Take 1 new PSW and 1 lockdown ……
….and you can still get some really positive outcomes!
Although our Peer Support Worker only started to work with HeadsUp about six weeks before the lockdown came into force, they managed to deal with the situation and all the problems that it caused very well, in some cases the participants already knew them from coming into the centre to see the previous PSW so this made the transition from one PSW to another quite smooth. They successfully signed up 4 new people over the telephone during the initial lockdown period and some participants have still managed to progress from the project into new jobs, job searching or a training course – all such great outcomes especially considering the circumstances!
But it was also a time when additional help not normally offered by PSW’s came into play, for example one of their participants had to shield which of course made getting shopping and medication very difficult. Our PSW spent time on the phone getting food and medication deliveries arranged which was a great comfort to him, and our PSW felt reassured that their participants needs were catered for during this period.
In early September our PSW started to see participants face to face which was really well received by ‘old’ and new participants alike. They’d all really appreciated contact being maintained (via phone or E-mail) during the LONG six months we initially could not see participants face to face, in fact in some cases it was like speaking to a friend rather than a participant.
And so the situation has changed several times again since, but our participants are reassured by the fact that our PSW’s both longstanding and new, are their for them throughout every lockdown.