From Zimbabwe to Wales, meet our new colleagues!
Linc Cymru is a housing and care provider in South Wales. We have three nursing homes and are passionate about providing high quality care, centred around our residents.
We recently welcomed seven nurses from Zimbabwe and it is safe to say that our new team members joined us at a unique time. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been hard and has made nursing homes a particularly challenging environment.
During this time, offering our residents a home where they find joy, comfort, and togetherness, has been more important than ever.
Evidence, who joined us from Zimbabwe, said; “With Coronavirus, residents aren’t able to see their families much, so most of their time is spent with us. We must make sure we are there for them. They are so lovely, and we are grateful for them.”
Hiring nurses from overseas is something we’ve been looking into for a while, and when our prospective new colleagues spoke during their interviews of a culture where family is so precious and elderly relatives are respected and revered, we could see just how much they had to offer our residents.
Before our nurses started on this adventure, they took part in a theory test to assess their medical knowledge. Following successful completion of this they were interviewed, before being offered the opportunity to travel to Wales to undertake their final assessment.
Their first month in Wales has been about training and learning what it is like to be a nurse in a nursing home environment. After this short training period our colleagues completed a practical test which enables them to practice as nurses in the UK.
Doreen said: “We’ve been given lots of support throughout our training. It’s been intense, but people across Linc have supported us.
Now that our tests are completed and some of the COVID restrictions are easing, I’m looking forward to going out and exploring Cardiff.”
In Zimbabwe, the concept of a nursing or care home isn’t very well known, and just like in the UK, there are some misconceptions of what they are like to work and live in;
Marjorie said: “I thought a care home would be clinical, but it’s interactive. It’s a care home. A home away from home.”
The kindness and compassion that has radiated from our new colleagues has been met with true gratitude and joy from our residents. While Zimbabwe (and its weather) seem so far away, we’ve been really struck by how quickly our new colleagues have adapted to working in nursing homes in chilly Wales. Each of them has become integral to our team.
Jacqueline Williams, Nursing Home Manager at Ty Coch said: “I was involved in interviewing the nurses and I was struck by their passion for their jobs and their polite and respectful natures.
I have been thrilled with their recruitment, they work to such a high standard and are a great asset to Linc. They have received a warm welcome from their new colleagues and have settled in better than we could have imagined.”
It’s been a learning curve for us all, including Evidence who is surprised by our tea habits, she said “Tea is a big thing in the UK. I’m starting to get used to the idea that people here don’t have sugar in their tea. At home we have at least three!”
When we first started on this journey, we were struck very early on by the importance of family in the Zimbabwe culture and their commitment to caring for their older relatives.
We are pleased to share that all seven of our new colleagues successfully completed their practical training and will soon take up their permanent posts in Ty Coch and Penylan House.
Our new recruits have left their families in Zimbabwe to join ours, and we’re so grateful they did. The commitment, positivity, and high standards of care they have shown is a testament to them.
When we asked Ayanda, Evidence, Rangarirayi, Ndumiso, Doreen, Sithabile and Marjorie what they would say to fellow nurses from Zimbabwe and across the world, they smiled and boldly shouted “Come!”