Why Jacqueline’s our hero…
COVID-19 has changed our lives and health and safety has never been more essential. One aspect the pandemic has affected is everyone’s collective mental health. The health and wellbeing of the O’Donovan team has always been paramount and under Jacqueline’s leadership, the business has worked hard to provide support, and have prioritised mental health as much as physical health.
O’Donovan’s have previously rolled out the ‘Dynamo Welfare-Project’ which is an internal wellbeing strategy and training programme teaching self-awareness and practical tools such as breathing techniques to staff, to teach them how to manage and control negative emotions and reactions. These are techniques that have been called upon during the pandemic in the face of all the uncertainty and have proven invaluable.
When the gravity of COVID-19 hit, Jacqueline implemented the company’s Disaster Recovery Plan, risk-assessed all teams and introduced a phased, risk-based plan. Whilst some staff have been furloughed; others have been working in a whole new way, but everybody’s life has been restricted in some way in order to protect others, including the NHS front line workers.
Various members of the team have dealt with the restrictions and isolation in different ways. This increased worry and stress is having a huge impact on their mental health and they are not alone.
As a family business navigating the way through the pandemic, one of the most important tasks Jacqueline has prioritised is supporting and updating the team.
The importance of keeping in touch personally and providing daily updates has become a lifeline for many as they looked forward to a return to normality. Refresher training of the innovative Dynamo project has been rolled out and reminders have been given on a one-to-one basis – directly from the managing director. These telephone calls have been a huge priority for Jacqueline, particularly in the first lockdown. These calls have varied widely from speaking to colleagues who are experiencing constant extreme anxiety every day to others who have had a gradual build-up of panic and then a gradual calming down. This support from the top of the business, coupled with Dynamo has helped the team remember that they have control over their reactions to the stresses and strains of the current climate.
Communication continues to be paramount, and systems including WhatsApp have been implemented to ensure the entire team is kept up to date with latest news and precautions. This direct contact from Jacqueline has been invaluable and still includes regular one-to-one contact with vulnerable team members, giving reassurance, answering questions and providing the ongoing support needed throughout lockdowns. This has been vital in keeping morale and spirits positive.
With waste workers classed in the essential-workers category, O’Donovan continued with their vital services albeit initially with a scaled-back operation when COVID-19 lockdowns were implemented, keeping clients updated of enhanced COVID secure measures that have the safety of everyone at its core. The business went to a contactless mode on-site and introduced new working processes in line with changing legislation and guidelines, covering social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitising.
Jacqueline also set about supporting the community during the crisis, arranging for surplus PPE to be delivered to local hospitals. She arranged for food deliveries to the London Irish Centre to help with meal deliveries to the vulnerable and elderly. The company was also part of the team that worked to prepare the Nightingale Hospital.
Jacqueline has been active in the media, writing several blogs and articles that were released to industry press and on social channels, giving reassurance and advice to others in the sector. There were also several surprise deliveries to various hospitals of treats and cupcakes for the hard-working NHS staff. What a hero!
Would you like to see more of our heroes?
We’re highlighting some of the fantastic work that our road hauliers have been doing recently, across multiple disciplines, skills and qualifications, in order to keep our country going during these challenging times.
Meet more of the RHA heroes who have been making a difference…