Open Letter From Mark Adams On The National Day of Reflection

In an open letter, our Chief Executive Officer, Mark Adams reflects on one year on since the first national lockdown.

As we unite for today’s powerful and emotional moment of remembrance as a nation, I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on the life-changing twelve months that we’ve all lived through.

A year ago today, for the first time in modern history, The UK was asked to stay at home. Whilst the rest of the nation adjusted to this new way of working and living, social care kept going. With stark warnings from around the globe, we looked to our government for a response. Without clear guidance from those in power, our teams sprung into action to keep people safe and well.  

Despite the many challenges upon us all throughout this pandemic, the commitment of our sector has been beyond measure. We’ve been left in short supply of PPE, provided with inadequate testing, and have been met with guidance that was not only complex, but turned on a sixpence at every juncture. Issues that were further compounded by the inexplicable decision to admit Covid-19 patients into care homes, and of course, our Prime Minister’s mindless comments about social care. 

But instead of a shrug of the shoulders, we proudly stood together to show the real strength of social care. We’ve sent a strong message to society that the status of ‘key worker’ barely scratches the surface of our importance. With the eyes of the world on us all, we’ve shone.

On this National Day of Reflection, I want to remember the treasured members of the Community Integrated Care family who are no longer with us. A year ago, we had our first tragic death when Christopher, a gentleman we support in the North East, sadly passed away. Christopher is one of 117 much loved people that we’ve lost – they are forever in our thoughts and we will pay tribute to them in all that we do.

Today, we've launched our own online Memory Wall, for our colleagues, the people we support and everyone who is connected to our charity to share special memories, photos and prayers for those who have sadly passed away. Whether you've got something you'd like to add or just want to take a moment to reflect and remember you can visit our Memory Wall here.

Whilst it’s been a time of immense sadness for so many of us, what we’ve seen from the people we support, our colleagues and our community partners has been heroic. The positivity and achievements of the people we support has been our beacon of light on the darkest of days. We’ve been met with patience and gratitude from families and loved ones, who’s support has been an inspiration when it was needed most.

Their generosity and spirit of our community partners has made the impossible possible this year. Whether it’s delivering millions of items of PPE, giving their time to keep the people we support active, or donating money, gifts and experiences to our people – they’ve made themselves an integral part of the DNA of our charity.

And our wonderful 6,000 colleagues. And every single social care worker that stands beside them throughout the UK. We’ve ran out of ways to describe the acts of bravery we’ve seen every day from you. You’re superhuman – and we thank you.

We must galvanise this swell of emotion and pride we all share to fight for what we deserve. We’ve had the promise of reform from Government this year, and we remain hopeful that this is addressed with last twelve months in mind.

On this, a day of looking back, we must also look forward. Whilst it’s easy to focus on shortcomings, the Government’s gamble to ensure the UK leads the way with the vaccine has paid off, and incredible scientists both in the UK and globally have paved our way out of a Covid-19 world. Thanks to this, there are better times ahead.

I hope you’re able to look back with pride in the part you’ve played in keeping the cogs of our truly wonderful sector turning. It’s been my honour to be just a small part of it.

Thank you.

Mark

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