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Caring through Covid

When Strode Park’s Day Service was suspended in March 2020 the care didn’t stop entirely. Care packages and regular phones calls were still a vital part of the service. A mum of one of our clients shared with us how much this has meant and what their experience through Covid has been…

Margaret Webb wants to start from the very beginning. She said speaking of her and her daughter Annie’s experience: “Annie came home from Strode Park on Friday 20 March, 2020 and we were told we had to shield for 12 weeks, but I knew it would be longer.”

Margaret went on: “At first she was fine but because of her learning disabilities it was later down the line there was a bit of a reaction. At one point it got extremely hard. She struggled, we all struggled. For the first five months we never had anyone in the house and we never went out. People rallied round to help us with our shopping and other bits and pieces.”

The support Annie received from Strode was described by Margaret as truly amazing. She said: “I have been very impressed. They have been keeping the link there. It has been real genuine care from them and their offer of help. Strode Park has done everything it can in the circumstances.”

From weekly phone calls to care packages, the 56-year-old added: “We had someone come up our driveway with a mask on with a bag of goodies. It was such a lovely goodwill gesture and to remember things like Annie is gluten free just went that extra mile. They asked how we were doing, told us they missed us and we were really touched by that. And we got another at Christmas too.”

Aside from the constant care through Covid, Annie and her mum, from Ash, have taken life at a slower pace and it’s made them reassess their pace of life and what they do after Covid.

Margaret continued: “Lockdown has made me reassess how we were living before. It’s made us observe life more. There’s things that she hasn’t missed and things that she has missed. Annie also seems happier now because she is following her natural body clock. I’m more in tune with how she is physically. She’s more relaxed and this pace really suits her better.”

There have been some key turning points for Annie though as Margaret went on to explain.

“After the first five months or so we have been part of Strode’s ComCare service. We have a Care and Support worker called Emily who now comes in three times a week. Annie really is delighted to see her. There’s that buzz and energy, a new face and someone her own age to interact and engage with.”

Annie, who is 25, thrives more when she’s around people her own age.

Margaret continued: “They do baking, arts and crafts, there’s a physio programme and Annie just loves, loves, loves having her here. It’s really valuable.

“I think Emily thought she knew Annie quite well before but as she gets to know her more and more they have really struck up a bond.”

The family have had a bit of a rollercoaster of a ride while dealing with shielding and not being in their normal routine but they have tackled it in the only way they know how- together.

And although her mother describes Annie as not a ‘looking forward’ type person, there is one thing for certain. She is looking forward to getting back to Strode to see her friends and extended family.