Gaie Marshall, Care Manager at Leonora Home, reflects back on the challenges and joys of life in the Home in 2020.

Who would have thought as 2020 opened up that we would have experienced the strange days of lockdown? As mid-March arrived andcare homes suddenly became centre stage, along with the NHS, of course, we were siddem;u faced with no visitors, lots of masks, and new regulations being adjusted almost daily to come to grips with. Some of our staff began shielding and were not available, other staff had to weigh=up how they would manage childcare with no school. The everchanging regulations mean that you have never arrived -, tomorrow would be different again and we cannot settle back for any length of time.

However, the family pulls together, and the Leonora family has done so. Daily there are prayers from Head Office and this has been the backbone of the fight with the virus across Pilgrims’ Friend Society. Our Assistant Operations Director, Barbara Margetts,  was allocated to troll through the huge amounts of recommendations from government at  different levels, which  was a huge support at the time as Managers tried to work out what it all meant in practise. Virtual Managers meetings were convened on Zoom to share ideas and support one another.

Despite the challenges, those living and working at Leonora have continued to live as full a life as possible. There have been special days to mark special events like the beach day and the party for Ivy who celebrated her 100th birthday in September. Earlier that  month  Jane  celebrated her 106th birthday with a video from her family. Jo, our Activities Co-ordinator created some wonderful special days ably supported by our equally creative catering manager Bev. Jo did a great job of of sharing the fun with families via email and on Facebook. Now we don’t see families of our residents as often as we used to,  there is also a huge challenge in keeping communication channels open,  ll of which takes time, and then there are the weekly swabs which have to be done and administered.

Devotions came more in-house as no speakers could come in. Gradually over time technology has become more used, an iPad is a useful tool for skyping with family and also for devotions! There have been some lovely times of devotions and prayer times with residents and staff, which are always a blessing to be a part of.

The staff team here at Leonora have worked extremely hard, and still are, and recruitment has carried on as we need a full complement of staff to take on the increased work load. The Lord has provided and in the last four appointments the staff have in some way contacted the home, which is encouraging as it shows that they are both proactive and interested in the work. We’re also so thankful to the volunteers who are praying and finding new ways tohelp us and the residents. Please do pray for stamina to keep going, for much laughter and joy amidst the challenges - everyone needs a regular dose of that medicine!

If you'd like to give a financial gift to Leonora Home, you can do so here: Leonora Gift Day Appeal