Celebrate Opinion Wellbeing

It’s a Yes from us!  Meaningful Activities Matter

Jonathan Freeman MBE, CEO, CareTech Foundation

Promoting wellbeing can be challenging even when we’re not in the throes of a global pandemic!  Data is beginning to highlight what we all already know: mental health and wellbeing – including anxiety, stress and depression – worsened during the height of the pandemic and remain above pre-pandemic levels.  For those supported by and working in social care across the UK the challenges to maintaining wellbeing have been acute. For those working in care, the pressure has been immense with the disruption of engaging activities affecting care teams and service users alike.

When Age UK introduced their ‘Index of Wellbeing in Later Life’ (https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/policy-research/wellbeing-research/index-of-wellbeing/) to measure wellbeing in the over-60s to build data-driven objective measures, they established four key factors of wellbeing in later life. Number one on their list was participation in enjoyable, meaningful activities. They concluded that this was the greatest direct factor contributing to wellbeing, followed by physical activity.

In the mists of the pandemic, it became clear that the usual schedule of care home-based activities would experience significant disruption, directly impacting the wellbeing of all, especially those working and living in care homes.

Early in 2020, the Caretech Foundation became a Founding Patron of Championing Social Care, whose vision is to ensure a wider and deeper public understanding, appreciation and respect for social care.  Championing Social Care is focused on delivering positive stories and initiatives about the sector for which we care passionately.

The Championing Social Care Organising Committee knew that they could support the happiness and wellbeing of care teams and services users. This dedication resulted in the launch of the new UK-wide Care Sector’s Got Talent competition. As a Founding Patron, the Caretech Foundation is excited to promote the wellbeing of those living and working in care through such meaningful activities.

The event, open to all those supported by or working within the social care sector has two essential aims: to provide an engaging event for residents and care staff, promoting good wellbeing and mental health, while showcasing the talent we have seen of both care workers and the people they support, which came to the forefront throughout the pandemic.

The format of Care Sector’s Got Talent is one with which we are all familiar, but our take will also provide a window into the spirit and joy that has shone through the care sector.  This fun competition will help combat loneliness and provide a vehicle to promote residents’ happiness and wellbeing. Launching this Summer, individuals, duos and groups will be able to submit their audition reels to be judged to find the very best talent in the care sector. Championing Social Care is hopeful that, where guidelines allow, we will be able to host a small live final, which we will be able to stream as entertainment for care teams, service users, their families and as many others as possible across the country and beyond.

The disruption caused by the pandemic will, sadly, be felt for many years to come. We must be proactive in supporting the wellbeing of service users and care teams as we move forward.  By bringing the sector together to participate side-by-side, we hope Care Sector’s Got Talent will provide enjoyable meaningful activities for all who take part, which in turn will promote and support the wellbeing of us all.

To find out more about Care Sector’s Got Talent and to get your care team and service users involved, head over to Championing Social Care’s website (www.championingsocialcare.org.uk) to register your interest and be the first to hear more.

@jonathanfreeman

 

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