On Tuesday 13 September at The Carriageworks in Leeds, Leeds Care Association and Pluto Play Productions presented the first performance of ‘Unforgettable: Telling the Care Home Story’.
Commissioned by Leeds Care Association and written by Pluto Play Productions founder Brian Daniels, ‘Unforgettable’ is a new play which puts the experiences of staff and care home residents during the Covid-19 pandemic centre stage.
Peter Hodkinson, who as well as being Managing Director of Westward Care is also the Chair of Leeds Care Association, said: Everyone working on the frontline of Covid faced significant challenges, but it is also well-documented that the care home experience was particularly traumatic – and often overlooked.
From the outset, it was known that COVID-19 presented a disproportionately high risk of serious illness and death to older people, with the UK’s 400,000 care home residents – many living with multiple health conditions – at even greater risk.
This play is the care home story – not from the perspective of the Government, or the local authority or the NHS but from the people who fought to protect and save our older generations from this virus and sacrificed so much during the Pandemic. It documents the true, and sometimes uncomfortable, story of care home staff, residents and their families, in their words and highlights primary evidence about the impact of Government decisions, a breakdown of discharge systems, lack of access to PPE, inadequate access to testing and the emotional impact of the situation.”
To capture those deeply personal stories, Daniels spoke to staff in the sector, as well as care home residents and their families, which helped him to understand the reality behind the headlines and the challenges faced by those working in the sector.
We’re also very proud that our staff, residents and their families have contributed to this important piece of research – and shared their stories with Brian.
Sharon Earnshaw, General Manager of Headingey Hall Care Home and Retirement Apartments was one of the first people to volunteer to chat to Brian.
She had met him at the opening of Westward Care’s ‘Garden of Reflection’ which is a space created in our gardens for staff, residents and families to pause, take a breath and reflect on everything that happened over the past few years.
The performance on 13 September was for health and social care staff only, with further dates for the general public to be announced in due course.
"Staff are encouraged to contribute to different projects which the home takes on for example charity events, entertainment evenings for the residents, raffles, birthday parties etc. "
Care Assistant