Praise for staff keeping the city running and residents safe


'You're doing a brilliant job' - that's the message from Sunderland Council Leader, Councillor Graeme Miller and Chief Executive Patrick Melia after meeting front line council workers.

The pair have been visiting frontline council staff across the city to thank them for the collective effort that is helping the city keep going through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visits to date have included socially distanced meetings with frontline Refuse and Recycling and Local Services teams at Jack Crawford House and with Sunderland Care and Support staff at Leechmere Training Centre to hear about how staff are adapting to social distancing rules, additional training to maintain service delivery and in some cases how they have coped with staff shortages.

Refuse and recycling teams have continued carrying out household waste and recycling collections from the city's 120,000 households throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, supported by Local Services teams who have undergone additional training so that they can support refuse and recycling at times of particular pressure.

Likewise Sunderland Care and support staff are continuing to play a vital role during the crisis, providing critical services to more than 4000 people in the community, delivering specialist equipment to people coming out of hospital to support their return home and continuing to provide supported living services to more than 300 adults with disabilities to enable people to live safely in their own homes.

There have also been visits to Sunderland Crematorium where staff explained how they had significantly changed the way they work, including the introduction of weekend services and live web-streaming to allow people not able to attend funeral services at the crematorium because of the emergency measures in place, to pay their respects.

Cllr Miller also visited Business Support staff at Sunderland Civic Centre who have played a crucial role in the council's response processing everything from statutory paperwork in relation to burials and cremations, adult safeguarding referrals and adult social care payments for residents, to scanning mail so colleagues can stay home as well as ensuring urgent cheques for business rate payers were generated.

Praising staff for the vital role they have played in providing critical frontline services and services for vulnerable people over recent weeks, Cllr Miller told them: “I want to say a huge thank you to all of our key workers who are still working hard through the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the city running and our residents safe. You are all doing a brilliant job and I have no doubt that we will all continue to do so.

“Even now during a global pandemic, people expect their bins to be emptied, the streets to be kept clean and all normal services to continue and everyone is playing their part in keeping this going.”

Chief Executive, Patrick echoed this, adding: “Everyone’s efforts have been absolutely outstanding, I am constantly receiving reports and thank you messages from residents, councillors, the city’s MPs and customers about the support they have received from teams across the council during these difficult times and how much this has meant to them.”

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Sunderland's Friendship Agreement with Washington DC makes us the only city in Europe to enjoy such a relationship with the world's most powerful city. Washington Old Hall is home to the direct ancestors of the first president of the United States of America.


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