As mentioned in our last blog, Extra Help is now back to offering its full range of services, which includes providing parents’ help and domestic cleaning.
It’s so important to ensure that all franchisees and their home helpers feel confident in their ability to practise safe, social distancing measures. They also need to understand exactly how they can play their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Therefore, they have all been asked to complete an online training course, prior to returning to work in clients’ homes. We feel this is a great way to ensure a safe, working environment for our home helpers and provide the necessary reassurance to our clients.
The course aims to provide the most up to date information on COVID-19 and outlines best practices for the prevention of the spread of the virus, including hygiene measures, social distancing and advice for working safely.
Now that our Extra Help franchises are running as normal, we caught up with Kelly, one of our home helpers, to find out how her working life has changed since returning to work.
Here, Kelly describes a typical day in the post-lockdown life of an Extra Help home helper:
07.30. I wake up and the first thing I think about is how I’m feeling and whether I have any symptoms of COVID-19, as instructed by the online course I’ve just done. Temperature? No. Cough? Nope. Loss of taste / smell? No.
I feel absolutely fine, so I text my first client, Mrs Clarke, to make sure she has no symptoms either. She replies that she’s fine, so I can go to my first appointment. Mrs Clarke is an elderly lady and I’ve been cleaning for her for about a year, but haven’t been there at all during lockdown. I then text my other two clients and luckily, they reply that they’re symptom-free too.
09:00. I arrive at Mrs Clarke’s house and immediately wash my hands with soap, making sure not to touch anything before doing so. I then clean her house, using disinfectant-based products and paying particular attention to doorknobs, light switches, the doorbell and letterbox. I also open the windows to make sure the rooms are well ventilated. I wash my hands regularly during my visit. Mrs Clarke has asked me to wear a mask for extra reassurance, which I’m happy to agree to.
Mrs Clarke hasn’t had any help in the house for many weeks and is so thrilled to see me! She did stay well away from me while I was cleaning (we usually chat), but then I made her a cuppa and we were able to have a lovely, socially-distanced chat in the garden. I think it did her the world of good as she said she’s been very lonely during lockdown.
12:00. Mrs Clarke desperately needs some essentials, like bread, milk and eggs, so I’ve offered to get them for her. I go to the local shop and luckily, there is no queue, so I get back quickly with the shopping. I thoroughly wipe down the shopping with disinfectant and wash my hands before leaving.
12.30. I arrive at my next client, Mrs Eddison, who lives with her husband and three young children, including a two year old. Mr and Mrs Eddison are both working from home at the moment. The children are still off school, so they need some help to keep them entertained for a few hours a day.
I start by thoroughly washing my hands, then set up a craft table in the garden for the two youngest children. The oldest child has school work to do and needs to be tested on his spellings, so I do that as well, all the time making sure I keep two metres away from the children. I then take them to the park to burn off some energy.
I wash my hands for the umpteenth time and then prepare an evening meal for the family; a huge lasagne that can be simply popped into the oven and eaten once they’ve finished work for the day. I hope they like it – I used my gran’s recipe! I thoroughly wash my hands before leaving to go to my next job.
16.00 I arrive at Mr Hemmings’s house and wash my hands again, just to be safe. Mr Hemmings lives alone; he recently had an operation on his foot and can’t walk much, so needs someone to walk his Labrador, Rusty every day. I meet him and Rusty at the front door and Rusty’s going nuts! I take Rusty out for over an hour before returning him to Mr Hemmings, washing my hands and heading home.
By this time, I admit my hands are a bit sore from constantly washing them, but I feel confident that I’ve played my part in keeping our clients safe!