Moments of inspiration from around Bluebird Care as the UK reacts to the Covid-19 pandemic.

06/04/2020

It has been inspiring to see so many examples of warmth, love and care amongst our communities across the UK.

Here at Bluebird Care we focus on looking after our customers and our teams, whatever the situation, and more so during these unprecedented times.

It has been inspiring to see so many examples of warmth, love and care amongst our communities across the UK, from our businesses to their customers and teams, between our care assistants and those they care for and most importantly from the public towards our fantastic teams of care assistants.

We wanted to share some of the inspirational stories from around our businesses. Some of these wonderful stories are reaching the news and we are pleased to be able to share them and spread some positive vibes.

The personal touch…

Bluebird Care Exmouth receiving letters for customersKeeping in touch with each other is so important, not least when you live alone, or are asked to self-isolate as many millions are currently being asked to do. For some, our care assistants may be the only person they see during the day and maintaining that contact has never been more essential.

Our business in Exmouth has started an initiative that will help combat the loneliness for many customers due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Frankie Rowe, Manager of Bluebird Care Exmouth, posted a message on her personal Facebook requesting letters of encouragement for Bluebird Care customers. The aim of the initiative is to help vulnerable customers feel a little less alone, especially as many are having no face to face contact with others.

The post gained a lot of support, and last week Frankie received a letter from a lady called Marcela all the way from South America! (Originally published: The Exmouth Journal | Home Care Insight Magazine)

In York, the team have used social media to ask people to send in letters and drawings for them to forward on to customers, and in West Dorset the six-year-old granddaughter of manager Janet Mearing has been cheering up customers by sending them cards she drew herself. On the cards, Lily drew things that made her happy such as butterflies and rainbows and signed every card from herself.

Bluebird Care York cards for customers

…supporting our teams…

In addition to daily calls to keep on top of the continually changing landscape, the franchise support centre at Bluebird Care has created COVID-19 Toolkit available to all of our businesses. Included within the toolkit are links to relevant sources of information in addition to our specific business continuity advice; advice for customers; advice for staff members and even posters to display with the correct hand washing techniques. The toolkit is added to the by the day to ensure it stays as a go-to resource and source of the most up to date information for our businesses. With so many sources of information – and some of it differing in approach – we’re keen to signpost our businesses to the most up to date and accurate information. (Originally published: Home Care Insight Magazine | Global Franchise Magazine)

The offices around the UK are supporting their teams with various initiatives including care team kits in Southampton; pre-prepared care packages for the team in South Lanarkshire that contain items such as hand sanitiser, paper towels, gloves and aprons; a regular sBluebird Care Cheshire West & Chester creating care packages for their teamupply of cake to keep our office team in Bath refuelled; and at Cheshire West and Flintshire where care assistants have even given up their days off to pick up the phone and call customers, the senior management team organised a self-care package for each member of the team including hand cream, scented candles and chocolate for the end of those busy shifts – “Thank you so much for looking after us, I really appreciate my gift.”

…supporting all care workers…

And our Bluebird Care North Hampshire business has generously donated £500 to the Care Workers Fund, set up by the Care Workers Charity (CWC) to support care workers across the country. The CWC can donate in the form of hardship grants to support those individuals who may have unexpected changes in their circumstances and find they cannot work.

The Coronavirus Care Workers fund has already generated over £100,000 and they hope to raise £1 million overall to support Care Workers across the UK. You can find out more about the fund here.

Care Workers Charity

…Going above and beyond for our customers…

Caring is what we do, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen Bluebird Care offices and their teams pulling out all the stops to make sure our customers feel as safe and secure in their own homes. 

Our office in North Tyneside delivered winter warm packs to their customers ensuring they had the essentials…

whilst Cardiff South and The Vale went on the hunt for essentials…

To our two brilliant Carers Serena and Dawn, John and I would like to Thank You for giving up lunch time to get us more hand wash and kitchen roll as it's disappearing fast here every day and I am in the over 70:age bracket and sadly John is so frightened xx

Our team in Leeds North, working alongside the local pub The Myrtle, delivered care packages to their customers, and other local people, who needed supplies. 

Bluebird Care Leeds North care packagesThe care packages were made up of essentials including toilet roll, kitchen roll, hand soap, gloves and washing machine tablets. They also contained some lovely items such as a pot of jam, a bottle of Guinness, a teacake, as well as sugar, tea and coffee.

While Care Assistants were on their regular home care visits, they gifted these essentials to customers who were not able to find them in stores. (Originally published: Yorkshire Evening Post)

Bluebird Care Rother & Hastings care assistant learning to knitOur Rother & Hastings and Worcester businesses got creative. One care assistant for Rother & Hasting was taught to knit by a customer.

Whilst Natasha from Worcester and Wychavon, taught to crochet at the age of seven by her great grandmother, for several years now has been making blankets for the people she cares for. In total Natasha has made 9 blankets. (Originally published: homecare.co.uk)

…recognition for the work that we do.

If anything good has come from the Covid-19 pandemic and the situation we find ourselves in, it has been the warmth, kindness and generosity shown towards front line workers. Our care assistants are a vital part of the health and social care landscape in the UK, and often their work goes under the radar by many, particularly within homecare. 

There have been many examples of this compassion and kind-heartedness across all sectors and towards many key workers, and we have been no exception.

In Coleraine, a local Costa Coffee was forced to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak and a team member contacted the local Bluebird Care office to see if they would like any of the sweet treats that otherwise would have gone to waste. This food was then handed out to Bluebird Care customers during their regular home care visits. (Originally published: Ballymoney Times)

Costa Coffee in Coleraine donated all their sweets and treats

In South Tyneside one supplier, Lyreco UK, donated a coffee machine and coffee pods to the office recognising that even simple things like coffee can lift the spirits when times are tough.

Even more touching has been the public displays of gratitude towards our teams as they have been out and about in the community. In Plymouth, one of our care assistants was picking up a prescription for an elderly neighbour when a member of the public indicated for them to come to the front of the queue, as the care assistant moved to the front everyone in the queue applauded her. 

At a Tesco in Cleethorpes, a store assistant approached a Bluebird Care Care Assistant whilst they were shopping for a customer. The store assistant gave Amanda 12 bunches of roses as a gesture to say thank you for all of the hard work care assistants are doing. These roses were then delivered by the local office supervisors to all of the care assistants in the area. Originally published: Grimsby Telegraph

Tesco in Cleethorpes donates flowers to care assistants

In March, Bluebird Care launched our national recruitment campaign, labelled #itstimetocare, to encourage more people to join the sector and help care for our most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. (Originally published: homecare.co.uk)

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