Each month we will bring you behind the scenes to put the well deserved spotlight on our staff that help us make a difference to communities throughout the North East. Meet out COVID Resilience Worker, Heather Reed, who works for the County Durham COVID-19 Resilience Service, a Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) project.
The County Durham COVID-19 Resilience Service is a community-based team that promotes emotional resilience to individuals and families, not in crisis, living or working in County Durham who have been emotionally impacted by COVID-19. The service is a specialist partnership between PCP and other community and voluntary sector organisations, Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust and County Durham NHS clinical teams.
Can you give an overview of your role?
"I am a part time Community Resilience Worker for the service, working 20 hours over three days each week. I connect with, and work with other colleagues within the COVID-19 Resilience Team, the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) and my partner organisation East Durham Trust, as well as external groups and network out in the community. I work closely with the colleagues in the team to manage and report the work I do.
"My role sees me arrange 8 – 12 sessions with clients that can involve research, training and seeking advice from colleagues or the psychology service. Each session will be either face-to-face or by telephone. I listen to a client’s story and what support they would like and then work with them to achieve their goal(s). An example of this could be helping them to manage anxiety or depression, gain confidence to leave the house and, if appropriate, attend community groups with them. I also signpost clients to other services either instead of, alongside, or after our service. I also sometimes do dual working with a member of the psychology team to support a client’s mental health. I make client notes and follow the service's process of recording and submitting information about each client and their journey. I also attend regular meetings with colleagues and endeavor to keep on top of administrative duties."
Describe a day-to-day in your role
"My role varies so there is no one typical day. It can involve attending meetings or events to talk about the service, training, Clinical 1:1 and group supervision sessions, community engagement as well as engaging with clients, administrative tasks and promoting the service by, for example, visiting GP surgeries or community venues and shadowing and having regular catch ups with colleagues."
What do you like about working for the COVID Resilience Service, and the PCP?
"I joined the team in January 2022. I am keen to use my lived experiences, training, work experience, organisational and listening skills to support clients to make progress on their journey towards improved mental health and wellbeing. I like the freedom to manage my own diary, to travel around and engage with the community in the area of East Durham to build clients’ confidence and support them to overcome challenges caused by COVID-19."
What is the most rewarding aspect of the role?
"It makes me happy to listen to a client’s story and support them to make steps forward from where they are when I first meet them. It is uplifting to be able to use my own lived experiences for good to help and encourage others by listening with empathy and understanding. I help clients find hope and to encourage and motivate them to grow in confidence and work towards overcoming challenges. I work as part of a team supporting clients 1:1. I am developing in my role to promote the service and to in time establish support groups for a number of clients at a time."
Has there been any additional training you’ve done since you started working for the PCP and the COVID Resilience Service?
"Since I joined the COVID-19 Resilience Team I have completed lots of training around Community support and COVID impact and recovery including domestic abuse support and suicide awareness, loss and bereavement and first aid for mental health, trauma, working with people who have ASD and learning disabilities, health anxiety, and assertiveness skills. I would like to do more training to support my role on subjects such as self harm and suicide prevention."
If you are interested in joining our team we have lots of opportunities across the North East and in sectors inclusive of health and wellbeing.
For more about what the PCP offers, visit www.pcp.uk.net, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01325 321234.