If the Pandemic Had a Face

Start360 staff came together virtually in June 2021 to celebrate with each other (and for many to see each other for the first time in months!). The Celebration was an opportunity for staff and services to highlight their continued work during the pandemic and to share the protective factors that kept them going through the pandemic.

All Start360 services continued to operate during the long months of the pandemic, even when a complete lockdown was taking place. Much of this work was carried out remotely, with services changing, adapting and innovating to ensure clients continued to receive support on issues such as health, justice and employability.

Some services, such as AD:EPT which is based in the three prison establishments, integrated more fully with the prison healthcare system and was involved in the day to day delivery of aspects of prison healthcare. This was a significant change for staff as they embraced the potential for closer working, learning and effective delivery of services in the toughest times of the pandemic.

Essential face to face work continued in the community, providing support to those in greatest need. Food and care packages were delivered to homes, education packs were delivered to facilitate remote learning and the continued achievement of qualifications. Work with schools continued, providing protective and supportive spaces for young people. Counselling, Keyworking and Family work continued via video, phone and text with our drug & alcohol and mental health services.

As our offices were closed and staff were unable to meet in person, Start360 had an unwavering focus on the wellbeing of staff throughout this period. Online platforms such as Teams and Zoom allowed staff to keep in touch within services, with work colleagues and as with this Celebration event, across the wider organisation. New policies and procedures were implemented to facilitate new ways of working. Staff were encouraged and supported to access the wellbeing supports they had around them - such as family, friends, the outdoors and continued learning & development.

If the pandemic had a face for Start360 it would be along the lines of the presentation from our Staff Celebration event. You can view it in all its glory below😊