Harry’s Pledge was founded one year ago, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic highlighted the vital work that carers do. It also indicated that we should be doing more to support those who need care and those who provide it, and thus Harry’s Pledge was founded.
Harry’s Pledge is a renewed commitment to carers, focusing on four key areas – as employers, in our workspaces, in the homes we build, and in training and career progression.
We reached out to some early adopters of Harry’s Pledge to see what they’ve been doing in the year since signing up.
Cross Keys Homes have had a very busy year working with Hayley Charlesworth, Harry’s mum, to increase support for colleagues who are balancing work with caring responsibilities.
Claire Higgins, Chief Executive of Cross Keys Homes, said: “Since becoming an early adopter of Harry’s Pledge last year, we’ve actively moved forward to help support our colleagues who have additional caring responsibilities so that we can make sure we have the best support in place.
“Hayley has been working with us, holding drop-in sessions and one-to-ones with colleagues from across the business who are carers for family members and as a result of Hayley’s help, we have created a ‘Supporting Carers at work’ policy.
“This new policy provides up to an additional five days’ paid leave for those with caring responsibilities and also offers a carer’s passport scheme, enabling a carer’s needs to ‘travel’ with them, describing the flexibility that is required, if their job or line manager changes.
“Harry’s Pledge has certainly helped to raise the visibility and value of our carers and we are committed to making sure we do everything we can to support them.”
Berneslai Homes have also been busy, assessing their support services to implement positive changes in the future.
Lynne Horton, Organisational Development Manager at Berneslai Homes, said: “We’re absolutely committed to supporting and improving the lives of carers as we recognise their vital role every day, providing love, care and support to the people in our community.
“We already think we’re pretty good in a lot of areas such as flexible working for our people around work life balance, providing lifetime homes, carrying out adaptations for disabled people and we’re keen on improving these services, tailoring them to individual needs wherever practical and introducing new services as required.
“After signing up to Harry’s Pledge, we launched a summit group of tenants, community members, organisations and our staff as a commitment to improving our services around the four key areas of the pledge.
“Although in its infancy, we’re carrying out an assessment of where we are on our journey to enable us to prioritise key areas for improvement.
“We’re excited to be working with the summit group, listening to the views of carers and tailoring our services to ensure we continually improve the lives of carers and their families.”
What have you been up to since signing up to Harry’s Pledge? Let us know!
Find out more
If you haven’t yet signed up to the pledge, you can find out more about it here.