Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Friday 22 May

Care worker

News from charities around the country 

22nd May 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Cash must go to care workers

The Scottish government must introduce measures to ensure employers don't hold on to £58 million of taxpayers’ money intended for hard-up care workers, says Unison, the trade union. The funding is part of a £600m social care package announced last week by the prime minister of which £58m will be allocated to the Scottish government. Some of the money is aimed at providing financial help to care staff self-isolating with Covid-19 symptoms so they do not feel pressured into going into work. Its intention is also to top up the wages of those doing shifts at several care homes by encouraging them to reduce the number of workplaces they visit. Unison believes checks are needed so care companies do not keep the money or use it to cover costs unrelated to the pandemic. Without any enforcement, there’s a danger the funding will never reach care staff in financial need, the union said.
Unison’s Scottish secretary Mike Kirby said: “There is a serious possibility that this funding could end up in the accounts of employers. As these care homes include those with a long track record of behaving irresponsibly and unfairly towards their staff. Many social care workers could lose out and be left with no means of redress. Some have been off work shielding vulnerable family members for many weeks now, either having to get by on statutory sick pay rates of just over £95 a week, or in some cases on no pay at all.”

Face equality week

The second International Face Equality Week ends this weekend with global charities, from Taiwan to South Africa through North and Latin America joining forces to continue campaigning for a better, fairer world for people with facial differences. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 35 member NGOs of the alliance, Face Equality International, has decided to push forward with the week-long digital campaign. They have been highlighting the issues and prejudices people with facial differences experience, including health inequalities, online abuse, and hate crime. Campaigners worldwide have come together to provide a source of hope, a sense of community, and assurance that their rights are continuing to be fought for across policy, the media, education, and day-to-day life. Members want to use this year's International Week to prove that selfies aren't about 'looking perfect' or fitting in with the crowd. James Partridge, founder and director of Face Equality International, says: "International Face Equality Week this year has been marked with many people around the world in lockdown, physically separated from their friends and loved ones. Our intention throughout the Week has been to make common cause with everyone as we endure this awful pandemic — those with facial differences and those without. All human faces should carry equal value and we hope that this Week will help to instil this 'new' face value as part of the new normal as we emerge from the pandemic."

Volunteers needed

A Glasgow community group supporting vulnerable members of the community during lockdown is on the lookout for more volunteers. The Covid-19 Support –Glasgow North East Community Support are on a recruitment drive for extra help and people to advertise the services they offer. The grass-roots volunteer network providing support to communities in the Dennistoun, Haghill, Shettleston, Parkhead and greater Glasgow NE areas and was set up by members of the community in response to the growing number of people who were unable to access basic services. This group, which is entirely volunteer-led, with no paid members of staff, is working in partnership with health practitioners, local organisations and community networks. The Covid-19 Support – Glasgow North East group is set up to: support people with grocery shopping, collect and delivery prescriptions, offer a friendly ear on the phone to help people through isolation, support people using Paypal or other online tools and services and help people to access other local services including food parcels. Once registered, they will be required to deliver flyers detailing the support available to vulnerable residents while fulfilling community requests. 

Vendors feed key workers for free

A street food vendor has teamed up with food banks to deliver meals to people in need. The Kind Kitchen’ initiative from StrEAT Events has delivered 200 meals in its first two weeks.East Dunbartonshire Food Bank was the first charity to receive the freshly prepared meals from Glasgow based street food vendor Fujisan Food and said: “The meals were a great addition to our food bank parcels, all our clients yesterday were delighted to receive them. One client was so happy there was vegan option because her diet was Halal. We can’t thank The Kind Kitchen and Fujisan enough." Ian Withers, owner of Fujisan Food added: “The best thing about The Kind Kitchen initiative is that it helps support the community in two key ways; the food supplied to the organisations allows them to offer healthy, convenient meals to supplement the services they already provide; for the caterers it provides much needed income. In these uncertain times most small businesses in our sector have had to shut and are unsure when they’ll be able to open again.”

U2 lyrics sold to give to NHS

U2 lyrics handwritten by Bono have sold for £76,000 during a coronavirus charity auction. The sheet, which was also signed by the Irish frontman, featured the words to his band's 1987 hit, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. It sold during the One Love Covid-19 Relief Auction, organised by the label Island Records, which raised a total of £179,755 for NHS Charities Together and Feeding America. Nearly 800 people registered to bid and more than 3,250 bids were logged during the hour-long live broadcast. The lots also included handwritten and signed lyrics by Annie Lennox for Sweet Dreams, as well as a tour of the Abbey Road music studios in London. An outfit worn by singer Ella Eyre in the music video for Mama and VIP tickets for a Jessie J concert, along with the opportunity to meet her, also featured. A late addition to the auction came from ambient artist Brian Eno, who offered a personalised ringtone composed by him. Island Records president Louis Bloom said: "I'd like to thank all our amazing artists, our US counterparts at Island US and Republic, all our media partners, Omega Auctions and every last member of the Island team who have worked tirelessly to get this auction together in such a short space of time.”