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“We are responsible for everybody that walks in that door,” says Leeanne Clarke, one of the cleaning staff at Lyndale Care, an aged residential care facility in Masterton.

“We are here to keep everything clean, and keep everyone healthy.”

These words could not be any more true, especially in the COVID-19 environment that we’re presently in. Everywhere in the world, cleaners are finally being recognised for the essential role they play every day in fighting the spread of infection.

Lesley De Menech, Trainer at Lyndale Care is pleased that they have always invested in training both their cleaners and care staff. Over the years, they have supported their staff to complete nationally recognised qualifications with Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce.

She shares, “one of our staff came to me and said when we went into lockdown, ‘I’ve read my infection control guide again and it just all falls into place now’.” They are aware of the importance of their role and why they must do the things they do.”

Now the cleaning team are especially bringing their training to the fore. Working as a team alongside the clinical staff, they are playing a critical role in keeping their residents and colleagues safe.

Robyn Matthews, Residential Services Manager, is proud of herself and her team for having done training that has placed them in such a strong position. For her, training on-the-job is the only way to go.

“Personally, I wouldn’t want to sit in the classroom. I’d rather do it the way I’ve done it here. It’s practical. Just learning as you’re going along,” Robyn shares.

PHOTO CAPTION: Leeanne Clarke (left) and Robyn Matthews (right)

 

Leeanne says the training reinforced that what they’re doing as cleaners is the right way and the right procedure. Having done training on-the-job also worked for her as she had young children. “I got stuck in and didn’t procrastinate. I wanted to show my children that I could do it too. Hopefully I showed them not to procrastinate on their schoolwork too.”

The team at Lyndale Care advocates for continuous upskilling. Robyn says, “I would encourage everyone to do it because you’re never too old to learn. I’m personally looking forward to doing my Level 3 supervisor training. It makes me proud that I’ve accomplished something, that I have my certificate and I’ve got my badge and I wear it with pride actually.”

Lesley says, “They’ve really been boosted by doing their training with Careerforce. I have seen a change. The cleaning is a lot better and they are more aware of things now than what they were before.”

Cleaners are never ‘just’ cleaners. They are our front liners and have been doing their part even before the pandemic started. We hope we never go back to overlooking this very important workforce.