COVID-19 is one of the biggest crises our generation will see in its lifetime. Care workers are at the frontline of this, caring for the people in our society who are most susceptible to the virus. I am incredibly touched by daily stories of commitment that care workers, support workers and personal assistants around the country are showing.
Heart-warming stories of care home staff sacrificing time with their families to move into care homes for two weeks to protect people they support. Care workers at the frontline still working even with a terrifying lack of proper PPE. Homecare workers travelling long distances to reach people and ensure that nobody is left unsupported. Heart-breaking stories of care workers being abused and scared to wear their uniforms.
Social care deserves recognition for our contribution to the COVID-19 emergency. We need to ensure that we are sharing good stories and show society how important we are and how much we do.
We also need to shine a light on the huge issues that we are facing. PPE provision and many providers being short-staffed need to be shared to help people understand our situation.
The Care Workers’ Charity is focusing on one issue in particular- financial hardship of care workers.
If a care worker needs to self-isolate they will fall into desperate need.
Working on the frontline means that many care workers are having to go into isolation if they or a member of their household shows symptoms, some also have underlying health conditions and have to shield for 12 weeks. Decades of underfunding of the sector mean that there is not enough money for full sick pay. Surviving on just statutory sick pay (and sometimes even without that) will result in many care workers living in poverty for many months with little support available. We have heard stories of care workers going to food banks, going hungry or not being able to pay basic bills after self- isolation.
CWC is setting up an emergency fund for care staff affected by Covid-19. With care workers being more in demand than ever we need to support them now.
We have raised £140k so far but just after a week of grants being open we have already had applications for almost all of the money. Thank you to everybody that has already supported us and donated or spread the word about our initiative.
Please reach out to your contacts especially outside of the sector and encourage people to donate.
Let’s show care workers that they are cared for and not forgotten.