A CARE home manager has called on the public to listen to government advice for the sake of vulnerable people.

While NHS staff have been working around the clock to battle the spread of coronavirus, care homes across Herefordshire have also been hard at work to keep their residents safe.

The spread of the virus has meant residents at Merrivale Farm, a care home for adults with learning difficulties near Ledbury, have had to remain at home for the last two weeks.

Many of the residents attend day centres and various social activities outside of the home during the week.

But with those facilities now closed until further notice, staff decided they would build their own pub, to restore a sense of normality and to help residents escape the confinement they currently find themselves in.

Equipped with a pool table and darts board, The Merrivale Arms is also being put to good use as a day centre, playing host to music sessions and craft workshops.

Staff have also organised cooking sessions, and to keep things interesting, plans are also afoot to tranform the pub into a shop for a week.

“As you can imagine it’s a pretty tough time for all care homes at the minute,” manager Megan Morgan said.

“We have a very small team of eight extremely dedicated people, who are all making sacrifices, even distancing from family members to keep residents safe.

“Sadly some of our residents find it very difficult to understand the current health crisis, and why they are being isolated from others. They have to stay at home to stay safe, but it’s very hard on them.”

“People need to listen to social distancing and self-isolation guidance, as the longer people ignore the government’s advice, the longer this will have to continue.”