While the past year has been without doubt an incredible challenge for all of us, it has also brought out the very best in people. Our carers have experienced first-hand a huge amount of support and appreciation for the job they do, and we are grateful to every person who has offered to help us in whatever way possible through the coronavirus crisis.
We know how valuable it is for us to receive help and recognition from our local communities and, equally, we recognise how important it is for us to give something back. As a company working across Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Thirsk and Settle, we have always had a strong sense of our corporate social responsibility in these places. We contribute to local organisations and work in partnership with the voluntary sector, promoting effective partnerships with those living and working in our communities.
Many of our staff members also feel the same sense of wanting to give back to their local communities, often by taking part in fundraising for local charities or carrying out voluntary activities. Working in social care is demanding yet extremely rewarding, and comes from a deep-rooted desire to help others, so it’s not surprising that this calling can go above and beyond a job role.
One of our carers who volunteers a lot of her time outside of work to help others is Nichola Noble. As well as working full time at Continued Care, Nichola volunteers at several charities that support homeless people. She first became involved ten years ago after seeing an article asking for sleeping bags, warm clothes and hot food for a homeless organisation in Leeds.
Nichola regularly collects and sorts donated clothing, and goes out on to the streets of Leeds and Pontefract in all weathers to hand out warm clothes, bedding, and hot food and drink to people in need. She is part of a team of volunteers who also help people find housing and support them to furnish their homes.
Nichola says: “This time of year is always tough for people who are homeless but Covid has made the whole year even more challenging. In normal times we would set up tables of food and clothing, and people would know where we are and come to see us. But at the moment we can’t do that so we have to take everything out on trolleys that we pull behind us.”
Nichola also volunteers for a dog rescue charity doing home checks, which came about after she got a rescue dog a few years ago.
She adds: “My husband says I never stop. I put shout-outs for items on Facebook, then pick up donations after work and get everything bagged up and ready in the evenings.
“I’ve got three kids and a full-time job but helping local charities is something I love doing. I care about other people less fortunate than myself. After I’ve been out delivering items to homeless people, I come home to my nice warm house and it just spurs me on to help even more.”
We were delighted this week to contribute to Nichola’s collection of warm clothing by buying 40 pairs of thermal gloves and hand warmers for her to hand out to those in need over the winter period.