CPAG help frontline staff to get to grips with important changes in the benefits system

CPAG have have developed eLearning courses to help frontline workers who do not work in welfare rights get to grips with important changes in the benefits system. These courses are currently free, see list below along with link to register;

  • Supporting hard-up households
  • Winning your benefit appeal
  • Scottish welfare fund
  • Introducing the CPAG handbook
  • Universal credit
  • Planning & paying for funerals
  • Knowledge check: Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers
  • Cash in a crisis
  • Payments for children in Scotland
  • Scottish student income and universal credit

Find out more here.

Covid 19 impact survey for Muslim and Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities

A message from Team Amina


Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, supports women from Muslim and BME communities across Scotland. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it is vital that we understand the current issues affecting women and girls in the communities we support.

In order for us to provide support relevant to communities’ needs, and make the right asks of government and funders we need to know how the current situation affects you. We are therefore seeking your views through Amina’s Covid-19 Survey. The results from the survey will help us in shaping our response to the new and emerging needs of the communities.

The survey can be accessed here.

  • The survey is confidential and anonymous and no individual details will be published.
  • The survey contains 23 questions and will take between 7-10 minutes to complete.
  • More than one person from the same household can respond to the survey.

We appreciate your response to help us understand your experience of Covid-19.

Kind regards,


Citywall House
32 Eastwood Avenue
G41 3NS
0141 212 8420

Violence against women and girls update June 2020

By Veronica Campanile, Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator

Below is the June information note – once again the main focus is Covid-19 with general VAWG information at the end. 

Please make use of what you can and cascade to whoever you think may find this useful.

If you received this from someone else and you would like to be on the distribution list just let me know.


Veronica Campanile
Violence Against Women and Girls Coordinator
East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Office
Room F28
Brunton Hall
16 Ladywell Way
Musselburgh EH21 6AF
Direct tel: 01620 827475 
Mobile: 07540 101 227
EMPPO Tel: 0131 653 5150

Read the full update here.

Further reading:

Education Recovery Group

More on reopening schools from Michael Berry, Team Leader, Education Communications, at COSLA

The Education Recovery Group continues work to develop plans for full reopening of schools.

The Education Recovery Group (ERG) met today to progress plans for reopening schools full-time for all pupils in August provided scientific and clinical evidence supports that position.

The ERG will work together over the summer to ensure that plans are developed collaboratively for a smooth transition back to school for all children and young people.

The regular three-weekly reviews of the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations include specific consideration of the evidence and data relating to transmission within schools and amongst young people.

To provide clarity to staff, parents and pupils, the group agreed to provide advice that enables a decision on whether it is safe for pupils to return to schools on a full-time basis as soon as possible, and no later than July 30.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I would like to record again my appreciation for the flexibility, professionalism and commitment of staff across the system in supporting the care and education of Scotland’s children and young people during the period of school closure, and into next year.”

COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

“It has been an extremely challenging period for everyone involved in Scottish education, not least children and young people and their parents. We are very aware of the many challenges we must overcome to ensure a safe return to school for all children and young people and our staff. This will be our focus in the coming weeks.”

Scottish Contact Tracing Programme – SCAM PREVENTION ADVICE

The NHS Scotland Contact Tracing Programme is extremely important in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public get on board with it.

Unfortunately, criminals will exploit every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people of their money, or steal their personal details.

Health boards have a variety of mechanisms in place to reassure people that Contact Tracers are legitimate, including call back options, visible numbers, and specific location and date information.

To help protect yourself from any such scam be aware that contact tracers WILL:

  • Get in touch by phone call or text message.
  • Introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify the call recipient by name.
  • Only ask for information about your movements and the people you have been in close physical proximity to.

Contact tracers will NEVER:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them.
  • Ask you to make any form of payment, including a charitable donation.
  • Ask for any details about your medical history.
  • Ask for any details about your bank account.
  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts.
  • Ask you for passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs on the phone.
  • Ask you to purchase a product or attempt to sell you anything.
  • Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet.

How to book John Muir House ELHSCP Managers’ Meeting Area by email

From ELHSCP Operational Business Manager Catriona Cockburn

From Monday 29th June 2020 all attendance at ELHSCP – John Muir House Managers Meeting area is required to be booked via emailing:  

The current maximum capacity of this area will be 6 attendees, this may be reviewed as guidance is continually reviewed in line with advice on maintaining social distances. Any updates will be communicated.

Facilities in this area are;-

  • Access to WiFi
  • four work areas that will each have a NHS Wyse terminal and an ELC Wyse Terminal. You may be required to bring your own keyboard/mouse to reduce sharing of equipment, clarification is being sought from ELC.
  • four NHS laptop docking stations
  • four telephones that can be signed into if you have an East Lothian Council telephone number
  • Access to a printer/scanner
  • Access to kitchen facilities is controlled to manage social distancing – please bring your own refreshments

Requests can be made for up to four Managers to access IT facilities or up to six colleagues for essential fac- to-face socially distanced meetings. However any cancelled bookings will impact on access for other colleagues in need of work/essential meeting space. Please ensure that any cancellations are emailed to generic email  

Do not email the PA’s directly as the room booking information is currently a paper based system. The 3 PA’s are now operating a new way of working with an attendance rota to provide reception support within the ELHSCP area.

This new generic email is monitored routinely throughout the day.

If you have an ELC telephone number that was left signed in at JMH and put on voicemail, I would request that you let me know and the PA’s will attempt to redirect calls.

Thank you for your co-operation.

What easing of lockdown means for people living in East Lothian

Update from East Lothian Council Chief Executive Monica Patterson

Not only is another week about to draw to a close but also the current school session, the last few months of which have been unlike anything we have ever experienced before.

Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement earlier in the week, we have written to parents and carers in East Lothian to update them on the planning assumption that all pupils will return to school from 12 August if it is safe to do so.

Clearly this is conditional and based on scientific advice. It has also been confirmed that the plans we were putting in place for blended learning will be a contingency in case they are required.

I’d like to thank all of our staff for their hard work in continuing to support families since the start of the pandemic. While there remains a lot of work ahead of us all, the way in which we have responded has been remarkable – from the establishment of Children’s Hubs, provision of free school meals, through to distance learning for children and young people. I thank each and every staff member who has been involved and hope you manage to have a well-earned break during the summer holiday.

Lockdown restrictions

With Phase 2 of easing the lockdown restrictions underway, the First Minister this week announced provisional dates for the relaxation of travel restrictions and the restarting of the hospitality industry. She stressed that these changes remained contingent on scientific and public health advice. Physical distancing of 2 metres continues to be required in Scotland. The Scottish Government continues to receive scientific advice and a further update is expected on 2 July. 

The indicative Phase 3 dates are intended to give businesses time to prepare for reopening while adhering to public health and physical distancing measures to protect workers and customers. Final decisions on moving into Phase 3 will be taken in line with the statutory three-weekly review cycle, due on 9 July.

These would be in addition to some previously announced changes coming into effect on Monday which include the re-opening of street access retail, where guidance has been implemented.

You can read more about this on the Scottish Government website.

The council will, of course, continue to follow the national advice and guidance and will put in place arrangements to make changes to/resume services as and when it is appropriate to do so.

All coastal and countryside car parks are now open for local use and I’d like to thank colleagues from a variety of services who have been working hard to ensure public safety in and around our communities and beauty spots.

At the present time it remains the case that people should continue to stay in their local area (broadly within five miles) as much as possible and should not travel further for leisure and recreation.

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to maintain services, support local businesses and our community partners at this challenging time.


Test & Protect National Mailing

From Gail at the NHS24 Engagement Team

We have been asked by our Scottish Government colleagues to send out the information below to all our partners and contacts. Please accept our apologies for any cross posting.

This week, the Test & Protect National Mailing is being delivered to every home across Scotland.

The NHS Scotland Test and Protect service has been introduced to control the spread of coronavirus as lockdown measures are eased. We are working with partners and stakeholders to get this vital message out to everyone across our communities.

This mailshot is a key communication tool for Test and Protect, and will provide every household with detailed information they need to understand the process and to undertake the steps which may be required if they need to isolate. This includes:

  • A letter from the First Minister
  • An infographic explaining the Test and Protect Process
  • The Test and Protect information leaflet

The Test & Protect Mailing has been translated into the following languages and accessible formats: Arabic, Audio MP3, BSL, Easy Read, Farsi, Gaelic, Large Print Format, Hindi, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Slovakian, Traditional Chinese and Urdu. Digital versions of the leaflet in these languages and formats will be available online at

Our partners at Minority Ethnic Carers of People (MECOPP) have also produced a voiced over version of the Test & Protect Process Video in Cantonese, you can find these here:

We are really grateful for your support in sharing this with partners, service-users and communities.


NHS 24 Engagement Team