Once Upon A Year Ago

boxes of PPE in Oldham's Queen Elizabeth Hall

Clare Bamforth is a Mental Health Commissioning Manager within the Adult Social Care commissioning team.  Like so many council staff Clare signed up for entirely new challenges at the start of the pandemic. We love this poem that she has written to record her experiences.

Once upon a year ago, Helen rang and asked;

“Clare, would you go to Southlink and help out with some masks?”

So, Clare went up to Southlink and devised a detailed plan,

to distribute these facemasks far and wide across Old-ham

And there began a learning curve so steep it made Clare sigh,

as she’d never even heard of IIR, FFP or KN95

With van keys at the ready Clare set off with great enthuse,

to pick up aprons, gloves, masks, hand gel and even overshoes!

With that, the PPE Hub was born and so began our quest,

to provide support and equipment to our providers who are the best

‘Twas a difficult time, and ever so busy, but onward we did muster,

working every hour possible to keep Oldham stocked with PPE and out of a fluster

With help from our procurement friends – Raj, John and Mo,

and not forgetting Oldham’s Infection Prevention Nurse of the Year; Glo!!!

The QEH team and the Civic staff have also been terrific,

unloading vans, moving stock and helping with the pandemic

The Library team swapped books for gloves and truly have been great,

and without them we would have had rather a lot on our plate!

Now it must be said, at times for Clare, it wasn’t always bad,

and the army and the firemen helped to stop her feeling sad

The Easter eggs they went down well, and helped to make amends,

and another bonus is that Clare has gained some wonderful new friends!

We’ve had highs and lows, ups and downs, peaks and troughs and tears,

but through it all we’ve kept going and hopefully allayed some fears

It’s been an honour and a privilege and often damned hard work,

but at the same time it’s been good fun – she says with a smirk

Thank you to the commissioning team for your help and your support

and for all our combined energy into this battle we have fought

And finally, to Oldham’s PPE Hub we say a big Merci,

and one day may we never hear again PPE………

If you would like to “donate” your photos, poems or other writing to Oldham’s Lockdown Museum, you can do so here.