In the beginning, Madina Lancaster admits she was a bit worried about working on the frontline during a pandemic. She spoke to MyLondon about her experiences.
Madina, 33, is a support worker in Hounslow, West London. Like many other key workers, she has continued to go to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic. While many other people have been able to stay in and work from home Madina cannot. She spends each day supporting and making a positive difference to people’s lives.
“I was a little bit worried about working during the coronavirus, and the impact it might have on my health and my family,” she shared, honestly.
“We’ve been really responsible, following all of the guidelines and using the right PPE. Obviously, it is still a challenging time for us, but we’re staying positive and making sure we provide the best possible support.”
“We’re keeping the people we support positive, putting comedy movies on for them, having spa mornings, doing music therapy sessions via Zoom, and having video calls with their families.”
She speaks passionately about the individual people she works with and you can tell she really cares about everyone.
“We have one resident who loves films, especially musicals with lots of dancing. We always put them on for him, and if I can see he’s happy, I move him around and dance with him in his wheelchair.”
“Another lady has dysphasia, we’ve built a strong bond. I can help feed her without her resisting, because she trusts me,” Madina explained.
“She has a calm and quiet personality, and likes relaxing music and people speaking quietly to her. She also loves books. We do pamper sessions, styling her lovely long hair, and giving her a manicure. It’s all about spending one to one time together, and making her feel good.”
While Madina’s job is certainly inspiring, she admitted it’s definitely not always easy, you need to be adaptable.
“When you’re working with people with learning disabilities and complex needs, you never know what you’re going to face when you come into work. Plans can change at any time.” she shared.
Madina is originally from Russia, where she worked as a teacher. She moved to the UK two years ago. When she arrived in the UK she said she felt her English wasn’t good enough, she needed to practice and build up her confidence. Her husband had previously worked in care and suggested it as a possibility for her.
“There’s lots of flexibility with working hours, and there’s great opportunities to make steps in your career and grow, if you’re ambitious,” Madina said.
“Within six months I was promoted as a senior and got the opportunity to do office work and at the same time help people to improve their life for better.”
This pandemic has made everything harder, for everyone. But there’s some jobs where stopping is not an option. Madina, like others working in care will continue.