Arc Seven Blog Archive - February 2016

PR your care heroes – they deserve it! Posted by: Alistair Clay | 11.02.16

Earlier this month a report revealed that social care staff are all too often undervalued, unappreciated and overlooked.

At a time when recruitment is a major issue for providers the news that so many workers in the sector are feeling this way is not good news.

Compassionate, kind and dedicated staff are essential to all social care services, they are the difference between compliance and excellence.


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Why should you care that an autistic dancing barista goes viral? Posted by: Gemma Keogh | 11.02.16


Sam is autistic and has also been diagnosed with a movement disorder. He’s a barista at Starbucks and loves making coffee for his customers. His boss filmed him doing his job and it went viral overnight, making headline news. But why should we care?

We should care because when Sam was offered a position to work at Starbucks he told his parents that his life had meaning. We should care because his boss and the team have embraced Sam and who he is.  They accepted his movements and turned them into a dance so that he can work behind the bar.

Sam finds it very difficult not to move and it took many shifts and hours for Sam to get his dance right, making sure he made the coffee correctly. But now they have and he is an online hit.

By filming the dance to music and uploading it online to share with others it shows how the Sam’s uniqueness is appreciated and how, with a bit of lateral thinking, people with autism can have jobs and work like everyone else.

I recently encountered a view that sharing photos or news about people who use adult social care services is exploitation of vulnerable adults. If providers want to celebrate their service users and the great steps towards further independence that they are making, then it is taking advantage of them.

But I don’t agree. When you evidence and document even the small steps that people with learning difficulties make, or individual’s who have autism, the benefit is manifold.

It feels good to be appreciated, to be acknowledge and to be valued – why would it be any different for someone with learning difficulties or autism?

When we show how individuals who use social care services live and what they are achieving it educates people and becomes a vital advocacy tool. It raises the profile of their needs and shows how people who require extra support don’t have to be excluded from society.

When we include the voices of service users in our communication work and in our marketing (providing that they or their families give consent) it shows the vital part that they play in the provider’s journey and our efforts to raise standards of care and support across the sector.

Sam the dancing barista is a fantastic story, but equally great could be Chris the young man going to an art centre, or Joanne the woman who used public transport to take herself to a doctor’s appointment.

Stories that go viral, stories that raise awareness or stories that just make you smile are all important to share and should be an integral part of social care and support.

Watch Sam on YouTube uploaded by Carly Fleischmann


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