Mon, 13 Jul 2020
A GROUP of West Berkshire nurses have paid tribute to the “fabulous” volunteers who have supported them and the care homes through the peak of the pandemic.
The integrated care home team, from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, supports West Berkshire care homes by assessing and treating residents with physical health problems.
With lockdown easing and shops, pubs and restaurants reopening, the team now want to thank the volunteers who have lifted the nurses’ and care home staff’s spirits with their contributions.
These include Fonny Morton who, with her cake-makers, baked every week for 10 weeks, supplying care home staff with delicious treats, Newbury resident Frances Scott at Pixelsquid Design who designed a colourful and heartwarming sticker and Newbury group Team Scrubbers – a group of local volunteers led by Katie Wallace – who created scrubs for nurses and care home staff.
Jennifer Hall, a senior specialist nurse practitioner and part of the integrated care home team, said the help from the volunteers had been invaluable in keeping morale high.
She said: “The help has been irreplaceable really.
“The care homes have been so grateful that people like Fonny have thought of them and thought kindly of them.
“They felt neglected initially in the news as it was all about the NHS, and then suddenly people realised how bad Covid was in the care homes – so it was nice to have people thinking of them.
“For the stickers, we felt that the NHS was very much in the limelight and we just wanted to express our thanks as a team to the care home staff for supporting us and their residents through a tricky time.
“We stuck them on the carers when they went into the homes.”
On Team Scrubbers, Mrs Hall said: “In the initial stages, people were changing uniforms on a daily basis and didn’t want to take them home.
“We were going through uniforms so quickly so having the scrubs as a backup was good, and they did them in different colours, so it became a talking point.
“That’s been incredible, morale-wise for the care homes.
“The staff felt pretty isolated because pretty much no one has gone in apart from our team, so it’s been great having volunteers giving them things.”
The care home team also wants to thank volunteer driver Andy Chun who picked up scripts for the nurses, waited in long pharmacy queues for vital medications and then delivered them to the homes so the nurses and care home staff could continue caring for residents.
Mrs Hall said: “Andy has been an absolute star, waiting for hours in line so we don’t have to.
“That’s been brilliant, picking up scripts from us, going off to the pharmacies, collecting drugs and then going to care homes and delivering them.
“It definitely feels like the community has come together.”