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Saturday, 19 September 2020

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Royal Star & Garter launches campaign amid COVID-19 pandemic

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A charity which cares for ex-servicemen and women has launched a new fundraising campaign during the COVID-19 crisis.

The campaign, which adopts Royal Star & Garter’s core strapline Care with courage, highlights the every-day bravery displayed by its residents and staff.

It comes as the charity faces increased costs and a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic while it focuses on ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents and staff.

A video which accompanies the campaign features a resident’s daughter, care staff and the charity’s Chief Executive Andy Cole discussing the courage prevalent in Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.

The charity provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.

Royal Star & Garter is currently facing significant additional costs to meet the fight against COVID-19. Staffing levels have increased to maintain its exceptional levels of care and in just two months it has spent over £100,000 on personal protective equipment (PPE) and new technology. At the same time, it is seeing a reduction in fundraising income.

Alf & Carly: Carer Carly with resident Alf in Solihull

Sophie Wiseman works at the Solihull Home. During April staff there lived and worked on-site to reduce the risk of infection. She spoke about how staff are adapting to deal with the current situation.

Sophie said:

“In these uncertain times, all the staff have gone above and beyond, to keep our residents safe, well and happy. I have, like others I work with, changed roles so that we can continue to provide the outstanding care we always deliver to our residents.”

Vanessa Brooks is a Health Care Assistant at High Wycombe. She said the challenges they face are worthwhile when she sees happy residents: “Despite what’s happening at the minute, this is a really good place to work and I love coming to work. Some of us are spending nights here, but it’s just about ensuring the residents are safe. We’re all doing things we might not normally do, but we’re a family and that’s what families do – they muck in together.”

Julia Annandale’s mother is at the Surbiton Home. She thought ‘Care with courage’ was perfect for the campaign and said:

“I think it’s terrific because that’s what it is – it’s care done with huge courage. Courage just turning up for work every day, courage at keeping the whole show on the road without families who are unable to visit, courage in hiding their own personal worries so that the residents can stay calm and cheerful. I can’t thank the Royal Star & Garter staff enough for turning up every day during this crisis, and for making what must be enormous efforts, to keep everything as normal as possible.”

Will and Joy: Grandson Will praised the staff for the care his Granny Joy is receiving

Her son Will added:

“We’ve been really worried that Granny would be stressed or anxious, but every single member of staff and every carer has done an amazing job at Royal Star & Garter over the past few weeks in managing the knock-on effect of what’s happening at the moment and making sure that residents can cope without any visitors. We’re all incredibly grateful that Granny’s being so well looked after. We want to thank them for everything they do.”

Royal Star & Garter was formed in a past national crisis, in 1916, to care for severely injured soldiers return from the First World War. Chief Executive Andy Cole said:

“For over a hundred years, our charity has had the ethos of care with courage at its heart. The veterans we support have shown courage through their service, and as they have needed us they have taken another courageous step to be supported in our Homes as they face living with disabilities or dementia. And today, in the middle of these extraordinary circumstances, our staff show amazing care with courage every day. Our veterans have shown such dedication and service to our country, we now need to be there for them. Please support Royal Star & Garter however you can.”

To support Royal Star & Garter and its Care with courage campaign, go to: https://starandgarter.org/carewithcourage/

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