Council staff going the extra mile to help Swindon community

An army of Swindon Borough Council staff members have stepped out of their comfort zone to keep critical services running for residents during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

council worker helping community
Hannah Sarson, usually a Health and Safety Advisor, now assisting the Community Meals team

More than 110 employees have been redeployed from non-critical roles to support the Council’s frontline services.

The Council’s Redeployment Hub has worked with staff to move them into alternative roles such as helping to get food parcels to those in need through the Live Well Hub, processing business support grants and delivering community meals.

Some staff have also been involved in the effort to get PPE out to staff who need it, have kept waste services running, provided welfare checks for vulnerable people who have been discharged from hospital and been involved in planning the regional response to the pandemic.

The Council’s staff have embraced the challenges of their new roles and are reaping the rewards of helping vulnerable residents across Swindon.

Helen Maine, normally a Senior Business Analyst, has been reassigned to the Live Well Hub and has filled the role of Food and Logistics Manager.

Helen said: “I have relished the opportunity of being redeployed to the role as it’s an organisational role, very hands on and supporting our most vulnerable residents.

“I previously worked in the Sport and Health Improvement Team before the Live Well Hub was created, and have always been very passionate about working with the community to promote Health and Wellbeing.

“The team in the Live Well Hub have been very welcoming, it’s all about team work here, being busy but also having fun to keep morale and spirits up.  It’s great to network and meet new colleagues.”

Jen Trueman, a Senior Project Manager in normal times, has been redeployed to the Great Western Hospital’s mortuary to support hospital staff. Jen said: “I have been temporarily redeployed on a part-time basis (currently) to the mortuary at GWH. This is to provide extra support in this current climate due to the high levels of demand coming into the hospital.

“My role involves working with the police, mortuary manager, relatives and funeral directors to provide the most effective and sensitive service. There are four of us in the team and we are working on a shift basis as this could potentially be a 24/7 role.

“Due to the sensitivity of this work, the Council has been extremely supportive and are regularly checking on our welfare and making us aware of the support on offer.”

Hannah Sarson, usually a Health and Safety Advisor, is now assisting the Community Meals team. Hannah said: “I was matched and accepted for two roles. The first role is as a co-ordinator in the Community Safety Partnership Team. The second is providing management support to operations for a priority one service – Community Meals.

“This has been a big step up but an opportunity that I am grateful to have. It is both enriching and humbling to be able to help those most vulnerable in our community and experience the touching point of the Council’s services with its residents.

“I have had the privilege to meet so many genuinely lovely residents and colleagues, while also being able to view the impact of the service from my Health and Safety Advisor role and during redeployment.”