New charity launched to support care workers and acknowledge them

LONDON: A new charity has been launched to support care workers and recognise their dedication and personal sacrifices.

Support Social Care Heroes has been set up to recognise the sacrifices that care workers make and support them by offering person-centred, holistic wellbeing programmes.

Its mission is to ‘work in partnership with care homes and provide grants and support to improve the lives of social care heroes in the long-term’.

The charity plans to do this by ‘investing in wellbeing initiatives, improvements in working conditions and support packages over and above what employers offer’.

There are 1.54m people working in social care in the UK and this is expected to increase to 2.17m by 2035.

Nicola Richards, managing director of Palms Row Health Care and chair of the Sheffield Care Association, has founded Support Social Care Heroes (SSCH) which is in the process of achieving charitable status.

She said: “We’re facing a precipice in social care and Support for Social Care Heroes is building a bridge to a future in which those who need care, and those caring for them, are valued by society.

“The care sector loses its best people every week. Our organisation aims to end this revolving door for employees by bringing greater meaning to their role and supporting employers to make meaningful, long-term changes to their circumstances.

“Our country’s social care heroes have been on the front line and in the headlines for over 18 months and, though there is more public recognition for the amazing work they do, they are overworked, underpaid and lacking support.”

She added: “While the sector continues to fight for fair wages and conditions for carers, Support Social Care Heroes aims to fill a gap by improving the wellbeing of these vital workers and show them that they are valued. It’s time to care for our social care heroes.”

Ms Richards hopes the support from SSCH will produce a better work/life balance, improved resilience, fewer acute cases through stress, and eliminate chronic long-term illness whenever possible as well as retain talent within the sector to help stabilise the current staffing crisis.

Laura Hibbard, care manager at Westbourne Care home in Sheffield, said: “The last 18 months have been so tough for everyone in the care sector. Care home residents across the country have shown unimaginable resilience throughout the pandemic but the people who care for them are mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.

“No one becomes a carer for the money, we do it to improve the lives of vulnerable people. It can be a hugely rewarding experience but it can also be extremely difficult at times. Carers often feel forgotten so I think it’s wonderful that SSCH is being established to acknowledge the crucial role they play in our society.”

Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association, is backing the launch of the charity. She said: “Valuing our workforce for the professionalism they have shown though the past 20 months, and for many years before, is essential.

“We must do everything we can to show them how much we care about them as they support those in our services. The passion with which Support Social Care Heroes is being launched as an innovative, led by providers, organisation demonstrates how invaluable our workforce is to us.

“Being able to do something tangible for them when they need it most feels positive. Caring about those who care for others is the right thing to do.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to or support Support Social Care Heroes can do so by visiting:

Advisory panel members of SSCH include Laura Hibbard, care home carer; Shirley Scott, care home resident; Robert Lindley, relative of care home resident; Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association; Dr David Stroud, Sarah Dillon and Tajindher Singh, pharmacist, Totley Pharmacy Sheffield.