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Tales from the frontline - Debra's Story

There are thousands of key workers who are currently providing vital services to the nation as we navigate Covid-19.

Search supports many of the sectors impacted and is, on a daily basis, interacting with those key workers who are playing a critical role, ensuring everyone else’s needs are put before their own.

We are dedicated to providing recognition to those people and, with their agreement, also sharing their real-life experiences.

Debra Havard is one such colleague. She works with Search Hospitality and has documented life working as a chef in a mental rehabilitation centre during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on her everyday routines.

“I began working as a chef at the mental rehabilitation centre in January. It was a strange time to begin working in such a facility because we were all aware what was happening in China. Although coronavirus still seemed a distant threat, it was a threat, nonetheless.

As we moved through February and then into March, everything changed. With the centre being classed as a hospital, my main concern was the heightened risk of coronavirus I could potentially be exposed to.

However, though there have been documented cases within the facility, I have felt very much protected by my managers. Within the kitchens and throughout the centre, we have experienced no shortage of PPE and working guidelines have been clear and allowed us to operate as near to normally as possible.

From a work perspective, it would be true to say that little has actually changed, the main difference being an enhanced awareness of one’s own physical health. It has been made clear to us that should we experience any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, we are to return home immediately and self-isolate.

My main issue has been a personal one. As I do not drive, I am reliant on public transport to get to work. The bus service I use is on a reduced timetable and if I miss one of my buses, my commute can take up to two hours.

It goes without saying that this is a challenging time for all of us, but I am thankful to report that I feel safe at my place of work and there has been little disruption to my duties. We can only hope now that we’re over the worst and a sense of normality can return for all of us.”   

Do you know a keyworker who is doing an exceptional job during the coronavirus pandemic? Tell us about how they are making a difference.

Further reading about the impact of coronavirus on keyworkers:

The impact of coronavirus on learning disabilities services

Support workers on the frontline

Whilst the coronavirus continues to impact the hospitality industry, our hospitality recruiters team of dedicated hospitality recruiters are continuing to support candidates as best they can, seeking out alternative jobs for the chefs, bar staff and general managers who have been impacted.

If you need help finding a job just now, then please get in touch. We have immediate starts available.

Equally, if you are looking for support in recruitment and want to work with a hospitality recruitment agency who can navigate you through these challenging times, then we would love to hear from you. Get in touch today.