National social care charity, Community Integrated Care, celebrated its 30th anniversary last month, hosting a major event that explored the progress made by the care sector in the past three decades. With participation from some of the most influential figures in the UK health and social care sector, colleagues and people who access care and support, it provided a poignant and powerful review of three decades of social change.
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful health and social care charities. To mark the start of its milestone year, the charity hosted a special exhibition and debate at contemporary arts centre, The Bluecoat in Liverpool, named ‘From Institution to Inclusion’. The event was led by Sharon Allen, Chief Executive at Skills for Care, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England, who delivered the keynote address.
The celebration was attended by a diverse audience, including national social care leaders from across England and Scotland, Community Integrated Care’s longest-serving staff and people supported by the charity. Guests included Simon Bottery, Senior Fellow at The Kings Fund, Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the National Care Forum, Lisa Lenton, Managing Director at The Association for Real Change, and Rhidian Hughes, CEO at Voluntary Organisations Disability Group.
The charity currently supports over 3500 people with learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and dementia across England and Scotland, employing more than 6000 staff. Founded in 1988 by Halton based GP, Dr David Robertson, it is now recognised as one of Britain’s most innovative and ambitious care providers. Dr Robertson, who attended the event as Guest of Honour, was one of the pioneers of the ‘Care In The Community’ agenda, spearheading efforts to support people to move from the isolation of living in long-stay hospitals to the inclusion of living in the heart of their local community. His legacy has seen tens of thousands of people be enabled to lead fuller, better lives.
The exhibition marked the landmark moments since the inception of the Care in the Community Act and the immeasurable contribution that radicals like Dr Robertson and his peers have made to society. It also celebrated the 1.4 million social care workers who dedicate their careers to supporting others, and the people who they are privileged to support.
From displaying photographs and artefacts that brought to life the Victorian hospitals that many people with care needs lived in just thirty years ago, and offsetting this against powerful examples of people leading full and independent lives in the community today, it charted a dramatic story.
Sharon Allen, Chief Executive of Skills for Care, says: “It has been my honour to join Community Integrated Care for their special evening. To see an exhibition that chronicled thirty years of social care was a poignant reminder of both the progress made and the need for our sector to remain ambitious and brave.
“The event filled me with hope and pride. It made a powerful statement about how we must continue to keep the rights and aspirations of the people we support at the heart of all we do, and the need for us to embrace further innovation and progress. We can take so much inspiration from the people in the room, who have given their careers to delivering life-changing care.”
Mark Adams, Chief Executive at Community Integrated Care, says: “This event provided a much-needed opportunity to reflect upon the impact of everyone who has been part of the Community Integrated Care family, in particular, our founder and Life President, Dr David Robertson.
“Community Integrated Care was created in 1988 to ensure that people with support needs could be treated as equal citizens and enjoy the fullest lives possible – that vision still stands to this day. Having been formed with a spirit of delivering social change and inclusion, it is important that this charity continues to cherish, protect and promote these values. As a custodian of Dr Robertson’s organisation, I am committed to ensuring that this legacy is built upon and I am excited for the future ahead.”