Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

23rd Mar, 2021

Leonie Goldson
Leonie Goldson
Job Title
National Development Manager

Over three million health and social care key workers have kept our communities safe and supported during this last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

At Reed, we know it is incredibly important to support our care staff – whether it be directing them to trusted sources of information, providing training and a listening ear, or just taking the time to say thank you. This last point cannot be understated – recently, our CEO and Chairman, James Reed, sent a letter to all our health and care workers recognising their hard work, patience and altruism in the face of this pandemic.

As our community care workers continue to selflessly work around the clock to provide support for our clients, we want to share a few of their pandemic experiences one year on.

Angela Miller, Community Care Worker in Manchester, talked to us about being a carer for a close family member: 

How has Covid-19 impacted you professionally?

“I have put my client first. I have been mindful of my client’s stress levels, so it has been important that I help to keep her calm and have conversations about current Covid-19 information. My client is shielding, and her activities stopped. I have had to find ways to keep her motivated and energised, which is sometimes difficult. I have felt exhausted but have dug deep to stay motivated.

“Face-to-face training changed to being online. I am used to going into the office for classroom training, but Covid-19 has meant that have had to adapt to any situation. I’m grateful for the support from Reed's community care team in Manchester, as they were always available and approachable.”

How did you overcome your fears?

“It was difficult at work, with exhausting long days. I had to built trust with my client, as she was very wary of the pandemic, and I had not worked with her for a long time. When I arrived at her home, I would be very clear, saying “just washing my hands”, and keeping two-metre social distancing. My client did struggle with no contact, but I always found solutions to keep her motivated.

“I had my first vaccination appointment made by Reed. I was very anxious at the time, but my consultant was an angel – she spent time talking to me, clarifying what to expect from their own experience. It ended up being very positive, and I am glad that Reed is very supportive.”

How did you keep yourself informed?

“Reed sent emails and documents and were available as a trusted and reliable source. I avoided social media, and followed policy and procedures, as well as listening to daily briefings on the news.”

What are you most looking forward to when the restrictions are lifted?

“Just to enjoy a simple life – enjoy what is around me and share what is important – seeing siblings, visiting the allotment, and appreciating family life again. I feel blessed that my family live close by.”

Another Community Care Worker looked after a client with complex care issues in Manchester, and wanted to share her experience of the pandemic:

How has Covid-19 impacted you professionally?

“It has been very challenging; I have been scared and worried with the high death rates. It has been very concerning on how it impacts work, clients and my family and friends. However, Reed has been very supportive and approachable. My consultant has given me lots of support, addressed any concerns and provided information, while the risk assessments are frequently reviewed. We have regular check-ins and have been offered mental health support, continuous training, weekly testing, as well as the vaccination arrangements.

“My client contracted Covid-19, but I was well supported by Reed and health professionals. It was tough, as it is when the people you care for are poorly and families are anxious, but I received increased support from the team, so we were able to continue to provide support.”

How did you overcome your fears?

“I have had really good emotional and physical support. I followed the guidance, as I knew it would support and protect to the best possible outcome. I really love what I do, and my passion has always been to support people.

“One day I was very stressed at work, and close to resigning, but I had a call from my Reed consultant. He listened to me, and acknowledged it is such a challenging time. He gave me feedback on how much I was valued. All of Reed's community care team are very supportive and they know what we do and the work involved – having someone listen to you is important. When I go to work, I know I am 100% supported by Reed and the team – they are always there when you really need them.”

What are you most looking forward to when the restrictions are lifted?

“To start ‘normal’ living – rebuilding relationships with the people we care for. I miss engaging directly with colleagues from the office and further afield. It has not been the same with training and virtual team calls. I think interaction is so important.”

What did you think to the letter from Reed Chairman and CEO James Reed?

“When the letter from James Reed came, it felt good. I felt appreciated. Sometimes I think we are forgotten, so the letter felt like it was just for me, rather than a manager. We have all been mindful that we acknowledge what each of us are going through during this time.”

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their continued hard work and dedication during this incredibly difficult and stressful time. Our communities, families, clients and fellow Reed staff are all incredibly grateful to you.

With your help, we have supported more than 300 clients to deliver over 565,000 hours of care, nursing and support over the past year. I want to assure you that we see the incredible lengths you have gone to in helping others, and to continue to provide high quality care and support – it is thanks to you that all of society can now start to look forward to a better 2021.

If you are a care worker looking for a new career opportunity, or are looking for care workers for someone who needs further support, Reed's community care team can help. Contact your nearest office today – we have hubs in Cambridge, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool and London.