Meet some of our band’s key workers

Meet some of our band’s key workers in the NHS, social care and teaching profession. We have so many key workers in our band and we want to celebrate them – THANK YOU all of you 🙂 What a talented bunch of people you are. Here are just some of them…

Angela – Physiotherapist

Female physiotherapist workingI am a Physiotherapist working on the rehab ward at a local community hospital. We have been treating a variety of patients both with Covid-19 and without, to enable them to be discharged safely either to their own homes or to care homes.

The main challenges have been communicating with patients about important decisions regarding their treatment and discharge plans while we are wearing PPE. PPE makes it so much more difficult as they can’t see or hear us so well. It has also been difficult for patients not having the face-to-face contact support from their relatives as they can feel very isolated and vulnerable, despite the staff’s best efforts.

We have worked hard to keep the atmosphere on the ward positive and upbeat, and most of the time we seem to have been successful. We celebrated a patient’s 100th birthday while she was on the ward. Her family came to the hospital and they were able to see the ‘birthday girl’ at a distance whilst sharing an amazing cake (chocolate!). One of my team has a three-year-old daughter who was missing her mummy when she had to go to work. So, we dressed up her giraffe toy in PPE and took a picture of the giraffe working in our office and eating cake (just like her mummy does!).

Nick – School Business Manager

Man holding clarinetI’m a School Business Manager at a primary school. We had two days’ notice of schools closing for the lockdown. Very hurriedly we had to help change all the school systems and procedures so that we could stay open and look after the children of key workers and vulnerable children. We operated on a skeletal staff so I have had a mixture of working in school and at home.

When I’m in school I am the one office worker. My duties have included taking pupils’ temperatures, taking registers, ensuring children receive their food or food vouchers, wiping down touch surfaces, sorting out the cleaning schedule, and setting up online ICT facilities to enable teaching staff to meet. In the middle of all this, I have been processing year end accounts and preparing the budgets for the new financial year. So, it’s been a hectic time helping to keep everyone buoyant, safe and well. We will be welcoming some more children back into school after half term… which will keep me busy too!

Janet – Supply Teacher

Supply teacher sitting at deskI am a Supply Teacher working in year four of a first school. When the pandemic first started, I witnessed the confusion and dismay of pupils when they realised their school was going to close and possibly not re-open until the new school year in September. This was particularly distressing for this year group because, as a first school in a three-tier system, they knew they may not be together again as a class. It was very difficult trying to reassure them whilst at the same time not having a clue when schools would open again.

Since the closure of schools, I have been in unchartered waters with my second teaching job; that of a private tutor. Normally this work takes place in my home or that of the pupil. With lockdown in place, I have had to get to grips with working on different platforms such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Messenger. My pupils have responded really well to the challenges of remote learning although they all say they prefer face-to-face teaching. Remote teaching is trickiest with the youngest children, but when my year one pupil beams at the camera when I praise him for his efforts, then I know it is all worthwhile.

Tracey – Paramedic

Female paramedicI have been working for the ambulance service for 24 years and a Paramedic for the last 20. In recent years I have been working within the Integrated Urgent Care Service. This involves the NHS 111 service, out of hours GP service, Minor Injury Units and Urgent Treatment Centres. My role has been involved with clinical assessments of patients via the telephone. This is the most challenging role I have undertaken, as when you have a patient face to face you can very quickly determine how ill they are by looking at them. It is very difficult sometimes to know this on the phone, however, we have very robust clinical assessment tools which guide us towards the right care for the patient.

The Coronavirus pandemic has been extremely pressured in managing a huge influx of patients. The NHS 111 service was the “go to” for any Covid-19 concerns and as you can imagine it was and is extremely busy. I am very proud to work for the NHS and this pandemic has shown just how dedicated their staff are in all aspects of the service.

Alice – Secondary School Geography Teacher

Female teacher profile photoThere were lots of things to organise when we realised school was shutting including free school meals, online learning, in-school provision for children of key workers, supporting vulnerable children, work packs for students with no internet at home, saying goodbye to our year 11 students and countless more tasks. Everyone’s worked really hard, including teachers, learning support, pastoral, admin and site staff.

Originally, we set work on Google classroom with teachers being available by email to help students. However, many students were struggling with the lack of verbal interaction with their teachers. My Headteacher decided we would start online live lessons after Easter. We have worked to address issues such as safeguarding, lack of access to technology, and lack of engagement, by making our lessons easy to access from phones. We are recording them so students can watch afterwards, and keeping lessons as interactive as possible.

The school has received positive feedback from students and parents about the live lessons. There are still challenges, including the fact that many students are watching the lessons but not completing the worksheets we set them afterwards. This means it’s hard to assess how well they are understanding the content.

Creative subjects such as drama are finding it hard to deliver online lessons. Some students are struggling with being at home and the pastoral staff have been running phone lines to help. Many of us want to reopen as soon as we can because we’re concerned about students’ welfare and learning. It’s been a busy time, but I’m pleased to be at a school where all staff are working hard to support students through this difficult time.

Sue – Head of Service in Social Care

Woman with bicycle in forestIt seems a million years ago but from the week after our amazing massed bands concert, life in adult social care has been like living life in the fast lane of a motorway. Except I’ve not gone anywhere other than work from my study at home and learn rapidly how to use MS Teams to connect with everyone!

I guess I’m generally known in band as the slightly crazy clarinet playing Chairperson, but in my other life I am Head of Service within social care. Part of my role has been to work with the NHS and teams of health and social care staff in hospitals and the community, who support adults and older people leaving hospital. As you can imagine, things have been quite busy. I’ve been making sure people get home quickly and safely with the help they need, when they no longer have to stay in hospital. And also ensuring hospital beds are kept free for people who most need them.

Lots of the adults and carers we work with in social care are quite vulnerable. Life isn’t easy for them at the best of times, so the Coronavirus has brought extra pressures on their lives. We’ve been able to achieve lots with the fantastic help of volunteers in local communities and with some really creative ideas and different services that we’ve been able to deliver to help people at this unusual time.

The pace we’ve all had to work at has, at times, been exhausting, but members of our teams and volunteers have continued to inspire me. And in every long day, you can always find a good news story. At the end of the day, that’s what keeps me going! Those who have ever worked in public services will know that with every Government announcement comes a lot of policy and guidance for staff to implement, and usually a lot of local political and media interest too. That all adds to the busy days!

Juggling working from home with family life (which I can only describe as a role reversal in my case), home schooling and the mixed emotions we all have from day to day is still new territory and I don’t always get it right! I’m really missing spending time with friends and family, having a giggle with people and doing all the exercise and musical activities that are all a part of ‘normal’ life for me!

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