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Our Head of Care, Joan Hagan, reaches out to thank all of our staff

Our Head of Care, Joan Hagan, wanted to reach out and thank all of our staff, for everything they are doing during these difficult times.

Joan said ‘I spend my days and nights fixed to my computer writing policies, reading about changes in legislation and research and ensuring that we are doing everything we can for the right reasons. However as always I remain very interested in all the amazing things our staff, are doing to keep the people we support entertained, engaged and safe.

Managers often send me photos, which I have to say make me laugh, smile and cry… I miss working with our adults so much, and can’t wait until I can come into services again and interfere 😊

We have all been through a very challenging period, where everything we believe in and advocate for has been tested. You have dealt with unprecedented staff absence, you have managed new systems that have had to be introduced, and you have supported individuals all of whom have had changes forced on them, and yet the social media posts, the conversations I have daily with our Regional Managers, Adam and Tracy and the feedback from families all remains very positive.

You should all take some pride from that, knowing that you really have made a difference, each and every one of you has played your part in where we are now.

As we wait to see what the next few weeks and months hold, we know that, things won’t suddenly go back to how we left them, we know the virus hasn’t gone away, and we know that any reduction on the restrictions we have will be gradual and monitored.

This week I have written to all families explaining that we as a service know they want to see families again, and that we have thought about how we can safely do this, so that the people we support can have some contact, but that we also can do our best to make things as safe as possible. We have commissioned 1000 cloth masks to be made kindly with the help of Katie Clark and Born Anxious, so that everyone can have a couple to wear when in the community as we anticipate this will be a recommendation going forward.

One of things we do know is that the issue of having 2M social distancing is likely to be in any future government plans for some time. This will be in shops, offices, cafes, public transport. With this in mind, we need to start thinking about how we can teach the people we support that this will become the new normal.

However I believe now is the time we should start talking about it between ourselves, and ensuring where possible you adhere to this amongst yourselves as a staff team, even saying “oh yes the new rule is we can’t be too close” as I feel this will help individuals when they are once again able to access things. We are looking at having signs up in our day services, and tape on the floor to prepare people for this change, and maybe this is something you can talk about in your services in preparation for how things may look? I feel this is worthy of staff teams talking about this yourselves and working out what is best in your own services.

Recently a member of staff from Butlers park way wrote on our Facebook page …. “when this is over, we need to have a knees up”. I second that and look forward to the day we can all see each other face to face and realise as a team we did it!

Thank you all’

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