A pilot programme of online workshops to help SMEs and social enterprises adapt to a post-COVID working environment is to be rolled out by Viridor’s Community Benefits teams for Glasgow and Clyde Valley to Renfrewshire businesses.

Designed to support businesses in dealing with new ways of working, the free workshops will help participants manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 health crisis and empower them with insights and information which they can implement immediately.

The programme follows several successful pilot workshops for Glasgow and will now be expanded to organisations across North Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire.

The pilot, which took place in April, attracted 18 Glasgow-based businesses with Viridor expecting more to register for the new timetable running from 4th June to 14th July.

Upcoming sessions will include an HR-related workshop focusing on life beyond lockdown and furlough, delivered by Natalie O’Hare of BeyondHR running on 4th June.

On 11 June multi-award-winning speaker James McGinty will deliver a session entitled Better Virtual Meetings for Better Business. With most businesses working remotely for the foreseeable future, James will help participants unlock skills to ensure online meetings are as productive as possible.

Meanwhile, a session on 18th June from Marcia Pinho of believeIN will focus on how to build a robust business model, something which will be of interest to SMEs and social enterprises looking to harness future opportunities.

July heralds three different workshops, one from Home Energy Scotland on 2nd July which will provide advice on how to save energy at home. With everyone spending more time indoors than ever before, the session should offer some useful insights.

A special webinar on 7th July from performance and mindset specialist, Geoff Nicholson, will help motivate small business owners with his workshop entitled Kick Mediocracy and Maximise Results.

The current programme culminates on 14th July with a workshop from Boucebackability’s Anita Douglas, a Chartered Occupational Psychologist who specialises in personal and organisational resilience and mental health. She will be delivering a webinar focusing on Resilience and Mental Health in Challenging Times.

Viridor has announced it will be adding additional free online workshops in the coming weeks, with a GDPR webinar planned for late July.

Viridor is committed to supporting the communities in which it operates and since 2013, the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) in Polmadie has facilitated 162 workshops with 869 businesses benefitting as a direct result. In addition, the GRREC has also welcomed 2,176 students from 146 schools to the site for educational visits. The Materials Recycling Facility in Bargeddie has delivered over 24 capacity building workshops to Clyde Valley based SMEs and social enterprises since March 2019.

In order to help as many SMEs as possible, Viridor is extending the online workshops to businesses in the five local authority areas linked to the Clyde Valley Residual Waste Contract based at its Bargeddie Materials Recycling Facility which includes North Lanarkshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire.

Community Benefits Officer, Karen MacCormack, who is based at the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) at Polmadie, said: “We are so pleased with the feedback and reaction to our online workshops last month, so much so that it spurred us on to create a series and link up with our Bargeddie facility. We hope to see many more SMEs and social enterprises across these regions signing up and benefitting.”

Sarah Bird, Community Benefits Officer at the Materials Recycling Facility in Bargeddie, added: “Now, more than ever, people and small businesses are looking for ways to upskill during the space provided by the pandemic and we are offering an outlet in which to disseminate knowledge. Delivered by sector experts, whether you are looking to get energy saving savvy or understand more about the human impacts of the current situation, these workshops should provide answers.”

The upcoming workshops include:

  • Thursday 4th June 2020, 10.00am – 11.15am HR – Beyond Lockdown & Furlough
  • Thursday 11th June 2020, 10.00am – 11.00am Better Virtual Meetings for Better Business
  • Thursday 18th June 2020, 10.00am – 11.15am Re-think, Re-build, Create Business: Business Model Canvas
  • Thursday 2nd July 2020, 10.00am – 10.45am Help Save Energy at Home with Home Energy Scotland
  • Tuesday 7th July 2020, 10.00am -11.00am Kick Mediocrity & Maximise Results
  • Tuesday 14th July 2020, 10:00am – 11:00am Resilience and Mental Health in Challenging Times

For those interested in learning more, or to register for a place on the workshops, please get in touch via email: Glasgow SMEs/SEs: transformingwasteinglasgow@viridor.co.uk.

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News