Community Learning and Development staff share stories of redeployment during pandemic

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Community Learning and Development (CLD) staff have worked tirelessly to support emergency programmes across Aberdeenshire Council.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:00 am

Ed Garrett was redeployed to Edenholme Care Home in Stonehaven where he worked two days a week from April to August 2020.

Ed facilitated activities within the care home, including meditation, tai chi, and poetry sessions. He built meaningful relationships with residents and staff, and continues to stay involved with the care home.

He said: “At Edenholme Care Home, I worked closely with the activities coordinator in the planning and delivery of activities. I also worked closely with the care home manager who was particularly involved in the engagement work. I am looking to further extend this working together through the local learning partnership.

“I also worked with other redeployed staff from other council services and LLA. More broadly, I established some links with other care homes through the Grampian Meaningful Activities Network which I am looking to develop further in the coming months, particularly in relation to engagement with residents.

“Initially, due to restrictions, it was only possible to work with small groups or individuals in the different households within the home. Largely, this was a matter of chatting, playing games and doing arts and crafts. As these restrictions eased, we were able to bring together larger groups in the main lounge or out in the garden.

“During my two days a week at the home, I ran regular meditation and tai chi sessions and set up a poetry group. In this popular group, residents read, listened to their peers, and wrote poetry. A video link was set up with a CLD colleague, who led the sessions via a big screen in the lounge.

“Other highlights included doing science experiments with all the households, music and singalongs and being taught to knit by the knitting group.

“The residents and staff were supportive and welcoming at a very challenging time. The experience helped me better understand care homes as important parts of our communities, which is something I will take forward in future work.”