Harry’s Pledge: social housing’s commitment to carers

Broadland Housing is proud to get behind Harry’s Pledge, a united national commitment to support, recognise and champion carers.

Across the
country social housing providers like us are looking to commit to four pledges:

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

Launched in Carers Week, Harry’s Pledge is named in honour of Harry Charlesworth, a lively five-year-old whose birth disability of quadriplegic cerebral palsy means he has deep caring needs.

Harry’s grandmother is Julie Doyle, the chief executive of Longhurst, which like Broadland is a member of PlaceShapers. She and Harry’s family were determined that the focus on the difference made by carers during the Coronavirus pandemic should not be lost.

Michael Newey, Broadland Housing’s Chief Executive, said:

We are proud and pleased to sign up to Harry’s Pledge. Carers are the unsung heroes of our society, and the Coronavirus pandemic has thrown a light on their amazing contribution to people’s lives. Harry’s Pledge will show solidarity with this and generate more support for carers and the people they care for.

Broadland has a strong working partnership with NorseCare, who provide services at our housing with care schemes throughout Norfolk.

National Carers Week runs from Monday 8 June until Sunday 14 June. Helen Walkers, CEO of Carers UK, said:

Carers UK fully supports Harry’s Pledge to support paid and unpaid carers in the housing sector. We know how vital support provided by family and friends is to those who are disabled, ill or growing frail. Our Carers Week theme is making caring visible, this initiative does just that.

Harry’s Pledge is a unified approach from Carers UK, PlaceShapers, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation.

Find out more about Harry’s Pledge at www.harrys-pledge.org.uk

Editor’s notes

The flour
pledges:

  1. As employers:
    1. We
      will do all we can to support people with caring responsibilities to work for
      us by making our policies carer-friendly.
    1. We
      will be a carer friendly employer.
    1. We
      will ensure people can work flexibly to fit paid work around unpaid caring
      work.
    1. We
      will provide platforms and support for those who are carers to tell their
      stories, and to tell us what more they need from us as employers and housing
      providers.
  • In our workspaces:

We will make the offices and community
spaces we offer as accessible as possible. For example, we will install
“Changing Place” toilets in any new offices that are open to the public and
look to retrofit existing spaces.

  • In the homes we build:
    • We
      will build more fully accessible homes.
    • We
      will routinely consider accessibility when developing new homes and within our
      existing stock.
    • We
      will consider how more of the homes we build can be adapted for disabled
      people.
  • In training and career progression:
    • We
      will work with partners to professionalise care further with clear
      qualifications and career paths.
    • We
      will promote care as a valued career choice.
    • We
      will lobby for changes in pay and rewards for carers.