Small acts of kindness and community spirit: It’s what keeps our key-workers going

NHS keyworker VIctoria Reyer

By Thomas Reyer

“Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. I can’t emphasise the importance of this government message enough,” says NHS nurse practitioner Victoria Reyer.

We are currently living through the most uncertain time in many of our lives, fighting a war against an invisible enemy. All that most of us have been asked to do is very simple – stay at home. That isn’t the case for all of our key-workers out there, whether it be those in the retail sector, delivery drivers, or anyone else who is keeping the world ticking. These roles have been aptly named the ‘frontline’ and those who are arguably at the forefront of the battle are our NHS and care workers.

Victoria with co-worker Ellie all kitted out!

Victoria Reyer has worked in the NHS for 18 years and is one of the many who are risking their lives daily to help battle this disease. It has changed many people’s current lives drastically, including Victoria’s, who now has to take extra precautions at home.

“The normal routine has had to change and potentially being exposed to the virus has made me anxious that I don’t bring anything into the family home,” Victoria says.

“I shower before leaving work, ensure the washing machine is empty so my uniform can go straight in there as I get in and I won’t bring any work bags into the house.

“I’m having to clean my steering wheel and anything else that’s been in contact with me or the car with antibacterial spray. It’s very exhausting both mentally and physically.”

We have all read/watched/listened to all of the doom and gloom that comes along with what’s happening right now, but it can never hurt to read of some of the positive things that have arisen from it all. It’s the little things that make the big differences to people, and Victoria has been showered with support by her own family and those in the community during this tough time.

Unbeknownst to Victoria, a neighbour posted a letter through everyone’s house on her street asking if they would come out and clap for her at 4pm when she would be arriving home from a long shift. In an incredible show of togetherness, the entire street was out the front of their houses at 4pm on the dot ready to give Victoria a hero’s welcome home, and that they did. Victoria’s street has numerous key workers living there and every Thursday night at 8pm everything comes to a halt, as the whole street emerge to do the weekly clap.

In addition to that act of unity, Victoria has received numerous gifts and messages from family and friends, including vital PPE equipment that has proved to be invaluable at work. Just this morning, she received a bottle of Prosecco from a friend with the words ‘We clap for you’ attached to the top.

Above and below: A collection of gifts and cards that have been received.

“It’s a really challenging time, people are scared and worried, but we are pulling together like never before,” says Victoria.

“The kindness and generosity of people, and a real sense of community spirit, is holding the smiles on our faces and keeping our spirits up.”

 

 

Victoria is one of the thousands of key-workers and each and every one are equally as important in keeping this country going.

Just remember two things – a small act of kindness really can go a long way and please do stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

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