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08 April 2020 | Care

Fairy lights and sparkle show support for care workers in charity appeal

On Monday 13 April, people across the UK will add glitter to their outfits, switch on fairy lights and put tinsel in their windows to show support for frontline care workers and the part that they are playing in tackling Covid-19.

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The ‘Sparkle for Social Care’ movement founded by The Care Workers Charity (CWC) is using anything that sparkles, be it tinsel, a homemade glitter and sparkle poster or fairy lights, to show those who care for society’s most vulnerable that they are valued. Supporters will say thank you by putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes and posting photos on social media using the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare.

An army of almost two million care workers is currently looking after the most vulnerable people in the UK, helping them to get through the lockdown. People in need of care are often older or suffering from certain health issues, meaning they are also the most susceptible to Covid-19. While their families and friends are unable to look after them, care workers offer a vital lifeline, ensuring that their daily needs are met and that they are not left stranded and alone.

By continuing to provide care for those in desperate need during this crisis, care workers are potentially putting themselves at risk. With a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), care workers are having to carry out their roles often with very little to protect them from infection.

When a care worker becomes ill or needs to self-isolate due to a family member showing symptoms, they can’t work, and many are falling into serious financial hardship. This is why CWC recently set up Care Workers Charity Covid-19 Crisis Grants - to support care workers during the pandemic. Care staff, personal assistants and support workers can apply to the charity for grants if they are unable to work because they are self-isolating.
Within days of the Care Workers Charity launching its Covid-19 Crisis Grants, they had received thousands of applications from care staff who were in financial crisis because of the virus. Therefore, as well as putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes to show their support, people are also being encouraged to donate to the Sparkle for Social Care crisis appeal, launched by the Care Sector Ball organising committee. The appeal aims to raise £1 million.

Launching the appeal, Avnish Goyal, chair of the Care Sector Ball organising committee, said, “Care workers bring a bit of sparkle back to the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and by digging out the Christmas decorations, or donning a sparkling novelty tie, people across the country are showing that they care, too. Seeing the way people have rallied around to help one another get through this crisis is inspiring. As a society, we rightly recognise NHS staff, but we often overlook the care workers who look after residents in care homes and those who provide care in people’s own homes. The Sparkle for Social Care movement is one way of saying a massive thank you to all these care workers for the amazing work they do.”

Executive Director of the Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, said, “The current crisis is bringing real hardship, not just for those who are isolated and alone because of health conditions, but also for the women and men who tirelessly care for them. Right now, care workers are working longer hours, and in more difficult conditions than ever before. They are sacrificing their own health to care for others.
“Many care workers live pay cheque to pay cheque, and they are terrified by what might happen if they can’t work due to coronavirus. Our appeal is designed to help those care staff affected by the disease. When you consider all they do for society and for our loved ones, the least we can do for them is ensure they don’t go into debt because of Covid-19.”

The Sparkle for Social Care emergency appeal is being backed by the organisers of the annual Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which each year recognises the contribution of care workers and raises sorely needed funds for charities in the care sector.

They are asking everyone who is thankful for the hard work of care workers to join the #SparkleforSocialCare movement by putting some sparkly decorations in their windows or wearing something that sparkles each Monday, and posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. They are also calling for donations to the Sparkle for Social Care Crisis Appeal, donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sparkle-for-Social-Care  

Wear it. Wave it. Create it. #SparkleforSocialCare
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