DMU cleaner shares insight into swapping campus for Leicester Royal Infirmary


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Following a call-out in April for extra cleaners from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL), staff from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) stepped forward to help support the NHS in the COVID- 19 crisis.

Cleaners from DMU have joined forces with staff at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI), volunteering to support on daily cleaning and administrative tasks.

Tina ambulance

Among them is full-time cleaning supervisor and mother-of-two Tina van-Riel, who wanted to take this opportunity to give something back, following treatment she has received herself from the NHS.

Tina said: “We have been working at Leicester Royal Infirmary over the last few months and it is going really well. We have been well looked after since day one.

“One of the team leaders at LRI, Binny, has been exceptional. She has been a great support from the moment we walked into the hospital. We were stocked up with equipment straight away and allocated an area to work on.

Tina has been working alongside fellow DMU cleaning supervisor, Kelli Burns.

 “Working on the same area every day means we have met some lovely people, from office staff to paramedics, to other cleaners themselves. They are all a lovely bunch,” continued Tina.

“It’s a team effort between us and it is nice being able to work together. We have learnt a lot of new cleaning methods and ways of doing things, which we can take back to campus.”

According to Tina there has been a lot of positive feedback for the DMU team: “We have had some nice feedback on our work, which is great. People come into our area and compliment us; it is really nice to hear you are appreciated. We have also been given a lot of praise for volunteering. Not everyone realises we are volunteers at first, but when they do the comments are overwhelming.”

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She added: “The atmosphere at LRI really is positive. The staff in general are all upbeat, cheerful and friendly. It is an incredibly positive attitude all round. There is sometimes a lot of negativity about hospitals, but I can say the standard of cleanliness is second to none, its immaculate.

“I am so pleased I have done this; I feel like I have contributed. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help and offer my services elsewhere during this time.

“The whole experience is extremely rewarding. My family are proud, they were a bit worried at first, but there are strict measures in place. I have never been worried about coming to any harm. My kids have even come to me and said, ‘well done you Mum’.”

Janet Coverdale, Head of Facilities at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Tina and the other cleaners from DMU who have been volunteering at the Leicester Royal Infirmary over the last few months.

“They quickly became part of our team and I know their hard work and effort is appreciated by everybody.”

Posted on Thursday 25th June 2020

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