Friday 4th September 2020

Harry's Pledge: WISH Midlands Zoom Workshop Recording


An introduction to Harry's Pledge - Show your support for Carers within the Housing Sector.

Watch the recording of WISH Midland's Zoom Workshop: 'An Introduction to Harry's Pledge - Show your Support for Carers Within the Housing Sector' by clicking on the image below.

Outline of Harry's' Pledge:

Harry’s Pledge – we’re proud to care

As a sector, we are proud to care. From providing specialist care services to people living in our homes, we are committed to caring for our communities.

As organisations, we aspire to provide a supportive and caring work environment where people can flourish.  With a changing demography we know there will be increased demand for this not only  in the future but now, more than ever, COVID19 crisis has highlighted the vital work that carers do.

It has also shown very clearly that as a society we do not value carers, both paid and unpaid enough. Clapping weekly to celebrate their work was a fantastic show of solidarity and thanks, but it must be followed by changes in public policy for those who provide care.

The impact or COVID19 has forced us, as leaders in social housing to ask ourselves some difficult questions.

Are we really doing all we can to support our employees who are also carers? Are we building homes fit for people who need high levels of care, or routinely designing better accessibility standards in our general needs properties? Are we showing our frontline carers that we appreciate them enough?

If we’re honest, some of our responses to these questions make us uncomfortable. We aren’t doing enough. We can do more. This is why we’ve joined together as housing association CEO’s, Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation, Placeshaper members, with the support of Inside Housing and our founding partner Harry’s Pals, to make a renewed commitment to carers, called Harry’s Pledge.

Harry’s Pals is a trust that supports parents caring for children with disabilities by providing a counselling service.  Run by Hayley Charlesworth, who has a five year old son called Harry, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy.  The trust is working with the housing sector to improve the lives of disabled people and carers.

We define a carer as someone who cares for someone with physical or mental health issues.

We are asking social landlords to sign up to and support Harry’s Pledge, which focuses on for key areas to ensure that we honour and support those who need care and those who provide it, as we rebuild our organisations and our society.

You can show your commitment to carers by signing up to Harry’s Pledge:

As Employers – We will be a carer friendly employer, doing all we can to support people with caring responsibilities to work for us by making our policies carer-friendly, ensuring they can work flexibly and fit paid work around unpaid caring work.  We will provide platforms and support for carers to tell their stories, and tell us what they need from us as employers and housing providers.

In our workspaces – We will make the offices and community spaces we offer as accessible as possible.  For example, we will install ‘Changing Place’ toilets in any new offices that ae open to the public and also look to retrofit existing spaces.

In the homes we build – We will build more fully accessible homes.  We will routinely consider accessibility in our general needs homes and how more of the homes we provide can b adapted for disabled people.

Training and career progression – We will work with partners to professionalise care further with clear qualifications/career paths, working to promote it as a valued career choice and lobbying for changes in pay and rewards.

Please get involved and make your pledge at harrys-pledge.org.uk


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