Information for GalGael’s Participants, Volunteers & Visitors

A wee update as to where we’re at amidst the Pandemic, and all that is unfolding. Last week, we made the decision to temporarily close our volunteer and participant activities at Fairley Street. In line with Government Guidelines, the staff team are now working from home and meeting online daily.

We are trying to keep in touch with our community as best we can; and are experimenting with ways in which technology can support this. Some of the things we’re ‘cooking up’ include a virtual Fairley Street, craft kit dispatch and reviving part of our history in the form of Urban Clansman Survival Kits. Alongside this we are coordinating with local and national partners to try to find ways our communities can continue to have their needs met.

We are also looking inwards; using this time to find and generate hope, and to store strength to offer an anchor for the weeks and months ahead. We are striving to deepen our kindness, compassion and ways of coping. Now as ever, we stand in solidarity; shoulder to the wheel, sensing how all that is taking place points us to the importance of a just Scotland, freed from scarcity, violence and loneliness and what it teaches us as to how we wrestle that into reality.


Coronaviruses are common across the world and can cause illness in animals or humans. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The UK Government's advice is clear. We should stay at home wherever possible, and stay 2 metres away from people when we do have to leave the house. This is in an attempt to 'flatten the curve' and minimise the impact on the NHS.

Temporary Closure

GalGael will be closed for the duration of the government required physical distancing period. This decision was taken with thought given to:

  • most recently available Government advice including social distancing (see below);
  • the changing nature of the spread of the virus and what is known about it effects;
  • and given that a significant proportion of those that work, volunteer and are part of GalGael’s immediate community have underlying health concerns.

This will affect all our current activities; Practical Woodwork, Volunteer Activities and Thursday evening open workshop nights. Taking this step, will also allow staff who have underlying health conditions and family responsibilities to undertake working from home in line with government advice to employers. 

We understand that people will find making these adjustments difficult and will miss seeing everyone. However this is an important way of taking responsibility for our own health, the health of our families and the communities around us. This is a form of collective responsibility - balancing individual preferences and freedom with the collective good. 

What do you need to do?

  • Stay home!! Please!;
  • Only go out for essential food, health or work reasons;
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft away) from other people;
  • Wash your hands regularly;
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home;
  • Familiarise yourself with Government guidance to minimise risk or spread of infection;
  • Share with us ideas as to ways we might look out for each other (without risking infection);
  • Let us know the best way to contact you - can we text you with updates or would you prefer a call?
  • Be patient! This is about not putting others at risk and taking responsibility for the impact on the health service.


Wooden Hearts

Keeping Well

Things you can do to keep well during the next two weeks:

  • Do anything you can to look after your health; e.g. try to eat well and drink plenty of water;
  • Give yourself a routine everyday - it can help;
  • Take one walk (or other form of exercise) a day (keep your distance from others), get some sunlight, fresh air and time out in nature;
  • Do some carving or craft and find other ways to relax and be creative;
  • Reach out to others, get in touch with folk, chat on the phone or via the internet;


What are the typical signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Common symptoms include:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature
  • shortness of breath

If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 24 (111) or go to the NHS Inform website. Do not go directly to your  GP, hospital  or other healthcare environment. 

These symptoms can range from a mild-to-moderate illness to severe acute respiratory infection. For most people COVID-19 will be a mild infection. COVID-19 is more likely to cause severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What should I do if I have symptoms

If you have symptoms of recent onset (within the last 7 days) of a continuous cough and/or high temperature, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. This advice is designed to help people prevent the spread. You do not need to be tested for COVID-19. Self-isolating for 7 days will be enough to prevent spread. Please visit NHS Inform for further guidance and information.

What should I do if my symptoms are worsening

Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 24 or your GP. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19)

Further information

People who want more general information on COVID-19 but do not have symptoms can

also phone the free helpline on 0800 028 2816 (NHS 24). The helpline is open:

Monday to Friday – 8am to 10pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm

More detailed guidance: The latest advice and developments on COVID-19 in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Government website.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
  • Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Page updated 03 April 2020

*Source: Health Protection Scotland  COVID-19 Information and Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings Version 2.2 (16.03.20)

Photo Credit: Joerg Meier Photographers