Our incredible staff are our driving force in fighting coronavirus

19th February 2021

During the pandemic, our staff have been our driving force, allowing us to keep moving forward and keep making sure the people we support are safe as we battle coronavirus, even during the most challenging times.

The worst news for any of our services is that staff or the people we support have tested positive. A key challenge in an outbreak is making sure we have enough staff to continue to support residents at that service. FitzRoy recently launched our regional response team –  staff can volunteer to join, and they may be deployed to a local service where we are managing an outbreak and staffing levels are critically low. They move into the service usually for up to a week, although some have moved in for longer. It is a big ask – for staff  to leave their families and move into another service – but we have been amazed by our incredible staff as around 80 staff members are currently signed up.

Chloe is a support worker in our Nottingham supported living services. When we had an outbreak in Suffolk recently, and staff in the region were unable to help, she was on the case – happy to travel hundreds of miles to keep the people we support safe and support her colleagues.

She said: “I decided to join FitzRoy’s regional response team because I wanted a different experience. No matter how long you do this job for, you can never know everything. It was a brilliant opportunity to work with different people and I left Suffolk with a completely different perspective of my job.

“You don’t become a support worker unless you want to help people and make a difference to someone’s life.

That’s what made me want to do this job – I have always been a caring person and I wanted to help give people with learning disabilities a voice. Being able to join the regional response team gave me the chance of going that extra step to help.

“I was anxious before going to the Suffolk service, it’s like starting a new job except you already know what to do, so you just have to get stuck in. It was like walking into the unknown. For me, that was the hardest part, but after the first 24 hours I was fully settled in and had really bonded with the people in the service, and by the end of my eight days I didn’t want to leave!

“The service manager was always just a phone call away if we needed her, I felt really supported, and I bedded in with three other support workers from different services and by the end it felt like we were our own little family, we were in it together.

“I loved the whole experience and will definitely do it again! For anyone at FitzRoy who is thinking about it, I would say just do it. You gain so much knowledge and experience from being around new people, I feel like my confidence has grown massively. I can be thrown into the deep end and I can handle it.

“It promoted new skills that I didn’t know I had, such as being able to adapt to a new environment easily and quickly. I came out of the service knowing that everyone who is part of the FitzRoy team will go above and beyond for the people we support and their colleagues.

“I remember feeling a sense of worth and knowing that I was able to help another service in need. Seeing how dedicated staff members were from all around the country made me realise that I work for an amazing organisation.”

Kimberley, service manager of our Nottingham supported living services, said: “I am immensely proud to work alongside Chloe, she is one of the many staff that put their name forward in Nottingham to support those services in need. It makes us all feel very humble that we have staff that are willing to put themselves in challenging situations to make sure the people we support receive the care and support they should even in these difficult times.

“Chloe is a shining star and each and every one of us in Nottingham, both staff and management, is so proud of her ‘nothing is impossible’ attitude.”