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Inspire Cheshire West has closed. Thank you to everyone who took part. Your contributions, stories, ideas and experiences about life under lockdown restrictions were a valuable resource to the communities of west Cheshire.

Residential school opens its doors to health professionals

A residential school in Winsford that usually provides accommodation for their pupils has been able to open up their doors and offer a place for members of their health care team to stay while they are working on the frontline carrying out COVID-19 tests for NHS staff and their families.Hebden Green School in Winsford is a specialist school for children with a broad range of physical disabilities, medical needs and associated learning difficulties. The school has a dedicated team of health professionals, including physiotherapists and nurses, who work alongside the education team to provide individual medical support for their pupils.The school usually provides residential accommodation for 11 to 19 year olds, but the residential side of the school is currently closed to pupils following government guidance around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ali, a member of the physiotherapy team at the school, has been redeployed alongside some of her colleagues to work on the frontline, providing COVID-19 tests for NHS workers and their families whilst the school is closed as an education setting. As her daughter is vulnerable she wanted to reduce the risk of her getting coronavirus so decided to stay away from the family home while she was needed to do this vital work.

Ali spent a number of nights staying in a hotel before Alison Ashley, the headteacher of the Hebden Green school heard about Ali’s story via Facebook and offered her a place to stay in the school’s residential area. Alison said “When we heard Ali was living in the hotel with only a kettle in the room to make meals with, we offered her, and any other health colleagues, our residential outbuildings.“Ali was delighted and moved in that night straight from the hotel. The impact for her is that she can go for a walk, run, eat healthily again and feels at home in a comfortable environment.

“We are really proud of all our Hebden health team working in such challenging conditions at this time.”

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