This week is Carers Week and highlights the challenges of being a carer and aims to make caring ‘visible, valued and supported’.
The NHS class a carer as ‘anyone, including children and adults, who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support’.
1 in 8 adults in the UK are carers, with 1 in 5 people juggling work with caring responsibilities.
In June 2021, we signed up to Harry’s Pledge to show our commitment to carers working within our organisation and living in our homes. Since then, we commissioned an audit by Harry’s Pledge to tell us what areas we can improve in, to further support carers in our communities and in our work force.
In only a year of signing up to the pledge, we have done the following:
- Undertaken the Harry’s Pledge audit.
- Surveyed our staff to understand how many of them are carers (the answer is 16%!).
- Started to use inductions and one-to-ones to discuss caring responsibilities and the support we offer.
- Continuing our flexible working offer to allow staff to work around their responsibilities.
- Committed to make at least 10% of new build homes fully accessible.
- Worked with Invisible Creations to make some of our existing homes more accessible whilst helping customers keep their dignity and pride.
- Invested heavily in making existing homes suitable for the needs of our customers.
- All managers will be trained on supporting carers within the workplace.
- ‘Carers champions’ will be introduced to support carers within the business who may need emotional or other types of support.
- A forum for Carers will be set up to share experiences and provide support to each other.
- We will continue to work on making our existing and new homes accessible.
Our involvement in Harry’s Pledge is invaluable in our aim to promote wellness of our employees and become an employer of choice. It also supports us in providing homes where customers feel safe. You can read more about our aims for the next three years here.