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Disability and Carers Network at Homes England

The Disability and Carers Network was launched on 3rd December which also marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The aims of that international day is to help create real opportunities for people with disabilities which fits very much into the network’s own ambitions of promoting empowerment and sharing best practice, and raising awareness of disability-related issues.

Homes England Disability and Carers Network aims to support members of Homes England that are either have a disability covered by disability legislation or are a carer be it to child/children, dependant, or an elderly relative. The network aims to promote equality, diversity and inclusion for our staff through active involvement and consultation of the Home England policies and guidance in an informal and relaxed way.

The network has a number of objectives that it aims to achieve during 2018 including:

  • helping Homes England achieve Disability Confident Level 3 Employer status
  • working with both internal and external bodies to highlight Mental Health issues, and the creation of Mental Health First Aiders at the agency
  • helping to make sure that Homes England does all that it can, as an organisation, and with its partners, to take disability equality considerations into account as part of the planning, consultation, delivery and provision of homes
  • developing more opportunities for disabled colleagues to enter senior management positions

The network works closely with the agency’s Head of Diversity to monitor progress against the actions within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. It also works to see that the recommendations made by the agency’s Equality & Diversity Board Advisory Group that impact on disabled staff are being taken forward and to consider ways in which Homes England might be able to improve on them as it responds to the diverse needs of its staff and stakeholders.

This year the network has actively promoted national events aimed at raising awareness of disability issues with colleagues at Homes England. In February it promoted Time To Talk Day and reminded everyone at the agency that there is no right place to talk about mental health and that the more we talk about it, the better life is for all of us. In the network’s own words “Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives. Wherever you are – at home, at work or up the top of a mountain! – have your conversation about mental health this Time to Talk Day.”

Later this year the network aims to promote information for colleagues who are carers on available policies and measures that might meet their needs; including sign-posting to relevant support organisations during National Carers Week (11th to 17th June 2018). The network also aims to include the promotion of the Homes England’s chosen charity of the year the Alzheimer’s Society throughout 2018.

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