When Lockdown started I had a couple projects in the works. I was in initial meetings for this year’s Boomtown Festival where I am part of a team that run several
interactive theatrical venues for the festival. I was also cast in Punchdrunk's new show beginning rehearsals in May.
I received no government or Arts Council support but I have worked as a Manager for an older people's sheltered housing scheme for around seven years now. I originally took a job as a carer as I needed money before I went up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I went from being a carer to an activity co-ordinator, then a manager where I am now. I have always enjoyed helping people and it seemed like a good fit. I am able to do my other work around it and it gives me the time to be creative.
I am in charge of making sure all my tenants are happy, that the building is a safe environment, that their care is in order if they need it and that the financial running of the scheme is correct. I will be answering emails all day and doing safety checks around the building but it isn't uncommon to be changing a lightbulb, updating a care plan or helping a tenant defrost a freezer. I am the first point of call for most things for around 45 older people.
Since the pandemic things have become so much harder. I opted to stay in the building as I live on site so can access my office, but other managers worked remotely. I felt that the personal presence was vital to keeping people safe and calm. They knew I was there for them. We had to take a lot of steps to keep everyone safe: to date we have had no cases of Covid-19 in the building.
Whilst the pandemic seemed inevitable, the escalation and lack of provision was not. Our government has continuously failed us on most points where things could have been made better quicker. They did not supply care homes with the correct equipment and the Prime Minister had the nerve to blame care homes for these issues.