Salford Care Workers Attend Reception With Prime Minister

Four dedicated care workers from Salford recently attended a special reception with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Minister of State for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care, Gillian Keegan.

Charles Wallwork, Wendy Kirkwood, Jan Hayes, and Sharon Masters were all invited to visit Downing Street as a thank you for all their hard work and dedication throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The group all work for Aspire for Intelligent Care and Support, based in Salford, supporting residents in the local area who have dementia, disabilities or learning disabilities.

Aspire offer a range of services including day care opportunities, supported housing, and a specialist dementia unit. The pandemic meant that both services and employees were refocused to better support people, under new guidelines and ways of working, providing many challenges. With an essential need for the support offered staff went above and beyond their call of duty to ensure everyone was cared for, including their fellow colleagues.

Wendy was nominated for the PM’s reception by Locality Manager, Chris Connell after showing exceptional support to her colleague Mervyn who became unwell with Covid-19.

“Wendy stayed in touch with Mervyn after he become unwell with Covid-19, and travelled to Macclesfield, a 60 miles round trip from her home, to take essential supplies and shopping to him as he was isolating and had nobody else nearby to help.” said Chris.

Sadly, Mervyn passed away at the end of 2020 due to Covid and his loss has been felt immensely by colleagues and the people he supported.

Charles also works in the supported housing services at Aspire and had to quickly adapt to new ways of working to help support residents with Autism or Learning Disabilities. Charles used his skills as an entertainer to keep spirits up during lockdown periods and spent several months planning an extra special Christmas 2020 for 29 people with complex needs who had been in isolation organising two full weeks of games, activities, and even live reindeer!

“All of our staff have worked tirelessly for almost two years now, adapting to new guidelines, to ensure everyone gets the same high level of care and support that has always been offered. I nominated Jan and Sharon for the dedicated work that they did in the community during the lockdown. They are representing all the good work that all Poppy staff have done by working flexibly, taking on new challenges, being creative in their thinking and supporting the carers through the most difficult times.”  said Jean Hennedy, Poppy Dementia Unit Manager.

The formal reception was held in the pillared room of Downing Street and was attended by both the Prime Minister and Minister of State for Care alongside other dignitaries and ambassadors from the health and social care sector.

“It is lovely to be recognised for our hard work, and an honour to be invited to Downing Street to represent Aspire and all other care workers out there. It was a fantastic day and one we won’t forget” said Jan Hayes, Support Worker at Poppy Dementia Unit.



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