Not-for-profit quality care for over 25 years

Caring in COVID: Role changes reveal a multiple talented events manager

Rebekah Shawsun – better known as Bex – joined The Orders of St John Care Trust as events manager in February 2020.

A year of high-profile events were on the horizon but after just a few weeks it was clear that this year would be like no other.

But Bex has proven to be a colleague of many talents and her organisational skills, knowledge and creativity has helped the trust get through the most challenging year in social care.

When lockdown was announced she and another colleague discussed their concern for the wellbeing of colleagues working at home, many for the first time, and many in a house shared with children home-schooling for the first time.

She began Wellbeing Wednesday immediately – a weekly email with tips on how to look after your physical and mental wellbeing while working from home, recipes, and inspiring pictures.

Bex said: “These can be very isolating times and all our worlds became very small for a while. It was important to let people know that we were all feeling it and that there were things we could all do to look after ourselves and each other.”

Bex was also co-opted onto a taskforce charged with securing donations for the 3000 residents now experiencing lockdown in OSJCT’s 68 homes and 14 centres. This included hand creams, activity packs, Easter Eggs and Bex then secured a donation of 87,000 packets of tea from Whittards, which was promptly packed and dispatched in just five days.

There was also a need for logistics in shipping PPE to all care home colleagues who needed it – something that The Orders of St John Care Trust were determined would never be lacking. Bex joined the team that ensured that supplies were audited, monitored, boxed and shipped.

As well as fulfilling all of these functions, Bex has also delivered two trust-wide events; The Orders of St John Care Trust Employee Awards, and a tree-planting ceremony to remember those we have lost during the pandemic and celebrate the dedication of key workers.

She said: “Events management is all about plate spinning so keeping lots of difference projects on the go came naturally to me and while it’s been challenging at times, it has been a good experience getting stuck in like this.”

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