So these are very challenging times we are currently living in. The challenges the covid-19 crisis throws up are even more deeply felt for the most disadvantaged and least economically resourced people in our communities.
I witnessed a man in a shop trying to pay for a few items of food with cash and was turned away, he came back into the shop with a friend who had been waiting outside but who had a bank card so he could make his purchase. For those people who are economically disadvantaged, who are in unsafe or no accommodation, who are in abusive situations, the challenges of this situation are even greater.
I am immensely proud to work for an organisation who is going above and beyond to support those people most in need during this time. I am in awe of the array of creative solutions that are happening to ensure that the women we work with in the communities which our Women’s Centres serve continue to feel connected to the Centre, their keyworker and their peers.
Prior to CV19, we used to question ourselves for spending too much times on our phone, on social media and endless scrolling through other people’s lives, now our devices serve as the connector, the difference as to whether our clients and our staff feel lonely or connected, apart from or part of, and are now our main vehicle of communication.
Daily phone calls, groups online, zoom meetings mean that we can monitor women’s wellbeing and continue to support them during this period of lockdown and isolation. We are making sure that everyone who is experiencing food poverty is fed, we are dropping off food donations, always safely, always mindful of the PHE guidance.
Our enterprises, the Clean Plate and the Sober Parrot are part of the Feeding the 5000 scheme supported by the Diocese of Gloucester and in partnership with the Long Table, making and delivering meals to those most in need in Gloucestershire.
In our Residential Rehab, the support sessions are still happening, the counselling sessions and all the group work programme are still happening albeit differently, again through use of technology and safe, socially distanced supportive conversations.
We are all having to adapt to a new way of working, a new way of being in connection with others and finding new ways of maintaining our support to the people accessing our services. What has underpinned the changes is a great willingness amongst our staff to go the extra mile, to think of creative solutions to the challenges, to apply incredibly positive attitudes, to be part of our ‘together we can’ approach to continuing our service delivery.
The willingness is there because we profoundly care about the people we work with, we care about the situations they are in and we care about their circumstances improving. We also care about each other as colleagues. Whatever the challenges are ahead, we will face them together with determination, tenacity, pride and kindness to those around us.
Head of Excellence
The Nelson Trust