Batley man talks with Prince William about social care in Kirklees
Batley-born Saj Daji, 49, a team leader for adult health and social care charity Making Space, was one of five support workers invited to join a Zoom call with the Duke.
His Royal Highness wanted to find out directly from those on the frontline whether their experience of working in social care had altered during the pandemic, and how they were looking after their own mental health and well-being.
Mr Daji said: “It’s very important for my staff they don’t feel isolated.
“We have lunch together on Skype and try to keep each other going. I tell them we have to protect and look after ourselves, because if we’re not well, we can’t look after someone else.”
Mr Daji has 20 years experience in social care and manages seven workers across three services: Kirklees Floating Support, Kirklees Supported Housing and Leeds Supported Housing in Hunslet - offering help and making referrals for food parcel drop-offs.
The Kirklees Better Outcomes Partnership (KBOP) members said they have been responding to an increased number of calls made to the partnership’s Emergency Advice, Support and Guidance Helpline.
Mr Daji said the video call with the Duke and his group, which he made from his office in Batley Business Park, lasted for over an hour.
He said the Duke complimented him on his ‘awesome beard’ and asked him how fasting was going during social distancing.
Ending the call, HRH said thank you to care workers for the ‘fantastic job’ they were doing.
“I hope we see a shift in attitudes towards the care sector and an appreciation for all the wonderful things you all do,” he said.
Rachel Peacock, CEO, Making Space, said: “We were proud to have Saj represent our organisation to Prince William. Talking about looking after his team is testament to his caring and empathic working style.”
Call Kirklees Better Outcome Partnership on 07562252940, from 8am-8pm seven days a week for support on issues including benefits, housing, food provision, and accessing medication.