13 July 2016 – Campaign for a better understanding of disability at Airedale Hospital
A guest appearance from the Sing from the Heart choir was the grand finale of Airedale Hospital’s first ever disability awareness week 4 – 8th July.
Members of the local choir entertained staff and visitors alike in the on-site restaurant.
The awareness campaign was organised by a new focus group set up at the hospital to improve working life for staff with disabilities. They organised a programme of events and activities, speakers and information stands with a different theme each day including mental health and wellbeing, physical disability, removing stigma and mythbusting, hidden disability and encouraging a positive attitude to employment.
Representatives from charities, other trusts and local authorities, and businesses including MIND and Project Choice, were on site each day.
Nick Parker, director for human resources and workforce at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This week has been a great success and hearing personal stories from various individuals and organisations has been really informative.
“The results of our staff surveys have revealed that colleagues who have disabilities or long-term health conditions are less favourable. This promoted us to have this awareness campaign as a first step to try and find out how we can be more supportive as an employer.”
Some highlights of the week were: – an inspirational speaker David Bundy from Kirklees Council; Heather Peacock from Peacocks Medical Group talking about the Employable Me programme, Suzie Shenderey, who have a session on Mindfulness, and Deborah Nice from the trust’s Employee Health and Wellbeing team educated staff about managing stress.