Caring Activism offers tailored support

Carer child

Peter Limbrick examines how the approach can help support people in Scotland

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29th July 2019 by TFN Guest 1 Comment

Caring Activism is a citizen response to vulnerable people who have fallen through all the safety news and have nowhere to turn to for help.

Public services (health, social care, etc) will never be able to fully support all the children adults and elderly people who need help.

The same is true for third sector organisations that are strapped for cash.

Austerity has made this worse than it need be but there will always be vulnerable people falling through the safety nets.  That will not change.

Caring Activism is teamwork. No one works alone. It is inspired by my work with families whose baby or young child has brain damage. This is called Team Around the Child (TAC) and it joins parents, therapists and teachers into small teams for a collaborative effort.

In Caring Activism, citizens concern themselves with local people of any age who are in some sort of crisis, perhaps because of changes in their lives they cannot control. This might be a teenager with special needs leaving a care home without support, a frail elderly person being passed back and to between hospital and community, a family with a disabled child finding themselves socially isolated and not managing to cope.

One team of caring activists supports just one person or family who lives where they live  ̶  on the same street, in the same block of flats, in the same refugee camp.  No one is taken over. The vulnerable person sits with the caring activists to discuss their situation and explain what they need.

Caring Activism means taking power with others, never power over others.

Who can be a Caring Activist? It might be a neighbour, a friend, a relative, a local public service worker or someone from the third sector.  It might be a concerned citizen, like yourself perhaps, who becomes a caring activist as an expression of citizenship (and without a money motivation because there is no pay).

Peter Limbrick

Peter Limbrick

The act of citizenship means asking the question: If an old man on my street is coming out of hospital without a care package, whose responsibility is it? Dismissing the problem because NHS, social services or a local charity will sort it out might well leave this old man home alone without proper care or food.

This is where caring activism steps in. Three or four concerned people take an interest and get involved to help him sort everything out.

People who work in local services and the third sector, knowing they are failing some vulnerable people will welcome the caring activist movement on their patch.

The values, methods and safeguards are fully described in Caring Activism: A 21st century concept of care, written by myself and edited by Professor Hilton Davis.

Peter Limbrick is the founder of Team Around the Child. He will be taking part in the We Are One – Citizenfest event, which takes place in Glasgow on August 9 and 10.

30th July 2019 by Marie Lewis

Certainly something needs to be done to improve the way people who need care are being supported. It will be most of us one day! Our systems should better support caregiving time and those who provide good care to others. Unpaid care work is worth billions but sadly not counted in GDP so politicians ignore its value and importance. A civilised society should put people first and help people to thrive. Sadly on so many levels - including housing policies etc - this is not true.