The 'Hidden Heroes' behind Rutland's COVID-19 response
We want to say a special thank-you to Rutland's many Hidden Heroes.
It has now been a full two months since the UK was first placed in ‘lockdown’ in response to COVID-19.
Since late March, people living in towns and villages across Rutland have had to follow stringent guidelines urging them to stay indoors and limit their contact with others, including their closest family members. Meanwhile, health and care services have worked tirelessly to help those at greatest risk or directly affected by the virus.
While some of the UK’s lockdown measures are now being eased, many restrictions remain in place in order to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With frontline workers still going above and beyond, every day, to fight the virus and support those most in need, Rutland County Council is saying a special thank-you to some of the ‘hidden heroes’ behind the county’s COVID-19 response.
“Much of the talk over this past week has been about easing lockdown but we’re continuing to work with our partners and community groups, to protect and support local people. There are a huge number of ‘Hidden Heroes’ still working incredibly hard and often unseen. They’re maintaining essential services as well as working to meet the needs of those hardest hit by COVID-19. All of this is happening against a backdrop where council staff, contractors and volunteers have their own health and families to look after, as well.”
Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
All local government employees, including staff at Rutland County Council, are designated as ‘key workers’ by the UK government and are actively supporting the County’s response to COVID-19. Where council buildings or services have been closed because of the virus, staff who would normally run these services are working in other areas to provide vital help and support.
“Our staff are working side-by-side with partners, contractors and local volunteers as part of Rutland’s response to coronavirus. We’re incredibly grateful for all the messages of thanks we’ve received from residents and want to say our own thank-you to everyone who’s part of the effort to keep Rutland safe. Now – and potentially more than ever – Rutland’s ‘Hidden Heroes’ need your help and support. You can give back to our key workers and volunteers and show your appreciation by continuing to follow government guidelines and social distancing, so that we don’t undo all the hard work that’s gone before.”
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley
Community Support Services
Rutland County Council’s Community Support Services have been helping people to stay independent at home. They work closely with individuals and families – particularly those who are vulnerable, recovering from illness or injury or are elderly – to help them stay safe, while maintaining their independence. As well as supporting people to avoid a visit to hospital, the team has also been supporting people to get back on their feet after a hospital stay.
Rutland’s Admiral Nurses have been working closely with GP practices who have identified patients most at risk of health decline due to Covid-19 and other long term conditions, including dementia. Through this work, the nurses identified around 100 patients who would benefit from supportive discussions about escalation of care, if it were needed. Of these cases, 36 had a confirmed diagnosis of dementia and were not previously known to the Admiral Nurse Service. To date, 33 Advance Care Plans have been completed, ensuring that those involved have had the opportunity to think about and plan for their future care.
Supported independent living
Rutland County Council has dedicated staff who provide round-the-clock care and support so that adults with special educational needs and disabilities can live independently in their own homes. This includes cooking, cleaning, laundry and shopping. All of this support has remained continuous throughout the current pandemic period, but with staff also having to make changes to the way they work and use PPE to help keep service users safe.
Personal Assistants support people of all ages with daily living tasks. This can be anything from nipping to the shops with them to pick up a few groceries to helping them to clean their home. Personal Assistants also support people to get their daily exercise and enjoy activities outdoors. This service is invaluable, so that people with additional needs can access and enjoy their community, and hasn’t stopped because of COVID-19. Personal Assistants like Jenny have still been meeting up and providing supporting, making sure they follow social distancing rules.
Lots of essential shops and businesses are still open across Rutland, offering delivery or call-and-collect services. Many have also stepped up to provide help and support direct to local communities, vulnerable people and local NHS or care services. Barnsdale Lodge and CS Ellis have both supported the setup of Rutland’s COVID-19 Hub, which has helped to deliver more than 100 food parcels to people across the county who need them. Oakham-based clothing outlet store Land’s End secured 100 sets of medical scrubs from its US outfitting business before donating them to hospitals in the Rutland area.
Rutland County Council uses a number of contactors who help to deliver important local services. Household waste and recycling collections have continued as normal throughout the pandemic period, thanks to the hard work of waste crews from Biffa – many of whom would normally run the county’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres. Important Highways Maintenance work has also continued throughout the pandemic period to keep the roads safe. This has included the completion of Rutland’s annual surface dressing programme by crews from Tarmac, carrying out works while following social distancing rules.
“COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact all over the world. The one silver lining to this enormous cloud – particularly here in Rutland – has been the incredible outpouring of generosity, support and positivity from all corners of our community. Thank you to everyone who has helped and continues to help. This includes Parish Councils, emergency services, the care home and domiciliary care providers with whom we work, schools and other education settings that have stayed open for children of key workers, and the social care services that provide daily care and protection for vulnerable children. You are making all the difference.”
Council Leader Oliver Hemsley
For more information about COVID-19, including guidance on where to get help and support in Rutland, please see our Coronavirus page.
If you need urgent assistance or support because of COVID-19, please call the Council’s crisis helpline on: 01572 729 603.