How do you demonstrate leadership, caring support and a sense of community through unprecedented times? David Young from Community Integrated Care went weeks without any face-to-face interaction with his family, moving into his greenhouse in order to minimise the possibility of passing on infections from his care home to his family. Surrey Choices supported disabled and autistic people in developing vital employment skills through Zoom, creating bespoke meetings that included guest speakers from different industries. So many care organisations have stories of almost daily donations being made to homes, from fish and chips to pizzas, cleaning products and PPE as well as gift bags for every care worker.
The experiences of the care sector during what has been a relentless and sometimes-thankless task of caring and supporting some of the most vulnerable in our communities during the pandemic deserves to be recorded as an important record of social history. The National Care Forum (NCF), the leading membership association for not-for-profit social care providers, today launches ‘Caring in COVID’ – a collection of stories about care, communities and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. This piece of social history records and highlights the incredible response from NCF members, brought together as a collection of real-life stories in an ebook.
The compendium details how, during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing restrictions, NCF members and the communities they serve, came together and rose to the challenge to support those who needed it most. Not only will the ebook become part of the British Library collection for future generations, it also acknowledges the legacy of 2020 and the role care providers played in the fight against COVID-19.
Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum said:
“Through the collection of Caring Heroes stories, the reader peeks behind the closed doors and experiences what it was really like for care staff, residents in care homes, and people needing support in their own homes during lockdown. This book is more than just a nod to social history; it demonstrates how people’s lives are enriched by the role of those working in the care sector through their creativity, dedication and passion, and through their many skills and talents.”
As a run up to the launch, NCF has been sharing sneak preview of some of the stories in the ebook in the NCF Advent Calendar a daily reflection of the stories during advent.
To bring these stories together the NCF has been supported by its Annual Partners; Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), Marr Procurement and Person Centred Software.
Simon Bunegar, Director of Sales & Marketing at QCS said:
“2020 has put renewed focus on the hard work, dedication and above all compassion of all those caring professionals who put others before themselves time and again. From its inception QCS have been delighted to be able to support Caring in COVID in every way that we can. These stories are a wonderful glimpse into the beating heart of social care.”
Christoph Marr, Managing Director of Marr Procurement said:
“Marr Procurement is delighted to be a part of this incredible project. The National Care Forum consistently shines a light on the care industry and this ebook serves to specifically highlight the amazing dedication and creativity that was shown by so many staff during the pandemic. We hope this remarkable piece of social history will result in a wider public recognition of the outstanding work that happens every day in the social care sector.”
The Caring in COVID ebook consists of five categories. A story from each category has received a Highly Commended Award, judged on reader impact, impact on the person receiving care, originality and value to the social care sector. The Highly Commended Award winners are:
- Stories from the Frontline: Sanctuary Care ‘Leaving family to care for residents’
- Community and Volunteer Voices: Cornwall Care ‘Mia’s story amazing journey to John O’Groats’
- Keeping It fun: WCS Care Group ‘Dancing at Drover’s House’
- Keeping the connection: Accord Housing Association ‘Amber Wood Dementia Centre of Excellence keeps everyone connected’
- The many faces of leadership: Pilgrims’ Friend Society ‘Care Manager Rachel is an “Absolute rock”’
Jonathan Papworth, Co-founder and Director at Person Centred Software said:
“2020 has been a difficult year for many but social care has had the toughest time than most. Nevertheless, these stories show the amazing work that carers provided day in day out to the elderly and vulnerable people they care for. We are proud to support the National Care Forum in creating this resource for future generations to experience the impact that individuals have had on the people they care for.”
Vic Rayner, says:
“Caring in COVID is now available to download from the NCF website. We are proud to dedicate this ebook to everyone whose life has been touched by care during the pandemic and hope these stories of pain, challenge, hope and humanity will resonant with many, to show how truly exceptional the care sector has been in responding to the challenges of this pandemic.”