While football (and many other pursuits) have been on hold, key workers have been at the front of our thoughts.
Last week, we put out a call for fans to get in touch to tell their own stories as key workers during the lockdown, or putting their friends or family forward for recognition, so that we can share their experiences with the Royal family.
We had a fantastic take-up from our fans – and in the first of our round-ups this week, we’re focusing on some of those working for the NHS and healthcare.
I'm 21 years old and a lifelong Reading supporter. For the last three months, I have been working as a support worker in an assisted living facility in Reading, for adults with severe learning disabilities. One of whom is a loyal Royal!
My earliest memories of being a reading fan are of the 2005-06 season, so you may say I’ve only known the good times! My fondest memory of that season was watching reading thrash Derby County to become division champions and the pitch invasion which followed! In 2012 I started going to away games, I remember fantastic wins against Watford and of course Southampton away, which to this day is my best memory as a Reading fan.
Guy and his brothers in their younger years
Over the last few years I’ve been at University in Sheffield and so I have not gone to as many home games as I had hoped. But I’ve been to many away games up north including, Rotherham, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds, Huddersfield, Birmingham and Wigan. I watched most of the home games this season in the Eamonn Dolan Stand, with my grandad who has been a Season Ticket holder for around 40 years.
I live in Bracknell but work near Newbury, so each day I pass the Madejski along the M4 in the morning. I think of all the good times and hope that it’s not too long until we see more!
I am 23 and I am a massive Reading supporter and I live and work in Portsmouth. I work at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Clinical Engineering as a Clinical Engineer.
My role is basically to maintain equipment within the hospital, so this is covering infusions pumps, to defibrillators and scales around the hospital. This may be carrying out the service or any repairs on the equipment.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we have found ourselves bringing in lots of new kit, testing it then disrupting it around the hospital, making sure areas have all the kit they need to help everyone coming into the hospital.
I have had many highs and lows as a Reading fan! Starting off with the bad would be getting relegated from the Premiership and also getting beat by Portsmouth 7-4, growing up in Portsmouth wasn’t great with this result at the time! Highs have to be 106 season, hands down the greatest team we have ever had and another stand out moment was 2011-12 promotion!
Myself and my family have been big Reading fans and Season Ticket holders for 19 or 20 years now, but we actually live in South Wales. I work in a school so at the moment all staff are taking our turns to help run the NHS Childcare Hubs. My partner has also had to carry on working to help with the manufacturing of packaging for medical and foodstuffs, and our son also is still in work for the transport industry.
This is a very trying time for everyone and missing our football is a massive thing for us, especially our daughter who is having to do her schoolwork from home and with it being her options this year. But please stay home and stay safe.
I’m working temporarily as a production worker for Intersurgical in Woking, making respiratory systems for the NHS. Over 1 million products have been made since the March 16th!
I used to work for the Community Trust at Reading FC, I’m a football coach so this is a complete twist to what I’m used to doing – but we all have to pull together and work hard for everyone!
I’ve been a Reading fan since I was 7, it was always tricky being the only girl in the class who was obsessed with football, but Reading FC became my passion. Every Christmas I’d ask for that season’s Reading kit, and every birthday treat was a game at the Madejski. I loved everything about it, and still do. Unfortunately, as the recent few years have consisted of severe illness and hospital admissions, I was unable to attend all the matches I used to. I lost touch with football as a whole, but I always remembered the wonderful memories and special moments I’d had with the club. The Wembley adventures against Swansea, Huddersfield and even Arsenal all may have ended in heartbreak but the spirit of the fans along with the atmosphere is something I’ll never forget. In my opinion this has similarities to the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the tragedy of the situation and devastation it has brought, the community spirit and support for one another has been incredible.
I work in a nursing home, a role I applied for in the hope I could use my own personal health difficulties to care for vulnerable people. As a patient I’ve bounced between so many hospitals, doctors, nurses and treatments and I’ve learned that actually, compassion and even just a smile can make the world of a difference. I try to use this experience when I’m working, to enable those in need to feel safe and loved.
I usually volunteer on a local hospital ward as well, but unfortunately that has been put on hold for the moment due to the pandemic. So, instead I’ve decided to use that time to create a non-profit organisation which sends free crisis/mental health support boxes to people struggling with their well-being during lockdown. So far I’ve sent out over 30 boxes and the response has been heartwarming.
A reminder that you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your key-worker stories with us.