No Matter What – North Lanarkshire

Every Thursday throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the country is joining together to #ClapForCarers.

We are so proud of the ENABLE Scotland Personal Assistants (PAs) who are doing an outstanding job on the frontline of the national response to this unprecedented challenge.

PAs like Craig Sloan from our North Lanarkshire services are Category 1 keyworkers supporting and caring for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and – crucially – ensuring they are safe and well at home.  Of course, even during lockdown, people we support may become unwell for other reasons, and it is still important that they and are well supported if they need to access NHS services.

This week we are marking Learning Disability Week and we are highlighting the experience of a new member of the ENABLE Scotland PA family in providing personalised support #nomatterwhat

Craig recently started his role at ENABLE Scotland which he is combining with studies at University, and he told us why he was motivated to join the team during this challenging time:

 

Four months ago I was sitting in lecture theatres at university, turning in essays and reading exhaustingly long books but then due to the current COVID situation I found myself out of education for the rest of the academic year and with a lot of time on my hands.

I chose to join ENABLE Scotland because I was disheartened with retail and customer service jobs and wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I had looked at various support roles but found the terminology and philosophy of ENABLE to match up with my personality and opinions.

 

Joining the team during Coronavirus, Craig has had to respond quickly to an ever changing picture; this was quite daunting at first but he feels that the support he has received from his colleagues has made all the difference:

From my first day I found my co-workers and Team Facilitators to be friendly and warm. They invited me into my first service with open arms and I was made to feel like part of the team almost immediately. The first couple of days were nerve-wracking as I felt a huge amount of responsibility and trust being placed on my shoulders, but my co-workers were supportive, kind and ensured I was put at ease.

 

 Just three weeks after starting with ENABLE Scotland, Craig had to support the gentleman he works with to go to A&E as he was feeling unwell – this was a big challenge for Craig in the face of Coronavirus and his own personal dislike of hospitals but he put the person he supports first and without hesitating said he would go. Craig told us about it:

 

When we arrived in A&E the person I support was immediately distressed and anxious. He kept repeating over and over that he wasn’t staying long and that he definitely wasn’t staying overnight. With some gentle persuasion I was able to convince him that he was in the right place, that he did the right thing by coming in and above all he was doing brilliantly. The different systems and use of PPE was quite daunting and COVID-19 felt very real. After assessment we had to transfer hospitals and this was challenging but reassurance was key.

 

 The person Craig supports was treated in hospital and he offered him support every step of the way. Craig spoke about the importance of providing a familiar face even more so in these difficult times:

 

Craig has described his first few weeks at ENABLE Scotland as challenging but also very rewarding – tonight we say, thank you Craig!

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