“If what we’re doing means one NHS worker can save one life then it’s worth it”

The latest #OurHeroes story from the frontline of the Covid-19 outbreak comes from Elaine Betteridge at Rosewood free school in Southampton

UNISON steward Elaine Betteridge (fourth from the right above) works at Rosewood free school – a specialist school for children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Like so many school staff, she’s currently having to work from home. But that doesn’t mean she’s not making a vital contribution to the education of a vulnerable group of children during the Covid-19 crisis.

Elaine’s been speaking to school headteacher Zoé Evans about the impact of Covid-19 on the school where she works and the heroic efforts of staff to support frontline NHS workers. Zoé said:

“I am the very proud Head at Rosewood free school. Many of our learners have life limiting conditions so many fall under the vulnerable status and are self-isolating. However we also have some who need more support during this period of restrictions due to Covid-19 and a number who are the children of NHS staff.

I work with a team that includes our Support Staff, cleaners, care assistants, admin staff, finance team, a maintenance team and kitchen staff who alongside the teachers have developed a provision to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and keep NHS staff on the frontline where we all need them to be.

I am also responsible for my teams wellbeing and we have had honest conversations and identified all of our team who also need to be protected during this time and those who are able to, on a rota system come in to school and work with the learners.

The comradery, professionalism, respect and care the team have shown has been exemplary and everyone has worked together to make our unique provision work. Yes we really miss our colleagues and the other children at home and yes it is scary to leave your home and come out into the work place but to share a quote from a fellow Head: “If what we’re doing means one NHS worker can save one life then it’s worth it”.

The Rosewood Family is a strong and dedicated team and together we will not only come through but be even closer, better at communicating and even more aware of the value of kindness.”

Speaking about her own situation, UNISON steward Elaine said:

“A colleague who like myself is also at home working and has said how well supported by the staff at Rosewood we are. We get regular updates as what’s going on in school and we also have phone calls checking on our well-being,

Myself and my colleague have really felt involved in what is happening within the school. It is lovely being part of the Rosewood family.”

If you have a story about what’s happening in your workplace to help in the fight against Covid-19, we want to hear from you so we can celebrate you, our heroes, and everything you’re doing.

Contact us here