Across the UK people will be adding glitter to their outfits, switching on fairy lights and putting tinsel in their windows on Monday 13th April to show their support for frontline care workers and the part they play in tackling coronavirus.

People are saying thank you to care workers during the lockdown by putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes and posting photos on social media using the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. The ‘Sparkle for Social Care’ movement is using anything that sparkles, be it tinsel, a homemade glitter and sparkle poster or fairy lights, to show those who care for society’s most vulnerable that they are valued.

An army of almost 2 million care workers is currently looking after the most vulnerable people in the UK, helping them to get through the lockdown. People in need of care are often older or suffering from certain health issues, meaning they are also the most susceptible to Covid-19. While their families and friends are unable to look after them, care workers offer a vital life-line, ensuring that their daily needs are met and that they are not left stranded and alone.

By continuing to provide care for those in desperate need during this crisis, care workers are potentially putting themselves at risk. There is a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment, PPE, meaning care workers are having to carry out their roles, often with little to prevent them being infected.

When a care worker does become ill, or needs to self-isolate due to a family member showing symptoms, they can’t work, with many falling into serious hardship. Within days of the Care Workers Charity launching its Covid-19 crisis grants, they had received thousands of applications from care staff who were in crisis because of coronavirus. Therefore, as well as putting something that sparkles in their windows or on their clothes to show their support for care workers, people are also being encouraged to donate to the Sparkle for Social Care crisis appeal, launched by the Care Sector Ball organising committee.

The appeal aims to raise £1million for the Care Workers Charity Covid-19 Crisis Grants to support care workers during the coronavirus crisis. Care staff, personal assistants and support workers can apply to the charity for grants if they are unable to work because they are self-isolating.

Launching the appeal, Avnish Goyal, chair of the Care Sector Ball organising committee said:

“Care workers bring a bit of sparkle back to the lives of society’s most vulnerable, and by digging out the Christmas decorations, or donning a sparkling novelty tie, people across the country are showing that they care too. Seeing the way people have rallied around to help one another get through this crisis is inspiring. As a society, we rightly recognise NHS staff, but we often overlook the care workers who look after residents in care homes and those who provide care in people’s own homes. The Sparkle for Social Care movement is one way of saying a massive thank you to all these care workers for the amazing work they do.”

Executive Director of the Care Workers’ Charity, Karolina Gerlich, said:

“The current crisis is bringing real hardship, not just for those who are isolated and alone because of health conditions, but also for the women and men who tirelessly care for them. Right now, care workers are working longer hours, and in more difficult conditions than ever before. They are sacrificing their own health to care for others.

“Many care workers live pay cheque to pay cheque, and they are terrified by what might happen if they can’t work due to coronavirus. Our appeal is designed to help those care staff affected by the disease. When you consider all they do for society and for our loved ones, the least we can do for them is ensure they don’t go into debt because of Covid-19.”

The Sparkle for Social Care emergency appeal is being backed by the organisers of the annual Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which each year recognises the contribution of care workers and raises sorely needed funds for charities in the care sector.

They are asking everyone who is thankful for the hard work of care workers to join the #SparkleforSocialCare movement by putting some sparkly decorations in their windows or wearing something that sparkles each Monday, and posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #SparkleforSocialCare. They are also calling for donations to the Sparkle for Social Care Crisis Appeal, donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sparkle-for-Social-Care  

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