Carers leading the way with Dignity Programme

Published 26th September 2018

Dignity champions

Care staff from across Sandwell have been recognised for the work they are doing to promote the importance of treating the elderly with dignity.

The fifteen care employees – who work in nursing homes, residential homes, extra-care housing schemes or provide domiciliary care for people living in their own homes  – are the first to complete the special programme to become human rights and dignity champions in their workplaces.

The champions attended monthly workshops which as well as providing them with support and  information, gave them the opportunity to share ideas  and suggestions to promote human rights and dignity,  improving the quality of life for Sandwell residents receiving  care and support services.

They will now become a champion in their own workplace, promoting what they have learned to other colleagues and challenging situations where they believe rights are being compromised or not promoted.

One of the champions, Jayne Buckingham, designed a special doll called Freda  – to help her spread the dignity message.

Jayne who works at Holly Grange, one of Sandwell Council’s extra-care housing schemes, said: “I wanted to create a character that would help me get the message across to residents and colleagues.

“Freda’s name spells out  Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy, which represents the five principles of human rights.

"I wanted to turn Freda into something tangible that people could relate to, while reinforcing the message that people are individuals with their own preferences and needs."

She even located a doll-maker through the internet, who when she heard what Freda was going to be used for, made her free of charge.
 
The champions were presented with their certificates by Councillor Ann Shackleton, Sandwell’s cabinet member for social care.

She said: “Talking to the champions, I have been tremendously impressed by their enthusiasm and the passion they have about what they do in their caring roles, and how they want to do it.

“They do a difficult and often under-appreciated job supporting some of our more vulnerable residents.

“I am sure they will all do an excellent job in their roles as human rights and dignity champions - sharing and promoting what they have learned. The champion role is all about improving the quality of life and outcomes for those Sandwell residents receiving a care service."

The Human Rights and Dignity programme has been developed by the Quality Team at Sandwell Council’s Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing directorate, and supports the Care Quality Commission Human Rights Strategy.