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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

TFN lifts the lid on closure of vital Women’s Aid service

 

Glasgow East Women’s Aid (GEWA) closed in February after more than 20 years in Easterhouse.

Former workers at a Women’s Aid charity in Glasgow which has been forced into liquidation have warned women’s lives are at risk after the service’s closure. 

Speaking exclusively in TFN’s June magazine, ex-staff at Glasgow East Women’s Aid (GEWA) talked about the ordeal which forced them first to strike, before shut its doors earlier this year. 

The charity is currently being liquidated and reduced to just two managerial staff, while women previously given constant support remain in the GEWA refuge, almost unaided. 

How has this been allowed to come to pass? If you ask those workers who have been made redundant en masse, the layers of responsibility run deep. 

Industrial action, including months of rolling strike action - taken whilst all-but-two staff were suspended on trumped up charges - saw staff return to work in January, before the decision was taken to close services in February. 

Those who broke their silence by speaking to TFN had a collective 60 years or so of experience with the organisation, spanning three decades. 

One former member of GEWA staff said she still struggles to come to terms with what has happened over the past year. 

She added: “On the picket line we had women coming up to see our counsellor. There was nothing we could do. It is heartbreaking. 

“Every one of us had shed more than one tear. And it’s not for ourselves, it’s for the women who have been totally abandoned. Not even a phonecall. Who do I blame? I took a lot of blame myself to start, but I’ve had to work through that. 

“But I can’t take the responsibility for the actions of the board and management’s action - you can’t pinpoint one person on that.”

Regulatory bodies have raised concerns as a result. In March, the Care Inspectorate published an improvement notice for the site, outlining “serious and significant concerns at Glasgow East Women’s Aid”. 

Despite concerns raised by staff, Scotland’s charity regulator OSCR have confirmed to TFN that they are not currently investigating GEWA. 

A fresh row has emerged in recent months over the calculation of redundancy pay, including for some staff who have spent over 20 years each working at GEWA, adding up to some staff losing around £5,000, and in one member of staff losing nearly £10,000.

But the union Unite, who represents staff, remain unconvinced that the whole story has been allowed to come out. 

Scottish Women's Aid and GEWA did not respond to a request for comment. 

Read the full story here.

 

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