Well known Burnley hairdresser says becoming a care worker on the frontline is the 'hardest job I have ever done'

"I consider myself to be a grafter, I am not afraid of hard work, it is who I am. But this is the hardest job I have ever done in my life."

Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 4:25 pm
Burnley hairdresser Adele Cockcroft has spoken of the huge challenges of being a community carer during lockdown.

Those are the frank words of a well known Burnley hairdresser who became one of the thousands of keyworkers across the UK as a community carer at the start of the lockdown

Forced to close the salon she has run for 19 years, Adele Cockcroft spent just two days at home before deciding she had to do something to help.

Adele was inspired by the carers who she helped to look after her grandmother until her death four years ago,.

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Adele with her little girl Emily Rose who is four.

So when the lockdown was announced on the Friday, Adele closed her salon and by the following Monday she was employed as a community carer.

But she admits she wasn't prepared for how hard and demanding the job would be.

She said: "There was no way I could have just sat back for however long doing nothing.

"But doing this job has really opened my eyes to how hard carers work and what they have to do and how important that work is to protect the most vulnerable amongst us.

"Helping people gives me a great deal of satisfaction and I will help anyone who needs it but some days I have come home exhausted as the job can be mentally and physically challenging."

From helping people with personal hygiene and administering medication to cleaning homes, feeding pets and washing and ironing Adele has been working six days a week with some shifts lasting up to 13 hours. And she has been helping people across Burnley, Nelson and Colne.

She said: "The majority of peoplle are wonderful and so grateful for your help but there are some who shout at you or are angry and that is hard to deal with.

"I came home one day and just broke down because it all became a bit too much.

"But you want to carry on because the people I am looking after are all self isolating and not able to see friends or family so they welcome a friendly face and someone to chat to."

Adele admitted she has experienced sleepless nights worrying about the risks of coronavirus even though all necessary precautions are taken.

As part of her new temporary role Adele had to pledge not to be in contact with anyone other than her husband Jasper, who has been furloughed from his factory job, and their little girl, Emily Rose (four).

Adele (40) admitted she would never moan about the long hours she puts in at her salon, Adele at Fantasia in Lyndhurst Road, after her experiences as a carer.

She said: "I love my business, and I put everything into it, and when this is over I will be opening seven days a week to get my clients back on track."