We know how great our staff on the ground are, but we think everyone else should know, too.
As COVID-19 took hold, and students were being sent home from school for their safety, our staff understandably had their own pressures and concerns. Would they still have a job? Would they be able to work from home? How would they juggle work and the demands of home in the midst of the pandemic?
But front and centre of their thoughts was the welfare of their girls. The students in their care. They have worked so hard to create a sanctuary for the girls, day in, day out, in their Academy rooms. How would these young women cope if that was taken away from them?
They knew they couldn’t simply throw their hands up in the air and say “I can’t do it, it’s too hard”. These girls relied on them. They turned to their Academy mentors for advice and assistance in so many things. Now they needed them more than ever. And yet they couldn’t be there physically for the girls. How could they ensure they knew that they were still in their corner?
They took a deep breath, put aside their own stresses and swung into action. They poured their heart and soul into creating care packages for the girls who couldn’t come to school. Care packages loaded not just with practical, everyday items but packed with emotion. They wanted these deliveries to be a physical representation of the heartfelt support they have always provided the girls.
So while you might see something as banal as deodorant or toothpaste, we see the real thought and care that has gone into those packages. It’s not just about providing the girls with what most of us would regard as the basics, which also included books, pens and other learning material, but showing them how important they are — and how much Girls Academy cares about their wellbeing.
As schools have slowly returned around the country, and our Academy rooms have once again opened their doors, our staff will quickly get caught up in the day to day before we know it.
They will be so busy returning to at least semi-familiar schedules, they won’t have time to reflect on the tremendous job they did responding to the altered reality that COVID-19 thrust upon them. And not just with the care packages, but with the constant checking-in and following up with the girls. The texts, the phone calls, the emails. “Are you OK? Do you need anything? We’re here for you.”
So we’d just like to take a moment, pause and say “thank you”. Thank you to all of you who care so deeply about the work you do and the girls in your care. Together you really are making a difference.