Simon goes the extra mile

Simon goes the extra mile
Simon and a service user. Picture credit Ian Burt

Carer Simon Boston has been going the extra mile for his service users in a bid to make a big difference to their lives during the most severe pandemic to affect this country in living memory.

Simon, who lives in Heacham and works for Extra Hands, said while the coronavirus pandemic had brought new challenges for carers and care service users, it was little things that have helped the people he cares for.

“It’s important because they don’t feel so isolated, they rely on us more than ever to keep them connected with the outside world,” he said. “Little things like posting letters have become impossible for them, so I’ve taken it upon myself to do things like that, and there was one lady who I used to take shopping regularly. We can’t do that now, so I’ve become her personal shopper!”

“This is the best job I’ve ever had, I love it and I always look forward to going to work,” he said. “I joined Extra Hands around two years ago, having had no previous professional caring background, but I’d always been the sort of person friends and family would turn to in a difficult situation, so I felt I would be able to do the job, and there was nothing about it that scared me.

“It’s come with some personal sacrifice but it’s something I’ve been willing to do, to provide the care I give. It’s taught me patience and humility and highlighted how important the work that we do is. We really do have the users’ lives in our hands.”

It is not just Simon who has developed a more full understanding of the work he does – so has the wider public, through the weekly Clap for Carers, something he said that he really appreciated.

“On the first night it happened, I had a new carer shadowing me on duty, and the people in the street we were delayed coming out to clap until we arrived, because they knew what we were doing,” he said. “That made me feel great.”

Extra Hands received an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission and currently has capacity to help more people in the coastal area.