Care workers across the UK have been sharing stories from their careers as part of an awareness week designed to shine a light on all of the wonderful work that’s been done, and continues to be done, within social care, following an incredibly trying period for the industry.
#GladtoCare Awareness Week, which ran from 6th-12th July 2020, saw over 250 care homes across the country register their involvement. Focusing on various initiatives, the week is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the many ways that care workers go above and beyond to ensure residents are kept safe and stimulated everyday – and particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
By posting stories, photos and videos on their social channels, participants were asked to share milestone moments that have made them feel particularly proud to be caregivers, helping to highlight some of the amazing work that often goes unnoticed by the wider public.
Following the Prime Minister’s recent criticisms of how the industry has handled the coronavirus pandemic, social media was awash with care workers sharing examples of exceptional care, which saw over 25,000 people using the official campaign hashtag to highlight why they are #GladtoCare.
Those that were shared included socially distanced parties and fun activities, such as a Hawaiian luau and resident Olympics, as well as digital befriending initiatives encouraging companionship during isolation, and heart-warming reunions with loved ones post-lockdown.
Standout examples included one care home – Hartford Care’s Woodlands House in the New Forest – showing outstanding levels of appreciation for two of its staff by staging a surprise wedding for a Manager and Senior Carer following the forced cancellation of their big day due to the coronavirus outbreak. Residents played a huge part in the ceremony, taking on the roles of the vicar, best man, mother and father of the bride and bridesmaids and making it an incredibly special occasion for all.
Another care home – Rusthall Lodge in Kent – described specially adapting a resident’s wheelchair with rear-view mirrors, enabling him to better see his surroundings and aiding in the manoeuvrability of his chair, showing just how much thought and dedication carers put into improving the lives of their residents.
On top of sharing stories across social media, some care workers went even further to show their support for #GladtoCare Awareness Week by writing songs, creating videos, posting poems, essays and memoirs online, and bringing back the Thursday evening ‘Clap for Carers’ in celebration of the event.
Heidi Thomas, Head of Marketing at Person Centred Software which is spearheading the #GladtoCare campaign, said “It’s been wonderful to see so many care workers getting involved in #GladtoCare Awareness Week. Whilst the current climate has gone some way in making us more aware of key workers on the frontline delivering care to the vulnerable, the timing of the week has been particularly fitting, with the Prime Minister’s recent comments affirming that the efforts of the caring community are still undervalued.
We hope that the stories shared paint a more accurate picture of the extraordinary lengths that carers are going to in order to keep residents safe and happy at this difficult time. And we look forward to bringing #GladtoCare Awareness Week back next year, even bigger and better!”
As well as encouraging conversation around care, #GladtoCare Awareness Week organised a 30-minute Zoom fitness session with digital influencer Alice Liveing, which saw nearly 2,000 residents between the ages of 60 and 109 in virtual attendance. Alice, who as well as being a qualified personal trainer, is a best-selling author and Women’s Health columnist, shared her expertise with participants, talking them through a variety of gentle seated exercises and stretches, as well as strength, balance and breathing exercises.
The annual #GladtoCare Awareness Week, devised by Person Centred Software and Autumna, will return next year – taking place from Monday 5th July to Sunday 11th July 2021.
For more information on #GladtoCare Awareness Week and to read some of the fantastic stories shared by carers, please visit www.gladtocare.com and the #GladtoCare social channels