by Catherine DeLacy, Dignity in Care Communications Officer
Dignity Champions, in their daily actions, always uphold the principles of the Dignity in Care campaign, but the preparations that have gone into this year's Dignity Action Day are paying dividends.
Over the last few months I have heard from so many champions about their fun, inclusive, interactive and innovative plans for raising awareness for Dignity Action Day and the Dignity in Care campaign. Of course, in a perfect world, such a campaign would not exist, but the passion and dedication of champions who are willing to stand up for the rights of others - who are perhaps not able to fight for themselves - is really quite humbling.
However, today the Internet, email and phone have exploded with wonderful stories, pictures and views about what dignity and Dignity Action Day mean to Champions and most importantly - the people they work with. Already time-stretched Champions have arranged guest speakers, such as Simon Weston and local Councillors, arranged local press coverage and the Dignity Action Day activities themselves. Champions! You should feel so proud of yourselves. Activities ranged from conferences, fundraising, a vegetarian grant award to support mealtime choices, "putting yourself in other people's shoes" activities, creating dignity trees, a gym installation and reminiscence events, through to music, dance, baking, pamper days and other social events. To find out more about the activities Champions have arranged, please follow the Twitter hashtag #DAD2013 (opens new window) and go to the Dignity in action facebook page (opens new window). We've even discovered that the principles of our campaign has spread to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South Australia, where their patron of two years, famous cook/foodie, Maggie Beer, spoke at an event.
In addition to the support from Champions, the Department of Health, and the Social Care Institute for Excellence, last week we had a pledge of support for Dignity Action Day from the Dignity Commission for Older People, who published their report, Delivering Dignity (opens new window) in June 2012. The Commission is made up of key members from AGE UK, the Local Government Association and the NHS Confederation.
We encourage all Champions to upload their photos and stories to the Dignity Action Day Memory Book, and we will highlight some of the stories in the February edition of the Dignity in Care newsletter.
Dignity really is "in the heart, mind and actions" of all our Champions.