Thursday 17 March 2022 is national Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection, a special memorial day for Adult Social Care dedicated to those who have worked so hard to care for our communities. This year is particularly important, given the enormous sacrifices many of you have made throughout the pandemic. At bottom of this email are some links to resources should you wish to get involved.
Sandra Joyce, RCPA Board member and owner of Linden House Nursing Home, has kindly put some words together which should resonate with us all:
“Over 900 people who worked in social care have died from Covid since the pandemic began. Many more have suffered from the effects of long Covid and thousands more have been affected by the effects of the lock downs, the loss of family members, friends, colleagues and the people who they look after or support.
It has been an extremely challenging time for us all as we carried on working throughout the whole “Covid experience”. No “lockdown” in our own homes for us, no “catching up with all those tasks that we leave for a rainy day” for us, no “getting bored staring at 4 walls” for us. Instead, we have had to draw on our inner reserves and carry on, often trying to get to grips with the latest government guidance, putting on a brave face every day because we are the ones who bring normality to the vulnerable people we support or care for and who rely on us completely to carry on. All the while we have had to fight our own fear of the unknown.
The personal journeys for social care workers have been just that – personal. While we have shared our experiences with our colleagues within our teams and workplaces, as individuals we have had to face the challenges on our own and many of us will be changed for ever by what we have had to face. Some of what we faced and have experienced has enriched us and allowed us to see life in a different way, to treasure the small things in life, to be on the receiving end of the kindness of strangers but others will haunt us. We have seen how residents and clients have deteriorated from the lack of contact with loved ones, how colleagues who we always thought could cope with anything have broken down, how colleagues have had to retire early, how colleagues (and friends and family members) have succumbed to Covid and are no longer with us or had to leave the job they loved because of their own vulnerability or because they refused to comply with mandatory vaccination. We have witnessed the deaths of those we care for and we have been challenged with our desire to keep the people who use our service safe while potentially placing our own loved ones at risk of Covid.
As a sector we have achieved amazing things but sadly our sector as a whole usually remains undervalued and under the radar. This is why Thursday 17 March 2022 is so important for us. Skills for Care was behind the idea of a day when across the nation, society is invited to stop and think about the sacrifices and incredible efforts made by us – people who work in social care. A way for people to say “Thank you”. Every individual within this sector has played their part and what a part that has been. Against so many odds we are still here, day to day delivering care and support to some of the most vulnerable members of society.
So! Let’s remember, celebrate and reflect…
- Remember and celebrate our colleagues who have died, remember and celebrate our colleagues who are no longer within the sector because of the impact of the pandemic and remember and celebrate that we have provided, and continue to provide, an incredible service under extremely difficult circumstances
- Reflect on the past two years and how it has impacted on you and those around you. Most people working within social care never give themselves credit for what they do. Take this opportunity to take a step back and look afresh at your journey over the past 2 years, at what you have experienced and achieved – within your service, as a group but also as an individual. Be proud of what it is you have achieved and allow yourself to recognise those emotions that you have buried deeply for fear of facing up to reality. Face up to the fact that you are an incredible human being who puts the needs of others before their own. You are selfless and special. Never forget that!”
How Can I Get Involved: