By Sian Verducci
As I sit here and reflect on the past 2 years and how we created Neighbourhood Cares Soham. A few lyrics from Frank Sinatra came to mind and slightly adapted.
“And now the end is near, and so we face our final case loads.
My colleagues I’ll say it clear, are best of friends of which I’m certain.
We’ve lived a life that’s full and travelled each and every street!
But more much more than this”
“We did it our way!”
We were given the opportunity to build a service and transform social care as we know it.
We found a better way of working for everyone who lived in Soham and for all the team involved.
When the team first arrived no one knew exactly what would come.
But over the next few weeks and months the team grew and became great friends all with the same goal to give the very best service to everyone who lived in Soham. To do what was right for each and every one of them.
This was the key to our team’s success and being accepted into the local community.
By having a visual presence and an open door the barriers to us were broken down.
We became the place people could trust and knew they would be welcomed in with a smile, a friendly face and that important cup of tea or coffee.
Somewhere you can feel safe no matter what the problem and they knew we would listen and help.
We’ve had so many memories happy and sad over the two years and too many to tell you them all.
We have celebrated birthdays and organised one special day, trips out, doggy day care, setting up a successful drop in and monthly coffee and cake where anyone can come for a chat, advice and a drink.
We’ve also had some crazy ideas and made them reality such as Nellie the Tuk Tuk with the support of the amazing local community.
We have loved watching people come out of their shells and giving them a purpose in life again.
Helping colleagues progress and unlimited support whether it was to do with work or home life. This makes it all the harder to say goodbye.
We have helped ensure people get their wishes especially when thinking about end of life plans, a very much taboo subject which can be very hard to talk about, but having honest conversations at the right time and getting the correct professionals involved has meant people have been able to have a dignified death and in the way and places they want while being supported. Being their voice when they no longer felt able to fight and say what they really want.
By being local and building close relationships with professionals we have been able to be responsive with support from district nurses, MDT, O.T, GP’s the pharmacy and local care agencies.
Working together is key. The trust that has been built up has meant that we all know we would only be asking if necessary.
Now we are coming to an end I don’t know what I will miss the most.
The amazing team that is Neighbourhood Cares whatever job you all go onto you will be the biggest asset to those teams and continue to push the barriers/change how social care can be delivered from all your experiences. I hope to see you all within your new roles within adult social care when I start with the Older Peoples team East Cambs.
To the people that we have supported Thank you for welcoming us and making us feel part of the community.
To the volunteers Thank you for all that you have done because without you there is so much that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve. Keep up the good work supporting each other and the community.
This journey has been amazing:
“I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve had my fill, my share of losing and now as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.
To think we did all that, and may I say – not in a shy way”
“We did it our way!”