Volunteers week 2020

Volunteers week, 1-7 June every year, is when we normally get the chance to celebrate and thank our many volunteers. Some who are very new to the organisation and others who have seen us through many years and many changes.

However, this year we feel that perhaps now is not the right time for big celebrations, and instead are sending a personal message of heartfelt thanks and warmest wishes to all our volunteers.

We say this often, but it does not make it any less true, our work right across the Care Inspectorate could not be as rich with the voices of people who have experience of care, without our many volunteers. They shape what we do, how we do it and how we talk about it. They share their experiences and ideas, their skills, and knowledge and of course their time freely and with great generosity. We are so grateful to all our volunteers.

So, this week as we cannot meet up with our volunteers, we are sending a thank you message to every volunteer from everyone at the Care Inspectorate.

We hope this article together with the May edition of the Involvement Newsletter will reassure staff across the organisation that the great work our volunteers have done and continue to do for us remotely, is wholeheartedly acknowledged in this special week, despite the current restrictions.

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Corridor karaoke in The Oaks Care Home

Staff and residents at The Oaks Care Home in Glasgowhave been doing lots of interesting and creative things throughout lockdown.   

Many of their residents are self-isolating in their rooms so the team had to think of ways to bring safe, communal activities to them.   

ManagerJulie Stevenson said: “Corridor karaoke has been a huge hit - where residents stand at their bedroom doors and sing a karaoke song of their choice while served mocktails and snacksOne was ‘Rave’ themed with, according to one resident, some ‘bangin’ tunes!’ which lifted everyone’s spirits and provided a bit of exercise too. They also play stand-up bingo from their doorways. The last one standing gets the prize.

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Making connections to combat loneliness

To combat loneliness and keep spirits up, Port of Leith Housing Association in Edinburgh has set up more ways to keep people connected.

 Manager Maureen Combe said: “We’ve introduced a few new things that are working really well. We send packs to our tenants three times a week with activities to keep their minds active. We include quizzes, puzzles, jokes to keep people smiling and gentle exercise routines to keep people moving.”

 The service has also started delivering birthday cakes and cards outside people’s doors and staff come along, socially distancing of course, to sing happy birthday. Watch a video where tenants came out in force to celebrate Eva’s birthday here.

 The tenants are huge supporters of the NHS and take part in the ‘Clap for carers’ each Thursday and clap and cheer from their windows. They made a big banner too which hangs from one of the schemes.

 Maureen continues: “Our housing officers make regular courtesy calls to our over 65s to check in and see if anyone needs any particular support and are on hand to give advice and just have a chat. We’ve had excellent feedback from our tenants and families and we’re thinking about making a memory book or quilt after things get back to normal to remember all the positives during this difficult time.”

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We are a Stonewall diversity champion

By joining the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme - we are proud to publicly show our commitment to promoting inclusive employer practices. We believe in the power of a workplace that's truly inclusive and we strive to ensure all LGBT staff are accepted without exception in our workplace.

 You can learn more about the programme here.

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Rachel stays connected with William

Childminder, Rachel Adam, is making sure one of her four-year olds doesn’t miss out on his learning and other activities, while he’s at home during lockdown.   

Rachel explains: “I’m only able to look after some of the children whose parents are key-workers at the momentSo, although William currently isn’t in my careI wanted to make sure that he can still keep up with his learning while at home. Every fortnight, I put together a pack with various activities for him to do. He loves them and he’s doing a great job.”  

Rachel keeps in regular contact and gets photographs from his parents showing William completing the activitiesShe links activities to his alphabet and numbers and other interests and things he likes to do. Rachel then awards certificates to mark his achievements.  

 Rachel said: “It’s more important than ever to stay connected during these unusual timesI didn’t want William to feel left out and miss things just because he wasn’t able to come and see me and the other children each day. It’s good for us all to stay in touch and let each other know what’s happening.”  

Sandra Robinson, inspector said: “It is lovely to hear how Rachel is continuing to support the child and their family in an innovative way so that they continue to feel included, respected and valued.    

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