Dignity Action Day #DAD2021 is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers and members of the public to uphold people's rights to dignity and inspire others to take positive steps to promote dignity.
Dignity Action Day ordinarily aims to ensure people who use care services are treated as individuals and are given choice, control and a sense of purpose in their daily lives.
This year Derby City Adult Safeguarding Board together with Community Action Derby and other partners aim to use #DAD2021Derby as an opportunity to highlight the impact that COVID19 has had on many more of us who have been vulnerable due to the pandemic.
In response to the first National Lockdown in March 2020 – a wave of volunteers responded to the call for communities to lead the support for those who were asked to ‘shield’ and those who suddenly found themselves lonely and isolated, and those experiencing food insecurity.
This resulted in thousands of ordinary residents undertaking extraordinary roles in their communities, supporting neighbours and new friends to stay safe, and stay well.
Overnight, many people based in Derby in some ways assumed health and social care responsibilities for those needing care and support. Over 1000 residents signed up with Community Action Derby to become a Good Neighbours – helping a strangers in need and make a difference to someone, connecting with and supporting neighbours who would become reliant upon the new friendship for assistance in getting shopping, prescriptions, or even a telephone call to relieve the isolation of lockdown.
Being a good neighbour is all about a willingness to do things for the public, being selfless and generous, driven by passion and wanting to make a positive impact to those who they are supporting.
As a Good Neighbour, you are always professional and respectful to someone’s right to privacy, to make sure that each person’s dignity is maintained. Being a Good Neighbour definitely does not mean an opportunity to promoting it on social media. Whilst your post may be innocent, it can be reflected as no longer being a charitable act.
Take a minute to remember why you offered support in the first place and how you would feel to be in that person’s shoes, who’s pride has perhaps been impacted from reaching out for help. Can you imagine having your independence taken away from you so suddenly? How would you feel about having to reach out for extra support?
To support the week, we will be sharing video testimonies from those who have been on both sides, or receiving support, and giving and sharing the impact of overcoming issues of pride, and from individuals in the different care services which will highlight the importance of dignity in their service and how this has been impacted during the pandemic, particularly around providing pure goodwill and provision.
Supporting #DAD2021Derby will:
You can also take part by becoming a Dignity Champion. A Dignity Champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. The national dignity in care campaign has aimed to encourage people to register as dignity champions and there are already over 1000 of them in Derby and Derbyshire. Many of them are making changes, usually simple, often cost-free changes which improve the services people have. This is the key point about dignity work - it is about practical changes at the face-to-face point of service delivery.
To register yourself as a dignity champion, visit the website: https://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Dignity-Champions/Becoming_a_Dignity_Champion/.
Questions for reflection:
Quotes about dignity:
Dame Joan Bakewell, Dignity in Care Ambassador said:
"Dignity Action Day highlights a more respectful way of behaving towards vulnerable people. The very old and the very young clearly need our respect, but it wouldn't do any harm to spread the dignity message across the population then we can all benefit."