Harry’s Pledge: Social housing’s commitment to carers
Shepherds Bush Housing Group is proud to get behind Harry’s Pledge, a united national commitment to support, recognise and champion carers.
Across the country social housing providers like us are looking to commit to four pledges:
- Being supportive employers to people that have caring responsibilities
- Making offices and community spaces as accessible as possible
- Building more fully-accessible homes
- Further professionalising and promoting care as a career, and lobbying for changes in pay and rewards for carers.
Launched in Carers Week, Harry’s Pledge is named in honour of Harry Charlesworth, a lively five-year-old whose birth disability of quadriplegic cerebral palsy means he has deep caring needs.
His grandmother is Julie Doyle, the chief executive of PlaceShapers member Longhurst. She and Harry’s family were determined that the focus on the difference made by carers during the Coronavirus pandemic should not be lost.
Matt Campion, our CEO said: “We are proud and pleased to be looking into committing to Harry’s pledge. Carers are the unsung heroes of our society. The pandemic has thrown a light on this and shown the ways and depth that this happens. Harry’s Pledge wil show solidarity with this and will help lead to more support for careers and the people they care for.”
Harry’s Pledge is a unified approach from Carers UK, together with PlaceShapers, the Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation and PlaceShapers.
National Carers Week runs from Monday 8 June until Sunday 14 June. Helen Walkers, CEO of Carers UK, said: “Carers UK fully supports Harry’s Pledge to support paid and unpaid carers in the housing sector.
“We know how vital support provided by family and friends is to those who are disabled, ill or growing frail. Our Carers Week theme is making caring visible, this initiative does just that.”
Find out more about Harry’s Pledge at www.harrys-pledge.org.uk
Harry’s Pledge focuses on four areas where we can support those who need care and those who provide it. We define a carer as someone who cares for someone with physical or mental health needs.
The flour pledges:
1. As employers
We will do all we can to support people with caring responsibilities to work for us by making our policies carer-friendly.
»We will be a carer friendly employer.
»We will ensure people can work flexibly to fit paid work around unpaid caring work.
»We will provide platforms and support for those who are carers to tell their stories, and to tell us what more they need from us as employers and housing providers.
2. 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 are open to the public and look to retrofit existing spaces.
3. In the homes we build:
»We will build more fully accessible homes.
»We will routinely consider accessibility when developing new homes and within our existing stock.
»We will consider how more of the homes we build can be adapted for disabled people.
4. In training and career progression:
»We will work with partners to professionalise care further with clear qualifications and career paths.
»We will promote care as a valued career choice.
»We will lobby for changes in pay and rewards for carers.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.
This Carers Week, we're recognising that now, more than ever before, it's time for us to come together and help Make Caring Visible. Everyone has a part to play in making sure these carers are seen, heard, and understood; and helping them to get the support they need to care. Making Caring Visible will help carers get the information and support they need - and everyone can get involved.
Organisations will be pledging their support for Carers Week and beyond. Virtual activities are being organised and listed on the Carers Week site, bringing carers together across the UK. And everyone can Add Their Voice to our call that together, we can help Make Caring Visible. To find out more visit https://www.carersweek.org/get-involved
Run by Hayley Charlesworth, whose five-year-old son Harry has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Harry’s Pals is a trust that supports parents caring for children with disabilities by providing a counselling service.
Hayley talks about Harry, the challenges carers face and the support provided by Harry’s Pals, in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXL0EI4BZ4c&feature=youtu.be
For more information on Harry’s Pals, please visit: https://thehelpingharrytrust.com/
PlaceShapers is a national network of more than 100 community-based values-driven social housing providers. All members sign up to five principles:
- Our residents and customers are at the heart of what we do and have genuine impact on our organisations.
- We listen and provide more than just landlord services because we care about people and places.
- We build homes that respond to the needs of the communities we serve.
- Working collaboratively and actively with our local authorities and other local partners enables us to improve and shape places at both a strategic and operational level.
- We are run by members, for members and are committed to a diverse, values-driven housing association sector.