Local housing heroes in Kent go the extra mile during pandemic
Two retirement housing estate managers at Tudor Court and Knights Court in Kent have received praise from their colleagues and residents for their dedication and selflessness during the coronavirus pandemic.
At a time when an Independent Age survey suggests that more than half (52%) of over 65s say they have had problems obtaining essential items such as food, Michelle Smith and Richard Kutu Acheampong have both been going the extra mile at Anchor Hanover’s Tudor Court on Main Road in Biggin Hill and Knights Court on Reigate Road in Bromley.
Following guidelines around social distancing, Michelle has spent her time organising the personal shopping needs for all of her residents and then going out and completing the necessary shopping trips to save her residents from making the trips themselves.
In addition to getting food and other necessities, Michelle has also been picking up the prescriptions of her residents and delivering them in a safe and effective manner.
Michelle has organised a complete rota for all her residents and is going out daily to ensure that they are all looked after and getting what they need. She has also been keeping regular contact with the residents of Tudor Court to make sure they have someone to talk to as well.
Meanwhile Richard, who only joined the team at Knights Court in March, wasted no time in making sure his residents were being looked after. In his first few days in the role he had talked to all his residents and made note of their needs and had organised food distribution for everyone under his care using the food charity Fare Share.
Richard has ensured all residents at Knights Court have been given regular supplies of fresh food and high-quality fruit and vegetables, removing the difficulty & worry many older people have in getting food from the residents of Knights Court.
Damodar Shirwaiker aged 90, a resident of Tudor Court was especially keen to praise Michelle, saying:
I don’t know what I would have done without Michelle. Not only has she done so much for me, like getting me food and medicine while I can’t go out but she has also just been a lovely person to turn to when I need someone to talk to whenever I’ve felt lonely.
“She has been calling me and my neighbours every day making sure we are well and happy; I honestly believe she should get a title!
Residents of Knights Court were similarly grateful of Richard. One of them, Keith Johnson, 77, said:
Richard has been absolutely wonderful. I was very worried when we first went into isolation about how I was going to get on, but then Richard came in and sorted everything out for us!
Richard hasn’t been here long, but he’s made such a difference and has just been a lovely person to help us out at the moment and just be there for a chat if we need.
Samantha Sandy, District Manager at Anchor Hanover, said:
It is vital we do everything we can to support our residents, particularly during these unprecedented times. The Independent Age data shows the difficulties older people are facing, and I am proud that so many of my colleagues working at our locations are going above and beyond to help residents.
Michelle’s dedication to the wellbeing of the residents of Tudor Court and Richard’s ability to jump straight into action to help out at Knights Court are a credit to them and to everyone at Anchor Hanover. I applaud their professionalism and dedication.