Meet our Key Workers living in Aldgate East

In February this year we announced our partnership with YOO Development and Gamuda, and the exciting opportunity that presented itself from the collaboration. Managing three 1-bedroom flats in a residential block on Commercial Road, we are providing these units as an exclusive guardianship for crucial NHS workers to live close to their place of work.

Our aim is to build a community of kind, hardworking individuals for whom this opportunity will make all the difference. And so, we are therefore delighted to introduce you to our three key workers who are living in this exclusive guardianship.

Aaron, Junior Doctor, Guys and St Thomas’

Meet Aaron, who recently made the decision to move into London to do his part in the Covid-19 crisis. Aaron is currently a junior doctor working at Guys and St Thomas’, but is about to start a placement in ITU at the Royal Free Hospital, so the move to Aldgate East means he will be much closer to his place of work.

“I’m still relatively early in my career, qualifying in 2018 from King’s and working for two years in Cambridge and Bedford. I had initially intended to specialise in Psychiatry, so in the summer of 2020 I started a psychiatric post in Cambridge and Peterborough.

However, as the second wave of the Pandemic picked up, I felt that I could do more good working in acute medicine with Covid-19 patients, so I handed in my notice and took a job in London. I currently work with a team that manages patients too unwell or too frail to be cared for in hospital, going into patients’ homes to start intravenous antibiotics, steroids, fluids and oxygen. I was accepted onto a clinical fellowship at the Royal Free to work in ITU, again hoping to help manage patients who have been hit hardest by Covid-19.

I am still paying the rent of my accommodation in Cambridge, as such, the high rents of traditional properties in Central London would have meant I would be losing money taking on this clinical fellowship. The excellent location and affordable price of this guardianship property relieves me of a significant financial burden and allows me to focus more keenly on my work.”

Ellis, North Central London Vaccination Support, NHS

Ellis is currently working for the NHS in North Central London on the vaccination programme. He was transferred to this role following his work during the first wave of the Pandemic, where he was working firstly on the ICU wards at the Royal Free Hospital, then in the mortuary, and finally, over at the Nightingale Hospital.

“My role is quite varied at the moment; from helping out operationally on the set-ups for the mass vaccination sites, to being the lead for reporting for the region, and also as a programme manager for redeployment of staff across the sector to areas that are most in need.

I volunteer as much as I can, either as a vaccinator or as a virtual visitor back on the ICU wards at the Royal Free (someone who uses an iPad to allow patients to talk to and see their families).”

Ellis spends most of his time at one of three sites; the BDC in Angel, University College Hospital or Royal Free. The high cost and lengthy commuting times are a real problem for key workers who work long hours, so for Ellis, being able to live at a significantly reduced rate in close proximity to where he works, has been a game changer.

Evan, Mental Health Nurse, East London NHS Foundation Trust

Evan qualified as a mental health nurse in September 2019, and since then he has been working as a staff nurse on the psychiatric intensive care unit at the Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health. He was recently promoted to the position of Clinical Team Lead.

Evan dedicates much of his spare time to go above and beyond to serve the wider community. In October 2014 he set up and ran Better Together in Lloyd Park, an independent, non-profit, voluntary project which ran a weekly social club and separate bowls club. The aim was to support socially isolated individuals with mental health challenges who were from the local area.

“After a few years as Project Lead at Better Together, I decided to step down in order to prioritise my studies. I found an organisation willing to take on the project and I continued to volunteer with the organisation until March 2020 when it temporarily closed down in due to Covid-19.”

The affordability of this guardianship in Aldgate East has meant that his financial pressures have lessened, and means that Evan can continue to use his spare time to volunteer with charities and local communities.

“During the lockdown I continued to volunteer in East London, first for Civic in Custom House, which looks to reutilise abandoned spaces as community hubs and encourage community involvement through volunteering. More recently I started volunteering for Connifinn Care, a mental health residential care home in Walthamstow.”

The sacrifices key workers have made, and continue to make, for our community only strengthens our belief that they are the backbone of our society, and we want to support them in any way possible. We are thrilled to have been able to provide this opportunity of affordable housing to these key workers who are doing such incredible things.