Harrogate hospice care charity shop managers use their healthcare experience to support Inpatient Unit during Covid-19 pandemic

Everyone working on The Saint Michael’s Inpatient Unit is a Hospice Hero, and they don’t come any more courageous than Becca Haigh and Mags Kent.

Both ladies have stepped from their usual roles managing two of our popular charity shops in Harrogate, on Cold Bath Road and Kings Road, into supporting frontline teams in our Crimple Valley hospice – pulling together with Saint Michael’s colleagues during the Covid-19 outbreak and while our shops are temporarily closed.

Becca and Mags are no strangers to our Inpatient unit, having held Health Care Assistant roles there previously. However, they have both worked in our shops for some years since then, so it’s a brave step to return during a global pandemic.

Mags told me; “It’s been nice to come back and to be helping out; doing some of the things which volunteers may have helped with in normal times.

“It’s a big change with PPE as patients can’t see your smile, but we are finding ways to get past these challenges – we can still chat with patients and we get to know each other.”

Becca agreed; “We’ve been made to feel so welcome – it was like I’ve never been away! There are new faces too, and it has been fantastic to get to know some of our Trustees who have been helping out alongside us.

“The care is still absolutely second to none – the atmosphere is very positive and everyone gives themselves to their roles so selflessly.

“Yes PPE is a challenge as communication is so important in our work. We try to smile with our eyes and in the tone of our voice. We are always checking that patients have everything they need; that is the main thing, that our patients know we care.”

Both Mags and Becca told me how much they are missing all the customers, shop volunteers, and assistant managers, and looking forward to seeing everyone again once it is safe to do so.

Becca added; “All this amazing care is exactly what we are raising funds for in our shops – and it is great to be part of this bigger picture. Hopefully we can get back and open the shops again very soon for our supporters”.

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