A new Sparkle for Social Care initiative will see people across the UK adding glitter to their outfits, switching on fairy lights and putting tinsel in their windows on Monday 13th April. The purpose is to show their support for frontline care workers and the part they are playing in tackling coronavirus.
The ‘Sparkle for Social Care’ initiative is asking people to use anything that sparkles, and to post photos on social media using the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare, to show those who care for society’s most vulnerable that they are valued and appreciated.
Almost 2 million care workers are currently looking after the most vulnerable people in the UK, helping them to get through the lockdown.
By continuing to provide care for those in desperate need during this crisis, care workers are potentially putting themselves at risk. There is a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), meaning care workers are often having to carry out their roles with little to prevent them being infected.
When a care worker does become ill, or needs to self-isolate due to a family member showing symptoms, they can’t work, with many falling into serious hardship. Within days of the Care Workers' Charity launching its COVID-19 crisis grants, they had received thousands of applications from care staff who were in desperate need because of coronavirus.
Therefore, as well as putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes to show their support for care workers, people are also being encouraged to donate to the Sparkle for Social Care crisis appeal, launched by the Care Sector Ball organising committee.
The appeal aims to raise £1m for the Care Workers' Charity Emergency Crisis Grants. Care staff, personal assistants and support workers can apply to the charity for grants if they are unable to work because they are self-isolating.
Launching the appeal, Avnish Goyal, Chair of the Care Sector Ball organising committee said, 'Care workers bring a bit of sparkle back to the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and by digging out the Christmas decorations, or donning a sparkling novelty tie, people across the country are showing that they care too. Seeing the way people have rallied around to help one another get through this crisis is inspiring. As a society, we rightly recognise NHS staff, but we often overlook the care workers who look after residents in care homes and those who provide care in people’s own homes. The Sparkle for Social Care movement is one way of saying a massive thank you to all these care workers for the amazing work they do.'
Executive Director of the Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, said, 'The current crisis is bringing real hardship, not just for those who are isolated and alone because of health conditions, but also for the women and men who tirelessly care for them. Right now, care workers are working longer hours, and in more difficult conditions than ever before. They are sacrificing their own health to care for others.
'Many care workers live paycheque to paycheque, and they are terrified by what might happen if they can’t work due to coronavirus. Our appeal is designed to help those care staff affected by the disease. When you consider all they do for society and for our loved ones, the least we can do for them is ensure they don’t go into debt because of COVID-19.'
The Sparkle for Social Care emergency appeal is being backed by the organisers of the annual Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which each year recognises the contribution of care workers and raises sorely-needed funds for charities in the care sector.
They are asking everyone who is thankful for the hard work of care workers to join the #SparkleforSocialCare movement by putting some sparkly decorations in their windows or wearing something that sparkles each Monday, and posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare.
They are also calling for donations to the Sparkle for Social Care Crisis Appeal; donations can be made on the Just Giving webpage.