• ‘I’m a Key Worker Now’ A poem written by an Autism at Kingwood staff member

    I’m a key worker now, that’s what they said
    As the virus became so widespread
    Once described as untrained or unskilled
    The world suddenly saw what we always instilled.
    The hours are still long
    That never changed.
    Nor did the perception.
    Neither the name.
    Carers are being seen
    But not understood
    At least the world saw us which has got to be good.
    But care isn’t just what you see,
    The ill or the frail or the elderly.
    It’s the person who suffers with their mental health
    A diagnosis that won’t discriminate by status or wealth.
    Whose paranoia is peaked by the conspiracy theory
    That the virus only started because of 5g.
    The person who tonight makes an attempt on their life
    Or threatens their carer’s with a syringe or a knife.
    But I’m a key worker now, that’s what they claim
    As we work in a world that’s no longer the same.
    Once a job not given the credit
    But one of great reward and tremendous merit.
    For what you see is not what goes on,
    It’s more than just a job for some.
    Care? Of course we do but that’s not our role
    There’s so much more to the job as a whole
    We’re advocates for those whose voice isn’t heard
    An observer of those who don’t utter a word
    Because watching their movements, from the flick of a hand
    Can tell us so much that you don’t understand.
    We help manage housing and finances too,
    As well as appointments and activities to name a few.
    We not only listen but actually hear
    We know their stresses, anxieties and fears.
    We take that on board, as well as our own
    And still make sure their house feels like a home.
    I’m a key worker now, that’s it I suppose
    But the reality of this, only we know.
    The sweet old people as seen on TV
    Is not the same person screaming at me
    It’s not the same person who punched me last week
    Because they were so anxious they couldn’t speak
    Not knowing what to say or do
    Except for taking it out on you
    And tomorrow I’m back for another long day
    But, honestly? I wouldn’t have it any other way
    Because I’m a key worker now, that’s what they say
    For maximum reward but minimum pay

    Autism at Kingwood is campaigning for #BetterPay4SocialCare

    Philippa Stannard

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