SALFORD’S PANDEMIC HEROES
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives. Lockdowns, social distancing, isolation and the loss of loved ones has wreaked devastation on a global scale, but throughout it all many groups and individuals have made it their mission to help lift spirits and spread some joy. We’re shining a spotlight on some of the pandemic heroes who’ve been making a difference.
Salix Homes Environmental Services Team
The team helped spread some Christmas cheer during the pandemic by donating toys to disadvantaged children.
The team collected a mountain of toys and gifts to donate to families experiencing hardship as part of the Little Hulton Toy Appeal.
Team manager Maria Lester said: “After the difficult year everyone had had, the team wanted to spread a little bit of festive cheer. Christmas is a particularly difficult time for many families, and we didn’t want any child to wake up to nothing on Christmas morning, so we hope our donation helped bring a smile to children’s faces.”
The Environmental Services Team work in our neighbourhoods across Salford to ensure the environment around customers’ homes is clean, tidy and an attractive place to live.
Community stalwart Keri has got a heart of gold.
When she’s not keeping children safe in her role as a lollipop lady, she’s organising events for her community in Broughton and coming up with innovative ways to lift people’s spirits and keep her community together.
On Valentine’s Day, Keri made it her mission to spread a little love after applying for funding through our Springboard community grant scheme to purchase roses, teabags and mugs emblazoned with the words ‘you are loved’ to leave on the doorsteps of 48 homes in her community.
She said: “I planned the Valentine’s Day surprise, so that I could help bring some smiles back to this crazy world we have found ourselves in. I know people have been feeling the effects of being in lockdown, so I wanted to help them know that they are loved.”
Keri also sits on our Customer Committee, and she is passionate about improving her community and creating opportunities for local people.
During the pandemic, our employees made more than 45,000 phone calls to some of our older and vulnerable tenants to check on their welfare.
Our property safety officer Nikki was one of 50 volunteers from amongst our workforce who were making 2,500 calls every week at the height of the lockdowns.
Amongst Nikki’s list of regular calls was 104-year-old Elsie Goodall who lives alone in Seedley and enjoyed sharing her memories with Nikki of her younger years spent attending dances with her friends and working at Hope Hospital.
Elsie said: “The calls with Nikki have been wonderful - it has made all the difference to me, just being able to hear someone else's voice."
When it was Elsie’s birthday last year, Nikki arranged for an extra special delivery.
Nikki said: “I just thought that it would be a great idea if we could organise her a birthday card and some flowers for being such a delightful tenant and for reaching such a massive milestone.
“It was lovely to finally be able to meet her. I also made a doorstep delivery during the November 2020 lockdown to make sure Elsie was well stocked with her favourite chocolate biscuits.
“I’m still checking in with Elsie for a quick chat, but I’m glad she’s been able to resume her busy social calendar and meet up with her friends again.”
Salix Homes Caretaking Team
Our dedicated caretaking team, who are responsible for the up-keep of our tower blocks, have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic.
While they always keep the communal areas clean and tidy, during the pandemic they were able to offer an extra level of care to people living at our blocks.
Maria Lester, environmental services manager, explained: “Our caretakers have been vital to the welfare of the people living in our high-rise blocks. When other teams were unable to access the blocks due to the coronavirus restrictions, the caretakers stepped in to provide that support.
“Having a good relationship with the vulnerable residents is really important and as the caretakers see them almost every day, they notice when it looks like there may be something wrong.”
This was the case for Canon Hussey Court caretaker Liz Hargin, who came to the rescue of a resident after noticing his condition seemed to be deteriorating.
Liz said: “I noticed he was in a dishevelled state and seemed out of sorts. I didn’t want to just brush it off as I knew he didn’t seem well. I contacted the emergency services and they were then able to take the resident to hospital for much needed treatment. I’m glad I followed my instincts.”
Maria added: “Adult care and our neighbourhood teams had been struggling to contact this tenant and Liz could well have saved his life spotting him and being brave enough to raise her concerns.”
SPIRIT OF SALFORD HELPLINE 0800 952 1000
Support and advice on lots of different issues that you might be facing at the moment.
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MIND 0300 123 3393
If you're finding things hard emotionally right now, you're not alone. Mind provides information and support to help you cope.
SALFORD INDEPENDENT DOMESTIC ABUSE SUPPORT SERVICE 0161 793 3232
SALFORD ASSIST 0800 694 3695
If you find yourself without the finances to feed yourself or family or heat your home, help is available from Salford Assist.