Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been hailing our frontline staff and medical staff as our heroes.
A local care centre has been applauding its own heroes with certificates of appreciation for all that they have done and continue to do during such an uncertain and difficult time.
Dementia Champion at Haven Bay Care Centre in Kinsale, Linda Jordan, has been busy collecting nominations for the My Hero Doesn’t Wear A Cape certificates.
Both care workers and support staff have been receiving nominations from fellow staff members in the centre and from people on social media who wish to show their support for the people caring for their family members.
Speaking to The Echo about the idea for the initiative, Ms Jordan said: “We were so busy for weeks and weeks getting everything organised and planning everything for the residents, we were falling all over ourselves doing everything possible and I was looking at everybody and thinking they are absolutely amazing, I work with amazing people.
“I thought nobody is actually thanking them and everything I had read had been about frontline workers in the hospitals and I thought at the time, this was back at the end of March on the first night that everybody clapped for the HSE workers, that nobody had thought about the nursing homes so I said I have to do something for our staff.
“I was sitting at home when this thing went off in my head that these are our heroes, everybody else are heroes too but these girls are mine so I said I’m going to send off this little idea.”
She emailed the director of the centre, Yvonne McCarthy and soon after, nominations were flying in from staff members who wanted to nominate their peers.
“It always means something special when your peer can nominate you, they don’t get to hear who nominates them but they do get to hear the lovely things that are said.
“I wanted to do something to boost morale and to keep their spirits up because it was only going to get harder, it was never going to get easier as the weeks went on and I thought we needed a little bit of a lift.”
She said that the reaction from staff has been incredible and that it is the knowing that their colleagues think so highly of them that is so special.
Family of the residents are also invited to send nice comments to their chosen staff member through Facebook which are then displayed on the staff noticeboard for everyone to read.
“Our very first candidate who was nominated was actually our receptionist. She was the first person I nominated as well. You could ask her anything and no matter how busy the girl is she will get the job done for you. It’s just knowing that gives a little bit of relief to you as well.
"That’s the way a lot of the staff here are, they’re all in to help out and it’s a real team effort.”
She said that people nominated the support staff early on too which was “so lovely to see” because they are just as much our heroes during the current crisis as anyone else.
“There’s a lot in the media about the nurses and the care assistants so I think the staff here really wanted to get the message out that the heroes are also the support, it is the cleaning staff, the kitchen staff, the administration staff who are doing amazing jobs. They’re still frontline staff as well. We can’t operate without them operating,” she said.