Powys LEADER Funded Project Muddy Care Rises to COVID’s Challenges

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Muddy Care Faces and Tackles COVID Challenges

Muddy Care CIC has responded with care and thought during COVID-19. For more details on the Muddy Care project.

When COVID-19 caused the outdoor rehabilitation programme to be temporarily suspended, Muddy care responded with creativity and innovation.   All the participants on the Muddy Care long-term mini pilot rehabilitation programme (LTMPRP) have significant chronic conditions - some of them fall into the shielding category, some live alone and some have very challenging times because of their chronic conditions.

Muddy Care CEO

The CEO of Muddy Care, Claire Lovell, immediately implemented a daily checking in system (active seven days a week) for all the participants on the LTMPRP, as well as a support system for staff.  

Having a chronic condition(s) requires daily management and includes some very challenging periods regardless of COVID.  The CEO knew the Muddy Care community needed a remote support system in place until things stabilised.  They went from operating five days a week to operating seven days a week from March 11 2020 to July 17th 2020, for a continuous 128 days.   

The check in became increasingly important when;

 

 

(a)    some participants developed COVID
(b)    when participant hospital appointments were cancelled
(c)    when participant hospital appointments occurred
(d)    when participant mental health support services were either reduced or transferred to remote appointments
(e)    and when the impacts of COVID lockdown were putting a significant strain on some participants

Individual additional procedures and protocols were carried out by staff for those participants who were highlighted as an amber or red, meaning they needed extra support from Muddy Care staff and in some cases, extra support and intervention from external medical and health organisations was instigated by Muddy Care.  They had several ambers and reds recorded during the 128 days.   On July 17th 2020 their check-in rota was revised by the participants and support was reduced, reacting proactively to the changing needs and wishes of the participants.  It is still in place though, in a different and reduced format, but the Muddy Care community are frequently freely communicating with one another now without any check in stimulus which is so pleasing to observe.  But they didn’t just set up this daily check in system in response to COVID-19…

…They were looking at the learning theme of ‘how can we serve’ at the time they had to stop physical delivery of their outdoor education rehabilitation programme.  They switched immediately to a distance learning mechanism and the participants took a lead on the COVID-19 project.  The participants of the Muddy Care LTMPRP started to produce vlogs, blogs, diaries, poems and writings, offering support in the way of tools, advice and other mechanisms to help others with chronic conditions through this period of change.  The participants requested they start a YouTube channel too as part of the project, which is growing in viewer numbers as they produce more vlogs.  They have had several people contact them to say how the Muddy Care COVID educational participant project has helped them through these strange and challenging times, so their care has gone beyond that of their immediate participant community.  

Their COVID-19 project illustrates very effectively how important it is to serve others, particularly during challenging periods such as this.  The project has been good for participant health and wellness too.  Coincidently, Harvard University have released during COVID research that supports that volunteering and helping others has been found to be one of the most important factors in promoting good health and wellness.  A link to their COVID – 19 project can be found here - https://muddycare.co.uk/muddy-covid

What has COVID meant for Muddy Care?

Adaptation (which they are very good at), an extremely busy period (their workload became significantly greater during COVID) and re-strategising with innovation and creativity in order to respond to the impacts and needs of COVID effectively.  Muddy Care CIC has proved that they are resilient and can react effectively and rapidly to changing situations.  Their online presence is growing and will now be a fundamental part of their rehabilitation mediums in addition to their outdoor rehabilitation programmes and delivery mediums.

They are also looking at ways they can support people with the long term effects of COVID, as well as the wider chronic condition community, through the next 2-5 years, as COVID is not going away quickly.  

They have supported their community to the best of their ability, with the resources they have, and their community has expanded as has their strategic plan.

They urge people with a chronic condition to visit their website and not to hesitate to contact them.  There are a number of online tools and strategies on the website now as a result of COVID that can help the Welsh chronic condition community regardless of where they live.  Without the support of Arwain LEADER Programme, the lottery and the Brecon Beacons National Park they would not have been able to help support this sector of the community through COVID.  

Their presence has been a life line to some and as they move forwards, they are putting in place additional support and educational mediums to help those with chronic conditions deal more effectively and healthily with the impacts of COVID, as well as those who are finding they have long term health impacts from COVID.

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Links to project website and social media channels:
Website: www.muddycare.co.uk
YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCbBXUjGQN-W23dAw3Fdu3ow 
F: www.facebook.com/MuddyCareCIC/
T:  www.twitter.com/MuddyCare 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/muddycare/ 

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