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Posted 10 June 2020

From providing independent living with access to on-site care and support in Extra Care, to building fully accessible homes in our new build schemes, we are committed to caring for our communities.

Now, more than ever, the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the vital work that carers do and shown that society should value carers more – both those paid and unpaid.

We're proud to sign up to Harry’s Pledge which has launched this week as part of Carers Week. A united national commitment to support, recognise and champion carers.

Social housing providers across the country have joined together with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), National Housing Federation (NHF) and PlaceShapers, supported by Carers UK, Inside Housing and Harry’s Pals, to make a renewed commitment to carers.

Harry’s Pledge focuses on four areas to support those who need care and those who provide it.

  1. Being supportive employers to people that have caring responsibilities
  2. Making offices and community spaces as accessible as possible
  3. Building more fully accessible homes
  4. Further professionalising and promoting care as a career, and lobbying for changes in pay and rewards for carers.

Housing 21 promotes care as a valued career choice, challenging negative perceptions through the recent ‘Today I Was’ campaign, and paying carers at least 10% above the national living wage.

We offer a clear training pathway for our Care Workers and offer a full range of Care Apprenticeships.

Jenny Docherty, Learning & Development Partner at Housing 21 said, “We offer Level Two and Three Care Apprenticeships to our care staff to support their development, as well as Level Four and Five Care Apprenticeships to support staff moving into Care Management roles. We also point our Care Workers in the direction of obtaining short distance learning courses with various colleges, who offer fully funded care specific courses at Level Two to increase knowledge in areas such as mental health, dementia and safe handling of medicines.”

Our homes are designed to be accessible. We have recently carried out work with Motionspot to look at the accessibility of our shower rooms in apartments as well as assisted bathrooms in our Extra Care schemes.

Steve Hogben, Head of Construction at Housing 21 said, “All our new build schemes are designed with level access throughout and have lift access to all floors. We’re proud that our property sizes meet nationally described space standards and are designed to accessibility and adaptability standards.”

We are committed to supporting our staff who also have caring responsibilities outside of their main role and are delighted to be able to share some of their stories with you.

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

Find out more information about Harry’s Pledge by visiting harrys-pledge.org.uk or follow @HarrysPledge on Twitter.

Harrys pledge to carers

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