Elaine, who works in Vivo Care Choices’ services at Curzon House in Chester, has gone above and beyond to support Lilian during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Carers Week (8-14 June) is a great opportunity to celebrate and thank carers for the important role they play all year round, with a particular focus on COVID-19 given the current circumstances.

Lilian, a resident at Curzon House, had severe breathing problems towards the start of the pandemic. After being discharged from hospital, she had to self isolate away from others for seven days in line with NHS and Government guidance.

Elaine, alongside another carer Rachel, had to provide care and support for Lilian 24-hours-a-day, taking their shifts in turn. They could only communicate with other members of staff electronically and had to make sure they wore the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.

“I just felt relieved that Lilian never contracted COVID-19,” Elaine said.

“You get to know the people we care for. It was lovely to sit with Lilian and learn more about her life history.

“I played dominoes with Lilian and watched plenty of videos with her.

“We sent videos of Lilian to her family so they could see how she was getting on while she was self isolating.

“We literally went into work and came back out. We didn’t talk to anyone else in person because it would have put others at risk.

“Lilian felt she’d done something wrong, but we reassured her that it wasn’t her fault and we were more than happy to care for her.

“I’ve worked at Curzon House for 16 years and there’s definitely been nothing like this before, but we’re one big family and everyone has been so supportive to each other.

“Staff from other services have come over to Curzon House and they’ve been brilliant.

“If you’ve time to give to people, you may as well give it. You’d only be stuck at home during lockdown so I thought I may as well be in work, making a difference to people’s lives.”

With Vivo paying the Local Living Wage (LLW) and providing a clear pathway for careers to progress, the care sector can appeal to a range of people with different backgrounds.