29 May 2020

Staff chat - Sally

Our Grief Support Manager shares how her work has changed since lockdown


Before the lockdown, what did a typical day at Wimbledon Guild look like for you?   

A typical day would start with cheery hellos from whichever colleagues I bumped into on the way up to the Grief Support office. Then I would make my vital first cup of tea of the day and settle down to checking emails and referrals. I would usually see 1:1 clients in the morning, helping recently bereaved adults share their feelings about the loss they are going through.

I'd be joined in the office by my colleague, Manjeet, from 2:00pm. Manjeet provides grief support in the community and, as her line manager, we would debrief on her current cases. Then I would complete daily admin, speak to telephone referrers and newly referred clients, and have meetings in the afternoon. 

  

Did you interact with our customers?     

Yes - I'd interact with customers throughout the day, either over the telephone or I’d meet Grief Support clients in person. Even when I’d go to see colleagues in other parts of Guild House, there would always be someone to have a quick chat with. 

 

What have you been doing (work-wise) since the lockdown began? 

Since the lockdown began, we have moved Grief Support from face to face visits to a purely telephone and video call-based service. This is working well and I’m impressed by the willingness of clients to try this new way of working. 

I’m grateful we can still provide support in such uncertain and anxiety provoking times. I am finding my clients bereaved by coronavirus are especially vulnerable, having experienced sudden and traumatic loss, and being unable to say goodbye in the way they would have wanted. 

  

What has it been like adapting to the change in how you do your job? 

It’s been fairly straightforward - I feel lucky to be able to work from home. I find it very rewarding, and especially meaningful when the world feels so chaotic. 

The biggest difference has been bringing Grief Support into my living room. Working remotely has meant I’ve needed to be even more mindful of keeping a work/life balance. At the end of the working day, I pack away my things and return my desk to my dining table, complete with plants and a big bowl of fruit. Then I go for a walk and hopefully catch a bit of late afternoon sunshine. 

  

Outside of work, what have you been doing to adapt to life under lockdown? 

Outside of work, adapting to life under lockdown has had its challenges. I live alone so it has involved even more talking to my dog than usual. Making sure I stay healthy is important to me, and good for my mental wellbeing, so I get plenty of exercise and try to stay away from the biscuits as much as possible (but nobody’s a Saint right?). I regularly video call friends and family, although I do have garden envy when my best friend calls me from her veggie patch! 

  

Finally, do you have anything else related to your work for Wimbledon Guild which you think people might be interested in hearing?  

The only thing I’d add is - if you are grieving and you need to talk, please get in touch. We will always do our best to help, or to put you in touch with those who can. We are here for you. 

  

Thank you Sally! We'll be catching up with other team members in the next few weeks, so do check back for more! 

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Socially isolated people across Merton are depending on us for immediate and practical support with food deliveries, telephone befriending and much more. In what is a difficult time for everyone, help us support vulnerable people who are likely to feel the impact most.

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