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The first wave of the pandemic was starting to unfold in April 2020 and show its awfulness to the world and owner/manager Christopher Dando wanted to find a way to protect the 23 residents and keep them safe.

There was little PPE available, the team were making homemade visors from laminated sheets and knicker elastic and there was no way of testing residents or staff, they were all so vulnerable. Chris stopped any non essential visitors coming into Court House in early March, a couple of weeks before the government's guidance to do such.

With the situation escalating daily, all of the decisions were made on instinct with the wellbeing and survival of the residents at the forefront of every decision. Christopher figured the best way to keep his residents safe was to try to get together a team of staff and lock themselves into the care home for 2 weeks until the wave passed. He managed to get a team of 12 people who agreed to do this.

They all moved in and pulled up the shutters, no one in or out, no physical contact with family or anyone from the outside world. The team soon became 9 and the workload meant that the staff were working 12 -14 hour days, every day and having to change rolls and adapt to do whatever needed to be done.

They watched in horror as stories of atrocities in care homes, locally and nationally unfolded on the TV screens. Local hospitals closed as they were overwhelmed with COVID cases. The team realised that as long as they stayed inside and away from the outside world, they could keep the residents safe from the pandemic.

The two weeks turned into12 weeks! So after 84 days away from their families (some with children as young as 4), with better testing available, PPE in plentiful supply, a better knowledge of the virus and lower infection rates, the team felt safe enough to come out and be reunited with their families. Local care homes had lost multiple residents and Christopher, his team and the residents’ families were certain that their actions had saved the lives of their residents.

Christopher and some other staff moved back in to the care home again in January 2021 for 6 weeks, as the 2nd wave unfolded, to keep the residents safe until they had been vaccinated. Whilst living in the home, staff took the opportunity to raise over £6,000 for their local Hospice and produced a video (which has been viewed over 80k times on facebook) to encourage other care staff to take up the offer of the vaccinations. All of the residents and all of the staff had been double vaccinated and nobody become ill or hospitalised from COVID during the whole pandemic.

The team became the focus of local and national attention during their heroic efforts and they became role models and were able to shine a light on to the great work that Care Home Staff were doing. Chris continued to make decisions based on the safety of the staff and residents and he continued with testing more often and for longer than the Government's guidance asked for. Visiting was constantly risk assessed and again based on what was happening locally and nationally but always erring on the side of caution.