Non-for-profit organisation, Harrogate Neighbours has kick-started a new ‘Care for Carers’ initiative with a weekly Wellbeing Workshop for all its support and care staff in a bid to engage with any potential anxieties and mental health issues arising as a result of the pandemic.
This week marks 6 months since the start of the National lockdown back in March which saw a huge amount of pressure put on care and support staff, particularly those working in the thousands of care settings across the UK. Significant challenges continue in the sector as the virus poses even more concerns as Winter sets in, meaning even more pressure felt by staff who strive to protect and support the most vulnerable people.
Acknowledging the stress and worries felt by its own staff teams, Harrogate Neighbours has launched a ‘Care of Carers’ initiative and has teamed up JK Change Work, a local company which specialises in therapeutic coaching for personal and professional change to offer staff a regular Wellbeing Workshop. The sessions are designed to provide support and emotional coaching, help staff to develop improved skills for wellbeing resilience, assist with meaningful time out for staff to learn how to deal with the ongoing challenges of their role and to help those in a leadership position at Harrogate Neighbours to identify any additional support for the organisation, nurturing their wellbeing culture.
On Thursday 24 September staff and carers, in bubbles of 6 at Harrogate Neighbours took part in a happiness & laughter session providing a space for staff to have protected time out, raise their endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals) reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and learn strategies to help keep staff happy and healthy in these challenging times. Laughter Yoga, founded by Dr M Katariais just one of the techniques JK will share with support and care staff at Harrogate Neighbours helping staff feel positively resourced. The first of many workshops designed to help promote positive wellbeing during these uncertain and unprecedented times.
Speaking on behalf of JK Change Work, founder, JK said:
It is important to look out for one another, particularly in a care home environment where there are so many challenges being faced all of the time. Care and support staff have and continue to feel an immense amount of pressure, so the workshops and sessions we deliver are all aimed around relieving this pressure and giving people the skills to build resilience and feel in control of their emotions and wellbeing. Harrogate Neighbours relies so heavily on carers and staff to ensure the safety and protection of the most vulnerable people, so we are delighted to be able to help them to support those on the frontline to ensure they are confident and well equipped to tackle whatever is to come.
Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours added:
With restrictions and guidelines changing almost daily, care staff across the country are feeling the pressure and often find it hard to cope day to day. They are dealing with many challenges and are having to be so much more than carers for the residents and tenants within our homes. It’s more important than ever that we support and look after their mental and physical wellbeing so that they can continue to take care of the older and vulnerable people who rely so heavily on them, now and in the future.”
The Wellbeing Workshops are the first of a number of initiatives we plan to roll out to our staff, but we also have plans to reach out to the wider care community in Yorkshire to care for all carers who are sacrificing so much in these uncertain times if the guidelines allow us to connect with other similar organisations.