As lockdown continues and the nation adheres to the government’s instruction to stay home, we know that this means a longer period of separation for those in our care and their families and friends. We want to say a huge thank you to all our families, relatives, carers and friends for understanding and supporting our decision to restrict visitors to our services. No one wants to make an already incredibly challenging situation any more difficult and we recognise how hard it is to be apart, but the safety and protection of the people we look after and our staff is our absolute priority. Maintaining high hygiene standards to reduce the risk of infection is vital in keeping people as safe and protected as possible. With everyone’s cooperation we are more able to do this. So thank you from all of us at Cygnet. Using technology to stay in touch We don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining our social connections and contacts though. It has been heart-warming to see how people have embraced technology to stay in touch, share laughs, send love and keep spirits high through smiles and chat. People have adapted quickly and we have seen some brilliant examples of bringing the outside world in, keeping fit, staying active, helping others and most importantly sharing fun and laughter. There’s no doubt we’re in challenging times but the resilience and good humour being shown is magical. Getting creative, having fun and helping others We’ve also noticed a real upturn in ideas that people are coming up with to keep busy, have fun and also support others in the community. Some residents have been knitting pairs of hearts for their local hospital – one heart is given to the patient in hospital, the other is sent to a loved one who cannot get to see them because of self-isolation and social distancing rules. Others have started a pen pal scheme with local care homes, where our service users have written letters which are scanned and emailed to the home. We’ve also seen singing, dancing, gardening, bake offs, shops being set up in services, arts, crafts, karaoke, cinema nights, fake away food nights…the list of creative ideas that people have come up with to have fun is endless and hugely inspirational. Please take a look at our photo gallery to see the different activities being undertaken across our services. We are also actively sharing daily updates on our social media channels and some services have also appeared in their local press. We are inspired every single day and we want to share it far and wide. Taking care of your own wellbeing It is important that we all take care of ourselves during this pandemic, so we have written some blog posts about wellbeing and self-care. Often we’re so busy thinking about others, we forget about ourselves so please take a moment to read them and make time for yourself. We will be adding further blogs in the coming weeks. We are always available if you need to contact us If any family carers want to discuss their loved one’s care, please contact the service manager. We are always happy to hear from you and provide the reassurance, answers or updates that you need. Please let us know if you require any help or additional support in contacting us or your relative through the various video conferencing sites or apps that are popular and available. Together we will get through this.