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The image below of the train on Railway lines is from Facebook and is courtesy of the Courier.  It is a Facebook link to the story about the end of the £1 Concessionary Rail Fare in Fife.   Please click on the image to look at the story at the Courier.  For the second story there is a Happy Easter Image below. That will take you to the Facebook story.  Both stories are being displayed from a Physical Facebook page and doesn’t exist here as text or images until we update later in the month.

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Hello again

My colleague Sylwia reminded me that I should have included a bit in our bulletin about the new Carers Befriending Group she and our volunteer befrienders are starting up on Monday 22nd February.  The group is for carers who would like to meet up with other carers and befrienders for social interaction and fun.  You can find out more about it by click this link here: CARERS GROUPS

Best wishes

Lesley Childs

Depute Manager

Fife Carers Centre

157 Commercial Street| Kirkcaldy | KY1 2NS

Office: 01592 205 472

Mobile: 07736 927991

The above information is from Fife Carers Centre Information Bulletin Mon 15/02/2021

There is still some of the money announced by the First Minister to help carers have a break from thier caring role available to apply for.  It is administered through the Creative Breaks Fund overseen by Fife Voluntary Action.  You can apply for up to £300 to buy something that will help give you a break from your caring role.  Obviously going away for a break is not possible now so you will have to think about other ways to have a break.

Some of the things other carers have bought with their grants have included Garden Sheds, Fitness equipment including bicycles, Items for hobbies, Kindles, Tablets or laptops with earphones so you can watch your own programmes,  or you could think about food delivery from companies such as Gusto or Hello Fresh to explore new ideas in your cooking or even deliveries of takeaway food to have a break from cooking.  Think out of the box about what gives you a break from your caring role.

This funding is available just now and must be spent before the end of March.  At the moment some of the normal rules have been suspended to enable as many carers as possible to access it quickly so if you are caring for a child under 21 you can apply (normally is for carers of adults over 21) and if you had a Creative Breaks Grant last year (it’s normally only available every two years) you can apply. An application form is attached to this email for you to complete and email to the email address on the back page of the form to make your application.

The above information is from Fife Carers Centre Information Bulletin Mon 15/02/2021

Community & Dementia: Creating Better Lives in Fife

Thursday 25 February 2021, from 10:00 – 12:45

The Life Changes Trust in partnership with stakeholders from across Fife, want to inform and inspire those attending by providing an opportunity to learn from initiatives and evidence from across Fife and support local areas to think more deeply about how communities can uphold the human rights of people with dementia and unpaid carers.  To book your place in the audience just click on the link below:

Community & Dementia:Creating Better Lives in Fife

The most recent information that we have about the unpaid carers vaccinations is as follows

  • We have now passed one million first dose vaccinations in Scotland.
  • Second appointments for those who received their first vaccination at the beginning of the campaign are also underway.
  • Around 75,000 more people have been vaccinated than originally anticipated in Scotland’s deployment plan which is due to higher take-up rates of vaccine than anticipated and that is very welcome. But this all has had an impact on our available vaccine supply and we must therefore ensure enough vaccine for second doses when they are due.
  • Scotland continues to follow the JCVI advice on prioritisation – to protect those most at risk.
  • Unpaid carers, who continue to be prioritised as part of group 6, will be called forward as soon as vaccine supplies allow, both through letters to those on relevant benefits, and through a national marketing campaign signposting them to the forthcoming self-referral portal.
  • More details on timescales for unpaid carers will follow shortly.

Fife Carers Centre is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

Company Number 282309.  Scottish Charity Number SC029466.

Fife Carers Centre is an independent voluntary organisation funded by Fife Council and NHS Fife.

The above information is from Fife Carers Centre Information Bulletin Mon 15/02/2021

18th February 2021
by Gareth Jones

An independent review of adult social care in Scotland was published earlier this month

The Scottish Government has said it is committed to implementing the far reaching recommendations of a recent review into adult social care in Scotland. Continue reading

17th February 2021
Guest post

Mandy Laurie of Burness Paull looks at where employment law stands as the covid vaccine is rolled out

Since Margaret Keenan became the first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the UK, the rest of the nation has watched on as the introduction of two vaccines and the approval of a third have meant that a return to normal routines may be a step closer.

However, where does that leave employers and employees in terms of a return to the workplace? Can an employer make vaccination compulsory for all employees? And can employers insist that employees return to the workplace? Continue reading

 18th February 2021
by Robbie Ross

Robbie Ross says cyber criminals do not distinguish between charities and businesses when planning attacks

Cyber security has posed a threat for a number of years, with many of us falling victim to online crime, in both a personal and professional capacity.

As the UK went into a lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations transitioned to remote working. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have seen this as an opportunity to attack businesses across the globe, using sophisticated and innovative tactics to target the most vulnerable, including charitable organisations.

When cyber criminals are scanning for opportunities, they are looking for weaknesses and open doors. At Converged Communication Solutions, we want to help charities close as many of these doors as possible and allow them to focus on the incredible work they do.

Online criminals do not distinguish between charities and businesses, and charities have what they want – namely data and access to money. Unlike many large businesses, charitable organisations do not have the same expensive software or IT knowledge, which is why it is so important that charities get the security and protection basics right.

Statistics from the UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020 shows that 26% of charities suffered a cyber attack in the last year, with more than half reporting they were “negatively impacted”.

Unfortunately for larger charities, those which have earnings of more than £500,000, 57% fell victim to a cyber-attack.

Charities have it within themselves to improve their cyber security, even with very limited resources and little to no budget. However, it is up to us as an industry to share our expertise and provide the practical tools they need, to have confidence in their own ability to protect themselves and the wider organisation.

Part of this involves us breaking down the barriers which exist, especially around lack of technical know-how. We need to correct the misconception that cyber security is a specialist only remit – it is not.

Research produced by GCHQ, BIS and CPNI in a report entitled ’10 Steps to Cyber Security’, highlights that once organisations learn the basics, they could be protected against up to 80% of known attacks.

Another barrier is the cost of implementing cyber security. However, many of the steps charities can take to better protect themselves are completely free or low cost.

In recent months, we have worked closely with Scottish science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) charity, TechFest, which highlighted knowledge gaps in online security for charitable organisations.

With a passion to improve safety and raise awareness of threats, we have created a free webinar in partnership with TechFest. Not only do we want to provide advice to charities around what they can do to better protect themselves, but we also want to point out that many of these things are straightforward, and inexpensive to achieve.

Charities which don’t know where to start with cyber security are encouraged to sign up for our webinar Cyber Security Basics for Charities – a chance to learn, question and build cyber confidence’.

In Scotland, charities have some great resources available to help them on their cyber journey, including the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Both organisations provide a range of cyber security services for businesses and organisations across Scotland.

With just a bit of education and support, we can make it much tougher for cyber criminals to get past security systems and safeguard both data and much-needed funds. The free webinar is taking place on Wednesday 24 February at 10. 30am. You can sign up here.

Robbie Ross is chief security officer at Converged Communication Solutions

The above information is from Third Force News Weekly Opinion Posts roundup Fri 19/02/2021

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