In the third article of a four-part series, QCS Content Operations Manager, Leah Cooke (pictured left) seeks the views of Hilary Woodhead (pictured right), executive director of the National Activity Provider’s Association (NAPA), on the post-pandemic impact of COVID-19.
Here, she tells Cooke that the pandemic enabled activity coordinators to step out of the shadows.
I lead a national charity dedicated to supporting those with an interest in activity, arts and engagement. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has effected great change. From an activity provision perspective, the crisis has really highlighted the value of activity providers/coordinators.
In the three national lockdowns and the many local shutdowns that the nation has endured, external providers such as entertainers were no longer permitted to visit care homes. Instead, activity providers were required to fill the gap. Resourceful, resolute and brimming with ideas, they were a one-stop-shop for activity provision. They kept service users connected and engaged, raised morale and embraced technology and they shared their ideas with other care homes.
Looking to the future, the hope is that the sector, having witnessed the invaluable work that activity providers do, will professionalise the role. At the very least, the pandemic has made Registered Managers and frontline staff reassess their role and has helped them to develop a much greater understanding and appreciation of the exceptional contribution they make.”
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