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“We were able to pick a Scotland Loves Local Gift Card that is local for each staff member.”

Registered charity Scottish Care used 17 of the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card programmes to reward their staff, who are based right across Scotland. Laura Bennie, office manager and executive PA for Scottish Care told us why:

“Scottish Care is a charitable membership organisation and the representative body for independent social care services in Scotland. We represent over 350 organisations delivering residential care, nursing care, day care, care at home and housing support services.

“The care sector has been hugely impacted during the pandemic and our team are the ones who are supporting organisations and staff delivering front line care. Collectively, as an organisation, we felt that we wanted to acknowledge the additional support offered by our team, and say thank you for all that they do.

“We’d heard about the Scotland Loves Local Gift Card through Scotland’s Towns Partnership and thought it sounded ideal as a way to say thank you. As a charity, we don’t have a lot of money for activities like this, but were able to fund £50 gift cards for staff as a small token of our appreciation. Our team is in the sector because they are passionate about care, but we feel it’s important that their efforts are noticed and appreciated.

“The Scottish Care office is based in Ayr, but our team is spread out right across Scotland from the north, right down to the Borders. We were able to pick a Scotland Loves Local Gift Card that is local for each staff member, so if they live in Ayr, they’d receive a Scotland Loves Local South Ayrshire Gift Card and so on. I was in touch with Alex and Sarah at Miconex, and sent a list of which gift cards we wanted for which areas. It was really straight forward and I had the cards delivered directly to me, ready to be activated before we hand them out. Miconex was super helpful and it was no hassle.

A thank you gift that is actually used

“We distributed the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards at our in person event in November, taking the time to say thank you to our staff as we hand out the gift cards. In the lead up to Christmas, we’re sure the gift cards will be appreciated and a thank you gift that is actually used.

“One of my responsibilities at Scottish Care is wellbeing and HR. Staff wellbeing is a huge consideration for organisations now. The pandemic was so full on, that it is only now that organisations across Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world, are able to take the time to reflect on the impact that the pandemic has had on staff wellbeing. At Scottish Care, wellbeing is a key focus for us with events bringing the team together in person, and activities such as mindfulness.

“The good thing about choosing the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards is that it can be used in lots of different businesses. Staff can pay for their shopping, go for a coffee and cake, or for a meal in a restaurant. They could also use the gift card to take some time for themselves and support their wellbeing, such as having an acupuncture or hot yoga session. There’s that choice to spend it however they want.

The whole circle of support

“Community is important to us as an organisation and we value the whole circle of support that is intrinsic with the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards. No-one should live in isolation and one thing the pandemic taught is the power of connection. The Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards could encourage those who stopped engaging in their community during the pandemic to start visiting their local businesses again, especially those who may live alone. Using the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards for our staff rewards is a way that we can show our support for communities across Scotland.

“For any charities or non-profit organisations thinking about using the Scotland Loves Local Gift Cards, I would have no hesitation in recommending them. As an organisation with a good amount of staff all spread out across Scotland, the ordering process was really easy and enabled us to give our staff a thank you that offers both choice and support for the community.”