From project manager to working in a nursing home

Covid-19 is rapidly changing the world around us, and is having a profound impact on people’s jobs, communities and lives. Housing associations in Wales and their staff have had to adapt in order to ensure that the 250,000 tenants they support remain safe and secure in their homes.

Andrew Bale is a Project Manager in the Development team at Linc. Since the Covid-19 has affected his ability to carry out his usual role, he has been redeployed to help out at Penylan House Nursing Home. Andrew shares his experience.

“When I started helping out at one of the nursing homes, I was a little nervous. This was going to be very different to my day job as a Project Manager and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

On my first day helping on the dementia unit at Penylan House in Cardiff, I realised I had nothing to be nervous about. It is an experience I’ve found incredibly humbling and rewarding. I look forward to spending my time there and that’s thanks to the wonderful residents who always make me smile, and the hard-working staff who are so passionate, kind and committed.

My day starts when I assist with preparing breakfast and deliver it to the residents. There are a few residents who need a little bit of help with eating their breakfast, so I sit with them to give them a helping hand. This has been a good way of building trust and letting them know that I’m there for them, as we sit together at breakfast time, we really get to know each other.

From there I do some cleaning up, make fresh tea and coffee and socialise with the residents. I’ve been spending time with Beryl, who has the most endearing Scottish accent, and Matt, who enjoys sitting out in the garden and having a chat about his Dad who was a keen gardener. Both Beryl and Matt really enjoy this time and I am grateful for it too.

I’m also spending time with June, a resident at Penylan for respite care, sitting with her drinking tea and doing some colouring in, which she really enjoys. Moments like that make it so worthwhile and it’s such a joy to be June’s new friend.

It has been really emotional to think about how the families of these amazing characters must be feeling, not being able to visit them as they used to. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to sit with them, make them tea, have a chat and hopefully brighten their day.

If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this experience, it’s that my colleagues working in Linc’s nursing homes are simply incredible. The hours they put in, their positivity and the way they treat the residents like they are family is inspiring.

I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. Thank you.”

Housing associations in Wales will be profiling the work they are doing to support tenants in Wales through a new campaign called ‘With You‘. Follow this campaign through CHC’s Twitter page @CHCymru and searching for the hashtag #withyou.  

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