IF you’re going to St Helens or Whiston hospitals any time soon there will be a few new faces to help you move around the buildings.

The Trust that runs the hospitals have temporarily employed five new social distancing wardens who will offer advice to patients and staff on social distancing, as well as ensuring people follow Government and Trust guidance around the wearing of masks, cleaning hands and movement around the buildings.

One of the new wardens, Chloe Williams, 28, from Litherland, said: "Before Covid, I was an events co-ordinator working on staging the Grand National at Aintree.

"It was all systems go, and we were almost ready for the highlight of the racing season when the country was thrown into lockdown.

"It was a massive blow to the hospitality industry and although pubs and restaurants are slowly starting to reopen, it looks like it will be a long time before major events of this kind can go ahead again.

"I absolutely love my job. I work on all of the horse racing events such as Aintree, Chester and Haydock, the next big event in the calendar after the Grand National was Royal Ascot.

St Helens Star:

"I also work on events including Wimbledon, the motor racing at Silverstone and Goodwood, and the golf open championships, but until restrictions lift to allow the public into sporting events again then my job won’t be reinstated.

"I’m used to being active, no two days are ever the same and it can be quite a physical job always running around, so to go from that to being at home with absolutely nothing to do was a shock to the system.

"I’ve been itching to get active again and to get some sense of normality back, so when I saw the advert to be a warden at the hospitals I jumped at the chance to get back working again.

"I had a couple of spells in hospital myself at the beginning of the year and I saw how hard everyone was working during the pandemic, so I really wanted to be part of it and help in any way I can.

My main role is to support people as they arrive at the hospital and to help keep everyone safe by making sure people know about the social distancing guidelines.

"We’re on hand to show people where the hand cleaning stations are and make sure everyone is wearing a mask as they’re walking around the building.

"There is also a new system in place across the hospitals to help people maintain social distance as they’re walking around, so we ask people to follow the one-way system, and queue at a safe distance if they are booking in for an appointment, or if they’re going to the shops or to the restaurants.

"It’s fantastic to be in the hospital, everyone has been so welcoming. It’s nice that you start recognising the faces of the staff as they come in at the start of their shift or when they’re going home and there’s always chatter to be had with the patients attending for their appointments – I like the social aspect of the job, it’s nice to be back in customer service, even if it is at a distance.

"I can’t wait to get back to my fulltime job, but for now I’m happy to be at the hospital and helping out. I feel like I’m playing an important role in helping to keep everyone safe.”