Delivering supportive living services during challenging times

| 21 May 2020

Summary: MTVH care and support teams continue to provide quality service to their vulnerable residents through challenging times. This week we spoke to Care and Support Team Leader, Rachael Asprey to find out how her and her team adjusting and responding to Covid-19.

Rachael Asprey’s journey began at Ashbourne Rd as an agency worker, where she landed a part time position shortly after and then progressed to Team Leader. She has now been Team Leader for 5 years and is responsible for 4 adults with learning disabilities in a supported living scheme based in Derby.
The scheme is a 24hrs a day 7 days a week where Rachel and her team, including four permanent colleagues and one regular bank worker are committed to delivering the needs of vulnerable customers.

How has Covid-19 impacted your role? 

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of us at Ashbourne Rd, the customers particularly, have found it very difficult. They are missing going to the day centre that they usually attend, going out to see friends and doing their weekly shopping. This may not be much to some people, but the customers at Ashbourne Rd loved their routines and socialising.

How has your team adjusted and how do they stay motivated?

The team have been amazing! They have done longer shifts and thought about how to keep the customers motivated and happy. This is difficult for them as it adds extra pressure on them. At a time where finding motivation for yourself is difficult but then having to find it for the people we support too. This is an added stress. But we know that we are the only contact that the customers have, so we are making the best out of a terrible situation. I make sure I thank the team for all the hard work they have been doing and that it really is appreciated. Bringing in cakes help!

What have you personally found most challenging? 

I think the most challenging thing for me has been trying to maintain the same level of care from outside agencies. This has been difficult at times because appointments have been cancelled. Skype and Zoom may work well for most of us, but it doesn’t work with our customers.

How do you, your team and the customers stay positive?

We have tried to keep the mood good by having lots of board games. We have taken part in themed activities which have kept us all occupied. Easter Bonnet decorating, Hawaiian birthday party and celebrating VE Day. None of these activities would have happened without the team. They were getting items we needed in their own time then bringing them to work. Seeing smiles on our customers faces makes this hard time better. Knowing we are doing our very best to support the customers the best we can makes it a little easier.