We have many Key Workers in St Laurence Lodge.
These include police officers, brethren working on the underground railway, foster carers, funeral directors and a deep sea diver. In addition, the family of some of our brethren are also working on the front line, amongst other things keeping hospital services running by providing much needed support.
Below are just a few of those who have our utmost admiration.
..... is a deep sea diver. He is currently searching for unexploded World War Two bombs on the sea bed and arranging for their safe detonation prior to cables being laid.
He has also procured and distributed 100 face shields which were extremely well received by his local NHS staff at the Church Elm Lane Medical Centre, pharmacies and care staff (who were in desperate need of them and were in fact trying to source and buy their own).
"Hi Fraser. Thank you for bringing the face visors into the surgery for us. This is us on duty today. I have distributed the remainder (of the visors) to the staff for use when next (they're) in. Regards Di, Practice Nurse".
W Bro Jon
..... is modelling what the well dressed funeral director now wears during these very busy days and nights.
This photo was taken at the entrance to a local mortuary, where Jon and his colleagues have to treat all collections as covid positive for their own protection and that of their families. They also have to wear the protective clothing for house and care home removals, something none of them like but at this time they have no choice.
..... is a police officer in the Front line Operational Support Unit (Public Order).
A few of his thoughts .....
"The job's been difficult trying to balance work and life, and the sacrifices all my teams have made have been epic.
Seeing two sides of London and Londoners. Those who have heeded the advice, been affected directly by Covid, trying to help them, and those who have exploited it. The ones selling drugs, committing robberies on NHS staff. So on top of all this it’s also “business as usual” so general policing and back filling resources.
Then coming home, with the fear of being infected but with a prayer being with my family. The rare day off I get I end up doing the “big shop” and chores as my wife is isolating and home schooling our son.
London city is beautiful when empty. The quietness only being interrupted by Father Thames, but the outer boroughs where there are crowds of people still. Defiant two sides of a coin.
As much as I love my job, and actually living my dream, I have seen ultimate kindness and ultimate selfishness over the last two months.
God willing when this is over, one thing I will have enjoyed is seeing people with their families and enjoying time with each other in their homes".
W Bro Ken's wife and son, Annie and Nick,
..... both work at Broomfield Hospital in the Catering Department.
Supporting hospital staff by providing them with meals to keep them going. Nick is also responsible for all foodstuff into the Hospital and its distribution to the Wards.
..... is now on duty with the Metropolitan Police Force
W Bro Dean
..... is also an officer with the Metropolitan Police.
Below are two photographs taken back in the day when he was a PCSO in Hertfordshire.
The first was taken with the Chief Inspector and a colleague after attending Jummah (Friday prayers) and lunch with the community Elders. During his time in Hertfordshire he made it his job to learn as much as possible about all the people he came into contact with and with whom he is still in contact, even having left over 6 months ago.
The relationship with this community in particular came about after a tragedy in France and the force was told to get the contact details of all the local community representatives. After speaking to one of the men in the photo Dean asked if he could visit them at Prayers as his knowledge of Islam was scant to say the least. He went into the community hall, washed his hands, removed his hat and boots and was greeted by everybody with handshakes, smiles and hugs. Afterwards, to help him understand more, they gave him an English translation of the Quran and a small book that was most easily described as "Islam for Westerners".
The second photo is of him being presented with a certificate for his part in tackling cross-country drug dealing. During his 6 months on the team they managed to make a real impact to the point where they saw a significant reduction in what's called acquisitive crime (bike thefts/shoplifting etc.) because it was so hard for the addicts to obtain drugs in town. His Chief Inspector at the time wanted to do something special so rather than him presenting a certificate to Dean, he asked for his Superintendent to do it instead - apparently certificates from them are like ducks' teeth!