The Welsh Connection

Staff at Sense TouchBase Cymru taking part in a sociable Zoom meeting.

Every Thursday, we rally together and clap for our carers. During this time, key workers all over the UK have been doing an incredible job, not only by supporting the nation but by giving us all hope. Kate Wright, the manager of Sense TouchBase Cymru, is incredibly proud of her entire team and the way that they have responded to the lockdown.

Sense TouchBase Cymru is a day service that supports roughly 30-40 people throughout the week. As news of the pandemic spread, the staff did their best to communicate this news to the people they supported and support each other. The entire team had daily briefings with the most common topic of conversation being how to keep the people they supported safe.

Kate Wright, the manager of Sense TouchBase Cymru, on a Zoom call with a young man that she helps to support in the Welsh service.

This, however, didn’t last for long. As the pandemic took hold, the most sensible course of action was to close the service and redeploy staff. Some people were supported in their homes while others were supported with online sessions. Overnight, the Sense TouchBase Cymru team had to find a new way of working.

Some members of staff with children, who were previously working regular hours, were now having to do irregular shifts at local supported living services. However, the team threw themselves at this challenge with enthusiasm, care and compassion.

To ensure that all individuals were supported, Kate had to make sure that here staff team felt supported too. She started several initiatives including a weekly video quiz, regular one-to-one catch ups and weekly highlights. While this boosts morale and gives some much needed social interaction, Kate knows how much her staff team are sacrificing.

One member of Kate’s team loved the regular hours she had at Sense TouchBase Cymru as it worked perfectly with her childcare. With the lockdown, things have changed drastically. She now works nights as her husband must work during the day. She has little time to rest as her days are spent looking after her son and supporting him with his home schooling. Any spare time she has is spent reading schoolbooks so that she can keep on top of her son’s workload.

“A lot of staff struggle with mental health, and they still go out and work. We can’t underestimate how hard this is for them.”

This would be exhausting for anyone, but Kate mentions, “They are not doing it because they have been told, it is because they know people need support”. This support has been provided in lots of unique ways. Some staff are travelling to individuals’ homes to do activities. Others are running online sessions where individuals can take part in mindfulness, sensory stories and discos.

Despite the struggles and hardship, there have been lots of positive moments which the team share with each other every week.

“My highlight is that I did a 1:1 session with a person I didn’t really know and he responded really well to me. It also gave my family an insight as to what we do any why it’s important!”

“The highlight of my week has been coming to work and seeing everyone. It has been so nice and given me a sense of normality for a short while.”

“Mine will always be being able to FaceTime every day and seeing my granddaughter and daughter but missing out on so much with them.”

“Something from this week that will stay with me forever is how amazing you lot are!”

We appreciate the sacrifices every single one of them are making so, this week lets clap extra hard for all of our carers.

A member of staff at Sense TouchBase Cymru wearing a blue face mask.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.