During the past week, we’ve received numerous updates from services that have had to make changes due to the current coronavirus outbreak. I’ve compiled what I have into a single document – attached. I have also received information aimed specifically at people who use drugs, who may be particularly vulnerable at this time, and have attached a short information guide for them too.
I have also received the below information from Home Energy Scotland.
Please feel free to share any of the attached information with family, friends and colleagues. If they want to receive future updates directly, please ask them to email their details to Dundee.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you also have information you wish to share, let us know at this email address too.
Hoping that you all remain safe throughout the current crisis.
Paul, Dundee Partnership
Home Energy Scotland
With so much to worry about at the moment please remember that if your clients are concerned about their energy bills, or how to stay warm at home, our telephone advisors are on hand with the latest information and advice from energy suppliers and the Scottish Government. This includes support for pre-payment meter customers and how they can top-up by post or other means.
Feel free to encourage them to call 0808 808 2282 for free and impartial advice.
While we can’t provide home visits at the moment, we can still work with you to help support your clients in whatever way we can. One way to get support through to them is by referring through our secure on line portal. If you’d like a refresher on how to refer, or you’re not already a portal user and would like us to set you up just drop us an email or give Laura or Diane a call.
Given the ever changing situation, we’ll be in touch over the coming weeks to see what you need from the partnership team but if you’ve any questions in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Partnership Team – Laura, Diane and Lynn
Home Energy Scotland NE
Laura Head (Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross) – email@example.com Tel 07896 525 471
Business Support – COVID-19 Hub
The Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 Hub is an information & signposting service for ANY business looking to understand how the current situation impacts them, their staff and their future.
At this time, we’re making no distinction between a member or non-member business looking for our support.
To get our businesses and communities through this crisis will mean a partnership approach and there is no wrong door to helping a business access the support they need, or to see them survive.
There of course remain many membership services that are only accessible to our members and we will continue to use every avenue at our disposal to maintain our strong community and to be a trusted partner to businesses across Dundee & Angus.
We have closed our offices and all of our team are fully operational remotely in order to continue to bring you the core services that we operate:
• A close community of businesses who are stronger together
• Networking and sharing best practice
• Membership services such as free Chamber HR, Legal, Health & Safety advice, guidance and many templates
• International services – to help your goods and services reach overseas customers and support global trade
• Raise your profile – let us tell your good news stories
• Persuade & influence – we are working tirelessly to influence both national and local government to give every business the support they need
• Information – whether you need to understand how to access finance, programmes to support your people or signposting to the correct avenues for additional support
Please call us on 01382 228545 if we can help.
Anyone can access our online COVID-19 Hub, we’ll be keeping it as up to date as possible when we receive new information.
Alison Henderson, CEO
We’ve launched a twice-weekly webinar programme to give lots of business specific information, and ways for you to continue to engage with each other:
Coffee and cake networking webinars giving Chamber members the opportunity to discuss current business challenges, what support they require and the chance to see some familiar faces!
Hosted by a member of the DACC team members will have the option to ask questions to the network, all you have to do is bring your own coffee & cake!
And on Thursdays we’ll bring you a business relevant webinar to help answer questions you’ll have over remote working, accessing government support, cash flow & finance and much much more. Keep an eye out for Chamber virtual events here
The Chamber team have full access to our usual Direct Dial numbers, shown below for easy reference – we’re here to support you:
Alison Henderson 01382 443402
Sarah Young 01382 443430
Donna Bell 01382 443403
Ross Barty 01382 443421
Katie Preston 01382 443419
Keith Harvey 01382 443437
Vince Mitchell 01382 443405
Lynsey Christie 01382 443436
Vaso Makri 01382 443435
More contact information including details of who does what can be found here:
Meet the Team
The DSEN offices are now closed due to the current situation however staff are working remotely and can be contacted by email anytime firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team are working remotely and will get back to you as soon as possible. We will continue to share any relevant information with our members and partners as its released.
We are closely monitoring a number of vital areas for our members which include –
1. The Retention Scheme and 80% contribution towards employees wages, this is only applicable to employees on your PAYE systems, and is only for a maximum of £2500 Per employee. The term used by the Chancellor on Friday when making this announcement was the term Furlough. This generally refers to a time when a company or business hits a crisis point and they need to lay staff off, however in Furlough they ask staff to take unpaid leave on the proviso that when the crisis is better the staff return to their jobs.
It is always based on a temporary basis. It should be noted that staff are required in the normal process to be served with a Furlough letter and the majority of the staff must accept the proposal. In this case the Government are saying they will make up 80% of the staff costs as above and if the organisations wishes to make up the 20% that is also great but that 20% won’t be paid back. If you do not have access to HR advice on this area we can help and may have a draft letter that can be used.
2. The Resilience Fund – again it is hoped this will fully roll out on Wednesday but at this time that has not been confirmed, advice will be that it is really for organisations who are experiencing cash flow issues and have little if any reserves to get them through at least the next few months. Once we have the exact detail we will publish this and again are on hand to support any members who need help.
3. Business Rates Relief etc – if you do have buildings this area should also be looked at as many of our members will pay no rates due to their charity status, grants are available depending on the size etc of the rateable value of the facility. Again we are seeking clarity on this area and this may be administered for smaller grants by Dundee City Council again we will update as soon as we have it.
4. Self employed status is perhaps the biggest issue and to date is still one that is ongoing. At present if you meet the criteria for Universal Credit you may receive the same rates as weekly Statutory Sick Pay to replace some lost income again it is worth checking if you meet that criteria by doing a quick on line assessment here –
Finally take the opportunity to speak to any and all the Creditors you have at the earliest opportunity they should in the main be sympathetic and even if you offer a little to help cash flow etc that is better to the creditor than no payment.
DSEN are here for all our members to provide FREE and important advice at this critical time so do not hesitate and email us (email@example.com) with any questions.
We all hope you stay safe and well!
Social Enterprise Week (w/c 16th March 2020)
A new 5 year strategy has just been launched to take forward Social Enterprise in Dundee. Read the full document here SE Strategy
Despite Dundee having a thriving SE sector, one of the key objectives of the strategy is for social enterprise to become more widely known about and for it to become a much more common way to do business. So DSEN is supporting our members via a series of events (under the banner of SE Week) to shout out about the great work that they do and generally promote and celebrate the social and economic impact that social enterprise is having across the city.
The week kicks off on Monday 16th March with a session titled Tech for Good, which is aimed at social enterprises and other third sector organisations. This event will be facilitated by Abertay University and they will give a flavour of some of the projects that they have been involved in that have helped deliver social impact. There will then be an opportunity for delegates to talk with Master Degree Students to identify any issues they may be having and whether there may be a Tech/IT solution that they can jointly work on.
For further details of this session https://www.facebook.com/events/876347089483245/
Our second session is on Wednesday 18th March aimed at Third Sector organisations who are looking to grow and develop. It will be led by the highly experienced business coach Sandy McCurdy who will introduce delegates to several well proven processes and techniques which successful entrepreneurs and business leaders use to ensure strong foundations are laid to maximise the chance of strong, lasting growth in their organisations.
Using stories, exercises and discussion delegates will leave with resources which will help them produce effective action plans for their organisations future. For further details and to book for this session https://www.facebook.com/events/199171361438678/
A number of our members are also Opening their Doors to offer people the chance to gain an insight into the work that they do.
Finally, the Overgate Centre has very kindly given us an area in their upstairs concourse which will allow our members to showcase their work. This will take place on Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March 2020. We have had a positive response for this, with many of our members attending – see programme of events here Programme of events
Scotland’s oldest children’s charity, Carolina House Trust, is currently recruiting new foster carers to support young people in Dundee, Angus, Fife, Clackmannanshire and Aberdeenshire. Their recruitment campaign runs from January to March and leads into ‘Skills To Foster’ training beginning on 8th March. The charity will be visiting shopping centres, supermarkets and large employers to raise awareness of their organisation and inspire potential carers.
From their headquarters in Dundee, Carolina House Trust place young people with foster carers, supported lodgings carers as well as offering residential care. More than 5,000 children across Scotland live with foster families and Carolina House Trust have many more referrals made to them than they have carers. Being a foster carer is a hugely rewarding, but demanding, role. Nurturing a young person in a safe environment and supporting them to reach their potential can transform their life.
The charity support foster carers with a supervising social worker, training, peer support, 24/7 on-call support and provide a remuneration package for approved carers. Young people placed with our foster carers can benefit from support from our placement support workers, therapeutic input and have access to a programme of events.
Foster carers must be over the age of 21 and have a spare bedroom. Foster caring is a full-time role and the main carer cannot have other employment. Applicants are assessed and provided with training as part of an approval process that can take up to six months. This ensures the individual is confident in their decision to be a foster carer and the charity can be certain that they can offer a safe and positive home environment for young people.
Carolina House Trust Foster Carer, Emma and her husband are the charity’s newest carers. Emma said, “We were lucky enough to spend the first year of married life travelling. We had some incredible experiences but also witnessed extreme poverty which had a big impact on us, especially its effects on young children. We agreed that family isn’t always blood and that if we could help give a home to a child who needs it, that would be more than enough for us. After I had two children, I was looking to return to work, but had no interest in returning to being a PA. I love being a stay at home mum and was upset at the idea of not being there for them as much. Our house has a spare room that is barely used, so I suggested to my husband that we become a foster family. He jumped at the idea and here we are providing a foster home to a child for the first time. There’s been lots of fun and quite a few tears as the children all adjust but it’s the best decision we’ve ever made.”