Support for carers

Andrew Ginns, Assistant Director of Corporate Services

This National Carers’ week, we’re cementing our commitment to our colleagues and customers, by signing up to Harry’s Pledge.

By doing so, we’re joining other social housing providers in pledging our support for carers and those needing care.

A housing sector proud to care

The social housing sector is so much more than ‘bricks and mortar’. Our sector provides homes with specialist care and support, supports people to live independently in their own homes and remains committed to caring for the communities in which we work.

The pledge, established by housing associations, CIH, National Housing Federation, Inside Housing and PlaceShapers with founding partner Harry’s Pals, looks to make a renewed commitment in four key areas; as employers, our workspaces, the homes we build, and paid carers.

We want to take a close look at the needs of the people who work for us, those we support and the homes we deliver. We want to ask our colleagues and our customers ‘what can we do to support your role as a carer?’, and deliver on those answers.

Our pledge

Our senior leaders have got together to agree the key principles by which we will uphold our pledge.

Spencer Welby, Head of PeopleSpencer Welby - Assistant Director of People

As employers we will:

  • Offer practical support to colleagues, by making our policies carer-friendly and support working flexibly in line with carer responsibilities, where possible.
  • Work with external agencies, to help review and support us to establish a meaningful offer for colleagues.
  • Ensure colleagues feel supported by our ‘Carers’ Peer Group’ and encouraged to share their stories through our internal and external channels.

Gemma De Brito, Assistant Director of Homes and WellbeingGemma De Brito - Assistant Director of Homes and Wellbeing

On training and career progression we will:

  • Work with partners to further professionalise care with clear qualifications and career paths.
  • Promote care as a valued career choice.
  • Be vocal supporters of the Future Social Care Coalition Campaign, to influence changes to pay and rewards for carers.

David Partridge, Head of PelhamDavid Partridge - Head of Pelham 

In our workspaces we will:

  • Make our offices and community spaces as accessible as possible.
    • For our new offices we are working with our architects to embed accessibility and a design sympathetic to people with additional needs.
  • Install “Changing Places” toilets in any new offices that are open to the public and look to retrofit existing spaces.

Joanne Hill, Assistant Director of Development and SalesJoanne Hill - Assistant Director of Development and Sales

In the homes we build we will:

  • Build more fully accessible homes, and establish a standard spec for bungalows and flats for older people to include invisible adaptations and allow for easier future adaptations.
  • Routinely review accessibility need within our existing homes.
  • Review our existing adaptation procedure to ensure people live in a home that meets their needs.

Who’s Harry?

Harry’s Pledge is a collaboration of Harry’s Pals, housing associations, sector membership organisations and media agencies.

Run by Hayley Charlesworth, and named after her son, the Harry’s Pals trust supports parents caring for children with disabilities. Through their collaboration with the Harry’s Pledge, they are supporting the housing sector to improve the lives of disabled people and their carers.

Note: For the purposes of the pledge a ‘carer’ is defined as a person who cares for someone with physical or mental health needs.