Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe and protecting all our communities. We understand that daily life adhering to coronavirus (COVID-19 guidelines continues to be challenging for everyone.
Although Scottish Government guidance has provided flexibility for the individual needs of disabled people, we recognise this has not prevented some people becoming fearful of going out into their communities. We are aware some disabled people have reported being unfairly challenged and, on occasion, abused about issues linked to social distancing and face coverings.
Our partners have shared concerns that some disabled people can find physical distancing difficult – this could be linked to sight loss, autism, a physical disability or other issues. People have reported being shouted at, made to feel uncomfortable or fearful.
We have also received reports of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings being inappropriately challenged in shops or on public transport. This includes people who have invisible or hidden disabilities, like asthma or autism.
There are several exemptions in the guidance for people who cannot wear face coverings. A full list can be found on the Scottish Government website. Exemptions included are:
you have a health condition or you are disabled and a face covering would be inappropriate because it would cause difficulty, pain or severe distress or anxiety, or because you cannot apply a covering and wear it safely and consistently in the proper manner. Individual discretion should be applied in considering the use of face coverings for children and young people, for example, children with breathing difficulties and disabled children who would struggle to wear a face covering
you need to eat or drink
you are taking medication
you are communicating with someone who relies on lip reading.
Police Scotland wants to reassure disabled communities that we take reports of people being targeted seriously. We would encourage the public to consider the implications of coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines on disabled communities before challenging people. We want to prevent these incidents occurring and to ensure disabled people feel safe in their communities.
We will continue to work with the Scottish Government and other partners to ensure the public is aware of issues which directly affect disabled communities.
Police Scotland has circulated guidance to frontline police officers and staff to ensure they consider disabilities when engaging with people, particularly given the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) measures.
We understand some disabled people may choose to carry a card or wear a lanyard stating they have exemptions from wearing face coverings or to identify a disability. Individuals are under absolutely no obligation to carry information or to show it to anyone. Police Scotland officers will not ask you to provide any evidence of an exemption or disability. We will support your right to do this if it makes you feel more confident going about your daily life and will ensure we consider this if you choose to disclose this information.
Police Scotland’s policing style response to coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be based on a desire to work together and ensure everyone’s safety with enforcement of legislation a last resort. Our approach will continue to be:
Engage to establish the individual’s circumstances and if they are aware of guidelines in place.
Explain the risks to public health and to the NHS in line with government guidelines.
Encourage voluntary compliance.
Enforce only if officers are faced with non-compliance and as a last resort.
In the coming weeks and months, we urge everyone to continue to work together, ensuring no person or group in Scotland feels marginalised or isolated.
Police Scotland does not tolerate the targeting of individuals or communities, or any form of hate crime. Should anyone experience or witness such an incident please report it.
You can contact Police Scotland by:
dialling 101, or 999 in an emergency
via SMS 999 – you must register for this service before using it
using Text Relay using the BT Relay UK app or textphone
you can also use our online hate crime reporting form on the Police Scotland website.
Hate Crime can also be reported via one of our third party reporting centres. More information on third party reporting can be found on our Police Scotland website.
I am the new Planning and Performance Officer within the Planning and Performance Team of Adult Wellbeing. My main responsibilities will include:
Monitoring and reviewing areas of commissioned service provision with a particular focus on external care at home services
Handling of complaints in relation to Care at Home provision
Update and develop Adult Social Care policies to ensure high quality service provision and risk mitigation.
I have just returned to East Lothian Council following a secondment to West Lothian Council’s Social Policy division where I was the project manager for their Learning Disability Redesign and Modernisation Programme. Prior to that I was part of the East Lothian and Midlothian Public Protection Team and I have worked in East Lothian Council for around 13 years.
My interests include my two wonderful children, current affairs, reading, gaming and going for walks and bike rides.
I am so happy to be returning to East Lothian as it feels like home!
CAPS is an Independent Advocacy organisation which supports people with mental health issues to be heard and to have their say. I’m writing to you to let you know that CAPS has recently secured additional funding to provide independent advocacy to adults affected by drug and alcohol use in Midlothian and East Lothian.
CAPS Advocacy can assist people to express their views and wishes in all kinds of issues in their lives, from health appointments to benefits assessments to children and families meetings. CAPS is a confidential service and independent from health, council and other services. As an independent advocacy organisation we ourselves do not provide any other services apart from advocacy. This independence means people can have confidence that we are only there to be on their side.
The new Drug & Alcohol Advocacy service is available from 13th July 2020. Someone looking for advocacy can get in touch with us by calling 0131 273 5118 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also make a referral this way as long as the person is happy for their details to be passed on.
I would be grateful if you could share this information with anyone who is working with someone who would like to access advocacy. If you have any questions about the new service or independent advocacy please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Jane Crawford Chief Executive Officer CAPS Independent Advocacy Old Stables Eskmills Park Station Road MUSSELBURGH EH21 7PQ phone: 0131 273 5116 fax: 0131 273 5117 web: www.capsadvocacy.org e-mail: email@example.com
This year’s theme is “Care Community”, which is appropriate given how well all care homes in East Lothian have worked together to keep residents and staff as safe as possible during the past few months.
There is a real sense of community in care homes in East Lothian and they have all gone the extra mile to make sure that resident and families can stay in touch. And, I’d like to thank all the community groups and business who have been so supportive and donating iPads, food, toiletries and even handcream for staff.
They demonstrate how much communities care about their local care homes and all the people in them.
But most of all, I would like to thank staff, residents and relatives for making the best of a very difficult situation. They have supported each other throughout and have continued to try to get the most out of life under lockdown. Whether it’s making videos, having VE day parties, singing, baking or just cheering each other up when the going was a bit tough, they have shown that taking a positive approach can make such a huge difference.
It’s lovely to see all the gazebos going up in care home grounds now that we have been able to open up restricted visiting. I know those reunions after so long apart mean an awful lot. I’m looking forward to the day when we can open up visiting a bit more, which will come if all of us in the community can remember to continue sticking to the guidelines and keep the infection rate down across Scotland.
So, thank you, residents, staff, families and communities for all your support and Happy Care Home Day 2020. You have done a fantastic job in a really challenging time.
Alison Macdonald Chief Officer East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership
From Bella Kerr, Intergenerational Development Officer, Generations Working Together
In this month’s newsletter, we share our learnings from our first virtual event, an inspiring story of how our funding generated an idea for an affordable community café, and expert nutrition advice for shielding older people.
Welcome to our new community members
If you’re new to Food for Life Get Togethers, welcome to the community! By signing up to our newsletter, you’re the first to receive resources to help you connect with your communities by cooking, growing and eating together. You’ll also hear about activities and events you can join in with, either virtually, as a household or in person.
Good food for all
Good food is something we’re passionate about at Food for Life, and you’ll often notice us talking about how to incorporate good food into your Get Together activities. But what is good food? Simply put, it’s food that’s good for us, good for the environment, and good for the local economy – and it doesn’t have to be pricey. Read more about what we mean by good food, and how you can make the most of local producers, community gardens and growing at home.
Good food for older people
Eating well is particularly important for older people who are shielding. If you’re caring for vulnerable older people in your community, our Nutrition for Older People guide could be an invaluable resource. Download it, print it out, and share with anyone else who will find this information useful.
Lunchtime Cookalong learnings
Our first Lunchtime Cookalong was last month, and despite some initial technical issues, 96 people came together to cook a delicious sweet potato and chickpea curry lead by Masterchef semi-finalist Sarah Dugdale.
This is the first time we’d held a virtual event and we are still learning and reviewing the best tech platforms to use. Next time we’ll aim to come back with a slicker set up and fewer glitches!
If you missed the live event, not to worry – you can take part in the Cookalong at home anytime. The link is here, with the recipe and ingredients listed in the description.
It goes without saying that Covid-19 has presented a challenge for communities far and wide. Get Togethers works with communities across the UK and we wanted to ensure that our community funding was able to be used for practical responses to the pandemic at a community level. Our team in the West Midlands have seen some amazing initiatives getting off the ground.
After providing meals to the community during Covid-19 using our emergency funding, Walsall community group Free@Last are working towards opening a not-for-profit café that will provide meals to their community. So far, Free@Last have fed over 12,000 people with fresh and delicious meals including goat curry, lasagne, and spicy lamb hotpot. Building on this work will allow them to continue feeding hundreds of people in their community in the long term.
Save the date for World Food Day
We’re beginning to get plans in place for World Food Day. It’s not until 16th October, but we’re already thinking about what we can do now to prepare. We’re offering free seeds to the first 100 people to sign up to host a World Food Day Get Together. Sign up today and get a pack of spinach or carrot seeds in the post. Sow them now, grow over summer and harvest them in October ready to cook up for your World Food Day Get Together!
Black Lives Matter
The Food for Life Get Togethers team wishes to both express our solidarity with the anti-racist movement, and to hasten the time when the food, farming and environmental sector better reflects and speaks up for the diverse society in which we live. Read more about how we’re actively seeking to learn and improve here.
Our Get Togethers Community
Have you joined our Facebook community group yet? Join today and be a part of a likeminded community of cooks, growers and community champions.
Today is Care Home Day, an online awareness day which seeks to raise the profile of care homes across Scotland. It is an important opportunity to recognise the essential role of care homes in our communities and the work they do in supporting our older and vulnerable citizens.
The National Wellbeing Hub
The National Wellbeing Hub contains resources that will help health and social care staff, carers, volunteers and their families find support to cope with challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
Poster for childminders on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their settings
We have produced a posterfor childminders to help them keep children and families safe in their settings from the spread of COVID-19.
Care homes for older people – sharing your experiences and learning from COVID-19
We would like to thank those who answered our call to hear from people working in care homes for older people.
We have had many replies from managers and would like to particularly request carers and people working in other roles who aren’t managers to get in touch.
We recognise that this has been a challenging and difficult time for many people working in social care. The Care Inspectorate would like to hear directly from you about your experiences. This is your opportunity to let us know what these past few months have actually felt like on the frontline and what we can all learn from these experiences.
If you are a carer, senior carer or have another role working in a care home (not a management role) for older people we would like to hear from you. We are planning to arrange telephone calls or Near Me (whatever works best for you) to listen to your experiences. Conversations will last about 45mins.
From East Lothian Council’s Wellbeing Wendesday team
Looking after ourselves is not selfish; it means that we can better help others. We can’t do that if we are running on empty. You are important and we all need time for ourselves sometimes to re-charge in whatever way works for you.
Ideas on self care are here. You may also want to make yourself a Wellbeing plan. A really useful tool for doing that is here.