Carbon Reduction Officer joins Vale of Glamorgan Council Crisis Support Team
Carbon Reduction Officer Jenifer Green is not just environmentally friendly – her good nature prompted a switch to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Crisis Support Team where she helps the most vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis
With normal work drying up, Jenifer volunteered to be redeployed to a frontline service and be part of the Council’s response to the pandemic.
That led to a position with the Crisis Support Team, set up to ensure those with the most acute need are supported at this time.
Now her day has gone from monitoring energy efficiency to checking in on at-risk residents.
Some might require assistance with shopping or help collecting a prescription, while others just want an affable person with which to chat.
“I saw the advert on the Council’s internal website asking for people to redeploy and thought it would be a good idea as we’re not doing so much of my normal work because of the Covid-19 situation,” said Jenifer.
“I was keen on the new role, it sounded really interesting and a good thing to be doing. Obviously, a lot of people have been sent these letters to say that they should be shielding. That means they’re supposed to lock themselves away completely from the outside world and even from other members of their family in the same house if necessary.
“Contacting them to make sure they are going to be able to get food or medication, to make sure they have someone to chat to if they need, sounded like a really good thing to do and a really positive thing to do.
“I’m really enjoying it, I’ve had loads of conversations with people. Some you phone up for just a minute or two because they’re all fine and other people you get into a conversation for half an hour because they haven’t spoken to anyone for a couple of days.
“Normally I gather all the information we need to keep track of our energy supplies. Organise new supplies and supply disconnections and monitor our utility bills to make sure we have all the information we need in our battle against climate change.”
Jenifer is one of a number of Council staff that have chosen to change roles, swapping combat with carbon for the fight to tame Covid-19.
Some staff have moved into social care, while others are working with waste crews to ensure essential services can still be delivered or helping to produce Personal Protective Equipment.
The Council recently launched its Rainbow Heroes campaign to recognise those performing such crucial roles at this challenging time.
A series of specially-designed signs have been placed in prominent locations throughout the Vale, giving special thanks to the groups going above and beyond during this unprecedented period.
They have also received a 10 per cent pay uplift in appreciation of those efforts.
“Not everyone has friends and family living close and some people I’ve spoken to are actually the
person that normally goes out and normally shops for everyone else,” added Jenifer.
“I chat to them, find out if they need any help and organise support from volunteers if they do. They might also be able to receive a Welsh Government food box.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it – it’s a really rewarding thing to do.”