An aspiring law student from Arundel, who took time away from her studies to support a local care home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK, has spoken of the “eye-opening” experience and praised colleagues for their “excellent” approach to resident care.

 University of Kent law student Mariya Sony, 19, joined the team at Warmere Court care home during the initial wave of COVID-19 cases earlier this year, to lend a hand and gain experience in care work.

She said: “Throughout my first year in university I found myself really interested in medical law – the idea of working with hospitals and care homes to provide legal support for vulnerable members of society really resonated with me.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic started to impact the UK, I wanted to do my bit to help out, and also see first-hand what life is like for care workers and residents, as well as experiencing the same challenges they face. I’d never worked in a care home before, so it was a bit daunting, but fortunately the staff were friendly and helpful, despite the pressure they were under.”

Ms Sony, who is returning to university this month, spent her time helping residents get about the building, supporting them during mealtimes and assisting with any other requests they had. She has already planned to return to the home in the future when she is not at university.

She continued: “Working in care during the pandemic has been truly eye-opening. The team at Warmere Court have been excellent throughout, allaying the fears of any residents or relative in these unusual times.

“Staff were able to get full access to PPE and everyone received weekly COVID-19 tests, which made me feel that staff and residents were kept very safe throughout.”

Home manager Mary Latter added: “Mariya was a hugely welcomed addition to the team when we need help more than ever. Despite having no experience in care, she embraced her role with ease and was a friendly face for our residents.

“We look forward to Mariya re-joining us in the future – hopefully in much more favourable circumstances.”

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