As care workers, we support the most vulnerable children and young people in our society, throughout the pandemic and, every day.
Our Independent Supported Accommodation carers persevere through sleepless nights, language barriers, and culture differences. As hard as it may be, they know it’s much harder for the trafficked young person; believing it to be an honour and a privilege to provide this kind of help.
So, in the midst of this crisis we felt it important to ask a Love146 UK support worker, Izzy Archer, two very important questions;
What is it like doing your job (during the coronavirus)?
“Currently, I am doing my visits online, as each young person I normally see every week has a vulnerable person in their household. Naturally this is not as easy as it usually is.”…
…as normally I would take the young person out for a fun trip or even just out for a walk, hot chocolate and chat...
“Now, I am checking in with them more regularly each week to try and help keep some routine and structure.”…
…As they are finding the lockdown a challenge.…
“In particular, mental health and often sleeping in with no particular need to get up and out.”
“I have video calls with them and have been chatting, playing old school games like hangman, to online quizzes, screen sharing and helping with some online ESOL courses.”
“But of course, I’m always available for any emergencies, to travel to make a face to face visits if necessary or something with an immediate need arises.”
Can you share your experiences of what it is like before and after your shift (during the coronavirus)?
“Before my shift is as much as before, I get up and ready, setting up my laptop space (approx 2 metres from my bedroom!) with chargers, notepad, water and tea. And get ready for a day of emails, messaging, correspondence, phone calls and video calls.”
“So far times have constantly been changing, particularly with young people, an 11am call will be pushed back to 1pm because they are still asleep.”
“After my shift, well firstly, it seems everyone gets very productive after 5pm when all the emails start flying into my inbox.”…..
…I answer any important ones…you never know what urgent circumstances may arise..
“I muster the effort for the very basic task of putting on shoes and a jacket to go outside for some fresh air and walk.”…
…Immediately feeling much better.”
“I try not to be on my phone at all whilst walking after spending the whole day with my eyes on screens, it takes a while for my eyes to adjust to looking at things in the distance as I am able to appreciate everything around me.”
“Get back home, eat, chat with friends/watch a movie/do a sporcle quiz (all the countries in the world – I got them all after one week)……sleep.”
We are all adjusting to a ‘new normal’ and this daily routine may sound familiar. But we must remember that this new way of working comes with many added worries and extra responsibilities for our carers.
As they are more than just someone who provides food and a bed for trafficked young victims.
Their holistic care is a home away from home for survivors; and a constant friend, even after they’ve left the care of Love146 in the UK.