A carer’s poem about her job has been brought to life in the form of a television advert, created by the WeCare Wales campaign.
The advert features the voice of Emma Pinnell, reading her poem “Just a Carer” that she wrote for and performed on Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience programme, filmed at College Fields nursing home in Barry.
A clip of her reading her poem on the show was watched more than 1.6 million times on the BBC Wales Facebook page, generating thousands of supportive messages for her from around the world.
The advert will be premiered today on ITV after Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs at 8:58pm. It will also be shown on Channel 4’s On Demand services, and a translated version of Emma’s poem aired on S4C.
To help bring Emma’s words to life, it also includes a collection of home-footage taken from within care homes across Wales during lockdown. The clips show how carers are going above and beyond to ensure spirits are kept high and helping residents keep in touch with loved ones by using technology.
Emma Pinnell, Carer said: “I feel overwhelmed that my poem has sparked such interest and I feel honoured that it’s being used for the WeCare Wales TV advert.
“It highlights the amazing work that care workers do every day to make the people they care for happy, whether they look after people in a care home or support those in their own homes.
“I hope that my poem has helped people to think differently about care work and what it means. It is a privilege to care for someone else when they need it most. I encourage everyone who has thought about working in care to give it a go, it might just turn out to be the best job you’ve ever had.”
The WeCare Wales campaign was launched a year ago to raise awareness and understanding of the social care sector. The advert’s aim is to help to attract more people like Emma, who have the right skills and values, to consider working in care.
Right now, the focus is on how the care sector is coping during the coronavirus outbreak and this advert highlights how important carers are in being the lifeline our community needs.
Sue Evans, Chief Executive of Social Care Wales, said: “There’s a common misconception that working in care is a low-skilled job that anyone can do, but as Emma perfectly captures in her poem, it’s anything but. It’s a challenging, but rewarding job for the right person that requires specific skills and values, including patience, understanding, care and compassion.
“In these unprecedented times, our care workers have shown just how valuable they are and how vital their work is. Our frontline care workers have been continuing to provide excellent care and support to our most vulnerable adults and children throughout this outbreak, often in challenging circumstances.
“I thank them and salute them for their dedication and professionalism, and hope that following this crisis, care workers will finally get the recognition and appreciation they deserve, now and always.”
Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services added: “The current situation has placed a well-deserved spotlight on frontline workers in the health and care system. Day after day, thousands of carers continue to selflessly help others to stay safe and well, and this support has become even more crucial during this time.
“Emma’s words encapsulate the true meaning of what it is to be a carer; dedicated, highly-skilled and with a seemingly endless supply of thoughtfulness and grace. I want to offer a huge thank you to Emma and to every carer across Wales.”
An online jobs portal is now live to help social care employers urgently fill vacancies to cope with the demand. Since its launch at the start of lockdown, more than 13,750 visitors have scanned through more than 800 job vacancies in care.
To search the job vacancies in social care in Wales, visit WeCare.wales/jobs