Every week we’re publishing an article written by one of our advocates all about their experience of home working. We may have changed the way we’re doing things but we’re still providing advocacy support to our customers through a host of online, over the phone and socially distanced methods.

This week Vicky tells us how she’s adjusted to being an advocate working from home.

 


Today was the day that the government announced we should all work from home. The Lockdown was in force!  The effort from all the team to get the technology, support mechanisms and work plans in place was amazing! We packed up our desk, locked the office door and said our goodbyes for the foreseeable future to our colleagues.

Day 1: When I woke up on the first day of our new way of working I almost forget that I did not need to get my son ready for school, rush down our breakfast and commute to work. So I had a cup of tea in my front room whilst I decided where I would set up my new workspace.  Workspace set up, I was logged on to the system, phone at the ready good to go! Then the dog started barking at the postman and my son wanted his breakfast….now! I realised this was not going to be as easy as I had imagined.

Day 2: My mornings go much the same, I wake up, take my dog out, ensure my son is fed and watered then sit down with a cup of tea and my laptop. My day is jammed packed full of video calls, phone calls and emails. Every service around us are still adapting to the new world we live in. I spend my day supporting the team, making sure that every single person we support has a plan for check ins, telephone meetings take place and essential advocacy input continues.  SLACK, People First’s internal social media platform, is on fire with everyone staying connected and most days a simple “good morning” reminds me we are all in this together.

Day 3,4,5,6 ………… – So this is our new normal. I feel like I have settled into some sort of routine. Although trying to home work and home school is not in my skill set. So I have given up and my son is learning to cut the grass, groom the dog, some household tasks and cooking. He has also learned how to make a cracking cup of tea! 

My days are centred on ensuring every single person that we work with is being supported well and the most vulnerable are checked. I also enjoyed my first experience of “Teams” a video conferencing facility where I get to see my lovely team’s face, and their homes….I’m super nosey! We enjoy a cup of tea and a catch up, from our front rooms! I spend my day updating notes, taking calls, sending emails and ensuring that the advocacy service runs as normal, and still at a high quality.

Everyday ends with a check in with the other Advocacy team leader and our manager. By this point we are normally looking positively exhausted but always end the call ready for the new day that will follow. Where us and the whole team are ready to support the people of Cumbria, Lancashire, Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough through this incredibly difficult time, doing what we do best!

Until tomorrow….. #Stay home   #Protect the NHS    #Save lives