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Nathan's Lockdown Logs

Alderwood House had the experience of a full lockdown end of January 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation. A number of staff from the home tested positive for the virus. PHE advised that the home endure a full lockdown for 10 days. Three staff members, including the manager, rallied together with the children within the home to undertake this challenge with great fortitude, resilience and a wonderful positive attitude. The outcome was stronger bonds between the children and staff with no incidents during the whole crisis. A testament to our fantastic staff and our company ethos to go above and beyond. We have removed pictures that the manager had attached per day to update and involve all ACCHomes staff but his blogs are more than descriptive and humorous. Enjoy reading, we all did!

Day 1
Hi all, 
Just to have a bit of fun I am going to send a lockdown photo for everyday so we can look back, worrying that I look like this on day 1 but hey this is difficult for everybody and we’ve got to make this as fun as possible.

Ben only came for a shadow shift so he can’t bear to look right now!!
So here goes day 1 in Alderwood 😃

Day 2
Good evening,
I hope self isolation is going okay for all of you. We’ve had a great day today, Amy has scrubbed the kitchen and cleaned the oven, Ben has helped paint Ri’s room with the boys and I’ve erm supervised.
We’ve had a lovely film afternoon before pizza making, interesting toppings especially from P.
The children have been amazing and very kind to one another. Riannon has been great she has really supported the other two during a very difficult time.
Tomorrow we’ve got an exciting day of painting (BEN) and yes that’s tomorrow’s plans so far, don’t want to over do it, it is Sunday of course!

Day 3
Good evening all again,
Day 3 now, hopefully your self isolation is going okay and make sure you are talking to people, one another or family/ friends,  it is important to talk as it isn’t easy to isolate, ask Ben and Amy they thought the children could be difficult, no no it’s just living with me for 3 days, only 7 to go they deserve a medal!! I’m still going strong in shorts sock and sliders even in the snow. But on a serious note, please do make sure you have somebody to communicate with if you want to speak Fatima, Eleanor or myself we are available as well, we all need somebody to speak to once every so often and check up on each other.
So where do we start with day 3 at Alderwood well firstly I am still doing everything, those pair are relaxing far too much, I must say I’m joking as Amy has cooked us a lovely Sunday roast with the help from Paul, Ben has begun wallpapering Riannon room and every time he has turned around Riannon has snuck off and I’ve took the noble role today of keeping them up to date with the football scores... it’s not a job for the feint hearted Amy was getting very agitated with not knowing.
The children have continued in their high spirits, playing in the snow and the photo had to be a snow photo it couldn’t not be today. We’ve had some supplies dropped off from Ashwood which has been great and this morning we all got swabbed we was hoping for a Monster inc moment where they came in all kitted out but just had masks gloves and goggles, we’ve got another one on Thursday so fingers crossed all comes back negative.
Hope your weekend has been okay and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Day 4
Good Evening all,
How are we all coping? I hope you are doing well. Today has been another great day, the children have got on really well. Riannon especially has had the patience of a saint with both the boys and she has been so helpful. All three completed their school work and Paul built a car with Ben from Cardboard, Lucas has spent a fair bit of time in his room today but he has came downstairs and joined in sometimes. We are going to try and get him interacting more tomorrow, any tips to encourage him out of his room? We are sitting with him but just want him to be a bit more active, would be great if you could share some of your techniques.
Ashwood dropped off some supplies for us for the week, Aleem & Sean went which was very kind of them they’re being very supportive of us and are rooting for us, they dropped the shopping of and ran to the car like we were contagious was quite funny, with that and the nurses who came yesterday the neighbours must be looking out their windows at us very concerned. After education we made some biscuits…. Was meant to be cookies but we ended up with biscuit as you can see the two main bakers were Paul and Riannon and they were very happy with the outcome, if you look further you see the shorts, sock and sliders are continuing into day 4 and in the snow as well, Amy and Ben are very jealous they didn’t get the memo to bring theirs. Amy made us lasagna and Riannon did a Tuna pasta bake, she’s cooking for all of us Wednesday which we’re looking forward. Amy has made it to day 4 before telling Ben and myself off for not being funny, I think she was being polite because Ben is new to the team because she would have told me on day 1!!!
Tomorrow depending on the ice, we’re thinking of doing an orienteering / treasure map outside if not we will set it in the house for after education, we are also going to have a Harry Potter quiz not too hard to guess who’s idea that is I bet, before having what I have been looking forward to all lockdown we’re having Toad in the Hole for tea, Amy is making we had it one time at Ashwood I must say I have told everybody how amazing it is (NO PRESSURE AMES!!) there is a theme developing here Amy cooks & Nathan eats, I’m doing well though I have been eaten my vegetables.
Our swab results came back which were all negative, we was all eagerly waiting them, so one last swab test on Thursday for us.
The children are missing you all and I am sure Ben & Amy would love to see a different face other than mine, I am enjoying myself far too much!!
If anybody has any symptoms then please do let us know immediately and may I ask that you all start to plan a test for Friday-Sunday again go to a Mass walk in centre so the results are back on the day to ensure we do not need to do a further lockdown if possible. I am aware that some people have been told to isolate up to and including 1st February, however due to Eleanor result coming back positive on Thursday and it was a group testing which we did on Wednesday it is from the first positive test and not the test that came back on Friday, I have spoken to Public Health England on this matter and obviously when Track and Trace are contacted this information cannot be shared in that system, so our isolation for all of us will end on 31st January and we can return to “normality” as of Monday 1st February.
Keep safe, keep talking to people and continue to pity Amy, Ben and the children,  I am thinking about getting them a medal for spending 10 days with me, only 6 to go for them :)

Day 5
Good Evening,
Day 5 of 10 to all of us self isolating were half way there, I hope you have all made use of the time; completing level 3’s, getting on with some jobs around the house you wanted to get done but never have time. No excuses if you come back and they’re not done :)
So today has been very eventful, we all woke up and was tired, all the children slept well but I think for the children and ourselves this morning was especially difficult, we Kindly had a pick me up sent from Miriam a nice treat from Costa which brought a smile to the children’s face and ours and this gave us the strength for the day. Ben has completed Riannon room today she was very happy with it, he’s even completed the wallpapering not bad for a shadow shift he’s definitely setting the bar for any new team members we have. Amy as you can see from the photo finally stopped bossing me around and has helped with the cleaning, this is all tongue in cheek I must say she’s looked after us all the Toad in the Hole did not disappoint, I even sneakily through some of my washing in which she did, thanks again Ames!!
We had some more supplies dropped of by Hindley it was good to see him again just a different face for 5 minutes on the drive to say hello and drop bits off to us.
As you can see from the cake Lucas has helped me bake a Victoria sponge (slab) today thank you for those who gave suggestions he has been out much more than yesterday, Fatima has checked in with all the children and I have been at the end of a somewhat funny but slightly naughty situation with Paul, during education the boys were being slightly silly so I was telling Lucas off for his behaviour, which Paul decided to video and send to the his year group as I said somewhat but funny but very naughty of him. Was to my shock and horror to receive a call from the head teacher saying that a video of myself is making its way around his year groups platform… if I become Tik Tok famous you can all say you knew me before I made it!!
I just want to remind you to get booked for the vaccine asap and just to remind you this is for you and you only it is important that we follow these rules I know Miriam has forwarded this to you so please lets get on with it whilst we have the chance.
On Sunday we’re going to have an award’s ceremony for all the children for everything we think they’ve done well over the past 10 days and the list is just ongoing.
I would say its because of self isolating that I am now looking forward to what food is in stall tomorrow but I think it is just me, so we’ve got Riannon cooking tuna pasta bake for us with garlic bread, I have heard good reports so I am looking forward to that.
Another thing that has been incredible past couple of days Riannon is awake for 6.30am and she has been sleeping from 10pm or thereabouts its been great, again today just wow I actually believe she’s been the glue for all of us, she’s completed her education without question past two days. The boys are brushing their teeth without being asked and L is making sure his bed is made before coming downstairs in the morning. Riannon has hoovered her room today which is nice for her as she’s taking pride in her belongings.
We’re all looking forward to seeing you soon and our next team meeting I am thinking we will do a teams one rather than face to face :)
I have stole a saying from Captain Tom which I say every morning when we get downstairs together for breakfast time “Today, will be a good day” Even the children are now catching on with it. So I’ll say it in advance Tomorrow will be a good day!

Day 6
Good Evening all,
I hope you’ve had a good day whatever you’ve been able to do. It would be good to have some of the things you’re up to shared with us as well I hope you’ve all got some rest as although this situation isn’t ideal if we all were honest you’ve had an intense few months and therefore this rest period could be everything needed to recharge your batteries.
So today where do I start, day 6 it has gone so fast and we’re at an incredible place all exhausted but doing really well, we’re all making sure we have a laugh along the way, we’ve completed education this was a bit of a struggle but I think that is just anybody during lockdown those who are doing it at home with their children this week I think understand all of this. Riannon and Amy baked today, I worked with Lucas and Ben completed the work with Paul thankfully today I stayed out of the way of any videos this time. Riannon also made us our tuna pasta bake which went down well from all but Paul, he would have eaten it if it was Bacon no other meat just bacon. The boys have also had their telephone call with family members and this has been nice to see somebody other than us. Thankfully for us the wire Adam had ordered arrived so Paul has his PS3 and we’ve ordered Lucas a controller so they’re having sometime on their consoles allowing Riannon some peace and quiet, not much but some. Paul has really attached himself to Riannon.
I have had a meeting today so I had to sort the hair out I couldn’t carry on looking like scraggy doo, the shorts socks and sliders haven’t stopped though I feel this will have to continue for the whole 10 days. We’ve got a few things to look forward to probably a daft choice of words but tomorrow we’ve got our swab tests so we get to invite people into the home, we all rush to the door when people drop off anything just to see other humans, so tomorrow I assume this will be the same. It is crazy the self isolating, I have never wanted to see people so much. On Friday we’ve got not much planned but Saturday is a movie marathon and takeaway I have told the children a proper takeaway none of this McDonalds malarky,  before Sunday night preparing the home for welcoming you all back and then having an award ceremony and ensuring all the children school equipment is ready for Monday. 
I’ve been to quickly check the meal planner for tomorrow Hunters chicken, wedges and salad… looks like I’m trying some salad tomorrow for the first time then I swear I have never been so healthy the tuna pasta bake today had a lot of sweetcorn, Riannon definitely did this to amuse herself watching me eat it. I best be nice to Amy to make sure I get fed there has been the odd threat that if I am not then I wont get fed, she knows the way to keep me in line!!
Miriam or I whoever gets to it first tomorrow will call Public Health England to try get in writing regarding return to work because I understand your concerns however it is inaccurate so will look at this, today Rudi & Emma went to get their vaccinations they said it was fine and a real quick process, if you feel that you want to ask them anything about please do message them, I am unsure if anybody from Ashwood has had it done.
We’re all 6 days through this self isolation period so 4 days to go for us, I have had some lovely messages over the week wishing the children well and the kind words to us do mean a lot as well as we know many of you wish you could have continued working your normal rota other than the circumstances and decisions made out of hands regarding the lockdown. Ben is still shadowing as well so when you come back it will be his first formal shift can’t be a shift if he never left his shadow.
I will email a handover to staff working Monday because it might be a bit longer than the original one we all do.
Enjoy the rest of your evening all :)

Day 7
Hello Hello Hello again,
So I forgot to add photos yesterday so today I have plenty, as we’re approaching our 7th day thought it would be a bit of fun to show how tired we are (Riannon refused) but some of us look worse than others- If I was on my phone I would be using emoji now but :) will do. Paul and Lucas look exactly the same and then I had to take the glasses off to show everybody those bags that I am carrying, Ben looks tired but going stronger than myself and Amy looks well erm different.  I have been calling her Nanny McPee the last few days because how helpful she has been literally at some points looking after 4 and half children, I can’t label Ben as needy as me so he gets a half + he’s only shadowing don’t want him to not finish his shadow shift.  So in a few hours time last week, we found out about the first positive case and El, myself and Miriam were up late planning what we could do and what we would need to do to keep everybody safe and the positive cases from increasing fast forward a week and we’re here!! 3 days to go, it has gone so fast for us all and we’ve got on so well especially Paul and Riannon that relationship has been amazing to watch… That could be over in a moment as Amy hasn’t seen this photo yet. I am currently hiding in Lucas’s room.
Hunters chicken and wedges all home made today went down well with everybody, Paul loved his pigs in blankets we didn’t want to ruin it for him as he wolfed it down, I ate peppers and lettuce so pat on the back to me!! And then the others are not babies around food so just ate their dinner. Unsure how long Riannon had gone without a cigarette before this week, but she has definitely gone 7 days now which is incredible for her so whatever added onto that I speak for all of us when I tell her how proud we are. Paul had a slight blip during education this morning but he turned it around and completed it all and Lucas did his with limited issues and Riannon also completed majority of hers so one day left of education before the weekend begins!!! Riannon has done some more baking with Amy no recipe lots of sugar…. So kept it away from Paul as he didn’t sleep well with the amount of treats he had yesterday, I slept through it whilst Amy & Ben managed it but no aggression he just couldn’t sleep, it might be from the new game in the bath we play! I get bath time and one of them get settling time, yesterday I may have enjoyed our new game too much because he came out hyper, I apologise.
Has anybody been able to sort their vaccines out? If you could let me know when they’re booked not sure with timing etc if we can book them for next week but just keep me up to date with everything that would be perfect. Enjoy few days off before we welcome you all back, we are still awaiting response from Public Health England but leave it with us. We had our second swab today so fingers and toes crossed that it is negative!!!
Finally on a serious note, I would like to just say thank you to Amy & Ben for what has been an incredible week, they’re has been a lot going on at Ashwood which has meant I’ve not always been available but these two have been fantastic splitting themselves across the three children and making sure that their needs are all being met, it has been interesting week and we’ve all learnt a lot about ourselves and one another. We miss you and can’t wait to open the door on Monday and see faces, it is crazy what isolation can do to you even 7 days the restrictions and enforcing changes things so much does really drain you mentally.
Keep safe and today at Alderwood it has definitely been a good day!! :) 
P.S be thinking of me when Amy gets her hands on me :l 

Day 8
Hi All,
Going to keep this one quite short as my head’s hurting today, day 8 has caught up with all of us and we are all incredibly tired now hopefully looking forward to a second / third / fourth wind unsure what we’re on. However Education has been completed and the three got on with it well, Paul and Lucas schools have both shared they were impressed with the work the boys completed which is fantastic. Riannon has struggled a lot more today but she’s been the rock for us all and this isn't unexpected at day 8 to be wobbling with literally nothing for her to do, she’s joined in with playing PS3 with the boys and the amount of hide and seek she’s played she deserves an immense amount of praise. She has also had the uncertainty about her mum visiting Monday which thankfully that is still taking place. All finger and toe nails have been cut by Amy this evening thought be better to do it tonight rather than Sunday as they’ll be excited and whilst they were settled we took the opportunity, I say we for things Amy does now.
Quick thank you to Aneeta for sorting the certificates for Sunday reward ceremony and the little pick me up box that will go wonders tomorrow during our movie marathon. Paul and I as you can see are having a Friday day instead of night boogie if we cannot go out we will bring the party to Alderwood and then although the photograph is awful at taking photos Paul had us all doing a Harry Potter quiz and this is Riannon completing her round don’t want to brag but only one WINNER OVER HERE. On Sunday I will send an email on what we have been doing, this may have already been happening but no harm in sharing this with you in case its not as it has really worked we’re on day 8 and all children have been asleep or in bed by 10pm. Tomorrow we are cleaning the whole house top to bottom, the side of the office has broken down cardboard in from deliveries…. I don’t know why this is but from Monday will be like a fresh start no hoarding for the sake of it we have nowhere to hoard things anyway. El may hate me when she is looking for something but she knows my stance on unnecessary things because one day It may be used, so it is going to be blitzed!!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend fingers crossed for some snow we cannot go anywhere so it definitely helps entertain everybody. The children have been asking who is on next week in excitement, Ben has been told unfortunately that he is doing Paul’s bedtime Monday & Tuesday, I think Paul has very much got use to the routine of Ben or Army settling him. So Ben may have thought he got to leave on Monday but he doesn’t…. The shadow shift continues!!!!
Takeaway night tomorrow after bedroom tidying we have told the children that they need to tidy it with our supervision so they don’t have to do it alone but its nice for them as its their room to get involved and take ownership of it. If all the room are tidy its Dominos if not Chinese.. Yes I gave the options, but one way to make sure the children’s rooms are nice and tidy, Paul has a head start as he started tonight.
Maybe not so short after all haha

Day 9
Good Evening all,
We’ve made it to day 9, today has flown to be fair!! Day started with breakfast cooked by Ben, which no other way to start a weekend day in my opinion!! Before Paul encouraged / forced Riannon to help him make a block to prevent the adults from getting up to their section of the house without permission. The photo of Amy and Paul couldn’t be more staged I feel though its a very good photo and very cute but too perfect for my liking I wasn’t around at this point. O need to take a step back before the den/ blockade building Amy assaulted me and I mean assaulted me!!! Somehow I do not know how and of course I was minding my own business she hit my glasses off my face and cut my nose if I wasn’t self isolating it would have been at least 12 stitches. She’s been reminding me all day if I even nearly step out of line what will happen to me! I have just kept out of her way 9 days with her…… I am not going to be that brave not to. Only joking Ames sorry :)
All the children have had a slight wobble today but I mean only slight, Riannon has opened up on a few matters and is just anxious about seeing her mum, and Paul has asked for some canvases which was not in use which we said yes to and then because we could not put them up he just went a bit mardy best way to describe it, he didn’t sleep well last night again not any behaviours just couldn’t drop off. I informed the children again about tidying their rooms at 3pm and Lucas wanted to do his at 9am, which I explained to him that if we did it at 9 and wasn’t tidy by 3 we would have to redo it and the poor young man it would have been like I had asked him to tidy the whole house and then redo it, however after 10 minutes calming down in his room he decided just the once later in the day would work. As you can see from his photo he has done a great job. He hoovered his whole room, put all the blankets away and the cushions and organised his movies and ps3 games his room looks spotless now and the other two did it as well as you can see from our photo of the dominos the children said it was the best meal yet… so I’ll take the prize for that one. We have done the young people meeting and Hunters chicken was a favourite this week by all 3 so that was positive.
Helen popped by and dropped us off some muffins which we all had for a treat and it was nice to see her as well so thank you.
Paul was the only one really who wanted a movie marathon so he got to pick them all and had Ben stuck to him to watch them today, which worked well as it allowed Amy & I to clean the staff bedroom and office… that conversation isn’t a Saturday night conversation so I will email that another day but the whole house is cleaned and de clogged Ben has been up in the loft to put things away for us, as well as cleaning the kitchen whilst making sure Paul knew he was watching the films.
So tomorrow although it has been long awaited this 10days has flew by it has been an incredible experience and something through our careers I think we will all look back on as something we can be immensely proud off, but also knowing that the children are so versatile and can adapt, which hopefully we can all take moving forward when working with the children knowing that they can do these things and its about finding their potential and working towards it. Tomorrow we will be getting ready for schools the lunch boxes will be prepared and just having a relaxed day before our Sunday roast, Amy is unsure on the Gammon slow cooked with Pepsi to caramelise it although she asked her dad who gave her the thumbs up!!
I know all of you are thinking that you’ll only have 1 more email after this but I am starting a youtube channel and Lucas told me he would subscribe so I’ll have at least one follow.
Hope you are all well and after a good day or twos rest I look forward to catching up with you all on my return.

Day 10- final day
Good Evening All,
This is the last of the Lockdown emails, I cannot believe how quick it has came around, although my hair has grown somewhat!!! Unsure if I am now classed as cool?  I must say a huge Happy Birthday to Eleanor, without her these 10days would not have been possible :) This morning as you can see there was den building and the boys spent hours in there to be fair before squabbling about who’s was better and then that ended in them going separate ways. We’ve had a very relaxed day before Slow cooked gammon in Pepsi what a lovely meal (in Lucas photo the Pepsi max is Riannon’s). I carved the gammon and ate too much whilst putting on the plates never will learn, but it was lovely before we gave the children their certificates for completing lockdown at Alderwood, I think they thought they were being given gifts so as you can see from the faces it was like … thankssssssss
The rest of the house has been cleaned and everywhere is looking beautiful I must say I have done an amazing job whilst the others have well tried to be helpful, I have took photos so it is definitely an expectation now that we continue to do these things as it possible and it is something which we can be doing throughout the day we’ve also had , over 10 days we have barely sat down until evening and every night we’ve ensured we’ve had a laugh and a de-brief before going to bed but all jobs have been completed before even considering sitting down. Without the many many laughs we’ve had we would not have made it through the past 10days, the children have loved it especially when were winding one another up and having a general messing around with one another, we forget that actually children enjoy seeing us have banter and not always telling them do this and that. Paul has just allowed me to settle him so the email will need to be wrapped up I’ve literally begged him all day to let me!!
I would like to say thank you to my colleagues Amy & Ben for making these 10 days an amazing experience for the children and also myself I would say there has not been anytime when theres been a hierarchy but Amy has definitely been the boss, I pulled rank once to take the spare bedroom little did I know you hear everything from Riannon room so I can see why Paul wanted to move, when I asked if we would like to take it in turns it was a resounding no, that’ll teach me, but it has been 3 adults just working together making decisions some right and some wrong but sticking together to get positive outcomes and doing this with a huge smile on our faces. I will also say on behalf of the children THANK YOU, although from their behaviours and reactions we know they’re incredibly grateful for this self isolating period.
So as I wrap up the lockdown blog, I would like to say that everyday has been a good day, the children now start off their day with saying it will be a good day and for any blips we’ve had the amazing work / fun / memories the children are giving us, out way any bad moments 10 fold. We’re so fortunate to be blessed with the children we have the opportunity to nurture and guide through their childhood. So on to tomorrow when we have some returning faces, I think its important to believe you will have a good day because we’ve had amazing days, bit emotional to be fair if I am honest thinking its coming to an end, yes we’re tired and we need it to come to an end but for me personally I don’t get this opportunity often not sure I will ever get an opportunity like this again so I am glad I’ve had it I am glad its gone well and I am glad to be getting some sleep tomorrow, if there is anything we’ve forgotten to do or cannot find anything please let Eleanor know and she can contact me regarding it as Ben & Amy are deserving of a good few days without being disturbed, I am taking tomorrow off other than to see Callum and then will be taking him on his next adventure on Tuesday but will be around from Tuesday.
Look forward to seeing you all after a fresh break and a recharge of the batteries and again thank you to Amy & Ben for what they’ve done over these 10 days. 

P.S wait up for me if Paul doesn’t sleep until 12 because I have been asking for tonight all week haha


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