Campaign Calls for People to do a Good Deed in Sandwell

18/12/2009

Doing just one thing can make a world of difference to someone in your community or to a patient's recovery. It can be as simple as treating someone with dignity or doing a neighbour's shopping.

Sandwell Council and its partners are set to launch the borough's Dignity Campaign at The Public in West Bromwich on 3rd December.

The Dignity Campaign builds on a national initiative launched in November 2006 by the Minister for Care Services to stimulate a national debate around dignity in care and create a care system where there is zero tolerance of abuse and disrespect of older people.

In Sandwell, we have extended this across our partners as we believe all citizens should be treated with dignity regardless of where they live.

Sandwell Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for Adult Services and Health, Councillor Darren Cooper said: "We all want Sandwell to be a place where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The dignity campaign launched by the Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board links closely with the need to prevent abuse in our communities.

"However, we want to include younger people in our campaign too, to demonstrate the importance of growing up to respect all people."

Three of Sandwell Council's cabinet members - Cllrs Cooper, Derek Rowley and Pauline Hinton have already become dignity champions and will be leading the campaign. There is a lot of work already happening in Sandwell, with dignity champions training staff in dignity related issues and the importance of treating people with dignity.

Healthy lifestyles activities such as Sandwell Primary Care Trust's Walk from Home programme are improving people's quality of life, health and wellbeing. Walk from Home transformed a local resident's life, helping him to regain his confidence in walking and to live as independently as he is able after a hip fracture.

Following a hip fracture at home, Cyril found himself in hospital. Eventually able to live back at home with a lot of physiotherapy support and regular carers visiting, he muddled along but, not moving outside his own four walls.

Until, that is, he was referred to Walk from Home, a programme designed for falls victims or anyone who has lost confidence to walk independently. Starting from a small target of walking 50 yards from his house, with the support of a sessional worker, Cyril made excellent progress and after 12 weeks was able to make some journeys by himself and now even cuts his own grass, and takes the bus to meet old friends at his local community centre. His next adventure will be a trip to with the British Legion to Weston-super-Mare. Cyril said: "This will involve a change of train at Bristol"; an activity he would never have thought possible in those days stuck in his armchair.

It's stories like this that prove that with the right support, dignity and respect for people we can make a world of difference.

Cllr Cooper added: "We are inviting everyone, from members of the public to senior managers and local councillors to sign up and make their pledge to become a dignity champion and commit to doing 'just one thing' to help others."

If you believe that treating people with dignity and respect is important then register as a dignity champion and make your pledge to do just one thing to improve the life of a vulnerable person.

To find out more and receive your dignity pack with ideas and information on how to access support and training opportunities, and a card to pledge to do just one thing, call the healthy lifestyle helpline 0800 011 4656.