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COMMUNITY: Flood of local support for health workers

COMMUNITY: Flood of local support for health workers

Wednesday 25 March 2020

COMMUNITY: Flood of local support for health workers


Free parking, early opening hours and hand cream donations are among the many ways islanders and businesses have been supporting workers on the frontline of the fight against covid-19.

Local acts of goodwill towards health staff and key workers have been ramping up, as the number of patients officially confirmed to have covid-19 continues to rise.

Today, the number of officially confirmed cases still stands at 16, with two islanders remaining in hospital. The Health Department are still awaiting the results of tests taken several days ago.

While the hospital has been closed to all visitors since Friday, islanders and businesses have been showing their support through social media.

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Pictured: The team from Sorel Ward urging everyone to stay at home.

On the ‘Coronavirus Jersey – Acts of Kindness’ Facebook group, islanders have been offering practical help with shopping, free parking spaces as well as donations of hand cream. 

The latter comes after one of the members explained how she had met a man looking for hand cream for his wife, a nurse, in the Co-Op in St. Peter.

She urged anyone who had access to hand cream at home to take it to “our wonderful nurses and doctors at the hospital”. “Look after them so they can look after us,” she concluded her post. 

Many islanders jumped in to offer their donations as a result and the post also inspired Shaun Gell of Jersey Honey to donate a box of Intensive Hand Cream, as well as soaps, hand wash and body lotion to the hospital.

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Pictured: Shaun Gell donated a box of Jersey Honey's 'Intensive Hand Cream' to the hospital.

“We’ve all got to do our bit as big or as mall as we can, anyone in the island but also anywhere in the world,” Mr Gell said. “People are coming together and we will get through it together. It’s such a negative situation but people are responding so positively to this. 

“We all have to step up the mark and do our bit so once we come out to the other side of this we will be better." 

“We’ve all got to do our bit as big or as mall as we can, anyone in the island but also anywhere in the world,” Mr Gell said. “People are coming together and we will get through it together. It’s such a negative situation but people are responding so positively to this. 

“We all have to step up the mark and do our bit so once we come out to the other side of this we will be better." 

A group of therapists are offering free sessions to frontline health staff "who may find themselves struggling with a sense of overwhelm as a result of the current pandemic". 

Local Psychotherapist Cliodhna Smith of Welcome Change Therapy said that staff who wish to access the service in the upcoming weeks or months can get in touch to obtain a list of practitioners.  

Marks and Spencer announced on Tuesday that their King Street store would be opening at 30 minutes early at 07:30 from Monday to Saturday for “our brilliant healthworkers”.

This includes essential hospital staff, doctors and careworkers, as well as “our fantastic social workers, teachers and police department”. 

The store urged their customers to respect the measure as “a thank you to those working on the front line”. 

Many welcomed the decision, with one islander noting “Great idea for those wonderful people who are looking after us”.

 

Highlands College meanwhile is offering free parking until the end of Easter so that “essential key workers can avoid “public transport or additional parking charges”.

“We currently have spaces available, for free, to essential staff during the COVID-19 outbreak,” they explained.

“We will be relaxing our restrictions until the end of Easter so that you can avoid public transport or additional parking charges.”

 

Last week, the Royal Yacht also announced they would be offering health care staff their hotel rooms, free of charge, should they need to self-isolate.

The hotel said this could be used if a health care worker needs to isolate away from a family member in the same household who exhibits symptoms, in order for them to continue to carry out their duties at work.

“We want to help maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time, as well as the health of their families,” the team wrote on a Facebook post.

“We hope that this gives some support to the health care professionals in a time when they need it.” 

“We want to thank all our health care professionals currently working to keep us safe,” the team added. “Thank you for doing all you can to protect our community & our loved ones during these unprecedented times. We’re all right behind you."

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Pictured: Islanders are invited to get on their balconies and clap for health staff on Thursday at 20:00.

On Thursday at 20:00, islanders are being invited to get clapping from their window in a public demonstration of appreciation to all those “on the frontline” of the fight against covid-19.

The local appeal follows the example of the UK where a post is being shared inviting people to give “a big applause” to show nurses, doctors, GPs and carers “our appreciation for their ongoing hard work and fight against this virus".

The practice is already widespread in France and Spain.

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