Mum-of-one Georgianna Baldwin is a plumber and apprentice gas engineer for Bradford Council. She finds riding and playtime with her daughter just the tonic for dwindling motivation, fear for a family member’s health and worrying about weight gain.

“We do some work on Covid wings or hot spots and that was very scary at first, even in full PPE”

“My work for Bradford council is an amazing job which involves doing something different everyday.

I’m on the reactive maintenance side, so I mainly do repairs and fault finding, as well as some installations. I travel all over Bradford and some surrounding areas.

I work in many different buildings, rather than houses, such as libraries, town halls, care homes, disability homes, cemeteries, swimming pools and schools.

Call outs might be for blocked toilets, leaks, central heating problems, tap changes and many other things.

I decided I wanted to be a plumber after completing my A levels and I’ve been in my current role since 2017.

When the pandemic started, the severity quickly became clear. At work we were briefed and to wear masks and gloves everywhere we go. As soon as a job finishes, we have to use hand sanitiser.

I follow the rules to the letter — I want to keep others safe, as well as myself and my family.

Working in Covid hot spots

As a lot of places had to shut down, my work load varies. Having regular Covid tests is not something I enjoy, and my temperature is checked upon entry to buildings and paperwork has to be filled out before we can even look at attending a job.

A lot of things have been hard during the pandemic. When it started, because we go into care homes, we have to do some work on the Covid wings or hot spots and that was very scary at first, even in full PPE.

It’s heartbreaking to see the older generation suffering and no one there to visit them.

I am at college one day a week, as part of my apprenticeship, but all my work has moved online. I’ve struggled with not being able to do our practical work and worrying whether or not I’m going to qualify, as the pandemic has caused delays in exams and site visits.

Personal struggles

I have to admit that I have struggled with not being able to see family and friends. To be able to take my family on days out will be amazing. I am a mum of one — my daughter, Esmae-Tallulah, will be two in April — and I juggle parenting with having a horse and home life.

I’m lucky that my mum is Esmae’s childminder. Esmae’s dad, my partner, is also a key worker. We got engaged on Christmas Day, but we don’t want a wedding during lockdown.

Georgianna with Rodney and Esmae

There have been days when I’ve just sat at home and thought, ‘what is the point?’. Physically I’ve put on a lot of weight. After I had my daughter in 2019 I lost a lot of weight, but since the pandemic I’ve piled it all back on, plus some extra.

Personally I haven’t had Covid and neither has anyone in my family. The main worry has been my dad, as he’s very vulnerable with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He needs to have surgery to remove a nodule in his lungs, but it has been delayed due to the pandemic. I worry about his health a lot, but I feel better now that he’s had his first vaccine.

I lost my first horse of eight years in 2019 and wasn’t planning on getting another for a while due to having Esmae. However, last June I started looking around and found Rodney, an eight-year-old cob with a cheeky heart of gold.”

I was looking for something lightweight, sensible and bombproof, but Rodney is still green. He did dressage in his previous home, but I’ve started jumping him and he’s a natural. He lives on a big livery yard where we are careful to socially distance.

Rodney has been my rock during the pandemic and he always manages to put a smile on my face. Esmae loves him as well. It’s hard juggling such a busy life, but it’s so worth it.”