Global’s Make Some Noise is supporting charities like The Care Workers Charity, which is providing financial support to care workers in need due to coronavirus.
There are almost 2 million care workers in the UK, contributing to one of the largest workforces. They spend their careers assisting others, but when circumstances change, sometimes it is the care workers who need help.
Times like now. Care workers are at the frontline of this crisis, caring for the most vulnerable people in our communities. For care workers who are shielding, self-isolating, or are unable to work due to contracting coronavirus, they have fallen into desperate need for financial help.
These are people doing some of the most valuable work in society, but they are some of the lowest paid workers in the country. Many who are self-isolating receive at best statutory sick pay, others none. Some are going into debt and others are going hungry.
The Care Workers Charity is providing emergency financial support to care workers who are self-isolating.
The charity is providing crisis grants to people who have worked in a paid role in the UK’s care sector and are involved in or support the provision of care – this includes people who have been involved in residential social care, home care, supported living care or day care.
The Care Workers Charity is helping carers like Lewis.
Lewis works in a specialist dementia care home. It was at the beginning of the outbreak when people did not really know about the virus that residents started to become ill.
A lady Lewis cared for became very ill with coronavirus. As the staff were unsure that she had coronavirus, they only had face masks to protect themselves but continued to offer the best care they could. Lewis remembers holding her hand and singing her songs to try and comfort her. Within a day or two she had passed away.
Soon after Lewis started to feel unwell, he was off work for over two weeks. When he returned to the dementia floor he works on, 10 people had tragically lost their lives, due to coronavirus.
Lewis said: “The last time I saw the lounge it was busy and people were laughing, now there is no one”.
As Lewis was still showing symptoms after a period of isolation, he was advised by his doctor to continue isolating. Six weeks on, Lewis still feels very weak, has a cough and is breathless. He was living off Statutory Sick Pay during this time and was scared and anxious.
Lewis had to turn to friends to support him. He explained: “Working on minimum wage means there is no room to manoeuvre, you don’t have the ability to save up reserves and it’s very difficult”.
Lewis was signposted to The Care Workers Charity by a friend and told us:
“The financial assistance from the charity has removed some of the stress involved by ensuring that I am able to pay my bills and concentrate on taking care of my family and the residents in my care at a time when carers are under pressure like never before and the world is a very scary and uncertain place”.
“After suffering a recent case of Covid-19 which left me feeling terribly weak and reminded me of my own mortality. I know I am one of the lucky ones: I returned to work feeling terrified of what I was going to face. I experienced sleepless nights and panic attacks, worried if I was going to bring this terrible virus home to my family.
It is very hard at the present time going to work when you have family at home and don’t know if you will pass the virus on to them if you catch it, it affects you both mentally and physically, the job I do is demanding when there is nothing going on in the world but it is more demanding when you have all of this extra pressure on you to keep vulnerable people as safe as you can”.