#CeartasDiaries is an insight into independent advocacy and the activities we run at Ceartas. Here we have Senior Advocacy Worker, Gemma Graham, discussing her normal working day and working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The day starts as it usually did before I started working at home, settling down in front of my screen and going through any emails or messages. I personally like to make a written list of things to do and I continue to do this as, although it may seem you have all the time in the world, minutes pass and you have missed something out or been distracted by another task. What is noticeable are the words of kindness in the emails back and forth between other agencies, we keep in touch regularly about the people we are supporting, giving updates as we always would do and checking the progress of issues.
My main role with individuals at this time is to check on how people are doing and offer some telephone support. Talking though how people are managing day to day and generally sharing news and discussing the strangeness of everything we all are experiencing. I think advocacy is in the perfect position to have discussions with individuals right now, the basis of all our day to day work is communication, talking about their current views and hopes for the future. We are able to offer a calm and reassuring voice and hopefully some consistency in what, for many, sees them with their lives flipped upside down or come to a complete standstill.
Issues that we normally support people with are still ongoing such as mental health detention, adults lacking capacity and child/adult protection issues. How we offer this support has changed slightly as we offer telephone discussions and email contact. Ensuing people have access to legal advice has not changed and we continue to support people to exercise these rights. Individuals are being contacted and offered regular phone contact with advocacy and this has been gratefully received.
It is the perfect time to catch up on those little tasks that we call all put off such as building up a wider library of case studies, completing feedback evaluations and tidying up files on the computer. I personally break up my day but getting some fresh air with my dog, helping my daughter with schoolwork and keeping my tea mug topped up! Speaking with colleagues throughout the day via mobile phone technology such as messages, pictures and video calls has been a fantastic way to keep my spirits up and goes someway to replicating the great camaraderie within Team Ceartas.
Please contact the Ceartas team on 0141 775 0433 or email@example.com for more information on our work and support in East Dunbartonshire.