A CHARITY dedicated to combating the causes and effects of homelessness is giving front line staff two additional days off after the coronavirus outbreak ends.

Simon Community Scotland, who has been working to tackle rough sleeping particularly in the last six weeks, believes other organisations should follow suit and award key workers with at least two mindfulness days following the stress of the global pandemic.

These “wellbeing times” would help people relax and spend time with their families when the situation improves.

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Hugh Hill, director of services and development at Simon Community Scotland, said: “Mindfulness is something that has been around for years. When this is all over, we will be encouraging our staff to enjoy two mindfulness days to benefit their mental health.

“This is not just about meditating, it can be anything they enjoy including walking, cycling, running or anything that will help them shake off the stress of this situation.

“Of course, we believe other organisations with key workers should do this too. They deserve more than just a pat on the back, they need to know they are appreciated and how well they have done by working through this pandemic.

“This could give them some valuable time with family or loved ones. Our employees have been phenomenal.

“It could have been easy for them to have stayed at home as we recognise some people have families that they need to care for.

“We really appreciate all their hard work at this time.”

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Since the outbreak of coronavirus, Simon Community has employed 35 people on short term contracts who were already volunteers. This ensured a full service would run during the crisis if staff had to isolate or look after a family member.

Mr Hill continued: “We have an amazing staff who are in here everyday working with people who are struggling. They follow health and safety advice by following social distancing guidelines, washing their hands frequently and wearing protective equipment.

“They are keeping themselves safe as well as vulnerable people.”