A number of the people we work with are delivering key front line health roles during the coronavirus crisis, from hospital cleaners to care home workers. We wanted to share the words of one support worker called Ade:
“I’m a support worker providing one to one support in the home for people with high level needs. At the moment I am the support worker for a young man with disabilities and autism. I do the shopping, gardening, medication, food, cleaning, everything – he solely relies on help as he cannot communicate or do things by himself.
It is challenging work right now, for example, the police stopped me the other day to see where I was going. I must always carry a letter now as well as my ID to show I am a key worker and that I need to go out for work. We have to use PPE all the time of course. It is challenging if the person we are looking after needs another professional to visit when we are there as we must keep to social distancing rules.
However, it is a privilege to support this person. I enjoy my job and supporting vulnerable people is important to me. He cannot communicate we can only communicate through a laptop; he cannot do anything for himself so it is vital to give this support.
It is rewarding as well. There was one time an individual was refusing any professionals to see him. Whenever they went to take him food to try and get him to eat he would tell them to go away. There was a piano in the room and I play the piano so I went in the room and started to play. This individual was so happy to hear me play because he played guitar. He began to laugh and got his guitar to play along with me. He started to open up and he began to allow people back into the room to support him rather than telling them to go away.
My message at the moment is of course stay safe everyone. People are dying, we must keep safe. Please wash your hands for 30 seconds, listen to advice and protect the NHS.”