs of the virus and can be particularly problematic in spreading it. Ensuring that greater numbers of these individuals are identified and isolated is a crucial step in helping the city move to lower levels of the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19.  

The testing sites are located in the car parks of the Emirates Arena and on the north side of Albert Drive opposite Tramway. If you live in either area, please take the time to get tested and encourage your friends and family to do so too. You will receive results in less than 48 hours. However, please be aware that these sites are only for testing people who are showing no symptoms of Covid-19. If you have symptoms, please follow existing guidance and book a test by calling 0800 028 2816 or through the NHS Inform website.

Staff update – Wednesday 2 December

Supporting our staff who are EU citizens to stay in Scotland:

Following decisions by the UK Government, the UK has now left the EU. As a result, EU citizens living in Scotland will need to apply to the UK Government's EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living, working and studying in the UK after 30 June 2021.

The EU Settlement Scheme opened on 30 March 2019 and has received four million applications to-date. It allows you and your family to get the immigration status you need to continue to live, work, study and have access to public services like the NHS, after 30 June 2021.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK by 31 December 2020 you can apply to Stay in Scotland through the EU Settlement Scheme.

We encourage staff who are EU citizens and eligible to apply to the scheme, to do so today. Please read the briefing below for details of the support available to help you with your application and what to do next.

From 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a new points-based immigration system which will apply to both EU and non-EU nationals coming to the UK to work. You can find more information on the new immigration system at GOV.UK. If you are an EU citizen who is currently living in the UK, it is important to note that this will not change your rights and status when you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

How to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme 

You need to complete a short online application form, which will ask you to:

  • Prove your identity
  • Prove that you live in the UK
  • Declare any criminal convictions you may have

Successful applicants will then receive settled status or pre-settled status, depending on how long you have lived in the UK, and you will get digital proof of your status.

Support to apply

IT resources

  • If you need support to access a computer to review the websites above or to make an application, please speak to your line manager who can arrange IT support for you.
  • You can use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app on Android and iPhone smartphones, to complete the identity stage of your application.
  • Assisted Digital offers additional help and support if you do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online. Visit https://www.gov.uk/assisted-digital-help-online-applications.

Supporting our employees

It would be helpful if you can let us know about your completed status as soon as you have it. This will help us to keep in touch with you and update you on the latest developments as they emerge from the Government. This information will also help us to understand the impact on our organisation to support our workforce planning.

Get in touch

Please let us know your completed status by emailing the following information to CBSHRAdmin@glasgow.gov.uk:

  • Your name
  • Your service area
  • SAP number
  • Nationality
  • What status you are applying for: settled, pre-settled or none at all
  • Your preferred email address: work or personal
  • Your phone number

Your information will only be used for updating your Glasgow Life personnel record and will not be shared with any other organisation.

Need to chat to someone?

If you need any support please speak to your line manager in the first instance. Our Employee Assistance Provider, Workplace Options also offers free, confidential and independent resources to help you with any work, family or personal issues. If you find you need support at this time you can phone them for free on 0800 247 1100 or email assistance@workplaceoptions.com.

Weekly staff bulletin – Friday 27 November

Welcome to your weekly bulletin. We’ll be making some changes to the look of, and how we deliver, our internal communications in 2021, from refreshing our intranet and staff portal to introducing more video content. And we’re getting started this side of the New Year with a new weekly round-up of activity from across Glasgow Life as well as sharing key council family updates.

Tell us what’s been going on!

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant and ongoing impact on our venues and services over the past nine months. As a result, we’ve had to change and adapt our operations to meet the challenges of Covid-19 head on. If your team or service area has a great story to tell about how you’ve developed new and innovative ways of working this year, then let us know. To suggest content for inclusion in a future weekly bulletin, email internalcommunications@glasgowlife.org.uk.    

‘Ask the Archivist’ success leads to regular newspaper column

When lockdown happened in March and many of our venues, including The Mitchell Library, had to close, our City Archives team came up with a unique way of continuing to engage their audiences. As part of our #GlasgowLifeGoesOn campaign on social media earlier this year, the team introduced ‘#Ask the Archivist’ on the Glasgow City Archives Facebook page.

It led to hundreds of questions and conversation about the city and the scale of our archive records from interested members of the public, with positive comments like Thank you for sharing such valuable information during this pandemic, and, A huge thank you for our history lessons, they’ve been really excellent.” In fact, it’s proven so successful that it has now given rise to a regular new ‘Times Past’ column in the Glasgow Times, which the team are co-creating with the newspaper. You can find an archive of Ask the Archivist content from throughout this year on The Mitchell’s family history website here.

Good Move Health Walks return

Our popular Good Move Health Walks have restarted. These free, hour long walks are led by Glasgow Life volunteers and take place across the city. Our volunteering team has reintroduced 13 Covid-safe weekly walks led by 40 volunteers who have returned to their walk leader role with over 150 people taking part each week.

Regular walking brings huge physical and wellbeing benefits and we’re incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers. Barlanark volunteer walk leader, Elizabeth Surgeon, said: “The ongoing restrictions have been hard on some of our walkers, so it’s been great to get them out and moving again and just to have a conversation and find out how they’re coping during these tough times.”

You can find out more about Good Move Health Walks here and on the Good Move Glasgow Facebook page.

Claim tax relief whilst working at home

In line with the Government’s guidance, we have more staff than normal working from home at the moment, either for all or part of the week. If you don’t normally work from home, you can claim an allowance back from HMRC to help cover different costs you might currently be incurring – such as using your personal phone for making work calls or increased gas and electricity costs. You can’t claim for things that would stay the same whether you were working at home or from your regular workplace, for example, your mortgage, council tax or broadband.

Visit HMRC’s dedicated working-from-home website to make your claim through a P87 form. You will need your Government Gateway ID when you apply. If you don’t have one, you can create one as part of the process. You’ll also need your national insurance number, job title, employer’s name and PAYE reference. These can all be found on your payslip or P60. Once HMRC receive and process your claim, your tax code will be adjusted automatically and you will see this on your next payslip. You’ll pay less tax for the financial year as a result. For more information, visit https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/claim-tax-relief-expenses/claim-online. 

What happens when an NHS Test and Protect contact tracer calls you?

Contact tracing is a phrase we have all become familiar with this year and with a greater prevalence of Covid-19 cases anticipated during the winter months, there’s every chance you may be contacted by the NHS’ Test and Protect service in the weeks to come. This video from Public Health Scotland explains what happens when you receive a call from an NHS contact tracer.

Remember, you should not come to work if you have Covid-19 symptoms or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Protect. You should book a test right away and stay at home. This will not be recorded as sickness and you will still be paid as normal. If you haven’t done so already, you might also want to download and use the Protect Scotland app.  

One Million Words of Kindness this St Andrew’s Day

Monday (November 30) marks St Andrew’s Day and this year the focus of Scotland’s national day is on encouraging everyone across the country to celebrate the resilience, shared kindness and community spirit that has helped us through these difficult times.

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign asking people to connect with others to help share one million words of kindness. We may not be able to get together physically, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to look out for each other and spread a message of compassion and connection with friends, family, neighbours and communities near and far.

You can watch the Government’s TV advert here and for more information on the range of online events and activities planned for St Andrew’s Day, visit www.onescotland.org/st-andrews-day.

Staff update – Thursday 26 November

CLEAR Value of the Month for December:

For our CLEAR Value this December we are taking time to reflect. Without doubt, 2020 has been the toughest year that many of us have experienced and we will be glad to see it over. This month you are encouraged to use our CLEAR values to reflect on 2020 and to guide some positive actions for the year ahead.

Please use this poster to help consider what learning we can take from our 2020 experiences that will set us up for success in 2021. Managers, please print and display the poster on staff noticeboards in your facilities.

Staff update – Wednesday 25 November

Payroll schedule amendment for December:

Managers/all staff should note that the payroll deadlines for December 2020 have been revised.

The deadline for informing CBS of any claims/changes to be processed as part of January’s pay has been brought forward to Monday 14 December. Pay dates remain unchanged.

SAP Period

Period Start

Period End

Deadline for claims / changes passed to CBS for input

Portal Users Deadline Date (must be input and authorised)

Pay Date

 

Sunday

Saturday

Monday

Sunday

Tuesday

11

20/12/2020

16/01/2021

14/12/2020

03/01/2021

12/01/2021

Glasgow Life’s full payroll schedule until the end of the financial year is as follows:

SAP Period

Period Start

Period End

Deadline for claims / changes passed to CBS for input

Portal Users Deadline Date (must be input and authorised)

Pay Date

10

22/11/2020

19/12/2020

27/11/2020

04/12/2020

15/12/2020

11

20/12/2020

16/01/2021

14/12/2020

03/01/2021

12/01/2021

12

17/01/2021

13/02/2021

22/01/2021

29/01/2021

09/02/2021

13

14/02/2021

13/03/2021

19/02/2021

26/02/2021

09/03/2021

Any pay queries should be directed to your line manager in the first instance. Managers can raise pay queries on behalf of their teams by emailing CBSServiceHR@glasgow.gov.uk.

Staff update – Tuesday 24 November

Level four restrictions – guidance for all Glasgow Life staff:

As the First Minister stated in her weekly Covid-19 review earlier this afternoon, Glasgow’s position has not changed and the city is expected to remain under level four restrictions until at least Friday 11 December.

It’s important that everyone understands these enhanced restrictions and what they mean for you and for Glasgow Life. Crucially, level four is not a full ‘lockdown’ of the kind we experienced in March. While some of our venues have had to close again temporarily to the public, others will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four.   

Your line manager will have discussed your individual circumstances and the needs of your service area with you and whether you will be required to work during this period. The following guidance is aimed at further clarifying Glasgow Life’s response to level four measures:

  1. Shielding

If you were shielding previously, you can still come to work on the basis that your workplace provides adequate protection. The Scottish Government’s individual risk assessment guidance should be used to discuss specific measures to offer protection in your workplace. The Government’s advice under level four restrictions is that if you are shielding you should not use public transport and should only attend work if you can travel independently or with the support of someone in your household or bubble. Please talk to your line manager about any concerns you may have.

If you are shielding and cannot attend work safely or travel independently, you should remain at home. In this case the period of absence will be counted as Covid-19 related absence (not sickness absence), and will not contribute to any absence triggers.

  1. Travel

Under level four, you should reduce any non-essential travel and not travel outside of your local council area. You can, however, still travel for work purposes and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are shielding. You should avoid car sharing and there is no need to carry any identification to travel to work.

  1. Contact

If you are not working during this period, you are not required to contact your line manager. However, you must remain contactable and respond to any calls or messages from your line manager. Line managers will continue to keep in close contact with their teams and all corporate updates will be added to our staff web portal. You should bookmark this web-link on your work or personal device: https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/emergency-information.

  1. Annual leave

You should continue to use your annual leave during this period, including if you have been placed on furlough, and any leave that you have already booked in will stand. In line with previous annual leave guidance, you should ensure that all of your annual leave entitlement is booked and taken by the end of January 2021.

  1. Self-isolating

You should not come to work if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS’ Test and Protect service. If you have Covid-19 symptoms you should visit www.nhsinform.scot to book a test. If you cannot get online you can call 0800 028 2816. You should self-isolate straight away if you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if someone in your support bubble/extended household has symptoms or has tested positive.

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your line manager may ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. Glasgow Life will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete. Once you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.

If you are unfit to attend work because you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’re unable to work from home while you are self-isolating, your line manager should record this using Glasgow Life’s Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) and this should be returned to our HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk after your self-isolation period has ended. This will not be recorded as sickness absence and you will still be paid as normal. For more information on self-isolating visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect/covid-19-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-infection.

  1. Returning to work

This is a temporary pause and we will reopen our venues in line with the Scottish Government’s guidance. We will aim to give you as much notice as possible (and a minimum of 48 hours) of the date you should return to work. This will depend, however, on the notice given by the Government in terms of Glasgow returning to level three. There may be a requirement to recall some staff during the period that Glasgow remains in level four to support permitted activity. Working patterns will remain in place during this time and you should be available for work in line with your current working pattern.  

  1. Employee assistance

Glasgow Life’s employee assistance service, Workplace Options, provides confidential advice and support on a wide range of issues including mental health and wellbeing; relationships; family and childcare matters; finance and debt management; and consumer rights. You can contact them for free on 0800 247 1100 and at assistance@workplaceoptions.com or log-in to www.workplaceoptions.com with the user name GCC and the password Employee.

It’s vital that we all play our part to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by minimising social contact as much as possible. Please continue to follow the rules, including all signage and guidance within our venues, maintain two-metre physical distancing, wear a face covering as required and practice good hand hygiene, to keep yourself and your colleagues safe. Should you have any questions, please discuss these with your line manager.

Staff update – Tuesday 24 November

REMINDER: Please complete your Homeworking Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment by Monday 30 November:

If you are currently working from home, then you need to complete Glasgow Life’s Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment.

If you have not already done so, please ensure that you complete the assessment document with your line manager by Monday (30 November). Both you and your manager should retain a copy and agree a future review date.

You may find it helpful to review Glasgow Life’s Interim Homeworking Guidance as well as the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Awareness e-learning course on GOLD, before completing your Assessment. You can login to GOLD from home on any device.

You can also click this link for answers to some frequently asked questions about homeworking and flexible working. Please discuss any queries you might have with your line manager in the first instance.

Staff update – Friday 20 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

From close of play today, many of the venues that we have reopened over the past four months will close again until at least Friday 11 December, in line with the Scottish Government’s level four restrictions.

However, as I said in my update on Tuesday, some of our venues will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four and more information on this, including a table showing which venues are open or closed, can be found on our website. We must also continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, which includes ongoing maintenance and security checks, over the next three weeks.

As we prepare for another round of tough, but necessary, measures, I want to thank all of our staff who will be working to maintain our operational readiness during this period, so that we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we return to level three of the Government’s framework for managing Covid-19.

As a result of moving to level four, we will look to place some staff on furlough and we will continue to pay furloughed staff 100% of their salary.

Your line manager will have discussed your individual circumstances with you this week and whether you will be required to work during this temporary pause. Line managers will keep in close contact with their teams over the next three weeks and all corporate updates will be added to our staff web portal. Should you have any questions, please discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

And most importantly, please continue to follow the rules and keep yourself safe, particularly in social settings, to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. It’s through our collective and sustained effort that we can hopefully help the city reach a point where restrictions can safely be eased in time for the festive period.

Workforce planning – review of grade 8+ management structures

You will remember that I emailed you in September with the first of what I said would become a series of regular ‘people’ updates over the coming months focussed on workforce planning.

Glasgow Life has faced the toughest period in its history this year and our priority is on working with Glasgow City Council to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation post Covid-19. This will include thinking differently about what we do and how we prioritise the range of highly-valued culture, sport, physical activity and learning services that we provide for Glasgow’s citizens and visitors.

On that basis, the Senior Management Team has been working to identify options for how we might re-shape our workforce and adapt our service provision to ensure that Glasgow Life remains fit for purpose in the years ahead.

Our initial phase of activity will begin with a review of our grade eight and above management structures, which will help to identify savings that can be made by reducing our headcount at a senior level. Colleagues at grade 8+ have been informed today of the next steps in this process.  

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

Beyond this initial phase focussed on grade 8+ colleagues, further work is being undertaken to consider wider service reform and changes across all of our service areas and more details will be shared in the coming weeks and months as this is progressed.

Help keep Glasgow’s children warm this winter: donate winter coats, jackets and hoodies

Glasgow City Council in partnership with The Herald have launched ‘Keeping Warm in Glasgow’, a citywide appeal for winter coats, jackets and hoodies to keep Glasgow’s children and young people warm this winter.

Current Government guidelines to suppress Covid-19 mean that schools have had to increase ventilation in classrooms and are encouraging more outdoor lessons. As the winter approaches, it’s crucial to help children stay warm at school so they can concentrate on their learning.

A number of families are struggling as a result of the pandemic. By donating your unused winter clothing you can help support them at this difficult time.

You can drop your donations off at a number of our community centres, where volunteer staff from Glasgow Life and the council’s Education Services will help sort them and organise distribution to schools across the city over the next few weeks. More information is available here.

Christmas lights switched on in George Square

As part of our #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas campaign, the city’s Christmas lights were switched-on in George Square on Wednesday night. As you might expect, the festive season in the city is going to be different this year because of Covid-19, but thanks to the hard work of our events and marketing communications teams, for the first time ever, you could watch this magical moment online from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Radio Clyde presenter, George Bowie, and the city’s Lord Provost, Councillor Philip Braat, joined council key-worker Theresa Glasgow for the switch-on in the City Chambers. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Wednesday 18 November

Learning and Development update: Webinar schedule:

Please find below the Learning and Development webinar schedule until the end of December.

NEW: Visualising to engage

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

  • Tuesday 24 November, 1.30pm – 2.50pm
  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Wednesday 9 December, 10am – 11.20am
  • Thursday 17 December, 1.30pm – 2.50pm

The virtual leader

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

  • Thursday 3 December, 10am – 11.30am
  • Tuesday 22 December, 10am – 11.30am

Rediscovering our resilience

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

  • Monday 23 November, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Wednesday 2 December, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11am

Design and deliver great online events

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

  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm 3pm
  • Tuesday 15 December, 10am – 11.30am

Online safeguarding guidelines

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

  • Tuesday 1 December, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 16 December, 10am – 11.30am

Running online meetings with impact

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

  • Thursday 26 November, 1.30pm – 3pm
  • Monday 14 December, 1.30pm – 3pm 

Coming soon … look out for dates

Working through change

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

Leading change

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

How to book

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

Staff update – Tuesday 17 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

As you will now be aware, from 6pm on Friday (20 November) until at least Friday 11 December, Glasgow will move into level four of the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for managing Covid-19.

Giving an update to the Scottish Parliament earlier this afternoon, the First Minister said that virus cases remain “stubbornly high” and have not been reducing sufficiently enough in Glasgow and other local authorities across the Central Belt under level three restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon said that introducing “short and sharp” level four measures in Glasgow, and 10 other local authorities across Scotland, over the next three weeks were needed now to drive down the spread of the virus and ease pressure on hospitals and other critical NHS services this winter. In doing so, she said that this could help to support some limited easing of restrictions over Christmas.

What this means for Glasgow Life

As it has been throughout this pandemic, the health and wellbeing of all Glasgow Life staff remains our priority. We will continue to follow the Government’s guidance and ensure that safety is at the heart of how we all work in the current environment.

Our Senior Management Team is today finalising arrangements for the temporary closure of our museums, libraries, gyms and Tramway to the public from close of play on Friday 20 November. We will contact affected tenants to discuss access during this period and prioritise messaging to alert customers through our social media and other relevant channels.  

However, some of our venues will remain open to support activity that is permitted by the Government within level four. This includes community centres delivering essential childcare, venues supporting tenants who deliver permitted activities, and some non-contact outdoor sport facilities as well as those that accommodate professional sport clubs and organisations.

We will also need to continue to meet our statutory responsibilities, including regular maintenance checks and security monitoring, as well as maintain a process of operational readiness to ensure that we are able to reopen as quickly as possible when we are allowed to do so.

Under level four, you should reduce any non-essential travel and not travel outside of your local council area. However, you can still travel for work purposes and use public transport to travel to work, unless you are in the shielding category. Remember to avoid car sharing where you can. You do not need to carry any identification to travel to work.

Your line manager will work closely with you over the coming days to provide clarification on any permitted work you will be required to undertake during this temporary pause and I will keep you updated as regularly as possible. All corporate communications will continue to be added to our staff web portal.

In the meantime, please continue to follow the rules to keep yourself and your colleagues safe.

That means wearing a mask or face covering, unless you’re exempt from doing so, maintaining two-metre physical distancing and practicing good hygiene; in particular, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

It also means following the signage and guidance that’s in place at each of our venues that are open, paying particular attention to how you enter, exit and move around the building as well as new rules on the use of face coverings in communal spaces, such as corridors, kitchens, receptions, meeting rooms and admin hubs.  

We all want to think about some kind of normality for Christmas and into 2021, so it’s absolutely vital that we do everything we can to prevent Glasgow from being under level four restrictions for any longer than we need to be. Check the Scottish Government's factsheet on level four restrictions for the latest rules if you are in any doubt and thank you for your continued commitment to Glasgow Life.

Best regards,

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Tuesday 17 November

Have your say in helping to shape Glasgow City Council’s Covid-19 renewal plans for the city:

Life has been very different for most of us during Covid-19. The impact of the pandemic has resulted in some council family services either being reduced or stopped altogether, with some staff being asked to work differently, such as from home or in a different role to their normal one.

Glasgow City Council has created a short council family staff survey, which is aimed at helping the council to understand more about how these changes have affected you personally and at work, as well as understanding the levels of confidence you have in using council services, going out in the city and in returning to your workplace in some capacity. Some of the questions will mean you’ll need to think about life without some of the current restrictions in place.

Although we’re still very much in the midst of dealing with this crisis on a day-to-day basis, the council wants to plan for the time when restrictions are gradually being eased and its focus can shift to how we recover, reintroduce services and adapt, based on our learning and experience gained during Covid, as well as how the people of Glasgow can benefit.

The council’s renewal programme has been developed to bring together its current operational situation, challenges, opportunities and aspirations to support this transition to a new normal and longer-term plan. 

Take the survey

All council family staff are being asked to complete this survey, which will take around 10 minutes. The survey is anonymous and the closing date for responses is Friday 18 December.

Sharing the findings

The main findings from the survey will be reported back to the council’s City Renewal Working Group in January, which is planning Glasgow's route back to some kind of normality. The findings will help to inform any decisions that may be taken moving forward and the council will share these and any action plans with all council family staff.

More information

For more information about this survey or if would like to receive it in an alternative format or community language, please contact consultationqueries@glasgow.gov.uk. The council is required to process personal information in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  More information about this can be found here.

Staff update – Friday 13 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

You will be aware that earlier this week Glasgow remained within level three restrictions following the first of the Scottish Government’s new weekly Covid-19 reviews.

The First Minister said that Scotland’s compliance with the current tough measures has undoubtedly had an effect in slowing transmission in recent weeks. However, she also said that while virus cases have stabilised in Glasgow they remain at a “stubbornly high level” and so there is still a risk that the city, and other local authorities in the Central Belt, could be placed into a second lockdown.

As we await the outcome of the Government’s next review on Tuesday, I want to thank you all for your collective efforts in continuing to support the city’s #Fight4Glasgow and to encourage you to remain vigilant in the coming days to ensure we each do all that we can to keep Glasgow out of level four.

Venue closures over Christmas and New Year

Last week, I outlined our office festive closure dates and this week I want to make you aware of our plans for closing venues over Christmas and New Year.

For the most part, the venues that we have reopened during the pandemic will close from Thursday 24 December and reopen w/c Monday 4 January. However, there will be service-specific exceptions to this and some venues will close earlier than 24 December. Additionally, some of our sport facilities as well as Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums will remain open on certain dates between Christmas and New Year, while some sport venues will reopen on Sunday 3 January. All of these dates may be subject to change should Glasgow be moved into level four lockdown restrictions at any time.

Local arrangements are being finalised within each service area and staff will be informed of the festive closure and reopening dates for their venue by their line manager next week. Our marketing communications team will regularly share this information with our customers through our social media and other relevant channels over the coming weeks.

Transforming Pollok Country Park

You may have seen coverage in the press this week reporting the city’s plans to reduce vehicle traffic and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists to Pollok Country Park.

An Active Travel Management Plan for the park was approved at a meeting of Glasgow City Council’s Planning Committee last Friday. This milestone follows an extensive engagement process carried out with local residents and key stakeholders. The plan will improve access to and within the park by promoting public transport and pedestrian links, modifying car access and vehicle routes, and improving connectivity to local areas.

The initiative forms part of a wider Transforming Pollok Country Park project being progressed by the city council and Glasgow Life, which is focussed on supporting the reopening of the Burrell Collection and promoting the park as a world-class attraction for visitors and local people.

People Make Glasgow recognised at global city branding exhibition

Since the city’s People Make Glasgow brand was launched in 2013 it has been recognised around the world as an example of branding and design best practice. That’s again the case this month, as PMG will be on show throughout November at Madrid Gráfica; a prestigious annual international branding, graphic design and cultural event organised by The Madrid Designers’ Association (DIMAD) and Madrid City Council.

This year’s exhibition features 25 examples of leading city brands and is connected to a tribute to the designer Milton Glaser, who is famous for creating New York’s iconic ‘I love NY’ brand. The organisers approached Glasgow Life for permission to include People Make Glasgow and our city is being displayed proudly alongside the likes of New York, Paris, Sydney, Berlin and Montreal.

Scotland qualify for next summer’s UEFA EURO 2020 finals

Finally, and for the football fans among us, it would be remiss of me not to mention Scotland’s dramatic and historic victory over Serbia last night, which will see our nation compete at an international football tournament for the first time in 23 years. Scotland’s qualification for the UEFA EURO 2020 finals next summer is a huge boost for the country and for Glasgow, with the added excitement that the team will now play Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden as part of the city’s hosting of four matches during the tournament.

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life  

Staff update – New Scottish Child Payment opens for applications – Monday 9 November

The Scottish Child Payment (SCP) is a new payment for families on tax credits or certain benefits to help towards the costs of looking after a child. It offers parents £40 every four weeks for each child under the age of six.

The scheme starts on Monday 15 February 2021, but applications are open now. To apply, you need to be in receipt of one or more of the following qualifying benefits: Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); and your child needs to be under six on 15 February 2021.

Scottish Child Payment will not be taken into account for UK benefit and tax credit assessments and there is no cap on the amount of children this payment can support. For more information or to make an application, call Social Security Scotland for free on 0800 182 2222 or visit www.mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment.

Staff update – Friday 6 November

A message from our Chief Executive:

Dear colleagues,

You will no doubt have seen or heard messaging from Glasgow City Council this week urging you to help keep the city out of a second lockdown. As you know, Glasgow is currently subject to tier three restrictions of the Scottish Government’s national framework for managing Covid-19, but in all honesty the city is closer to tier four than tier two.

The need to follow the rules now is greater than ever before if we are to slow the rate of new infections in the city, ease pressure on our NHS and, ultimately, avoid Glasgow being placed under the country’s strictest measures.

I’m sure you would agree the impact on the city at tier three is tough enough and the council has estimated that around 12,000 jobs have been affected through business closures and ongoing restrictions.

At tier four, however, the council believes more than 75,000 jobs could be at risk, particularly across the hospitality sector, not to mention the immeasurable and devastating knock-on effect this would have on the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Such severe restrictions would mean that many people will face increased isolation during the long winter months and struggle to see family and friends who they rely on for support.

The council’s Fight4Glasgow campaign requires all of us to play our part. Yesterday, the Scottish Government said the increased restrictions that have been in place in recent weeks are starting to have an effect, but the position across the Central Belt remains fragile. We must all fight for Glasgow, and encourage those around us to do the same.

In doing so, we give ourselves the best chance of avoiding tier four, protecting the city’s economy and the health of our loved ones, and moving to tier two and a greater degree of normality all the sooner.

Please continue to follow the government’s guidance and new workplace rules on staying safe to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. That means wearing a mask or face covering unless you’re exempt from doing so, maintaining two-metre physical distancing and practicing good hygiene; in particular, washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

As I said last week, if you don’t see the rules being followed in our venues then you should tell us. Talk to your line manager and say if it’s not okay.

If you can, download and use the Protect Scotland app. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, if you have Covid-19 symptoms you must self-isolate and book a test right away. No one should come to work with symptoms or if they have been told to isolate by the NHS Test and Protect service. It won’t be recorded as sickness and you will still be paid as normal.

Love Glasgow this Christmas

As you might expect, the festive season in the city is going to be different this year because of Covid-19.

Our annual Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign will support the city’s Fight4Glasgow campaign and is asking you to Love Glasgow this Christmas by following the public health guidance and showing your support for businesses in the city.

Love Glasgow this Christmas will focus on what’s available to celebrate a great Christmas in the city as well as some innovative festive moments.

George Square will still have the Christmas tree, lights and crib and every evening in December until January 2 2021, there will be a new festive lighting installation at Glasgow City Chambers, which will see the iconic building illuminated with a beautiful colour wash, Christmas lights and lasers beamed from the roof.

Follow Glasgow Loves Christmas and #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas on social media for the latest Glasgow gift ideas and some exclusive festive content you can enjoy over the next seven weeks. 

Office closures over Christmas and New Year

Throughout the pandemic, Glasgow Life has continued to highlight the need for all staff to use their annual leave. It’s important that we all take a break from work on a regular basis to support our health and wellbeing. As is the case every year, our offices will close over the festive period. If you would normally be based in Albion St or any of our other office locations, you should ensure that you have retained up to three days of your annual leave for this.

Offices will close at the end of the day on Thursday 24 December and reopen on Tuesday 5 January for a small number of essential staff who are supporting business-critical operations. If you are currently working from home then you should continue to do so after the festive break. Our office festive closure dates are:

Friday 25 December 2020

Public holiday

Monday 28 December 2020

Public holiday

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required

Wednesday 30 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required

Thursday 31 December 2020

Office closure – annual leave required for half day (AM)

Thursday 31 December 2020

Public holiday – half day (PM)

Friday 1 January 2021

Public holiday

Monday 4 January 2021

Public holiday

Tuesday 5 January 2021

Staff return to work

Please be aware that this is for staff who are normally office based and does not apply in respect of the venues that we have reopened to the public. More information regarding the closure of venues over the festive period and what this means for venue-based staff and our customers will be shared next week.  

As always, have a safe and peaceful weekend.

Bridget

Dr Bridget McConnell
Chief Executive
Glasgow Life

Staff update – Friday 6 November

Self-isolating if you have Covid-19 symptoms:

Test and Protect is Scotland’s approach to implementing a nationwide 'test, trace, isolate and support' strategy; a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of Covid-19 in communities.

As part of this, anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19, or has tested positive for it, will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days. If you still have symptoms after 10 days you should continue to self-isolate until you are symptom free.

If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be asked by the NHS Test and Protect service to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Self-isolation is different from the physical distancing measures everyone in Scotland has been following. It means not leaving the house at all, even to get food and medicine or to exercise.

As Glasgow Life continues to support staff affected by Covid-19, it’s important that we offer the right support based on individual needs and circumstances. To help us do this, we need to capture details of and record staff absences correctly as this will help us determine the best course of action in each instance.

I have received a notification from Test and Protect to self-isolate, do I need to let my line manager know?

Yes. If you have been instructed to self-isolate you must not attend your workplace and should inform your line manager immediately. You will also need to share a copy of the notification from Test and Protect or a self-isolation note from the NHS.

This is not required when you first get in touch with your line manager to let them know that you are self-isolating, but please be aware that you should send a copy to your line manager as soon as you are able to do so. This is a similar process to how we supported our shielding staff earlier in the year.

There are three types of self-isolation notifications that you could receive and need to share with your line manager. They are:

  1. You are symptomatic, take a Covid-19 test and test positive. You should self-isolate as soon as you display any Covid-19 symptoms, don’t wait until you have your test results. If you test positive, please then share your result. If your test result is negative, you can end your period of self-isolation.
  2. You have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Please share the text/letter issued by the contact tracer.
  3. You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive. Please share the NHS self-isolation note.

You can request a self-isolation note here. Managers can also check the validity of isolation notes using the NHS’ checking service here.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Glasgow Life’s priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of its workforce.

If you have contracted Covid-19 or are self-isolating, you will receive your full contractual pay and Glasgow Life will not count any Covid-19 related absence as part of our absence management procedures or towards full or half sick pay entitlements.

I have been instructed to self-isolate by Test and Protect how does that impact my leave?

If you have been instructed by Test and Protect to self-isolate, you may find that you are prevented from taking your pre-booked annual leave.

Glasgow Life recognises that in these circumstances you will be unable to enjoy any aspect of your leave as you will be confined to your home, to meet the rules of self-isolation.

Therefore, in these circumstances it has been agreed that you can cancel your pre-booked annual leave if you have been advised by a contact tracer from Test and Protect that you need to self-isolate. You will need to share a copy of your notification from Test and Protect, which instructs you to self-isolate, with your line manager in order to cancel your leave.  

However, while we continue to demonstrate our support to making sure that you can cancel pre-booked annual leave, we are unable to support the same arrangement for public holidays, which will not be given back.

When to self-isolate

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should visit www.nhsinform.scot to book a test. If you cannot get online, you can call 0800 028 2816. Remember, you should self-isolate straight away if:

  • You have any Covid-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
  • You have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.
  • Someone in your support bubble/extended household has symptoms or has tested positive.
  • You are told by NHS Test and Protect or advised through the Protect Scotland app that you've been in close contact with a person with Covid-19.
  • You have been abroad and need to quarantine.

Please don’t go for one last shop, use public transport, leave your house or wait for a test result to decide. If you don’t have help nearby, you can call the freephone National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Self-isolation and working from home / returning to work

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your line manager may ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating. Glasgow Life will not ask you to come into your workplace before your period of isolation is complete. Once you have finished the advised period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manger to discuss your return to work plan.

If you are unfit to attend work because you have Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’re unable to work from home while you are self-isolating, your line manager should record this using Glasgow Life’s Covid-19 record of absence spreadsheet (version 3) and this should be returned to our HR team at ERGL@glasgowlife.org.uk after your self-isolation period has ended.

All other non-Covid-19 absences should be recorded in the usual way and our normal maximising attendance and sick leave provisions will apply in these circumstances.

For more detailed information on self-isolating visit:

Staff update – Thursday 5 November

Information Security Essentials Course 2020/21:

Each year, all staff across the council family are required to complete Glasgow City Council’s Information Security Essentials Course. Information security is a fundamental part of the Council Family Information Management Strategy.

It is vital that you understand and know how to keep the information and IT equipment you use safe and secure as well as what to do if it is accidentally lost or shared with the wrong person. This helps to protect our data, systems, buildings, colleagues, customers and citizens as well as our reputation.

This is a mandatory course for all council family staff and it must be taken each year to comply with Glasgow City Council’s core IT policies.

How to complete this course:

With many Glasgow Life staff working in different ways and in different locations just now, the easiest and quickest way to complete this refresher course is on GOLD, our online e-learning platform. GOLD can be accessed from both Glasgow Life and personal devices. If you take the course on GOLD, it will automatically record that you have completed it and it will be listed in your learning and development log.

Logging into GOLD:

You will need your SAP number and login details. If you are logging into GOLD for the first time, this is your SAP number with zeroes at the start until it makes up 8 digits. Your password will be your surname.

  • To log into GOLD from a work device, use this link
  • To log into GOLD from a non-work device, such as your personal smart phone, tablet or laptop, use this link (which is user friendly on smartphones and tablets).
  • Once logged in, click on the ‘Your ALEO or Service’ tab.
  • Then scroll down and open the ‘Glasgow Life’ tab, which will provide access to the Information Security Essentials 2020/21 course.

If you are unable to access GOLD on a work or personal device:

Please speak to your line manager about accessing the paper version of this course and confirm to your line manager that you have read and understood the content of the paper version. Your line manager will then record that you have completed it.

All Glasgow Life staff must complete this learning by no later than Thursday 21 January 2020.

Should you have any questions, please raise these with your line manager in the first instance.

Behind the scenes at Glasgow Life

Throughout lockdown we’ll be going behind the scenes at Glasgow Life and shining the spotlight on different areas of our organisation. Read on to find out how we’re responding to the challenges of Covid-19 and what’s on the horizon.