Caring Health & Social Care students and staff have recently been working together to support local care homes during the pandemic. As well as organising a collection amongst college staff to create care packages for both residents and care home staff, the students plan to set up regular contact with residents through a pen-pal scheme and video calls.
Employer Engagement Officer, Lisa Murrell reached out to care homes the college work in partnership with and said the response has been overwhelming. “One of my employers who I have established a good working relationship with had rang me in floods of tears – she couldn’t thank the college enough for the thoughtful gesture. She tells me all residents have been confined to their rooms for 6 months, not being allowed to see one another or their families and no sign of this changing any time soon – she said that the residents would absolutely be thrilled with the contact from our college students.”
Eager to spread a message of hope, the students have been writing out Christmas cards and positive messages to go with the care packages and they hope to establish a great ongoing relationship with regular letters and virtual face-to-face calls. A select few students plan to deliver the care packages by hand in full PPE, adhering to social distancing rules. Lisa comments, “This is also a great opportunity for our students in a time where we’re unable to bring them out into the workplace for work experience. By doing this, they are helping the residents at a safe distance, building up the hours required for the work experience element of their course and also learning from the residents and care home staff, seeing how they are coping during the pandemic.”