My name is Maria Yen and I work as part of the Night Support Team at Rothesay Court. There are 3 Night Support Workers who work overnight on a rota over 7 nights as Gingerbread offer a 24/7 service to our residents. We work with families who for various reasons have become homeless anything from Domestic Violence to family dispute to debt.
We are working very differently at the moment to how we would normally work, due to COVID 19. We know that many organisations are working in a similar way and we are doing our best to provide the best possible support to families during this very difficult and challenging time we are all living through.
Normally we would visit families to check they are well and see if there is any support required. This can be just for a chat, emotional or practical support or maybe a parent or a child is feeling unwell. We do continue to do this where a family needs this although we are operating social distancing and where families are well we contact through phone calls and have the chat over the phone so that families know we are still here and do not feel alone.
We do still complete visits if there are concerns around well-being or safeguarding, for example, but we do have to take steps to keep everyone as safe as possible while still giving any support needed. It is very difficult for all staff as we are used to working face to face with families.
Night support staff are still responsible for the safety and security of the building through the night but we also help to keep the building safe from the virus by reminding and giving information to families about social distancing and helping to keep the communal areas wiped down and as clean as possible to support maintenance and the housekeeper. We really are all in this together to keep everyone safe.