‘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