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Glasgow City Council

Your wellbeing stories and top tips

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Wherever you are currently working, taking time to look after your mental and physical wellbeing is vital to staying healthy and happy - especially at this challenging time.

On this page we aim to share your wellbeing stories and top tips - we will showcase how teams are staying connected, keeping active, we will put a spotlight on our local heroes making a real difference and profile events you can take part in to help your mindfulness and reduce feelings of isolation.

How you are staying connected - taking time to talk with colleagues, friends and family

Time to Talk 2022 - how you are taking time to talk and keep the conversations going

Time to Talk 1

The Corporate HR team organised their own virtual 'Time to Talk' event at the beginning of the month, designed and facilitated by Lauren Feeley, Assistant HR Officer and Ross Hutton, HR Graduate.

Lauren explained "Our team decided to take part in a virtual 'cuppa and catch up' to have an open and honest discussion with each other about mental health.  We designed the session to include a fun, interactive and informative presentation to share important mental health information to help break the stigma and start a conversation.

"We started the event with an interactive facts and figures session, highlighting current mental health figures in Scotland and then asked our team to take part in a short questionnaire which allowed us to personally reflect.  We then followed with tips on how to keep positive mental health and wellbeing and provided some conversation top tips on mental health. 

"With the information the team shared and having time for personal reflection, we opened the conversation - initially the pandemic was a hot topic due to the anxieties it brought and continues to bring, we then followed with some conversations about our mental health in general. 

"I am lucky to be part of a team that is so welcoming and understanding as I felt I was truly able to be open about my mental health and find support within our team.  We were also able to share the fun hobbies we have taken up to help us keep positive mental health such as Lego building, painting, and dancing.  It felt good to catch up and talk about some of the simple activities that keep us going when times are hard.

"We intend to keep the conversation going beyond the Time to Talk campaign, and make conversations about mental health a regular feature to continue to break down the stigma. To help facilitate this our team are organising a 'Walk a Mile' event to help facilitate this.  Together, during lunch hours, we will take some time to go for a walk in the fresh air to make sure we keep engaging and connecting with each other throughout the year."


Time to Talk

Time to Talk image

Following last weeks' Time to Talk event, it's important that we 'keep the conversation going' to continue reduce the stigma and break down the barriers that make it difficult for people to open up and talk about their mental health.

We caught up with colleagues from CBS to find out how they participated in the Time to Talk event and how they plan to keep the conversation going.

April Forteath, who works in CBS Clothing Grants and Free School Meals Team, said:  "Last week I took time out to talk with my colleague Tracey. As we work in different teams, I don't normally get the opportunity to speak to her. 

"We met virtually and it felt good to have a chat that was not work-related. Tracey is so easy to get along with, and our catch up really lifted my spirits. I haven't been in the office since last November due to restrictions, so I look forward to catching up with her in person when I'm back in."

Tracey Parr, CBS Early Years Team Manager said: "Whilst I know April from the office, she is not one of my direct reports, so it was good to have the opportunity to engage with her more and chat about the restrictions and the impact this has had on us all.

"April was very open and honest and is such a nice person to talk to, and when we get the opportunity to see each other back in the office we will be more familiar with each other.

"I think this initiative is a great way to keep in touch and I think more people would benefit from getting involved in these informal chats on a more regular basis throughout the year."

Next week we will catch up with colleagues from Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability and the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership to find out how they've been keeping the conversation going.

Share your stories

Have you scheduled in a regular cuppa and chat following Time to Talk? Why not get in touch and let us know how you are helping to reduce the stigma and break down barriers to talking about mental health.

Share your stories by emailing us at

Staff Support 2022

'Time to Talk' conversation starters

  • Do you think the pandemic has made it easier or more difficult to speak about your mental health?
  • What changes have you faced over the past 24 months in both your work and personal life?
  • Can you think of any times where a small gesture has really helped your mental health? If so what was the impact and why did it make a difference?

Campaign Resources 2022

Further Information and Support

  • For further information on 'Time to Talk' visit
  • Visit our health and wellbeing staff support section at
  • Employee Assistance Service - Workplace Options, free professional confidential support available for staff 24/7 to discuss any issue you are experiencing 0800 247 1100 (LGBT helpline 0800 138 8725, BME helpline 0800 288 4950 and Bullying and Harassment helpline 0800 042 0135)
  • NHS 24, for urgent health advice out of hours when your GP Practice is closed, phone 111 (24/7)
  • Breathing Space,free confidential phone line for anyone in Scotland feeling low, anxious or depressed, freephone 0800 83 85 87 (open 24 hrs at weekend, 6pm-2am weekdays) website:
  • Samaritans, free confidential support and a safe place to talk about whatever you're going through, freephone 116 123 (24/7) email:, website:

Time to talk 2021 - how you are keeping the conversations going

This week is our final catch up in the 'time to talk' series. We hope the stories over the past few weeks inspire and motivate you to 'keep the conversation going' and that you will make catching up with colleagues to discuss mental health and wellbeing a regular occurrence. By doing this we can reduce stigma and make it easier for those needing support to reach out for it.

During 'time to talk' week, Assistant Area Operations Manager Mary Brower had a socially distanced catch up with Alarm Responder Dayna McKechnie in Blair Court. Mary said "I am glad I have been able to continue coming to work throughout the pandemic as it has kept me in a routine and enabled me to continue having daily interaction with colleagues.

Time to Talk

"I think it's really important to check in with each other because we can get so wrapped up in our work, especially in such a busy team. I took the opportunity during 'time to talk' week to catch up with Dayna from my team, she's out and about responding to calls and is also pregnant so I thought it was important to set aside time to chat and make sure she felt supported. Likewise she was interested in how I was feeling and we had a good catch up. It is something I would like to continue doing with other members of the team too"

In Financial Services (CBS) two employees took the time to reconnect and catch up on life during lockdown. Tracey Parr, manager of early years briefly met Nichola Johnstone before the first lockdown last March. She was part of the panel that interviewed Nichola for her role in CBS Accounts Receivable. They have both been working from home since.

Tracey said "Lockdown has been difficult and at times worrying. It is hard not having the same level of personal interaction with colleagues. Time to talk week was great because I had the opportunity to catch up with Nichola. As she works in a different team it worked really well and the conversation was about us as individuals and how we were coping rather than work or tasks.

"We had a lovely chat and a few laughs too, it is definitely something I would like to do more regularly."

Top tips

If you would like tips on how to' keep the conversation going' and plan well-being catch ups scroll down to our time talk resources section for further information.

If you or someone you know is struggling we have a full list of support services available here.

Colleagues catch up and take time to talk

Colleagues around the council have been sharing what they did during our Time to Talk week event, to help inspire and encourage others to 'keep the conversation going', so that we can continue to break down the stigma around mental health.

This week we caught up with colleagues in the Home Care Operations team and Corporate HR to find out more.

Nicola Devine from Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership's home care operations team took time out to 'keep the conversation going' with colleague Pamela Hurles.

Nicola said: "I am usually a really sociable person so have found the lockdown restrictions quite tough. As a keyworker, still coming into the office has made me feel slightly less isolated. Although socially distanced from my colleagues it helps that I have still been able to have daily contact with them.

Time 2 talk - alarms

"Taking time to talk with Pamela about how we were both coping was definitely worthwhile and gave us a chance to reflect on how we were feeling. Our jobs are both really busy and at times can be stressful so actually taking time to decompress gave us a chance to relax and support each other- it was reassuring to know we have each other to talk to."

The Corporate HR team,who organised the Time to Talk event, got together for their own virtual 'cuppa and catch up' session, designed and facilitated by graduate team member Kemi Williams.

Kemi explained: "Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our team decided to have a virtual catch up. This enabled us to check in with each other and have fun together whilst also learning some key tips on how to check in with others and on looking after our own wellbeing during lockdown.

Time 2 Talk - HR

"We started the session with an icebreaker; a race against the time quiz, the faster you picked the correct answer the more points you gained. It was a great way to ease us in. We then completed Peter Innes' 'Have you ever' quiz, it helped us all reflect on how we say we're fine when we're not and why we do this and how it makes us feel.

"It was quite hard hitting, so after our break we spoke about the different things that have helped us through working from home during lockdown - it was great to see the similarities and differences within the team on what was discussed."

More information

If you would like to use the corporate HR facilitator's notes and resources for your own team sessions, these have been added to the 'Time to Talk resources' section.

Tea at Three- Went Down a Treat!

It's important for us to continue to 'keep the conversation going' around mental health, to make it easier for those needing support to reach out.

This week we caught up with a couple more colleagues to see how they have been staying connected and supporting each other while working from home.

Fionna McClory, Service Manager at Neighbourhoods Regeneration and Sustainability described how the Neighbourhood Improvement and Enforcement team, took time out to support the time to talk campaign a couple of weeks ago.

Time 2 Talk

Fiona said: "We had an online 'cuppa and a chat' and called it 'tea at three!' It was lovely to catch up with each other and having recently received our mobile devices it was great to actually 'see' each other as well!

"We discussed the impact of working from home on individuals and families, and how everyone was coping with the different challenges from isolation to home schooling.

"We really enjoyed connecting and having the opportunity to support each other, we intend to do it on a more regular basis now."

In Financial Services (CBS), Revenues Team Leader Pamela Colville described the importance of making time to talk a regular part of her team's week.

Pamela said: "The hardest part of working from home has been missing the social interaction with colleagues. It comes naturally in the office as you are able to greet each other and have chats throughout the day. However it isn't so easy when you aren't in close proximity to each other.

"It is a difficult time and our job can be challenging, so it is really important that we actively make an effort to support each other.

"Following 'time to talk' week, we have set up a regular virtual team well-being catch up. I've also encouraged the team to check in with each other individually as social interaction is so important, especially at the moment."

Staff are keeping the conversations going and taking time to talk

A huge thank you to everyone who supported 'Time to Talk' last week by taking time out to connect with a colleague for a cuppa and chat about mental health.

The more openly we talk about mental health, the more myths we bust and barriers we break down, reducing the stigma and making it easier for people to reach out for help when it's needed.

It's more important now than ever that we keep talking, continue to check in with each other and keep the conversations going.

Elizabeth Yin who works in CBS Accounts Receivable, supporting social work older people residential processes found taking 'time to talk' beneficial for her wellbeing.

Elizabeth said: "Since the first lockdown isolation has become the norm and the only person I really speak to is my son. The two things I have missed the most are travelling and socialising.

"Time to Talk gave me an opportunity to catch up virtually with a colleague who I don't usually interact with for work. This was ideal as the conversation didn't lead to any work tasks and we were able to fully focus on our wellbeing.

Time 2 Talk Elizabeth on screen 3

"It really did break the daily routine and felt very relaxing- like talking to a friend side by side. I think it is something that would benefit everyone, just knowing someone cares and is listening really lifted my spirits."

At Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, Anna Gallanagh, Service Manager at Meadowburn Care Home described how staff participated with a socially distanced catch up.

Anna said: "We had a cup of tea in the cinema room of the care home and discussed mental health and how we have the power to make a difference."

"We also used some of the support materials like the 'time to talk bingo' and even did a group dance to boost morale and lift our mood. It made us realise the importance of taking some time to chat with colleagues and we all really enjoyed it." 

Share your stories

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the ways staff across council services are catching up and checking in with their colleagues. Share what you're doing. Help to inspire others by sharing your own stories; please email your stories to Your Health and Wellbeing.

Resources and support

You can find resources and tips to plan future wellbeing catch ups to help 'keep the conversation going' in the Time to Talk resources section below.

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available from:

  • Workplace Options Employee Assistance Provider, freephone: 0800 247 1100.  LGBT helpline: 0800 138 8725. BME helpline: 0800 288 4950 (available 24/7)
  • Samaritans free on 116 123 (available 24/7), or click here to find out other ways of getting in touch.
  • Breathing Space free on 0800 83 85 87 (6pm to 2am on weekdays, 24 hours at the weekends).
  • If you need urgent health advice out of hours when your GP practice is closed, phone NHS 24 on 111 (available anytime, 24/7)

Taking time to talk

'Time to Talk' is about the power of small conversations regarding mental health- to get everyone talking and help end the stigma around it. Every little conversation has the power to make a big difference and help us all stay connected.

Time to Talk  

In support of Time to Talk Day this year we asked you to have 'a cuppa and a chat' with a colleague about mental health- yours and theirs. We all need to support each other and with restrictions on our work and home life it is more important now than ever to actively connect and engage.

Robert Anderson, Head of HR said: "Starting a conversation is such a simple thing to do and, with so many of us working away from our usual place of work or not being able to catch up with our colleagues in the way we normally would - it's never been so important to stay connected. Due to the current circumstances we are doing things a little differently this year. We are inviting staff to take time to connect with a colleague at some point during the week - for a cuppa and chat about mental health. This could be a simple phone call, or video chat, about what you've missed during lockdown, how you're getting on, and how you're feeling."

Staff Support

How to start a conversation?

Here are some questions to help open and steer discussions about mental health and wellbeing:

  • Has lockdown made it easier or more difficult to speak about your mental health?
  • Are there any small things you've missed during lockdown when it comes to contact or support from others?
  • Can you think of any times where a small gesture has really helped your mental health? If so what was the impact and why did it make a difference?

For more tips on conversations about mental health and wellbeing watch this short video:


Would you rather kiss a jellyfish or talk to a colleague who is all at sea?

Kiss a jellyfish?

Peter Innes from Organisational Development pdf icon shares his thoughts on the importance of staying connected with each other [185kb] - including his own ten ways to help his mental health. Try his 'Have you ever?' quiz.

Time to Talk resources

These resources can be used to help you think about how to engage colleagues and start conversations:

Further Information and Support

  • For further information on 'Time to Talk' visit
  • Employee Assistance Service - Workplace Options, free professional confidential support available for staff 24/7 to discuss any issue you are experiencing 0800 247 1100 (LGBT helpline 0800 138 8725, BME helpline 0800 288 4950 and Bullying and Harassment helpline 0800 042 0135)
  • NHS 24, for urgent health advice out of hours when your GP Practice is closed, phone 111 (24/7)
  • Breathing Space, free confidential phone line for anyone in Scotland feeling low, anxious or depressed, freephone 0800 83 85 87 (open 24 hrs at weekend, 6pm-2am weekdays) website:
  • Samaritans, free confidential support and a safe place to talk about whatever you're going through, freephone 116 123 (24/7) email:, website:

No special skills needed for this role!

We've all found ourselves having to put the consideration of health and wellbeing to the front of everything we do this year. Whether as a manager, colleague, friend or family member.

Checking in with others is good for everyone's wellbeing and it's good to remember that no special skills are required to ask someone if they're okay.. You are not expected to have all the answers, or to provide solutions to all the possible challenges they may be facing.

However, you can listen and be supportive. You can signpost to other sources of support, help support them investigate options, and follow up after the check-in.

If you think a colleague may be struggling with their wellbeing, please reach out to them, let them know that you care, and are there for them if they want to talk. Talking about personal struggles can be difficult and they might get emotional or upset, and that is okay. If you are approachable, empathetic, and willing to listen then you can help make a difference.


Ways to start a conversation:

  • "We haven't caught up in a while, and I wanted to check in to see how you are feeling"
  • "How's life? How are the family?"
  • Sharing a few anecdotes of something that has made you smile that day can also help them feel at ease and start a conversation.

Winter Wellbeing - #GCCWinterWellbeing

Tapping into creative energy can improve your health and wellbeing. Doing something creative is good for your health and wellbeing. So why not add creativity into your winter wellbeing routine! Here are some ways staff are getting creative this Christmas.

Let's get creative this Christmas!

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and glum during the winter months and we sometimes forget to take moments to enjoy all the good that is going on around us.  Some of our staff are using this festive period to feel good and make those around them feel good too.

Exterior Christmas decorations can add lots of sparkle to your home, bringing fun and festive cheer to you and those around. 

Exterior Christmas decorations can add lots of sparkle to your home, bringing fun and festive cheer to you and those around. 

Elaine Slaven, Governance Advisor enjoys sprucing up garden each year with her dazzling display of festive lights and decorations.  Elaine said: "I love that it makes people smile and is something I can do to cheer people up and raise money for charity too".

Elaine Slaven Christmas decorations

'Tis the season to be giving.'  Why not get creative and fundraise to a charity of your choice?  You can choose to do this privately or use our employee service Give as You Earn.

Stacey Campbell, Assistant HR Officer has incorporated diversity and inclusion into her home decorations by dedicating a Christmas tree to LGBTQI+.  This is a great way to be true to yourself and/or showing inclusion for others at Christmas when times might feel difficult.

LGBTQI+ Christmas tree

Stacey said: "The 'Inclusive Tree' is a really important part of our Christmas. Every year we get so much joy in buying ridiculous ornaments and having this colourful contrast to our traditional tree. It's such a fun way for us to celebrate the LGBTQI+ community and allyship."

You don't have to cover yourself in glitter to get creative this Christmas - although you can if you want!  However, why not try getting creative with your Christmas gifts this year?

Kirsty Jordan, HR Officer has added a personal touch to her Christmas gifts this year by creating 'wellbeing' themed pamper hampers to encourage friends and family to take time out for their wellbeing.

wellbeing themed pamper hamper

Kirsty said: "After the difficult times we've all been through recently I wanted to do something a bit more special and thoughtful, and show close family members how much I appreciate them and care about them."

How to get involved

  • We would love to see your craftiness this Christmas; please share your pictures and tips with us on Twitter.
  • Creativity isn't just for Christmas. If you have other creative ideas, please also share with us on Twitter.
  • Remember to #GCCWinterWellbeing and tag us @InclusiveGCC

Your wellbeing top tips - sharing your ideas

I get my emails to speak to me!

Tricia Henderson, Senior Project Manager in Development and Regeneration Services shares her top wellbeing tip to help her feel connected and reduce feelings of isolation whilst working from home.


"I recently discovered that I could actually opt to listen to an email I've received using the audio option available in Outlook. After nearly a year of working from home and reading my emails in silence - it was such a pleasant change to activate my hearing senses when engaging with correspondence! Being able to hear the emails out loud gives the feeling of having contact with someone and an actual conversation.

"I would highly recommend this as an alternative to simply reading your emails if you live by yourself. It helps to break the monotony and loneliness of living and working in solitude and is easy to work. Simply highlight the text in your email, click on the 'Review' tab on the toolbar at the top of the screen, then click on the 'A - Read Aloud' icon. You can select from three different voices and speed in the options function on the setting."

Please be mindful that this function is not activated for any sensitive emails you receive and that the contents could be overheard.

A spotlight on bringing the outdoors inside

David Dunlop, a Senior Planner in Development and Regeneration Services shares his top wellbeing tip for creating a calm and cosy space whilst working from home.


"I've been working from home since we entered our first lockdown in March last year, alongside my wife who works for a neighbouring local authority.

"One of the best ways we have enhanced our wellbeing during this time is to make the most of our garden when the weather has permitted it - growing herbs and planting seedlings. We've also worked hard to create a welcoming and relaxing space indoors to help with our working environment. We have bought more houseplants to help bring the outdoors and nature inside and coupled these with lots of twinkly festive lights and battery operated candles.

"Our millennial children have all flown the nest, so our lockdown evenings are filled with Netflix movies and reliving our student days by listening to music - having a new calm and cosy indoor space really helps us to unwind after a day online or the phone. We both feel that our mental wellbeing has really benefited from having extra greenery and ambient lighting around us - creating a magical uplifting ambiance. It also didn't cost much to create our welcoming space - far less than our daily commute would have done over the past 10 months. And we get to benefit all year round from our cosy environment by creating our own little bit of Danish Hygge in this corner of Glasgow." 

Our community superhero


Mark Chatham, a VAT Officer in Corporate Finance, and a member of Prism our council LGBTI+ equality employee peer support network - shares his tips on how he looks after his wellbeing whilst working from home.

1. Keep active

Mark and Millie

Mark explains: "Every day during my lunch hour I walk my dog - the fresh air and exercise really helps me to gather my thoughts and refresh before the afternoon. It also helps to make me feel socially more connected whilst I am working at home. I really enjoy seeing other people and have a socially distanced chat - even a passing smile or a simple 'hello' can make a real difference to how you feel that day.

2. Do something you enjoy

"Music can also help to boost my mood. When I hear a song I like I add it to my playlist of favourite music - so that it's there for when I need it!  I have a few playlists - such as uplifting songs to help me feel more motivated and energised when I'm doing chores around the house. And, if I'm feeling a bit anxious or stressed, I listen to a more chilled out playlist which helps me to unwind and relax."

In addition to his job with the council, Mark works part-time from home as a Member Pioneer for the Co-op, where he helps local causes in his community.

3. Help others

Mark explains: "Working as a Member Pioneer is such a satisfying role. It only takes four hours of my time each week and it can make such a difference to the lives of others in my local community. Through my work I now feel a deep connection to my local area and have a real sense of purpose. Each week is different and exciting.

"I also volunteer with my local community residents group to help deliver food and essential supplies to local vulnerable people. Coming into the winter, lots of people need extra help - especially this winter when we have the additional challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. It's never been more important for us to look out for each other. And, by doing so, we can get through these difficult times together".

Things you can do help clear your head this winter

Clear your head

January is one of the bleakest months of the year - cold and dark, bills coming in, plus this year we have the added strain of living with the covid-19 pandemic. It's important that we take a time to be kind to ourselves and look after our mental health and wellbeing

Tips to help you be kind to yourself

  • Catch the sunlight - getting out in the morning into the sunlight makes you feel healthy and happy while brightening up these shorter days.
  • Get active outside - go on a walk, run, be active, listen to nature to help you feel more energised.
  • Slow down - choose to retreat inside and slow down as getting more rest can help you recharge.
  • Recognise it's okay not being okay - visit to find out more

More information and advice

Making a kind connection

Being kind is likely to make someone smile and if you see that smile for yourself, it might be catchy.

Remember that at this unusual time - we are not all in the same boat but we are in the same storm just now.

Making a kind connection

We are all in this current situation together. Being kind to one another at this challenging time opens up many different possibilities to start a social connection with someone - and can make a real difference to someone.

Kind acts such as a buying someone a thoughtful present or even just a coffee can strengthen friendship and that can help improve your own mood and mental wellbeing.  Even a simple smile can make a real difference. 

Remember to be kind as:

Not all in the same boat

Top wellbeing tips to managing your digital time online

Brendan Murphy, from the Strategic and Innovation Team shares his four top tips for working online at home or in the office - to help your wellbeing.

Brendan Murphy

  1. Manage your online meetings - a meeting achieved in 40 minutes, gives people room to take a breather before the next one.
  2. Smile and have a little casual time at the start or end of a meeting - it helps lift your mood.
  3. Turn off your notifications on your personal device or plan some digital free time - so you can focus on another task without interruption.
  4. If you can, put your work device out of sight after the day is over - learn to actively move from your work to your personal life.

Festive team fun - top tip to help your wellbeing and stay connected

Santa Xmas quiz

  • Social distancing means we cannot take part in our usual festive social events this year.
  • But don't worry - use our Christmas Quiz to help connect with your teams.
  • You can access the quiz here.  Good luck and Merry Christmas!
  • Answers can be obtained by emailing

Choc Heaven - create your own hot chocolate station at home

Whether it's the end of a crisp cold day after a long walk or it's a rainy Christmas movie kind of day - your very own hot chocolate station is the perfect way to unwind. And is something for all ages to enjoy!

Chocolate station

Photo credit : Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group/Facebook

Clear some space, get everyone involved and get creative. You can reuse old jars, mugs, bowls and ribbons to make it decorative and festive. Then all that's left is to choose your toppings - sit back and enjoy!

Got a Wellbeing Tip - We Would love to hear from you.

Please get in touch and share your creative wellbeing tips with the team at

Remember to include a photograph if possible and provide permission for us to feature it on our staff updates page.


Spotlight on teams and individuals -  staying safe and well at home and at work

Technology helping to deliver a calm start to the day

Kirsteen Straiton, Team Leader in the Social Work Adult Services Mental Health Team, recently approached the Corporate HR Wellbeing team to help to deliver an online Mindfulness session for her team.

Kirsteen explains: "I had previously attended a similar face to face event and thought it would be really useful for my team, especially as a valuable tool to help them manage their own self-care over the winter months. As the whole team work from home and attend external home visits, we needed to think creatively about how we could all get together for this wellbeing session. We decided to trial Teams to deliver established content usually delivered face to face for staff in the city centre. It worked really well."

Karen Strachan, CHR Officer, trained with Mindfulness Scotland (provider of the NHS employee mindfulness programmes) worked with Kirsteen to prepare and practice the course for an online format. Karen explains: "I was really excited about how the use of new technology, such as Teams, could extend the opportunity for us to deliver wellbeing sessions to staff who are working remotely. I was so pleased at how well the course adapted to this new channel and the team feedback was really positive. Everyone said they ended the session feeling calmer and more positive and focused to start their working day."

Karen Strachan

Want to take part?

If you would like to learn more about a mindfulness session for you and your team email

We are in this together and we will get through this together


Tower View Nursery is the biggest nursery in Glasgow providing early learning and childcare for children from six weeks until school entry. The nursery has been open full time throughout the pandemic, with its staff working attentively to continue to care for the city's children during such challenging times.

Julie Hadley, Head of Nursery explains: "We are a close-knit team and our daily motto is 'We are in this together and will get through this together. So when the pandemic struck we knew we had to change up a gear and put in additional measures so that we could all look out for each other to keep the team safe and well.

"As a team it has been really important for us to be able to communicate regularly - whether you are actually in the work place or at home because you are needing to self-isolate. Being able to have regular honest and clear conversations as a team, either face to face or virtually online, has helped us all to bond better. Collectively we feel more supported and confident about carrying out our daily tasks effectively - whilst adhering to the current covid-19 safety protocols we are facing.

"Being able to check in with one another when not in the nursery through an online forum has been invaluable. It's so important to simply ask a colleague in the current environment how they are feeling and be able to talk it through. Personally the extra fun activities have helped to lift my spirits and keep me going when it's been a busy week. I've learnt some amazing yoga moves, baked and shared some healthy recipes in my free time and tried my best at the staff quiz nights!

Thank you to my amazing resilient colleagues for demonstrating how easy it is to keep the conversations flowing and the staff and children safe through the power of great teamwork."

What a journey we're on!

Staff teams meeting

Raffaele Esposito, City Design Manager within Planning and Building Standards, DRS shares his experience "What a journey we've all had since last March! None of us could have ever imagined the scale and magnitude of the changes we have had to face, and embrace, over the past few months to help keep essential services running and support the most vulnerable in our communities.

 "Once my team got over the initial hurdle to look at how we could effectively keep delivering on our commitments - I looked at ways in which we could regularly engage and connect with each. As both a manager and a colleague I had a strong natural desire to check in with everyone - to help reduce any feelings of isolation members of the team may be experiencing whilst working remotely. I wanted to make sure that everyone felt part of something bigger and connected.  It was great when we started to all use Teams to share experiences and brain storm solutions and seeing colleagues virtually every Monday morning really helps you feel part of a group all working for a common goal.

 "Through our conversations I soon learnt that whilst some of my colleagues were doing just fine, others required slightly more support - where we could find solutions to work related hurdles together. As we chatted our conversations would naturally shift towards more personal issues and any initial apprehension to having these types of conversations quickly disappeared as I learnt to actively listen and make sure I was non-judgemental on everyone's personal circumstances in the current environment. Several Gold courses really supported my approach and helped to develop key skills. Having a genuine interest in my colleague's wellbeing has helped me to further develop a rapport as a friend - not just as their manager. We are openly able to share concerns over the phone or via Teams and I always reinforce and reassure that I can be approached for off the record chats as needed.

"We know this challenge isn't over and the winter will probably be more difficult. However, we have learnt that by collectively listening and sharing at this difficult time we are not alone and are now a stronger team and more resilient individuals."

Making small changes brings huge rewards

Staff share how working from home has helped them to make positive changes to benefit their health.

Making small changes

For Lorna Whiteford from Financial Services, working from home has had some life changing health benefits as well as giving her the opportunity to declutter, reorganise and redecorate.  Lorna says: "Working from home was a big adjustment but having a clear out and creating a dedicated work space in my spare room means I'm able to separate my work and personal life and I can mentally and quite literally close the door at the end of the working day.  Eight months ago I also decided it was the time to give up smoking and get fit.  I now cycle 3 times a week and feel healthier and happier as a result".

Working from home has also had some positive health benefits for Lesley-Anne O'Hare, from the Chief Executives Department who explains: "I've replaced my morning rush hour train journey with a walk to the nursery each morning. This not only provides me with some exercise and more time with my daughter - but also helps to ease my 'working mum guilt.' The fresh air also helps get me in the right mind-set for starting work and I try to supplement this with a lunchtime walk or even just a cup of tea in the garden to get some fresh air and daylight. I find this approach really helps me to stay focused and positive for the rest of the day whilst working at home."

Wellbeing courses to support you and your team

Learn from your lounge - stay connected


Why not check out one of the 30 different courses we have for you to take part in on GOLD - they include topics such as: remote working, managing virtual teams, mental health and positive thinking.

There are lots of additional topics for you to choose from which you can complete from home at a time to suit - including managing emotions, empathy, developing active listening skills.    

Taking a course on our e-learning platform GOLD is a fantastic way to continue your self-development and stay connected. GOLD can be accessed from any device, at any time.

Webinars this month (April) - Steps to Financial Security

Piggy Bank and Coins

The latest pre-recorded webinar - 'Steps to Financial Security'is now available on demand on the Workplace Options website.

  • Find out how you can feel more secure about your finances

  • Understand the practical ways you can feel more secure and more stable in your finance management.

Join the Webinar - To get started phone or login to Workplace Options.

Visit Connect to access our council login details. If you do not currently have access to Connect please ask your manager to provide these details to you. 

Freephone: 0800 247 1100 


Workplace Options Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Webinar - support at your fingertips

Webinar logo

This month you can sign up to one of three webinars from the National Wellbeing Hub. Enhancing Personal Resilience: Managing Stress and Staying Positive, Coping with Insomnia and Sleep Issues, Loneliness and Isolation. They can help to enhance your personal resilience when working during these challenging times. Visit our Get Involved this Month page to book.

Please speak to your manager if you need development time to attend a session or need access to a computer.

Let's work together and flourish

Remember by working together we can all learn how to make a difference and help our health and wellbeing. So let's flourish together by:


Volunteering makes a difference

Hundreds of council family staff regularly give up their time to volunteer for a project or charity that they are interested in.

As an employer we recognise the many benefits of volunteering - both to the individual and the organisation.

Volunteering is an excellent way of experiencing something completely different, having fun, learning, and making a positive contribution to the city and its people.

Do you know that volunteering can boost your sense of wellbeing? Studies indicate that the very act of giving back to the community also boosts your happiness, health, and sense of wellbeing.

We've asked some staff to share their experience and particularly how volunteering has impacted their wellbeing particularly during the pandemic.

Campbell McKay, Library Assistant, Glasgow Life

Campbell volunteers for Macmillan@Glasgow Libraries at Dennistoun Library where he provides information and support as well as a friendly ear to service users affected by cancer.

Volunteering MacMillan

"Volunteering has helped me to develop knowledge and has improved my social skills. It is an incredibly fulfilling role to have as you can see first-hand what an important difference you're making. I've benefited a huge amount from volunteering, from gaining experience and new skills, to making good friends."

The following staff are volunteer Mentors with MCR Pathways:

Linda Donnelly, Learning and Development Officer, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership

"My mentee is like a ray of sunshine, with the biggest of smiles, which is contagious. I always feel good after our meetings and meeting up virtually helped me no end during lock down when I couldn't meet up with friends and family.  We recently had our first face-to-face meeting since lockdown which was wonderful.  It was like meeting up with an old friend after a long period apart. Just exactly what we both needed after all the Covid madness."

Alison Crawford, City Principal Psychologist, Education Services

"Being in the company of a young person is a privilege and a pleasure. Pandemic restrictions have been hard on young people and keeping in touch was challenging during this time, however the joy at meeting up again in person was fantastic. Connectedness, gratitude, and knowing you are making a difference, even some of the time - what a gift for giving just a wee bit of your time."

Ronnie Regan, Procurement Group Manager, City Building

"The feeling you get when you can bring some life skills to the table is fantastic. Giving advice and encouragement genuinely gives you a 'buzz' when it comes to fruition. Volunteering as a mentor makes me feel very useful and at times humbled and, from my own perspective, I feel my wellbeing has been given a boost."

Kenny Lang, Local Area Co-ordinator, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership

"The lockdown restrictions have been extremely difficult, but we continued regular contact through virtual mentoring sessions. After each meeting I got such a buzz knowing that spending just 50 minutes of my entire week on a call with him was helping him during this testing time and were always able to keep our spirits up and have a 'richt guid laugh."

Help and support to get involved

We are committed to providing you with opportunities to volunteer that allow you to develop your skills and learn more about the city we all work for.

Our Volunteer Policy and Volunteer Employee Guide provides information on support available to you including the option of a day's paid leave per year for volunteering purposes (pro-rata for part time employees).

More information

  • View our policy arrangements and find links to opportunities with our partner charities, on Connect

  • Visit for a wide range of volunteering opportunities in the city

  • Find out more about mentoring on the MCR Pathways Connect pages.

  • Find out more about how 'giving to others' - including volunteering - is one of the well evidenced and widely promoted 'Five Ways to Wellbeing'

Are you a volunteer - we'd love to hear more

If you are a volunteer and would like to share your story, we'd love to hear all about what you do and the difference volunteering makes. Your story could inspire others to get involved.

Please email some brief details, with your contact email and phone number, to

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