Renfrewshire Council Leader hails dedication of council staff during Coronavirus pandemic

28th Jun 2020

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has paid tribute to the work of council staff for their dedication in providing essential services and support throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a report set to go to the full Council meeting on 24 June 2020, the work of council staff to deliver essential frontline services and the resilience of residents who have volunteered to help their local communities has been outlined.

The national response to the pandemic has been led by the council and its partners to ensure that local people have had quick, direct access to the support that is available, and this work has spanned across every service within the Council.

The newly-established Local Assistance Team supported hundreds of people across Renfrewshire as they helped to arrange food supplies, delivery of medicines and supported those shielding to access supermarket deliveries – with more than 6,200 calls received to the local helpline and contact made with 94% of local people who are shielding. In addition, more than 250,000 food packages have also been supplied to local residents.

Staff at Renfrewshire’s seven childcare hubs have supported more than 250 children of key workers and vulnerable families every week during the lockdown period, with this support set to be extended throughout the summer.

More than 6,600 children have received an £11.25 payment every week in lieu of free school meals and, to facilitate learning at home, 500 Chromebooks have been given to pupils in Renfrewshire who need them.

More than 2000 Scottish Government grants have been processed for local businesses totalling £23million and community and third sector organisations have been supported to access more than £600,000 in grant funding.

Staff have prioritised maintaining services to protect the most vulnerable children and adults in Renfrewshire, including a 24/7 response for anyone made homeless, safe visits to older adults in sheltered housing and the concierge and caretaking service has continued in all high-rise blocks in the area.

The Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership continue to support around 1,600 people through its Care at Home service, providing care packages for vulnerable residents, and staff are supporting care homes to recover from the impact of the virus.

Through the Connecting Scotland programme, vulnerable residents have also been provided with laptop or tablets, an internet connection, and training and support to help them stay connected – with 230 devices available for people in Renfrewshire.

Street cleaning and waste collections teams have continued to work a full schedule, with other key services such as emergency repairs, essential vehicle maintenance, catering and burials continuing to operate round the clock.

The council’s Customer Services team are answering thousands of calls each week to ensure that residents are able to access the services they need, as well as providing vital behind the scenes support for every council service.

Councillor Nicolson said: “The resilience of every one of our teams and their ability to adapt to this ever-changing situation has been incredible.

“Without the work of the council, and the incredible community spirit we have in Renfrewshire, we would not have been able to come through this testing time so successfully and the report set to go to Council outlines the scale of the work undertaken to support the people of Renfrewshire – it’s clear that that everyone has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“Around 1,000 staff members have been fulfilling a different role than normal during this crisis, learning new skills and being an invaluable support for local people.

“I can’t praise them enough and we will continue to do all we can to give people the support that we know they’ll require now, and in the future, as we recover from this pandemic.

“We will do all we can to ensure that everyone in Renfrewshire can access the support they need so please if you need us, get in touch and we’ll help you through this difficult time.”

For advice and guidance on Coronavirus and the support available from the Council, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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