Category Archives: Uncategorised

September 2017

Welcome to our sixth newsletter of 2017. Where did summer go?! We’d love to include any stories you’d like to share with your colleagues in future newsletters – just email Rheanna on or give her a call in the office.


We need individuals to stand for election to Director and Trustee positions It’s time to elect a new Employee Director and a new Employee Trustee. We’re on the hunt for nominations for the positions which last for three years and will be decided by all partners in elections. These important positions give you the chance to control the future direction of HHC.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 6 October.

Employee ownership specialist and Non-Executive Trustee Carole Leslie explains what is involved with each role: “As an employee-owned company, involving everyone at Highland Home Carers is central to how the business runs. Having colleagues on the two legal bodies of the company, the Board of Directors and the Trustees, ensures that employees’ voices are heard when the most important decisions are made.

“The Employee Director will attend board meetings which take place on the last Thursday of each month. The Board is responsible for reviewing company performance, and ensuring the company remains successful. It makes important decisions including spending, investment, company restructuring and allocating resources.

“The Trustees make sure that the Board is running the company well. The Trustees don’t meet as often as the Board, although they may meet more frequently if the company is considering a major decision that affects the long-term interests of employees. Trustees also make recommendations on share allocations.

“The term of office for each role is three years and training and support is provided.”

If you’d like to find out more about what being a Director involves, speak to Tina Munro who’ll put you in touch with with current Directors Rikki Mackenzie and Antoinette


Employee Ownership Association Conference

The Employee Ownership Association Annual Conference is being held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 27-28 November 2017. We’ve two places available for any staff interested to learn more about employee ownership to attend the conference, which involves a two-night stay in Birmingham.

The conference celebrates excellence in employee owned businesses, from small to medium enterprises to large global businesses. Networking sessions, keynote speakers, themed seminars and workshops, as well as a Gala Dinner and the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2017, will all be on offer over the two days. Over 700 people are expected to attend, including industry experts and other employee owned businesses, so the event is a great networking and learning opportunity.

If you’re interested in attending, speak to Stephen. You can also find out more here:


Staff Update

A warm welcome from all of us to our new weekend coordinator, Megan Mackenzie. Megan has gone through her induction with the operations team and started officially on 9 September.We’d like to say a huge thanks to our care at home and housing support staff for doing a fantastic job over the busy summer period by picking up extra shifts and making sure things run smoothly.

Congratulations to Laura Dobinson, who achieved the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Level 3 Certificate in Human Resources Practice.

Andrew Rodden, Hilary Prosser, Adrian Macikowski, Sandra Brannan, and Fiona Scott will all be receiving their SVQ4 certificates at a ceremony in North Highland College on Saturday 23 September. Well done!

The HHC team impressed at the ‘It’s a Knockout’ charity event in Muir of Ord on 9 September in aid of Alzheimers Scotland – as you can see below!


Make sure you’re registered with Highland Council for parking

All care workers using their vehicles for work in Inverness should register them with Highland Council for a parking permit as soon as possible to avoid having to pay fines for parking illegally.

It’s free to register and all you need is your name, and your vehicle registration number, make, model and colour.

Speak to Rae Baxter and she’ll help you register. It’s important to do this sooner rather than later as Highland Home Carers won’t be able to continue to pay parking fines for staff.


Meet the Staff: Meet Kim Cunningham

We had our first ‘Meet the Staff’ feature in the last newsletter, and you were introduced to Kirsten MacRae who told us a bit about herself. Next up is Operations Assistant Kim Cunningham. Thank you Kim!

Name: Kim Cunningham

Role: Operations Assistant.

Previous job: I previously worked in the Customer Service Office at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Aspirations for Highland Home Carers:I’d like to improve our people management as I think this would help us to build stronger relationships with our service users and would have a positive impact on our score from the Care Commission.

Favourite thing about working for Highland Home Carers: I love working with a dedicated team who really care about our service users, and the flexibility which Highland Home Carers offers.

Fun facts: I love my new puppy Hugo to bits. I’m also a bit of a DIY freak!


Payslip reminder

As you know we email payslips out to most members of staff to keep costs down. To open your payslip remember that your date of birth is your password. Make sure you use it in the form dd/mm/yyyy – 12/09/1971 for example.


Recovery choir

Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership is starting a Recovery Choir aimed at helping those recovering from alcohol and drug addictions and their families to meet new people and socialise. As well as bringing people together, singing releases endorphins and is good for the heart and lungs.

The group will meet on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm at the Kenneth Street Hall in Inverness. All abilities are welcome to come along on 4, 11 and 18 October and 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 November.

If you’d like more information about the choir, contact Sharon Holloway on 07815 694338 or


Website update

Keep your eyes peeled for changes to the website which will appear over the next few weeks and will make it more interactive for members of staff.


Update on self-management

In the last newsletter, we mentioned that we’re working with Lou Close, an independent consultant and trainer in adult social care, on practical ways of helping our teams work more independently.

Lou held a workshop with the Board and Trustees on 4 August. At this workshop, six teams were chosen to focus on becoming more independent over the next four months to help us understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of self-managing teams. Identified teams from Tain, Alness, Muir of Ord, Inverness, Nairn and Lomond Gardens are piloting the project which is ‘phase one’ of work to restructure the company. On 24 August, Lou held a planning session with individuals from the six teams who will act as ambassadors for their teams over the next few months and meet up a further three times.

The group on 24 August discussed the concept of ‘teal’ organisations, organisations which have self-managing teams and are able to balance high customer satisfaction with high employee and partner satisfaction. Lou Close feels that HHC is already successful at this and that greater self-management will help to improve things even more.

The workshop also discussed the changes required to make self-management work on three different levels across the organisation: level one changes which require the individual to make positive changes; level two changes which need HHC senior management and other teams within the organisation to make positive changes; and level three changes which require HHC to influence other organisations such as regulatory bodies to make positive changes.

They committed to actions on an individual level to work towards greater self-management. At the next session on 19 September, the group who met on 4 August and the steering group who met on 24 August will join up and plan how changes can be made at level two. On 11 January they will meet again to reflect on the first phase of the move towards self-management. We will keep you posted about their progress.


Highland Third Sector Interface Awards ceremony success

Brian Devlin, Chair of Black Isle Cares, our partner organisation for delivering care on the Black Isle, scooped Trustee of the Year award at the Highland Third Sector Interface Awards ceremony. He has made a great contribution to the development of our care delivery on the Black Isle. Congratulations Brian!


You might need business car insurance

HHC’s insurance company has advised us that we need to make sure all staff using their personal cars for work have the right level of insurance.

Do you travel to see clients or to business meetings? Do you travel between different business sites? Or make deliveries or collections? Do you claim mileage or visit expenses? If you use your car for anything work related other than commuting, you need to be covered with business car insurance.

Contact your insurance provider to arrange this cover on your policy as soon as possible otherwise your insurance may be invalid if you’re involved in an accident during work related travel. Most insurance providers will provide this cover for free, but it can cost £10-£20. However, you might be able to get a business mileage rate designed to cover the cost of fuel, wear and tear and higher business rates.

We’ll be issuing forms shortly for you to sign and return, to confirm you understand you must have this cover in place.

Different insurance is needed if you have people travelling in your car as part of your job. If this applies to you, check with your insurance company to make sure you’re covered, and provide your supervisor with a copy of your insurance certificate.