Renfrewshire Council

"Fabulous" feedback from colleagues

Recognising staff commitment to supporting unpaid working carers

Image of Fiona Sinclair and Ian Whyte meeting in booth HR colleagues, Fiona Sinclair and Ian Whyte, lead the council's provision for unpaid working carers, ensuring managers and staff are aware of the additional leave and wrap around support available. Their dedication has been recognised by their head of service Marlene Boyd, who was prompted by the many messages of thanks she's received on their behalf.

Marlene said "The feedback from colleagues about the helpful support they've had from Fiona and Ian has been fabulous, and great examples of how they're living our values. Many have complimented the kind and personable approach and expressed how reassured they feel knowing that, as an employer, we understand their challenges and will always do our best to help carers balance their work and caring responsibilities."

Fiona and Ian have picked up the baton from former colleagues who developed our approach and established our carers network. Their combined efforts to create a working environment, where carers are valued and supported, have ensured the Council is recognised as an Exemplary Carers Positive Employer.

Describing her reaction on being nominated for living our values, Fiona said, "It's humbling to hear that the work we do is making a difference to people and so lovely that colleagues have taken time out of their busy days to send positive feedback. I'm smiling here!

"We focus on engaging with as many managers and colleagues as we possibly can, raising awareness of the help available to those juggling work and unpaid caring responsibilities.

"Our popular 'Care for a Cuppa?' sessions are a safe space for carers to come together and share their experiences. It's open to anyone with caring responsibilities and for those who might not be sure of the support available to them. It can be a bit of a lightbulb moment when people come along and recognise stories like their own. For Ian and I, it's a great way to get to know our unpaid working carers and understand where we can do more to help."

Ian agrees, "My favourite thing about the carers network is how much people benefit from relating to others in similar situations with caring responsibilities. It also helps Fiona and I better understand what support and flexibility people need to provide care at home for their loved ones. I always learn something new and useful at every 'Care for a cuppa?' session I attend, and to know that people appreciate what we do is just so lovely."

Ian also highlighted the importance of gathering views and asking for feedback.

He said, "We're always keen to enhance the support we offer. Fiona and I have invited all line managers and colleagues with caring responsibilities to complete a short feedback survey by 30 June. Please take some time, if you can, to share your thoughts with us. We'd really appreciate it."

For more on the range of support available to unpaid working carers, please visit the 'Council staff with caring responsibilities section' of our website. If you have any questions or would like some advice related to your own personal circumstances, please call Fiona or Ian on 0141 487 0791/0828 or email and

Nominate a colleague for living our values

Have you noticed a colleague or team who really get what it means to be fair, helpful, collaborative and value learning? Why not let them know they're doing a great job by nominating them for living our values?

To nominate: Simply complete this short form with some great examples of what they do. For more information on our values and behaviours, head over to the Living Our Values webpage

Published Tuesday 27 June 2023