Over the past ten weeks, since lockdown began and COVID-19 took a grip of the world, staying safe, healthy and indoors has never been so important. For many, this has been a chance to reconnect with their families and loved ones, catch up on that long-awaited box set, eat comfort food, and uncover newly found cooking skills. My feeling is that this is time we will never get back, and once “normal” resumes, we will miss the time we have had together.
Yet for some people, this has simply not been an option. Front line workers have had to find the steel and grit, and as Winston Churchill so famously said, “Keep Calm and Carry on.” We have seen retired medical professionals dig their old uniforms out from the loft and return to the wards, doctors’ surgeries and laboratories. We have seen them with sores across their faces from the claustrophobic PPE they simply cannot do their jobs without, and we have seen them abandon their families for days, weeks and months on end. I haven’t seen my paramedic brother in law or ITU nurse sister in law.
The roles these people play have seen the world begin to control the virus, and hopefully, we are edging nearer and nearer to light at the end of the tunnel. Albeit, returning to a world not known to any of us before.
To support these front-line workers, the CBSbutler Social Care team, have never been busier, and we have had to adapt our style of recruitment to meet the ever-demanding needs of our clients. We work closely with one of the UK’s largest childrens charity. They support children and young people with profound learning difficulties and complex care needs in full-time residential settings. These young people require 24-hour care, 7 days a week. Ensuring staffing needs are met is critical.
During the lockdown we quickly established ourselves and our laptops at our dining room tables and resumed service as normal. We introduced Skype interviews, virtually carrying out key compliance activities, and still maintained our service levels. To date, we are pleased to say as a minimum, we place at least two Support Workers per week into permanent roles, who have been able to start immediately, to get out there and support the children who need them.
We have seen swathes of candidates with care experience, maybe from many years ago, who have been furloughed or made redundant, reach out to us to return to the care sector and help their country. It has been humbling, during a time which has seen catastrophic loss to thousands and thousands of families.
Our client has established robust safety measures, to ensure when our candidates attend site, they have the correct PPE. They have also created longer but fewer shift patterns, so they can limit the number of different people coming and going from site. They have been inventive with the new routines they have created for the children, some of whom find a change of routine hugely distressing.
So whilst the world is still in turmoil, and where we have witnessed such sad and distressing times, there are a few rainbows out there. People who have ensured the safety and well-being, of those who cannot do it for themselves. This restores your faith in humanity and hopefully makes for a kinder, more caring society for the future.