Redeem Exchange

The Redeem Exchange team came up with a simple yet innovative idea to reduce plastic waste in the shape and form of empty hand sanitiser bottles. We offer a collect, wash, refill and return service for empty bottles to help save the environment whilst keeping those around us safe.

Redeem Exchange launched because of COVID-19, and the increased number of (very much needed) plastic bottles in circulation – and we were involved in this, as we ourselves were producing hand sanitiser for the NHS.

These bottles are usually thrown away, and very few make it to be recycled. We realised we could reuse bottles and keep them in circulation longer, which helps also to reduce costs would you believe! A win for everyone!

The Scottish Government, NHS NSS, and Zero Waste Scotland have supported us to bring this Redeem Exchange to where we are today, and we now have capacity to run this programme across Scotland. The most exciting part is what we learn, and what goes on behind the scenes. We get to know all our customers incredibly well through this process, and as we are a non-profit social enterprise, we get to support local communities where it’s needed.

Our main hub is in Greenock, but as we grow, we will work with our network to open hubs throughout Scotland. This will provide jobs for people living in SIMD areas. We have designed an employability programme for those who join us, giving them valuable skills and knowledge to reach their full potential.

We have big plans to make our world better for future generations both environmentally and socially. It is an exciting time for Redeem Exchange – we wanted to share this, and some positive feedback we received recently. AND, if you would like to get in touch to hear more, you can contact Bev on [email protected] or call 07901 427 190.

“Our service has used Redeem exchange as a means to reduce the environmental impact of used plastics, this sits very well with our wider organisational goals on sustainability. The local connection is also valuable to us in having a local point of contact and easy to access service for what is an essential PPE product for staff”Richmond Fellowship

And we have a superhero – nearly forgot to mention that!!

 *The photo above was taken last year, prior to the need to wear face masks in a work environment.

Independent and 3rd Sector Workforce Development within Dumfries & Galloway



The Covid -19 Virus has now developed with a new highly transmissible strain and a third wave has affected our communities. National and local lockdown measures have increased once again and, the risk to our HSCP social care teams has increased even further. There has been an ongoing recognition and fear within Dumfries & Galloway social care management teams that there needs to be a network established to ensure the support of their staff teams and ultimately the continued provision of services to the most vulnerable members of our community. It was understood the reliance of support from our NHS colleagues was untenable due to acute services being at their capacity and management of the vaccine rollout. To mitigate risk management to the social care sector, to protect individuals accessing the services and to protect the NHS services a test of change was required.

At multiple meetings involving the partners of the Independent and 3rd Sector Workforce Development Team, the Care Inspectorate and SSSC both at National and Local level, the HSCP of Dumfries and Galloway, National Workforce and Policy Lead and the Transforming Workforce Lead for Scottish Care, it was agreed that the development of a ‘Rapid Response Network’ was necessary and essential. Some of our Social Care providers had experienced and are experiencing large numbers of staff and at times whole teams being taken out of service due to Sickness, Test and Protect as well as isolation and shielding purposes. This increased the potential for a higher incident risk across the sector and ultimately placing more pressure on an already stretched NHS. It was established that there needed to be a system put in place to maintain the provision of a basic service to individuals in need of care. This provision of care can be provided by trained staff already working within the social care sector and across Dumfries and Galloway. Specialist providers, Care at Home and Care home managers, area and regional managers and directors have agreed to support one another during these unprecedented times. Subsequently, the Care Inspectorate, SSSC and D&G HSCP have agreed this essential service can be delivered.

This model will utilise existing staff to support the workforce and to minimize risk to patient care due to reduced workforce, by allowing providers to work flexibly with one another. This model is only for use in emergency situations and when the providers own contingency plans have been exhausted. A review of this pilot model could potentially consider options to support Home Teams with a rapid response from the social care sector. In order to access this Network providers have to be contracted with the HSCP and sign a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to the terms. Providers are expected to follow the guidance regarding Infection Control measures in order to mitigate risk of infection.


In September 2019, Scottish Care initiated Strategic Independent, Third Sector Workforce Forum, supported by Vic McDade, NHS Sustainability and Development Manager.  This forum was developed initially to bring social care providers together to work collaboratively with partners, to explore opportunities to expand the Social Care workforce, raise the profile of Social Care across Dumfries and Galloway and share experiences. It was also hoping to develop positive public perception and to evidence Career Pathways within health and social care.  This group split into a Short Life Working Group to consider an emergency response to the rapid rise in Covid cases and met on several occasions to discuss a model of support for one another.

In December 2020, guidance was published by COSLA and Scot Gov (2020) regarding financial support for social care providers. This document contains information to support the ‘potential for staff to deliver another service/support temporarily’. The guidance states that there should be collaborative working between providers and commissioners in order to facilitate a clear understanding of what is required.

It is envisaged that once this network has been established it will be able to provide support across the social care services for any emergencies when they arise. With the potential, if successful, for a National Framework to be developed. It is hoped that this collaboration of teams across Dumfries & Galloway will strengthen the social care services for the future. This proposed model also covers many of the points from the ‘9 Pillars of Integrated Care’ including ‘workforce capacity and capability’, ‘shared values and vision’ and ‘system wide governance and leadership’ (International Foundation for Integrated Care, 2020).

Pet therapy helps care home residents enjoy a ‘paws’ in their week

Animal-loving pensioners at a city centre care home have been enjoying pet therapy sessions for more than a decade, thanks to dedicated staff and resident pup, Sophie.

Staff at Belleville Lodge in Edinburgh recognised how much joy and comfort the sessions brought to their elderly residents and made the decision to ensure they could continue throughout the pandemic.

During the sessions, residents reminisce about their pets over the years, cuddle up with Sophie, the resident west highland terrier, and look at pictures of animals and nature, while sharing stories in small groups.

The carers have found pet therapy has amazing benefits for residents with and without dementia, from increased mood and social interaction to improved nutrition and physical activity. It’s also a fun activity for residents who can share their pet histories and find out interesting facts about different animals.

Margaret Russell, Matron at the home operated by Mansfield Care, said: “We find the sessions are excellent for our residents wellbeing and spirits. Before the pandemic we had two other dogs who visited regularly, a black lab called Orchid and a border terrier named Ruff, who residents are looking forward to reuniting with when it’s safe to do so.

“Anyone with a pet will know just how relaxing and calming spending time with an animal can be. As well as relieving the feelings of loneliness and isolation, pets can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and promote a sense of overall wellbeing.

“With such a powerful range of physical and mental benefits, it’s not surprising that pet therapy is being introduced into many care homes to improve the lives of elderly people and dementia patients across the UK.

“Even when a resident has advanced dementia, you can see the change in their face and the comfort they find when petting a dog – their faces completely light up as they stretch out their arms to welcome them.

“We’ve found it so important to keep activities that residents enjoy going throughout the pandemic, so we have made sure to incorporate pets and animals into our activity programme.

“When we couldn’t physically welcome any pets into our lounge area, we would download pictures of our residents favourite animals for our residents to talk about.

“Everyone thoroughly enjoys hearing one another’s stories and leaves the sessions feeling happy – which is the main reason why we have our extensive activity programme.”

Belleville Lodge offers space for up to 25 residents, including some twin rooms, in the heart of Edinburgh.

Mansfield Care operates 11 care homes across Edinburgh, Borders and the West of Scotland, specialising in small homes which offer bespoke, friendly care and boast state of the art facilities.

The care provider specialises in small, friendly, residential care homes across Edinburgh, Borders and West of Scotland, providing individualised care in state of the art facilities.

The Mansfield Care ethos is inspired by the kind of care many would wish for later in life – positive, empathetic, respectful and homely.

To find out more about Mansfield Care visit,

apetito finds innovative ways to support Scottish care homes during lockdown 3

With lockdown 3 putting even more pressure on care homes including staff resourcing, consistency and continuity of food supplies, leading food supplier, apetito, has looked to innovate and help support care homes across Scotland’s major conurbations as well as those situated in more outlying areas.

apetito are experts in providing excellent food and enhancing dining experience for the elderly. All meals can easily be cooked from frozen by care home teams on site.  Throughout Covid-19, many care homes have turned to apetito for quick mobilisation of its services enabling them to retain their confidence in being able to guarantee the quality and safety of their meals, during these challenging and extraordinary times.

Over the past few months, apetito has looked to develop new working practices to support its care home customers. New ways of working include contactless deliveries and fast mobilisation of services. We also continue to offer free, remote tasting experiences so care homes can try our range of food in a safe and socially distant environment and ensure those homes looking for new options can be catered for.

apetito offer over 200 dishes including a great range of main meals and desserts that residents enjoy and love. apetito offer a wide range of meals for residents with specific dietary needs including a range of ‘free from’ meals, made without the 14 main allergens, and a world leading Texture Modified range for those living with swallowing difficulties.

Don’t take our word for it – try our meals for yourself and enjoy the quality first-hand…

apetito has launched ‘the apetiser’, an innovative mobile presentation suite which has been specially developed and fitted out to offer care homes the opportunity to enjoy socially distanced presentations and food tastings. This enables care homes to experience the quality of apetito’s meals first-hand without the need to admit any third party onto their site.

The apetiser will be travelling around Scotland in the coming weeks, allowing the apetito team to meet with care homes and communicate how the company can support them in maintaining the quality of their dining experience whilst reducing waste and labour costs. Please do not hesitate to contact us today to book your free care home tasting.

Neil Hargreaves, apetito’s Divisional Manager – Care Homes, commented:

“The apetiser means we can go to care homes who would like to discuss their catering requirements, invite them to join us in a socially distanced environment, and they can experience for themselves the great dining experience that apetito can help them deliver to their residents. 

“Right now, we know that every penny counts for care homes and alongside delivering great food and nutrition, we can help care homes through reducing waste, labour and associated cost. Most importantly, we can mobilise new services quickly and safely, which right now is top of mind for many of the care homes that we are talking to”.

Ian Bell, Manager at Davidson House, Edinburgh run by The Salvation Army, said:

‘Looking back, the thought of introducing apetito might have looked challenging to some. However, given our catering situation at the time, it was essential that we quickly moved to a more manageable and qualitative meals system as quickly as we could.’

‘To be frank, all of my expectations were exceeded. The process went very smoothly with no hiccups or any other issues impacting on the operation or anyone’s safety. Freezers were put into place on time as was all other equipment. Food deliveries were also on time and menu’s planned well in advance. Training was delivered safely under the auspices of the homes infection control procedures and following all government guidance.

‘All in all, I couldn’t have been happier with the end result. The only real issue we had was communicating the change to residents families. We did this quickly and effectively through telephone contact and FaceTime. The decision to change during such testing times was completely justified. There was an immediate reduction in food waste and an increase in resident’s weights.’

To book your free tasting today, go to or contact 01225 569403.

Learn more about our Care Home partnerships:  apetito – Care Home Meals – YouTube

See The apetiser in action – The apetiser – YouTube

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Burns Gym

HC-One, The Kind Care Company, is working with Burns Gym to provide all its 328 care homes with functional exercise classes via Zoom, after a successful three-month pilot across 32 care homes.

Robi Roccella, HC-One Head of Quality of Life stated:

‘The pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges that have undoubtably affected the people we support and our Colleagues’ wellbeing. The importance of movement and keeping active has never been greater than during the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, as part of our Wellbeing Programme, we have worked very hard to find new and innovative ways to keep people engaged in meaningful activities that could stimulate their body, mind and soul.’

‘One of the successful initiatives has been the pilot project we run in collaboration with Burns Gym. We are now really excited to be making these exercise classes provided by Joe and Tony Burns available to all our homes.’

Beaconsfield Court Care Home, Barnard Castle

The feedback throughout the pilot has been simply amazing in terms of the benefits brought to our Residents and Colleagues, the level of interaction and engagement and the positive impact on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Redesdale Court Care Home, North Shields

Our Wellbeing Coordinator, Morag Whyte at Barleystone Court in Falkirk said:

I was delighted to be asked for our care home to participate in a pilot project with Joe and Tony Burns. I offer physical activities to our Residents on a daily basis. However, the thought that we could take part in activities that also provided a social opportunity truly appealed to me, given the fact that we are able to exercise with Residents from other HC-One homes. 

‘At first, only four Residents joined the class every 2 weeks. However, they were so enthusiastic that the session grew in popularity and we now have 8 Residents attending these classes, which is the maximum we can have to allow for social distancing.  We have now also increased our participation to once per week.   

‘I have personally learned so much from Joe and Tony and I continue with these exercises throughout the week. The Residents love to see themselves on the screen and wave to the other participating homes. We also had a birthday shout out to Mary, our Resident who loves participating.  Mary always comes looking for me on a Wednesday and has commented that she always feels so much better after joining in and tells everyone what a great thing it is to take part in.  

‘David is another of our Residents who regularly exercise with the Burns brothers. His family is overjoyed that he is leaving his room to take part in these sessions and they call him every Wednesday to remind him to go. David has found the classes to beneficial to his physical health and his mood has improved as a result of this.

At HC-One our focus is on Wellbeing rather than just activity. We tailor our daily schedule to include activities that will stimulate not just the body, but also the mind and soul of the people we support. The Zoom sessions with Burns Gym cover all aspects of wellbeing and I would highly recommend them to everyone. I am over the moon that the pilot has been a success and look forward to many more sessions with them, even after we have come out of this pandemic.’

Residents at Barleystone Court enjoying a Burns Gym exercise class via Zoom

Another participating home has been Cradlehall care home in Inverness where Wellbeing Coordinator, Sandra McIntyre stated ‘It is amazing to see how our Residents have adapted to Zoom through regular calls with family and friends, online concerts and engagement with the community.   

‘Our Residents truly enjoy the Burns Gym classes as the music, fun and high level of interaction make everyone happy, bring a lot of fun and enhance our regular ‘Keep on Moving Programme’ here at Cradlehall.

‘When I take out the tablet a typical comment is ‘Here’s my boy’ or ‘Here they are again!’ Residents will also comment ‘It’s the boys from Glesga!’ (a local saying relating to people from Glasgow).

‘Many of our Residents have connections with Glasgow and this provides an opportunity for us to talk about Glasgow and promote a reminisce activity as well.

‘We enjoy connecting with other HC-One care homes as it’s so wonderful to meet other Residents and Colleagues.

 ‘I couldn’t speak more highly of Tony and Joe as they always take time to get to know the Residents and address them by name, which makes everyone feel special and increases the level of participation and interaction. In addition to this, they also encourage Colleagues to engage and keep on moving as part of their session.  

‘I am not surprised the pilot has been a success and I look forward for these services to be offered to our other care homes across the UK, as this also promotes a sense of togetherness here at HC-One.’

Winnie McCraken
Resident at Cradlehall
Burns Gym leading an exercise class via Zoom with Cradlehall

These are just some of the many examples of why we promote the importance of physical exercise and movement for the people we support. This year, to celebrate the Olympic Games, we will further develop our Wellbeing Programme and look at new innovative ways to move and groove even more! Watch this space!

For more information on how you can check out our classes contact Joe and Tony at [email protected].

You can also check us out on our:


Instagram: @burnsgym


Twitter: @burns_gym

YouTube: ,

LinkedIn: ,

you can also reach Joe on 07872637656 or Tony on 07729944554.

Connectivity at an all-time high: Care technology provider is turning Scotland digital

One of the UK’s leading providers of digital care technology is increasing connectivity and collaboration in care homes north of the border – putting Scotland at the forefront of digitalisation in social care.

Care providers in Scotland are more connected than ever thanks to Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system, which allows staff to digitally plan, record and monitor the care of residents in real-time.

The mobile digital care system helps to reduce the time it would take to physically transcribe care notes as staff can record information at the point of care, while also mitigating the risk of errors through innovative icon-driven tools. In addition, the risk of losing information is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal, which can be viewed anytime by anyone with access.

NHS Highland has implemented a number of automated care functions throughout its 15 NHS-owned care homes. These include applications for Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, guardianship checklist, reporting, and health and social care operability.

Despite being the largest of Scotland’s 14 NHS regions, covering an area of 32,500 km² from Kintyre in the south-west to Caithness in the north-east, NHS Highland is extremely rural, serving just 320,000 people. Its isolated position in the northernmost part of the UK, however, hasn’t stopped the health board from supplying the very best care in the country via smart, agile technology.

Claire Cameron, Programme Manager for Adult Social Care Projects at NHS Highland, said: “I’m a big advocate of technology and believe it’s the blueprint for the future of care monitoring. We’re proud to be leading the way in the adoption of person-centred technology at NHS Highland and look forward to the next step in our journey of providing superior care to all those in the region, via innovative technologies.”

With the Scottish government toughening coronavirus restrictions further in a bid to slow the spread of the virus as cases continue to rise, Person Centred Software’s agile technology, which is used in over 2,000 care homes across the UK, has recently seen the implementation of eight new coronavirus-specific features to help protect the elderly and vulnerable. These included coronavirus reporting, staff coronavirus auditing, track and trace reporting, and its Relatives Gateway video link. Furthermore, its Care App was found to save each carer one hour per shift to complete administrative tasks.

One care group, Handsale, which runs three Scottish homes in Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire, has also benefited from using digital care technology during the pandemic. With every potential COVID-19 death in Scottish care settings being referred

to The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) as part of their Public Inquiry, having all care notes for an individual stored in one place, from the moment they are admitted to a home to when they are discharged, has been a straightforward process to hand over to the relevant authorities.

Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale, said: “Recently, we had to provide 600 pages of notes from someone who was with us for three weeks and who didn’t pass away from COVID-19. Can you imagine if that person was with us three years and we were still paper-reliant? Homes are having to hand over hundreds and sometimes even thousands of physical pages within the 14 period of request from COPFS, but if they used technology that could store the data, then time wouldn’t be unnecessarily wasted on trying to find everything. This free time has allowed staff to care for residents instead of searching for documents, which is crucial at this moment in time.”

Furthermore, Avondale Care Scotland, a small family-run organisation providing 24-hour residential nursing care for young adults and elderly in Falkirk and Lochore, Fife, have benefitted from the transparency digital care systems offer, with carers, managers and even directors being able to access and view the care of individuals in real-time.

“The transparency offered by the technology, particularly in the high-pressure care environments we currently find ourselves in, has paid dividends to all using it,” said Adrian Hendry, Director at Avondale Care Scotland. “The system has fostered excellent trust and respect for the staff providing the care, and collaboration and communication has greatly enhanced, despite people having to work remotely or self-isolate.”

Connectivity at an all-time high: Care technology provider is turning Scotland digital

For more information on Person Centred Software’s Mobile Care Monitoring system, visit

East Ayrshire Care Home Celebration Event

On Thursday 17 December, staff, managers and residents from East Ayrshire care homes took part in two virtual celebratory events organised by Val Allen (Independent Sector Lead East Ayrshire, Scottish Care), East Ayrshire HSCP and East Ayrshire Council Vibrant Communities. They also organised wellbeing gift bags to be sent to all care home staff in the area. This pack included a thank you poem, some mindful quotes, information on wellbeing support and hand-painted pebbles that were painted by local groups and schools.

The celebratory events started with an Intelligence Kindness zoom session for care home managers and staff. This session was led by Tommy Whitelaw (Carers Voice, Alliance Scotland) who thanked everyone in the care homes for all the amazing work that they do. During this session, Tommy spoke beautiful words, reminding staff of the importance of kindness and the need to be kind and take care of themselves. It was an emotional half-hour, with tears flowing amongst the audience and ended with a huge round of applause to everyone on the call.

East Ayrshire Council Vibrant Communities then hosted a live Facebook virtual Christmas Tea Dance in collaboration with Dumfries House, Cumnock. Tea dances have been a popular event at Dumfries House before the Covid-19 pandemic, to combat isolation and reduce loneliness in the community. The move to a virtual Christmas tea dance allowed care home residents to tune in from East Ayrshire and further afield.

Residents and staff from Torrance Lodge and Crossgate enjoyed cream teas from the Dumfries House Cook School. These care homes also took part in the festivities and were live-streamed during the event. Residents gathered, singing, dancing and clapping their hands to the entertainment. We were able to listen to residents reminisce about their times at previous Dumfries House’s tea dances as well.

This event was hosted by John Reid (Elvis Impersonator and East Ayrshire Council’s Wellbeing Development Officer – Older People) and Jim McMahon (Councillor for Cumnock & New Cumnock) who both performed a few songs.

Musical entertainers from across the nation were also featured, including Meredith McCrindle, Edward Reid, Christy Mac & Steve Bishop, Lee Aaron King, Marie King, Daddy Cool, John George, Jai McDowall, and Sarah Laing.

The audience also heard from some speakers such as Prince Charles, the First Minister and Shiona Johnston and Meghan Miller from Dumfries House.

These events were a much-needed festive cheer at a difficult time for our care homes. What a great way to lift spirits and express gratitude to all the care home staff during the festive period. Well done to everyone involved for making it such a successful day and huge thanks again to all the care home staff out there!

On the day, Val Allen, Independent Sector Lead for East Ayrshire, said:

“I’ve been immensely proud to support both the care homes and care at home in East Ayrshire as Independent Sector Lead.  It’s been an exceptionally difficult year for everyone in the care sector.  Providing support to services for me, has always been about supporting those who support others.  Each and every one of our staff have worked difficult and very long hours supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities and they need to be reminded to look after themselves.  Self-care is so important if they are to continue to do so. They need to know how much respect we all have for them and how much we value what they do, every single day.

When the rest of us are in bed having a long lie on a Sunday morning or enjoying opening our Christmas gifts – if Santa manages to get PPE to pay us a visit –  our social care staff will have already started their shift and ensuring others have a happy and well cared for day.  The team who put together the bags and hampers have worked long hours putting together the bags but they all did this to extend the beautiful hand of kindness to our care homes.  In difficult times, such as a pandemic we appreciate the wonderful relationships which we have in East Ayrshire and with partners such as Tommy Whitelaw.  As you heard me say earlier, I spent Christmas eve last year in a care home in East Ayrshire singing and dancing with Tommy, staff and residents.  Sadly we can’t do that this year but I can tell you I cant wait to do it again very soon.  For me, its been way too long since I was in care homes.  Today was the next best thing for me.”

Printed Christmas Decorations at Randolph Hill

Randolph Hill has been using wall prints as Christmas decorations for health and safety reasons during the Covid-19 pandemic.  These are printed on clear vinyl, so can be attached to the walls removed easily and can be wiped down safely. The prints included a six-foot tree (see below). What a great way to celebrate Christmas whilst mitigating any risks of Coronavirus!

Examples of these prints can be viewed below.

Staff Showcase from Tailor Maid Home Care

Tailor Home Care has created a ‘Staff Showcase’ to highlight their good news stories and to express their gratitude to the care workers who have displayed courage, compassion and dedication during this pandemic. 

Have a read below for some uplifting and positive accounts:

Staff Showcase

Parkspring Staff Heroes

Here are a few of the Staff Hero caricature pictures created and designed by Lynn Bell (pictured left), who is a Night Shift Nurse at Parksprings Care Home. Lynn has been working on these amazing pictures since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Parksprings plans to use these pictures to create a ‘Staff Hero Wall of Fame’. Staff are delighted with these pictures and think that Lynn is a  hero for dedicating her time and talent to each and every one of them.