FRONTLINE workers in Ryedale are going above and beyond in supporting the community.

During the coronavirus lockdown, care homes and community workers are extending measures to support elderly and vulnerable residents.

Jemma Askew, the manager at 5 Whitby Road, in Pickering, is collaborating with staff members to ensure safety, happiness and avoid spreading coronavirus.

Staff members are extending vigilance measures, even in their own personal lives, to avoid the care home going into complete lockdown.

“We’ve taken coronavirus incredibly seriously from day one,” said Jemma.

“Staff members on shift always remain vigilant, even pulling each other up if someone is getting too close.

“The only other way to provide safety is complete lockdown, which we understand is unfair.

“Residents need to sit and talk to each other, look at pictures, share stories - you cannot take that away.

“Some staff members are feeling anxious about the situation too - but we have to think positively, stick to social distancing rules and sharing our thoughts.

“We are like one big family, that’s how we see it. For our residents, we want to keep it business as usual, as far as they are concerned.”

Families and friends still visit residents, only through the window.

Mrs Roughly, a resident at 5 Whitby Road, and her husband meet every week to keep contact going.

Although the job is difficult at times, Jemma added the community spirit and appreciation from the public has lifted everyone up.

“Our hands were so dry because we have to wash them all the time, so someone gifted us mini hand creams to help,” added Jemma.

“We received a card from the family of a former resident who sadly passed away last year, saying they were thinking about us during this situation.

“We’ve even received deliveries of flowers and fruit baskets.

“The community spirit has been great during this time – it’s lifted us up.”

In North Yorkshire, more than 17,000 people are working in the care sector.

North Yorkshire County Council employs more than 1,800 frontline care staff and are currently highlighting the importance of community staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Jemma is one example of thousands of people who are working so hard at the moment,” said Richard Webb, North Yorkshire’s director of health and adult services.

“I would like to thank all colleagues in adult social care and public health, whether employed directly by the county council or by our partners.

“Everyone is going way beyond the extra mile in supporting the elderly and vulnerable residents who need our help to stay safe and well.”