WHILE people’s focus last week was on getting the roads clear of snow and whether the council would collect waste and recycling, hundreds of council staff went that “extra mile” to make vulnerable people’s lives a bit safer.
The council’s home care teams were working extra hard — with families and friends helping out to make sure everyone in need had support.
One, Jayne Hudson, explained: “I come in from Canvey and it meant driving very slowly around the borough. I had calls in Corringham, Ockendon and Aveley so we were all over the borough.
“We all made it in, but we had to reorganise shifts as some people were later in than others — my son came with me on Thursday evening to help make sure I made all my calls.
“Thankfully we had no emergency call-outs, but we would have managed that too.” Like the Meals on Wheels team, Jayne said the closure of lunch clubs meant they had to cook more meals in people’s homes.”
The Extra Care teams at Piggs Corner, Grays, and Kynoch Court, Corringham, also braved the snow and ice to make sure their clients were properly fed and kept warm.
Extra Care manager Angela Clarke, said: “Everyone mucked in together. The Sheltered Housing officer at Piggs Corner was on holiday so it was all hands to the pump.
“It didn’t matter whether it was Extra Care clients or Sheltered Housing, everyone was really supportive of each other, often working late to make sure no-one went without.”
She added: “With the pavements covered in ice it wasn’t safe for many of these vulnerable older people to venture out, so we did quite a bit of shopping for them too.”
The wardens working on the council’s three traveller sites were also kept busy — for one of them Tuesday (30 November) was not only the first day the snow hit, but also her first day at work!
And the Emergency Duty team made sure they were available early every evening to release front line staff.
Wardens from the council’s housing complexes also checked up on other complexes to make sure each of the 1,000 elderly residents in sheltered homes had their daily visits, one walked to all four schemes in Chadwell.
Cllr Tony Fish, Thurrock’s cabinet member for Adult Social Services, said: “I would like to add my personal thanks to each and everyone on of these people.
“Adult Social Care can be seen as a Cinderella service — something nobody thinks about until they need it.
“But the people who work here know the importance of their jobs. Day after day they make vulnerable people’s lives that little bit better and safer. Their actions last week were superb and I think the whole borough owes them a vote of thanks.”