It goes without saying this is a very difficult and challenging time for everyone and as a front line support providers we are at the front of this battle. As we enter into another 3 weeks of UK wide lockdown measures we will continue to be tested, and there will be good days and bad days for us all.
The work everyone does across Drive from our front line staff to central office staff to management is pivotal in ensuring we continue to provide a vital service to individuals we support. While our central office has had to close (inline with government guidelines) we are all still very much here and doing our best to ensure that Drive continues to be the dynamic organisation it always has been, throughout this pandemic.
In the weeks leading up to the initial lock down we had set up a Business Continuity Team who were already meeting regularly to ensure that we were starting to put in place what was needed to ensure our normal business operations could continue. We have had to think outside of the box and have embraced new technology and remote working practices in order to ensure continuity of quality service provision across all departments – this has been a learning curve for us all!
Our Senior Management Team are meeting regularly to ensure best practice is maintained and deliver rapid responses to any issues. In addition, to this we have set up monthly Board Meetings to ensure we are doing all we can to manage Drive in the strongest way during this pandemic.
When lockdown came into effect we had to adapt to the “new normal” over night. Our central office staff are working remotely from home and have been given what they need to ensure they can carry on with their normal day to day work. Getting this new remote working environment set up has created a huge body of work but thanks to our IT Team our normal day to day business operations have been able to continue.
We understand lockdown is challenging and it has been great to see how seamlessly our staff have adapted to this “new normal”, with many going above and beyond to ensure the best outcomes for individuals we support and the organisation as a whole. We recognise the extra effort staff have put in and are so proud of the tremendous commitment they have shown – Keep up the great work everyone!
For individuals we support lockdown has fuelled a huge increase in the implementation of innovative service changes and creative working approaches including the use of Assistive Technology. Individuals are participating in a wide range of virtual activities, and are busy coming up with new ideas to share and ways of staying connected. Participation and engagement remains person-centred with positive outcomes for individuals are evidenced through the sharing of photos, stories and updates with family, friends and professionals.
Our teams are working hard to keep everyone’s spirits up during this challenging time and we are now running a comprehensive virtual timetable of activities which includes everything from virtual Karaoke to virtual Sign Language. There are lots of fun activities to help reduce stress and anxiety. Over the last few weeks we have seen individuals baking, gardening, doing arts and crafts and Easter activities … keeping everyone busy is helping to promote a positive mind set during this time.
Every Thursday at 8pm we are clapping for ALL our staff at Drive as well as key workers everywhere, as a way of showing our support for the amazing job everyone is doing at the moment.
We are so proud of our dedicated support staff and how you have all pulled together, first in response to the floods and now this virus.We recognise that people will be working under extreme pressure over the coming months. Without you, hundreds of people wouldn’t live safe, fulfilled lives.Thank you all for the work you are doing at this time, with heartfelt sincerity please be assured that we are with you doing our bit where we can – but recognise that this is nothing compared to what you will be doing for Drive. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! – We can’t say it enough.
Rhian and Hugh