22 May 2020 - Chief Executive Briefing

22 May 2020 - Chief Executive Briefing

Many of you will be listening to the Scottish Governments daily briefing and be aware that the First Minister is looking to begin to ease lockdown in Scotland in phases over the coming weeks and months. We are continuing to closely monitoring the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 exist strategy guidance and the impact it has on our staff and customers.

There has been some speculation in the media about coming out of lockdown and what that means for people returning to work. I want to assure you that we are considering this but there will be no imminent changes and our policy continues to be that where possible staff should continue to work from home. We need to take our time to make plans and consult with colleagues before any action is taken.

We are living in exceptional times and your safety and that of our customers remains our top priority. In the coming weeks your line managers will be discussing the next phase with you and we are keen to listen to what you have to say.

Over the past months focusing on staff wellbeing in the briefings has been core as the effort to work many hours in PPE is not easy and the relentless need to keep people socially distance tiring for some of you. Taking appropriate breaks and encouraging staff to take annual leave is crucial in maintaining energy and also resilience.

Mental Health Awareness Week

It is Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24th May) and this year’s focus is on Kindness. As you know Kindness has been added to Bielid’s core values as an organisation and we had hoped to formally launch this at our planned staff conference in September. Although we will not be able to do that this year we will bring everyone together when we have Government advice that it is safe to do so.

The following is extracted from the Mental Health Foundation to describe what Kindness means:

‘Kindness is choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, motivated by genuine warm feelings.   

Kindness, or doing good, often means putting other people’s needs before our own. It could be by giving up our seat on a bus to someone who might need it more, or offering to make a cup of tea for someone at work.  

Evidence shows that helping others can also benefit our own mental health and wellbeing. For example, it can reduce stress as well as improve mood, self-esteem and happiness.  

There are so many ways to help others as part of our everyday lives. Good deeds needn’t take much time or cost any money.’ 

Small changes can make a big difference.  

To help kick this off we are very keen to create a  Bield ‘Wall of Kindness’ that helps us share the wonderful acts of kindness that are going on in the organisation. So encourage your teams and customers to reflect on acts of kindness you would like to share:

  • This can be shared by photo (please make sure you have permission to share the photo)
  • A story
  • Picture
  • Or even just a few words

Please send to me at ceocommunications@Bield.co.uk and we will create our first Wall of Kindness and put #kindnessmatters in the subject line.

Health & Well Being

In the coming weeks we will be sharing with you a virtual health & Well Being hub for use by staff – the purpose of this is to ensure that you find it easy to find resources that aid mental health, resilience and physical health. Working under these conditions can be challenging and being kind to yourself is important in staying well during this time. For now we are sharing information on help that is available for anyone struggling with their mental health. 

I hope you all have a restful and enjoyable weekend and I look forward to hearing your stories.

Dr Lynne Douglas

Chief Executive