The Ceartas team are facing a unique and unprecedented situation which brings new challenges for people we work within East Dunbartonshire.
In line with current Scottish Government and East Dunbartonshire Council advice, we have introduced a COVID-19 policy to ensure we can keep our staff members and the people we work with as safe as possible. We have made some changes to our approach and the way we do things to ensure the aims and objectives of Ceartas are met and the provision of independent advocacy and information remains available for people throughout East Dunbartonshire.
There will be no drop-in access to the Ceartas office at McGregor House from 19th March onward. We remain open for business but cannot receive visitors at the office without an appointment.
Individuals can still contact the Ceartas team on 0141 775 0433 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss other arrangements. Our services can now function remotely and staff are using services such as Whats’s App and Skype to speak to the people who use our services. Telephone and Video conferencing is also being utilised to ensure that people rights continue to be protected by the involvement of an advocacy worker. Email is also a good way to access and keep in contact with the service but we recognise not all the people we work with will have that option.
Workers will be spending more time out of the office, but Ceartas remains available. This means the person may not always be able to speak to a particular worker when they call, or they may have to leave a voicemail but all voicemails are accessible remotely and we will call back as soon as we can. In addition to our regular casework we are also reviewing people who have used our advocacy services recently to ensure that are not isolated and in need at this time.
Unfortunately, our groups such as our popular Dementia Cafes (De Café) are suspended at the present time, however in due course we will be launching various supports via our social media channels and we have commenced keeping in contact via telephone with the people who regularly attend these groups throughout East Dunbartonshire.
Ceartas is open but with revised working practices.
OPAL – East Dunbartonshire Information Line is open as usual.
Ceartas staff have also offered to help other organisations eg Foodbank in the local area as needs of vulnerable groups in the community are identified