Expat works as a carer in the Fens during coronavirus outbreak as he can’t get back to Spain

Steve Tibbs, a Spanish resident, is working as a carer in March during the coronavirus pandemic as h

Steve Tibbs, a Spanish resident, is working as a carer in March during the coronavirus pandemic as he is unable to travel home. - Credit: Steve Tibbs

Steve Tibbs found a job doing community care in the March area after Spain went into complete lockdown in mid-March.

He has previous experience in community health and as a volunteer with Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue, and is using those skills to support the coronavirus response.

Steve said: “I don’t have years of experience but I’m doing what I can while I’m here. As I can’t get back home, I may as well make myself useful.

“It has been a steep learning curve but I do have some skills that can help in this situation and support the response where I can.”

He added: “From my point of view, I’m seeing the Dunkirk spirit coming out in people.

“They’re doing their bit to help others and keep the country going during the lockdown.

“There’s plenty of work out there for anyone that needs it and can get out there.

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“The supermarkets want delivery drivers, there’s food that needs harvesting and obviously there’s care work available - I’m getting alerts pop up on my phone all the time.”

Steve, who lives in Fuerteventura, travelled to the UK on March 13 for a wedding at Twickenham the following day.

But Spain went into complete lockdown that same weekend in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus.

Instead of waiting for flights back to resume, Steve still has family in the Fens and found a role with Better Healthcare in the March area.

One friend has let him stay on his boat at Needingworth, near St Ives, and another has loaned him a car to use.

Steve, who is originally from Wisbech, said: “I was looking in my daughter’s loft for any stuff I’d left behind, and I found an old first aid kit.

“I saw that as a sign that this is what I should be doing - helping on the front line.”

Health and fitness has always been part of Steve’s life. He has developed community health programmes for people struggling with health conditions.

In 2010, he joined Cambridgeshire Search and Rescue and was a Community First Responder.

Steve emigrated to Fuerteventura in 2017 where his plans to set up a business that involves dance and fitness holidays and personal training. But he will pick it back up when the lockdown is lifted and tourists can travel to the island again.