Catering staff who have lost their jobs or may be facing uncertain circumstances as a result of the closure of restaurants and bars amid the COVID-19 crisis are being offered alternative employment with Shropshire’s largest independent care provider.
Coverage Care Services, which operates 14 care homes in Shropshire, said it was important businesses across sectors rallied to help the wider community in challenging times and it would look to re-employ people who had lost jobs.
Chief Executive David Coull said: “This is such a difficult time for everybody and we’re acutely aware that people working in the hospitality and leisure sectors may lose their jobs in light of the latest Government advice.
“We are therefore doing what we can to try and support our local community and as such we are calling on all those with catering skills who may be looking for alternative employment to get in touch with us.
“Over the next few weeks and months there is going to be the possibility that some members of our existing catering teams will have to isolate. We are hoping to put people in place now and have people ready to step into these vital roles so that we can continue to deliver high quality meals to the 800 residents who live in our care homes.
“We will do what we can to accommodate those with relevant skills and would also be interested in hearing from any cleaners from the hospitality sector who may have lost work.
“We are in unprecedented times and we need communities to pull together and help each other out.”
As part of a major response to the COVID-19 threat, Coverage Care introduced measures last Thursday to actively discourage all non-essential visitors to its homes around the county.
The Government issued advice on Monday saying that all care home across the country should take similar action.
Family and friends of residents as well as non-urgent visitors are among those who have been strongly advised not to visit Coverage Care’s homes restricted.
Services remain open for admissions and visits from health and social care professionals as well as urgent suppliers.
Infection control measures and enhanced staff training are all now in place, while steps to manage staffing, including any new employees, in the safest possible way are being prepared in the event of a more widespread outbreak.
The next phase of measures may see Coverage Care screening any essential visitors and staff members before they access any care home facility.
The not-for-profit organisation is using technology, including video calls, to keep people in touch and support other normal activities wherever possible. Thirty newly purchased laptops were delivered to homes this week to enable residents to maintain contact with family and friends.
As well as boosting the number of catering staff Mr Coull said, at some stage, it might also be necessary to increase the number of cleaning staff it employs.
Anyone seeking employment opportunities as a result of the ongoing crisis, please visit the care home jobs website.