Care homes get a helping hand

To support our care teams and ensure our residents receive the care they deserve, we launched our ‘Helping Hands’ campaign at the start of the lockdown to recruit extra support so our skilled care colleagues could focus on what they do best.

As well as supporting our care homes, our aim was also to provide temporary jobs for those who may have found themselves out of work due to the Covid-19 crisis. We also shared this call for support to our existing colleagues whose workload may have changed.

The response we’ve had has been brilliant, with colleagues switching roles and many external candidates applying.

Transformation Support Officer, Carl, who’s usually based at our head office talks about his experience of being a helping hand.

I’ve worked within Housing for over five years, previously on the front line but of late have been largely desk bound. I’ve had chance to interact with our care homes previously but without fully understanding the role all of our teams in play.

It’s been humbling to see the spirit of our residents, who can’t see their loved ones but are still having a laugh and a joke as much as possible. All supported by both the usual care home workforce and a mini army of volunteers like myself.The amount of effort that goes into running a home has been a real eye opener. Domestic staff needed to keep it clean and tidy, kitchen staff to keep the meals coming, care workers doing just about everything you can imagine to support residents and of course administrative and management colleagues, working quietly to keep the whole thing ticking along.

Despite everything that’s going on, the staff are completely dedicated and are working harder than ever to make sure residents are safe, well supported and are still enjoying themselves. Some even sleeping in care homes overnight between shifts to make sure there’s always someone available.

As a helping hand I’ve had a mixed bag of duties, from making tea, cleaning rooms, mopping floors and hosting activities with residents. It may not seem like a lot, but whilst we’re doing that, our care colleagues can provide personal care and support.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far, although it’s pretty tiring, especially if you’re used to being sat down all day. I’ve definitely gained an even higher level of respect for everybody working within health and social care, and this seems to be reflected throughout society at the minute, let’s hope it stays that way once this is all over, as I think it’s something we have all taken for granted.

Find out more about our care homes.