Header image for article 6505

Dear colleagues,

I want to thank you all for your outstanding work over the past few weeks.

Despite growing fears and anxieties for yourself and your loved ones, you’ve worked tirelessly to keep our services going at a time when all our lives have fundamentally changed. I could not be prouder to be part of this organisation.

As you will appreciate, coronavirus is putting a strain on several of our essential services. To help relieve some of the pressure we’ve launched a volunteer scheme. I would urge anyone working in a non-essential service to apply.

Only by working together and supporting each other will we get through these challenging times. Everyone has an important role to play and we will need extra support over the coming weeks.

Lifeline for our communities

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to those of you working on the frontline.

Whether that's looking after our sick and vulnerable, keeping medicines stocked up, our tenants' heating and lighting on, and getting food on the table of those most in need, your continued commitment provides a lifeline to our communities.

To those working in our education hubs, you are protecting our vulnerable children, enabling the police, ambulance, fire and rescue and other emergency services to keep us safe and allow our healthcare professionals to focus their time on fighting coronavirus.

How we're responding

Our emergency response doesn’t stop there. Across the council a vast number of services are still being delivered. We're carrying out necessary housing repairs, collecting refuse and providing free school meals, supporting local business and ensuring council employees are paid on time and so many more.

I also appreciate a significant number of you have had to completely alter how you work, setting up offices in your own homes to help the effort – and a great many of you are doing this while looking after children. I understand how hard this must be.

To you all, I am extremely grateful. Your flexibility, dedication and desire to do the right thing despite logistical and practical challenges is brilliant. Please remember to do what you can, be flexible and kind to yourself and others. You are all doing an amazing job in extremely difficult circumstances.

To those of you who are self-isolating or sick please keep yourselves safe, follow NHS guidance, visit our employee pages and take the time to rest and recuperate. Your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance.

Once again, I thank you all for your continued commitment. You are protecting our communities and helping ease the burden on the NHS.

Kenneth Lawrie

Chief Executive