Redbridge is #ProudToCare – How care workers in the borough became frontline heroes

Published: 14 July 2020

Care workers continue to play a vital role, looking after some of Redbridge’s most vulnerable residents as our frontline heroes.

In Redbridge nearly 2300 residents are being looked after through a range of care providers commissioned by the council, including homecare, nursing care, residential care and supported living.

A care worker can come in many forms, includingsupporting people with personal care needs in their home, providing 24-hour nursing care within a residential home, palliative care, and becoming a carer to look after a vulnerable loved one.

But they all have one thing in common – care workers and carers provide a crucial support system for the people who need it the most.

Crystal Forster has been a care worker in Redbridge for over three years through Chosen Care Group – one of the home care providers working closely with our council to deliver care and support to the elderly and adults with learning disabilities and associated health needs.

The 33-year-old has been providing regular support to four residents in the borough, helping with personal care needs such as dressing and washing, and ensuring medication is taken on time.  

Speaking about her role Crystal said:For me, the people I care for are an extension of my family, and over the last four years I’ve built a close bond with them. Since the COVID outbreak I’ve felt the need to be there for them more than ever.

“In many cases they haven’t been able to see their families much, so I’ve made sure my home visits are a bit longer. It means I can spend extra time chatting to them, reassure them about things, or help with phone calls so they can stay connected to their loved ones.

“I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure those I looked after didn’t feel isolated at the height of the pandemic.

“Being a care worker means having empathy and working from the heart. It’s a challenging job but also one of the most fulfilling and rewarding jobs you could do.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s my opportunity in life to help others, and I can’t think of a greater thing to do than help those who need it the most.

“We really need more care workers right now, so if you’re thinking about a career in care – do it! You won’t regret it.”

Cambridge Nursing Home in Wanstead was recently recognised by the Great British Care Awards for their role in supporting people receiving end of life care.

Lilette Ebrahinkhan, Director of Cambridge Nursing Home, spoke about being a palliative care worker.

Lilette said: Working with palliative residents can be very challenging emotionally, not only are you confronting death, a subject most avoid, but carrying out the final wishes of very poorly individuals who to us are friends not just residents.

“I feel extremely privileged to have such a high level of trust placed in me by the residents, and their loved ones, to provide this level of care. It’s a very humbling experience but one that fills me with great pride. What job could be any more important?

“Although we all know we are working towards an end, it really doesn’t make the inevitable any easier; it is still a deep loss within the Home. Much like any family really, we feel it.

“I am so very proud of the Cambridge Nursing Home team, but also of everyone in the sector who delivers palliative care.”

Asad Abdullah, Care Manager for Chosen Care, also paid tribute to care workers “going above and beyond” to help those they look after.

Asad said: “Care workers are people who will always put others before themselves, that’s why they are working in this industry.

“Within my care team I have seen so many examples of staff going above and beyond. Many of my staff have their own families, yet they continue to walk out of their front door every day during the pandemic to also help their ‘other family’ – the people they care for.

“While we all hope we have passed the worst of this pandemic, we still need more care workers and welcome people from all backgrounds of education and experience.

“A career in care is not only fulfilling, but provides great opportunities for progression across all levels including leadership, management, service delivery, research and more.”

Redbridge Council is backing #ProudToCare – a pan London campaign to recruit more care workers across the capital in response to the pandemic.

The campaign has already generated 83 new applications for care roles in Redbridge.

In support of #ProudToCare, Redbridge is calling on those with an interest in the care sector to apply for a range of roles that provide support to the elderly, or vulnerable within the community. This can be done through

Applicants will have the opportunity to speak to a member of the Proud to Care team to understand more about working in care, and whether the sector is right for them. Successful applicants will also be supported to ensure they are employment ready.

This support includes:

  • Free online training
  • Identifying suitable roles for the candidate
  • Pre-employment checks, such as DBS
  • Local Councils matching candidates to suitable local jobs that will make a difference

Cllr Mark Santos, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care, Mental Health & the Ageing, said: “Now more than ever adult social care is vitally important to keeping people as safe and well as possible.

“Care workers in Redbridge, and beyond, have been frontline heroes in this pandemic, working hard to continue ensuring the most vulnerable members of our society remain supported.

“If you are considering a role in care, now is the time to act and kick start your career in care.”

For more information or to register your interest in a role please visit: #ProudToCare

Information on working in care is also available from the Department of Health and Social Care:

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