College apprentice on the social care frontline

An Oldham College apprentice has been carrying out crucial work on the social care frontline during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Alice Pendlebury is an Adult Care Worker Level 2 apprentice from Chadderton. 

The 22-year-old is working for local care and support provider MioCare and based at Medlock Court in Lees.

This is where people are cared for who can be discharged from hospital but aren't yet ready to go home. Here they are given all the help they need to regain the skills they will need to live independent lives again.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice's work has been crucial. Each day she has reported for work in full PPE – with a mask, gloves and aprons – and pitched in to help as Medlock Court swiftly changed its usual assessment procedure timeframe from six weeks to seven days.

"It's been a crazy, stressful time,” said Alice. "I've felt a lot of anxiety of going into work – worrying that, as many on the frontline do, I could pick up Coronavirus and bring it back to my family." 

Despite this anxiety, Alice has been working overtime whenever she can to help with staff numbers at the home: undertaking a mixture of shifts from 8am to 3pm, or 3pm to 10pm.

In normal circumstances, Alice usually spends one day each week on-site at Oldham College completing work towards her qualification. However, with campus shut due to the lockdown, she has instead taken to working in the conservatory at home: “which is great, when it's not raining!”.

Alice says she is grateful to have had strong support from her colleagues during this difficult time.

"There are still stressful days, but we've all come together”, she said. “It's been really nice to be part of this little family and to know that we're helping others."

Carol Bailey, Day Service Manager at Medlock Court, praises Alice for her hard work and empathy during this time.

“Alice is a natural carer”, she said. “She is caring, compassionate, treats people with dignity and respect and works extremely well with service users and other team members to deliver truly person-centred care.

"Alice has worked in various services across the MioCare Group supporting both older people who require care out of hospital, and adults with learning disabilities. She is always keen to learn and develop her skills and knowledge, and embraces new challenges with positivity and enthusiasm." 

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal, added: "Alice is a great example of the next generation of key worker professionals that we are training at Oldham College.

"She seems to have adapted really well to what is a very demanding and stressful situation. We’re very proud of Alice and all the other apprentices, students and staff who are playing their part, big or small, in helping Oldham come together to tackle coronavirus."

Oldham College is open and taking applications for courses starting next September – whether you are aged 16-18, or an adult learner. To find out more about apprenticeships, contact the Apprenticeship team on 0161 785 4330 or email apprenticeships@oldham.ac.uk

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