Renfrewshire Council

Take 5 Staff News - 25 March 2021

Welcome to this week's Take 5, a special Coronavirus One Year On edition...

In this week's issue:

View the PDF version of this week's Take 5 [3MB]

Coronavirus - One Year On

On Tuesday this week (23 March) we marked one year since the first national lockdown was announced in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus.

An event organised by Marie Curie and supported by the UK and Scottish Governments saw people across the country coming together in a day of reflection to observe a one-minute silence at 12pm with homes and prominent landmarks lighting up from 8pm.

Locally, Renfrew Town Hall, Johnstone Bandstand and the Bascule Bridge, all shone brightly in memory of those who lost their lives to Covid-19.

Our Chief Executive, Sandra Black said, "This first anniversary is a sombre reminder of the sacrifices so many have made to keep us safe and the losses people have suffered, whether that's been as a direct result of the virus or whether people have not been able to grieve and remember loved ones in the way they would normally. If you need support, we have a range of services available to help you - please reach out and either speak to your line manager or visit Our Wellbeing hub on our website for useful resources and contacts."

Your weekly coronavirus update

A brighter future is in sight, was the main message from the last routine parliament briefing on Tuesday (23 March).

The daily coronavirus briefings will now take place only when there are key announcements or changes to public health advice as campaigning for the Scottish Parliament elections on May 6 gets underway.

As the vaccination programme continues, there is real hope that the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months can go ahead as planned. To help ensure we can emerge from this crisis safely, it's vital that we all continue to follow the rules in place every step of the way.

The first significant change will be the shift from 'stay at home' to 'stay local' from Friday 2 April followed by some first steps to gradually reopen non-essential retail from Monday 5 April.

For more details on the planned easing of restrictions and the latest information visit Scottish Government website.

Vaccinations expanded for those aged 50-59

The national COVID-19 vaccination programme continues and remains on track for all adults aged over 50, unpaid carers and those with underlying health conditions to receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by mid-April.

Over the past week, NHS invitations to vaccination appointments for people aged 50-59, who were not included in previous priority groups, have started to be issued and many will have already received their first dose.

If your appointment is due to take place during working hours, please ensure you seek the usual permission from your line manager in advance. Managers are asked to be flexible and accommodate vaccination appointments during working hours as much as possible. We want everyone to take up the vaccine when it is offered.

For details about vaccination centres in Renfrewshire, planning your journey and what to expect at your appointment visit the Coronavirus vaccination centres page on our website.

Lots more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including a full list of priority groups, is available on the NHS Inform website.

Vaccines for unpaid carers

The Scottish Government has launched a new service to allow unpaid carers to register themselves for a coronavirus vaccination.

This means people who provide vital face-to-face care and support for others who haven't already been given an appointment are being invited to self-register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

To be eligible to register for the vaccine as an unpaid carer you need to be aged between 16 and 64 and provide regular face-to-face care for a family member or friend with a disability, physical or mental ill health, a developmental condition, frailty or substance misuse.

If this applies to you and you would like to register, please go to the NHS Inform website or call the helpline on 0800 030 8013.

If you have already received your vaccination or a letter of appointment, there is no further action to take, and no need to register.

For more information on the full range of supports available for our working carers at Renfrewshire Council visit our page for Council staff with caring responsibilities.

A special tribute to our outstanding colleagues

One year on from the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic, look out for a special tribute from our senior leaders coming soon.

Our Chief Executive Sandra Black, our Directors and Provost have created a lovely film to say a huge thank to all of us for living our values, adapting to new ways of working, and the continued care, commitment and compassion we've shown in going above and beyond to provide essential services to the people of Renfrewshire.

Look out for the video on our YouTube channel coming soon!

Our Wellbeing

Our Staff Wellbeing webpage is there to provide you with information and contacts to help keep you well during this time.

Got a story?

Don't forget, we'd love to hear from you! If you have a story to tell or something interesting to share, get in touch with us by emailing