We've turned our skills to new tasks to help our people and community #HRtogether

Pamela Forsyth is HR Business Partner Team Leader at Stirling Council in Scotland

In these changed times we have all had to work very differently, and within HR we have had to learn how to undertake our function in very different ways. 

However we have also had to turn our skills to new tasks which have allowed us to assist with helping and supporting not only our people, but also our community, in immediate and practical ways.

Within Stirling we currently have more than 3,000 residents shielding because they are required to do so due to an underlying health reason.  A number of these residents have no friends, family or neighbours to help them stay at home safely.  

At the start of the pandemic the HR team was set up to help co-ordinate and deploy staff volunteers to different service areas, to ensure that essential work continued to be undertaken where there were staff shortfalls due to the pandemic.  However we were able to repurpose this process, and over the last eight weeks, the HR team has worked alongside key teams within the Council, and volunteer organisations, by co-ordinating employee volunteers, to support local residents who are not able to carry out normal tasks such as collecting shopping.  The HR team each have a small team of employee volunteers deployed to them who collect residents needs, such as shopping, collect this, collect prescriptions and help with lots of other things, including making sure people’s gas and electric has not run out. 

The HR team have also helped provide a listening ear where it has been needed as often they are one of only a few external contacts a resident may have.

So far the team has helped over 220 local people, 121 of whom they continue to provide ongoing support. 

One Bannockburn resident, Margo Kerr, said: ‘I would just love to let everyone know how kind you are, selfless and amazing people’.

In addition our HR team has helped support the co-ordination and referral for COVID-19 testing of essential staff and also for staff from private care homes within the council areas.

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