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A Day in the Life Of...Progress Lifeline

Personal alarm and telecare services provider Progress Lifeline's control centre operators tell us what it’s like to continue delivering essential round-the-clock remote monitoring to some of the most at-risk and vulnerable customers during coronavirus lockdown. We found out what their new working life is really like…

L to R: Kathy, Beth, Laura, Adam

Beth Mole: "There’s a strange atmosphere when driving into work - hardly any traffic, more police cars about and some anxious-looking people. I feel like the Progress Lifeline Team is now more important than ever before, and the team has pulled together and supported one another during these difficult times.

Members of staff have swapped shifts to assist with childcare, myself and other team members have taken up extra hours to assist with the large number of calls and staff absence, staff from other departments have agreed to come over and help out, and ex-members of staff have kindly agreed to come back and help – the Group value of ‘we are collaborative’ has been highlighted!

I've found many of the service-users have felt extremely confused at the moment, as their routines are completely disrupted, and most relatives are no longer able to visit them. We’ve had a big rise in service-users coming through to the control centre looking for reassurance, and a friendly voice to tell them everything is going to be ok. For some, we may be the only person who they get to speak to all day, and just to know we are making a difference and providing them with peace of mind makes it all worthwhile.

"I'm really proud of the Progress Lifeline Team, as I am of all the carers, Emergency Home Responders, Installers, Emergency Service Workers and many other Key Workers I have dealt with during every shift. We have all pulled together – one team!"

Laura Carter: "Coming into work at the moment feels very surreal, our lives have been turned upside down so quickly! But we have come together as a team in such an amazing way, and I am so proud of us.

"As social contact is limited, it’s nice to still be able to come in and interact with each other as usual. It’s odd not seeing everyone else from other teams bustling around doing their thing, but we know you are all working hard at home to keep things going.

"It feels great to be able to help such vulnerable people during these difficult times – very rewarding….to know that you have made a tangible difference for someone who needed it whether it be a fall, a bit of reassurance or some guidance on arranging some shopping while they self-isolate.

"I feel very well-supported by our colleagues who are working from home. It’s been an eye-opener realising just how essential we are - especially in times of crisis! And I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s updates and pictures of them working from home; it makes us feel a little less isolated here."

As relative new starters to the Control Centre Team, Kathy and Adam discuss how they are adapting to working during these unprecedented times, having not long ago finished their operator training.

Kathy Winrow: "I feel part of a wonderful, caring team with everyone pulling together to try and give our customers as much normality as possible and still delivering the highest level of customer care.
"Even though we are short-staffed due to the virus, staff are coming in for extra shifts, and some are even working up to 12 hours a day due to the extra calls we are now taking from our most vulnerable customers, who are checking that their equipment is working more often now, in case they should need us. But our spirits are still high in the office! Team leaders and other volunteers are coming in to assist with taking calls to relieve the pressure.
"I feel proud to be working in such an essential role, and it is becoming apparent that our elderly and vulnerable service-users are feeling the effects of being isolated. Taking time to add a few extra minutes to the call to ask how they are doing does make a difference. As families self-isolate, for many, we are now the only person they are speaking to.
"It makes me feel very humble every time I hear 'thank you for caring'. What a privilege it is to be in such a role at this time."

Adam Sanders: "The atmosphere in the control centre is brilliant, even in these difficult times during the Corvid-19 outbreak. Caring for one and other hasn’t changed, and we are all doing everything we possibly can to care for, support and look after each other.

"Working in such an essential role is amazingly rewarding especially when you see the impact that your day-to-day work has on the service users and their families and when you see just how life-changing and life-improving our service is. This is especially poignant when service-users are feeling isolated, cut-off during the lockdown and anxious, concerned and worried about everything that is happening around them.

Rachael Moore: "It's nice when we get acknowledgement from other areas of the Group. And, it's great that we are starting to see some more recognition on the internet about keyworkers like us in TECS who are working 'on the frontline'."


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