Welsh carers back charity’s #Cooee campaign for neighbours during COVID-19

A WELSH care provider is supporting a charity campaign for people each lunchtime during the COVID-19 restrictions to open their windows and shout ‘hello’ to their neighbours (April 2020).


Abacare, which looks after the vulnerable and elderly in their own homes, says it is backing the idea to raise awareness of those staying at home due to the Coronavirus who may be lonely.


Neil Griffiths, Regional Manager at Abacare, which has offices in Rhondda Cynon Taf and provides care in the surrounding areas, said: “We provide an invaluable lifeline to the people we visit each day to help them with their medical, emotional and physical care. Before the Coronavirus, our frontline teams also assisted many of our service users with trips out, now they are, very sensibly, all remaining safely at home until the danger has passed. But in the meantime, for many of those we visit, we know they are feeling lonelier and more vulnerable than ever.


“We saw Communicare in Southampton’s idea on social media and thought it would help cheer-up our service users, who are understandably not feeling as jolly as normal and are worried. Communicare is a charity, helping the isolated and lonely, and although it is based in Southampton, it is hoping its campaign will go nationwide.


“Each lunchtime, they’re asking anyone who is at home, regardless of whether they a vulnerable and elderly, to shout ‘cooee’ or ‘hello’, or any form of friendly greeting, from an open window or over the garden fence, wall or hedge at a safe social distance to their next door neighbours.


“Even if they can’t see them or their windows aren’t open, they hope enough people will do this at 12noon nationwide every day to help those who are housebound at the moment realise they are not alone. We think this is a great idea, not just for our service users but also for anyone at home in these uncertain times, who might like to hear a cheery voice.”


Abacare operates a professional Care Management Team that is committed to providing high quality care to individuals in their own homes.


The large team of trained, specialist, care workers provide positive based outcomes and person-centred care to people throughout the UK. 


Abacare’s core values, instilled into every staff member, include ‘make us proud’, ‘focus on our service users’ wellbeing’, ‘communicate, listen well and speak with respect’, ‘be passionate, honest, caring and considerate’, ‘recruit and develop the very best’ and ‘lead by example’.


It believes it offers inspiring work for inspirational people as well as a flexible and supported working environment.


Abacare is a member of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, Ceretas (formerly British Association of Domiciliary Care), The National Homecare Council and The Information Commissioners Office (Data Protection). It is also registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales.


Communicare in Southampton is a friendly, neighbourhood charity that wants to eradicate loneliness and isolation in the city with the assistance of its band of Communiteers, who volunteer to give their time freely.


Communicare in Southampton’s Manager, Annie Clewlow says: “Those in the high risk and vulnerable categories  are unable, understandably, to access the lunch clubs and activities we and other charities like us nationwide would normally run, which are now closed, and we want them all to stay safely at home. But we know they will still need our support. We want to encourage people to reach out, metaphorically, to those they live near.


“We’re launching the hashtag #Cooee and asking people through their social media channels to support and share this with their online networks and communities. We hope individuals, charities, businesses and organisations in cities, towns and villages nationwide will get this hashtag trending on social media, as more and more of us find ourselves at home for longer periods of time.


“It’s a great fun thing for children to do too and we’d love to see people’s videos of themselves shouting ‘cooeee’ out of their windows. Hopefully this will help release some happy endorphins, in what is a very stressful time for us all, and for people to realise they are not alone.


“Even chatting over the garden fence at a safe distance would help those who are lonely, and naturally worried, and have become even more isolated as a result of the situation we’re all in. They need regular contact from someone trustworthy. For this reason, we would not recommend knocking on doors of those who won’t already recognise you as a near neighbour. Remembering to keep a safe social distance apart at all times is also vital.”


Anyone wishing to help the elderly and vulnerable in Wales during the current crisis, can sign-up be a carer with Abacare by calling 01443 742645 or visiting www.abacare.org.uk.


Abacare will provide its free, full training on a fast-track basis to make sure everyone it takes on is ready. This includes a company induction, first aid, information on dementia, health and safety, food safety, infection control, handling medication and moving and handling service users, with the opportunity to achieve Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) after the initial three months probationary period. The Government has also taken steps to ensure a quicker turnaround on DBS checks, so people can get into work quicker.


New recruits are given free uniforms, access to national staff discount scheme for all major brands as well as 28 days paid holiday, paid travel between calls and paid mileage.


People can also apply for care positions on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2vScT97  or via Indeed at https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Abacare.


For more information or to enquire about a position at Abacare, please call 01443 742645, visit www.abacare.org.uk. Alternatively, please follow the company on Facebook at http://bit.ly/2vScT97 or on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/visitabacare

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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