Suraya Alvi, a Stockport carer, has been given the opportunity to speak with HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, thanks to the Care Workers Charity.
Prince William wanted to find out directly from care workers what their experience of working during the Covid-19 was like, how it had changed the way they delivered care and how the job affected their wellbeing. Suraya, who works for Home Instead Senior Care, and four other key workers spoke with the Prince via a Zoom call.
Speaking directly to the Prince about her experience of caring for older people throughout the coronavirus crisis, Suraya, 42 and resident of Heaton Moor, said:
The main thing we face is uncertainty from clients. We aim to reassure them that we will still provide the best level of care regardless of the pandemic.
“The main aspect is keeping people safe in their homes at this time and providing that level of care that we did before but just with the added PPE and handwashing.”
The Stockport carer spoke about the emotional turmoil it can bring for both clients and caregivers, as the situation can be a strain both physically and mentally. She said:
The support from the office has been fantastic. We have a support system at the office and wellbeing sessions, and you can always pick up the phone and chat to people. The office sends us thank-you notes and leave gifts on our doorstep, it’s lovely. The main thing is keeping well emotionally, and it can be really tough.”
Suraya also talked about how she had been enjoying cooking at home with her 21-year-old daughter and how it benefitted their mental health during this time. His Royal Highness even took some time for light-hearted discussion and asked the Stockport carer what her daughter had been cooking with her.
Karolina Gerlich, executive director of the Care Workers Charity, which exists to support current and former care workers with one-off crisis grants and advice, added:
The call was a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on the amazing work of care workers and we really appreciate Suraya’s input from a home care point of view. HRH really took time to find out what it was like working in care, hear some of the challenges and recognise the important job our care workers do.”
David Moore, owner of Home Instead Stockport also commented:
Suraya, along with all our other CAREGivers and keyplayers form an integral part of our team, and we are so delighted she was able to speak to Prince William. She is a fantastic ambassador for our office and our entire network of 9,000 CAREGivers UK wide.”