Hello everybody!  My name is Hebe Spink, and I am an administrator for Calon Cymru Fostering.  I have just celebrated my 3rd year with the company in isolation – usually I insist on a team buffet at lunch time with a cake to celebrate each year I have been with Calon Cymru, so it was a little sad, but at least I got the entire cake to myself!

My personal role within the admin team is to undertake DBS, Local Authority & Medical checks for our Foster Carers, as well as DBS checks for our staff (all of which are consistently squeaky clean, of course!).  A big part of my role is also to cover reception and the phones.  Additionally, I have taken on some assessments and have been putting together the children’s weekly flyer with the Children’s Support team.  This has been wonderful to be a part of, and seeing photos of what the children have been up to is very morale-boosting!  Lockdown has posed numerous challenges and changes within my role and was initially a big adjustment, as we are permanently office based in Admin.  However, we quickly managed to adjust to the new ways of working, including coming up with new processes and learning to communicate effectively over zoom, email, and our Admin WhatsApp group. 

Although I live in a shared house with five people, only two of us have not gone home to our parents, so it is a little lonely at times.  However, other than seeing my paddling pool flying across in my neighbour’s garden during a zoom meeting with my colleagues (due to the fact that I accidentally order a baby sized paddling pool & then put it in the garden with no water in it) and having to explain that I had an “immediate situation that I need to attend to”, I have been lucky to have minimal distractions at home.

Working at home has been most challenging for me because I miss seeing my colleagues and the carers.  Work is somewhere I feel supported, safe and happy and, as many of you will know, I am a tactile person, so really miss having that face to face interaction.  Another thing I am missing is the left-over buffet food from training events & Ali’s consistent supply of crumpets.  I think I may be one of the only people in lockdown who has actually lost a bit of weight! 

I have been so impressed over these past few months by the agency and the way that carers have dealt with these changes.  I imagine that this is a very trying time for carers, but they have still managed to take the new ways of doing things in their stride.  I believe that there are many positives that have and will continue to come out of this.  There are processes which we have had to introduce during this time that I think are in fact more efficient and more maintainable than ones we had previously, and these are all being reviewed as we’re going along.  Furthermore, I think it has strengthened communication, and it has really shown all of us how incredibly supportive Calon Cymru Fostering is as an agency, and how supportive we all are of each other. 

Keep up the amazing work and let’s get through this as a team! x