Working Through the Snow
We faced some very difficult weather conditions between the end of February and start of March (as we're sure you are all aware). Snow and ice has caused chaos on roads, and many people were unable to get where they needed to be, whether that was at work or school.
Something that has truly inspired all of us at Avalon, is the lengths our Support Workers have gone to, to get to their customers, and to ensure they have been supported. This has seen some feats of genuine dedication and passion, which is what makes Avalon's staff so special. Here's a few examples:
Our Northallerton team would like to say a huge thanks to Cath Butters, a Support Worker who has gone above and beyond for her customers in this winter weather:
Northallerton Locality Manager Sarah Gazzard said:
"After being unable to start her car or get it off her drive, Cath walked a good 2 miles across town in a blizzard to get to one of our customers. Cath also went via the supermarket and bought essential shopping for the customer knowing that she will be frightened to go out in this weather and worried over her shopping as it is her Thursday routine.
Cath has taken on a lot of extra shifts over the coming days to ensure customers are receiving support. It is very much appreciated and I am hugely impressed with her planning skills and thoughtfulness."
Our West Yorkshire Manager Catherine Wielgus would like to thank the following people for their exemplary work, providing support in such harsh conditions:
"Adam Newton (Service manager/ Support coordinator) tackled the blizzards yesterday all the way from Barnsley to support one of our community customers in Wakefield who has dementia. He stopped on the way to buy a food hamper to ensure he had enough supplies for the next few days, he also cooked various meals to ensure he had enough food prepared if the conditions worsened.
Nick Mackrill (Service Manager) has ensured all our supported living and some community customers received support over the last 2 days, and even brought supplies in his car in case he got stuck on the way.
David Lawton (Support Coordinator) tackled the blizzard this morning to ensure some of our high risk customers had warm meals and important medication, he even managed to drop his timesheets in to the office on the way!!
Victoria Simmontie, Irene Hudson and Phil West have all walked to customers to ensure they received support.
And finally not to miss Lorraine (administrator) who has walked to ensure the office is manned and also been fantastic with reassuring customers and staff.
Lian Abiye has been a god send helping contingency plan our whole service and contacting customers and staff keeping them all up to date with changes.
I am so lucky to work with an amazing team of people!"
Here's an inspiring story about our Support Worker Janet Searle in Teesside, who has truly gone the extra mile (several of them actually).
Service Manager Tina Ormerod told us: "Janet Searle, one of our Support Workers could not get her car off the drive this morning, so she walked 4 miles to her customer’s house to ensure they had adequate food and drinks in the house. We also had a sickness on another call and she was willing to walk home to collect clothing and walk over 6 MILES to the 24 hour package to ensure they had adequate cover."
Well done Janet and thank you so much for ensuring the needs of people who need you are met, even in such difficult conditions.
Here's one of our fantastic Support Workers Kathryn Thompson, who not only braved the snow to get to a customer who needed her, but then set to cleaning the customer's car, and refused to come in until it was done. That's dedication!
For our last snow story today, we have a fantastic piece of news from Doncaster, where one of our Support Workers did all he could to make sure contact was made with the person he was supporting.
Chris from our Doncaster office told us:
We had one support worker who had to turn back in the snow. He was disappointed for the customer that he could not get through to see her, and even waited for a bus to try and make it through the conditions.
After not being able to get there, and feeling so strongly that he had to reach his customer, the Support Worker called his customer and provided emotional support for the time he would have been at her house.
Sometimes it's impossible to make it through treacherous conditions, but by still finding a way to 'be there', it's possible to make a genuine difference to someone's life.
What a team!
We'd like to extend a huge thank you to our Support Workers from all localities, who have managed to keep going and battle through the blizzards to ensure our customers still receive the highest quality of personalised support. You are all a credit to our charity. Well done!