Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Friday 31 July

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News from across the third sector #NeverMoreNeeded

31st July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Charity’s city tours reopen

Walking tours of Glasgow run by former homeless people in the city are back open following months of uncertainty during the virus. Invisible Cities is a social enterprise that trains people who have previously experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city, with a number of family-friendly walks in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and York. Here, the “Crimes & Punishment” tour starts at the People’s Palace in Glasgow Green, taking you through Merchant City to finish right in the city centre, in front of the Gallery of Modern Art. The tour is about two hours long and costs £15 per person. Zakia Moulaoui Guery, founder and CEO of Invisible Cities, said: “We have worked really hard to put new measures in place to ensure everyone is safe and having fun. Our tours are the perfect activity for local families looking for something new and exciting to do in their home city, as well as those travelling from further afield on UK-based staycations and international visitors.”

Key workers’ good will should extend to pay

Service staff working for public and voluntary sectors will deliver a petition to Nicola Sturgeon today on behalf of thousands of key workers, calling on the Scottish Government to recognise the sacrifices of those on the frontline by bringing forward a coronavirus bonus payment.  GMB Scotland members are campaigning for a £2 an hour additional payment for every hour worked during the lockdown, a figure that would deliver a retrospective payment of as little as £85 extra per week on the basic rate of pay for frontline staff, many of whom earn just under or over £10 an hour. The union is citing the example of the devolved Welsh Government’s decision to award carers a £500 bonus, retailers like Tesco who have increased the basic rate of pay by 10% for their staff, and the decision of the French Government to award health workers a €1,500 bonus - in addition to a further €8 billion worth of additional funding for future pay increases.  GMB Scotland Senior Organiser for Public Services Drew Duffy said:  “The frontline response to the coronavirus crisis across the public sector has been largely delivered on the backs of the lowest paid – cleaners, carers, porters, refuse workers and school support staff.ze: When the rest of the country went into lockdown they kept our hospitals clean, lifted our rubbish, looked after the kids of our other key workers in hub schools across Scotland, and they continue to face the crisis within a crisis that is social care.”

Billionaire gives big

The ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has donated £1.32 billion to charity in the last year, to help good causes cope with the pandemic. Mackenzie Scott, who was previously known as MacKenzie Bezos, pledged to donate the majority of her fortune after splitting from the world's richest man last year. fter signing up to the Giving Pledge, started by Bill and Melinda Gates, the 50-year-old gave millions each to anti-racism, LGBTQ rights, public health and climate change charities, she wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. Scott, who is worth at least £46.4bn ($60bn) also revealed she has changed her surname - from her married name to her middle name. She wrote: "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. I began work to complete my pledge with the belief that my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions."

SNP face mask cash will go to charity 

Nicola Sturgeon has said money raised from the sale of branded SNP face masks will go to charity as she was accused of allowing her party to “profiteer” from covid. The First Minister made the revelation as she was challenged on the issue by Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw, after days of controversy over the £8 face coverings for sale on the SNP website. The SNP had previously drawn comparisons with football clubs and other organisations which have produced branded face coverings as the reason for producing their own. However Sturgeon said: "I will continue to do everything to persuade people to wear face coverings, and in terms of my party every penny of profit made will go to charity actually." MSP Annie Wells wrote to Sturgeon’s husband, the SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, urging him to remove the masks from sale and donate any profits to charity. It was not specified which charity would benefit.