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Clap for our heroes

Published 12th May 2020 by Shaida Khan

At this tough time we are surrounded by heart-warming acts of kindness and examples of people across Calderdale working around the clock to protect us and keep essential services going.

Alongside the incredible frontline staff and volunteers responding to COVID-19 are the many support staff, who may not be as visible but play an equally crucial and compassionate role.

At Calderdale Council, the united effort to beat the virus would not be possible without the support of the IT team, the cleaners, the maintenance technicians, the registrars, the bereavement staff – and the many others all pulling together to get us through the pandemic.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“Every day I am humbled by the huge, determined effort across Calderdale to help each other, showing generosity and positivity under difficult circumstances.

“Each Thursday at 8pm, I join thousands of people to clap for the amazing NHS and our equally wonderful carers and frontline workers. But I also clap for the unsung heroes of Calderdale, including the Council staff who sometimes go under the radar but are still putting themselves at risk and doing a brilliant job to respond to COVID-19. Never before has the work of the Council been so vital.

“Next time we unite to clap, I encourage everyone to take a moment to thank our cleaners, our emergency planners, our housing staff, our environmental health officers, our registrars – and every single one of our hundreds of services, inside and outside the Council, who are making such a difference.”

Here, we shine a spotlight on the Council’s Day Services team (part of Adult Services and Wellbeing) and its Registration Service, who are professionally and sensitively responding to changes in service delivery and providing valuable support to residents in challenging circumstances. #InItTogether #CouncilsCan #ThankYouLocalGov

Day Services

The Council’s Day Services team usually supports older people and adults with learning disabilities with complex needs in a day and community setting (such as day centres) with activities, meals and personal care. Whilst these settings are temporarily closed for safety reasons, support is continuing in new ways and staff are carrying out additional roles to help with the wider social care response to the pandemic.

This means over 50 team members being flexible to change where they work and what they do from one day to the next, depending on where the need is highest – including in residential and nursing homes, in the homelessness service and in the ground-breaking new facility at Cedar Court Hotel in Halifax, where vulnerable people whose usual care has been disrupted can stay and take part in a range of activities.


Lorraine Taylor, the Council’s Support Services Manager in Adult Services and Wellbeing, said:

“I feel immensely proud of the whole team. They have responded in a positive and flexible way to meet the needs of Calderdale’s most vulnerable residents. They also support each other to get through the difficult times, balancing personal and work pressures. Team members have worked in different places, worked different hours and different days and changed their plans at short notice. I am very grateful for this response as it has made a very difficult time just a little bit easier, and is making such a difference to local people.”

Registration Service

The Council’s Registration Service supports Calderdale residents through some of the most significant milestones in their lives – from registering births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, to providing copy certificates and holding citizenship ceremonies.

Calderdale Register Office in Halifax is usually the heart of the service, but social distancing rules mean that staff have adapted to provide support over the phone and online at the moment. They are currently focusing on supporting bereaved families. When Government guidance allows, the next step will be to register all the babies they haven’t been able to see during the lockdown, and to start rearranging ceremonies.

Rachel Goult, the Council’s Registration Service Manager, said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant rapidly adapting ways of working that have been in place for many years. This is a difficult time for everyone, but especially those that have lost loved ones. The staff are doing an amazing job and have risen to the challenge of meeting the needs of our customers, handling the situation with their usual empathy and professionalism, whilst also dealing with the uncertainty the pandemic brings to everyone on a personal level.”

Attached photos:

  • Staff from Day Services (photo taken before the pandemic)
  • Staff from the Registration Service

Follow @Calderdale on Twitter for more examples of Calderdale Council’s staff heroes.

For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

www.calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirus


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