Our Frontline Heroes
Written by Gavin on 14th April 2020
A BIG Cheer of thanks to our dedicated frontline heroes, who, despite these unprecedented and difficult times, are still delivering key frontline services to Rhondda Cynon Taf residents.
Thousands of frontline Council staff are continuing to provide a vital frontline service to residents and additional support where necessary to our most vulnerable residents,
Some of our workers have even moved out of their family homes, where their family members are shielding, to ensure that they are still able to provide vital services such as social care and collecting residents’ recycling and waste; while staff have also been redeployed from other service areas to assist where possible to ensure that the Council can keep essential services running.
Refuse collections, along with other kerbside collections such as Green Waste, Nappies and Food Waste, are also continuing at present, despite the many challenges faced.
Adult social care and Children’s Services, together with staff from education and other services also continue to provide vital support to families, the elderly and most vulnerable throughout the coronavirus national health emergency.
As a result, more than 600 Community Meals are still being delivered daily across Rhondda Cynon Taf. Council staff are also providing a number of other essential services during this time, including childcare for essential and key workers, meals to the vulnerable and housing the homeless.
These unprecedented times have called for true community spirit, and here in Rhondda Cynon Taf, it truly is a community effort with over 900 volunteers coming forward to join our frontline heroes, third sector organisations and community groups.
Our residents are grateful for all of this support, with many of them placing ‘Thank You’ messages on their refuse bins and recycling bags for the crews to see.
This small gesture is helping the teams and we encourage residents to give a little cheer or show their thanks – to keep the morale of the staff up and let them know that their efforts are appreciated.
Jerry Brown, the Council’s area manager for refuse in the Taff area, said: “All of our kerbside collection teams are deeply touched by the messages they are receiving from our residents each day.
“Our crews also have families, and it is a deeply worrying time for us all. But to know what we are doing professionally is being appreciated, really does make a difference to us.”
Father-of-two, Mr Brown, 57, of Pontypridd, has worked for the Council for 38 years and has never experienced anything like this in all of his working life.
He said: “My working day starts at 6:30am as it is my job to make sure all our vehicles are ready to go out onto the roads when the crews arrive. We have 22 vehicles in total, collecting everything from nappies, recycling, refuse and food waste.”
Mr Brown, married to Paula, with sons Dean and Liam, has seen many changes in the job in the past three decades, including the introduction of various recycling collections as well as refuse collections.
But the public outpouring of gratitude is something that is touching both him and the Streetcare teams.
He said: “Our residents are recycling even more than normal as everyone is at home. At present, we are continuing with our collections and the public are amazing towards us. Everyone is being so kind, they are even leaving us lovely drawings and messages of thanks attached to their bags and bins.
“This means so much to us at this time. We are displaying these messages in our vans and back at the depot and it is giving everyone the boost they need at this time.
“I am very proud of all that my teams are doing at such a difficult time. Please follow the advice to Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Saves Lives.”
Residents are being asked to help keep themselves and our crews safe, by washing their wheelie bins and caddy handles before and after collections and to ensure that they are maintaining social distance guidelines by giving the teams a supportive cheer/message from 2 metres away.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “These are unprecedented times which are affecting every one of our lives.
“Despite all of this, we still have our Council frontline staff doing their best to provide a service to the public and I send each and every one of them my heartfelt thanks and gratitude.
“While it is absolutely right that we give well-deserved praise to NHS staff and care workers, as well as all of those frontline workers in the private sector providing vital services, it is also important that the work of frontline Council employees is also recognised.”
All Council staff classed as key workers are out and about in our communities, and are adhering to the Government’s social distancing guidelines.
For latest updates on the services affected by coronavirus, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/PublicHealthRCT or, for recycling and waste updates, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/CVRecycling.
Stay Home. Protect The NHS. Save Lives.