CEO Chat #9

CEO Chat

Oh my life, what a wonderful week of connecting and reconnecting with many wonderful people, all of whom share our vision of increasing independence, offering real choice and being all round superstars for the community they serve.

To be fair, the week wasn’t all sunshine, it started off with me going to hospital to have an injection on a nerve in my head. Most of the week had me nursing a bruised head and struggling to find the right words but, by Thursday I was back to normal service. 

This week provided an opportunity to see and discuss how new technology is helping NHS providers meet the Accessible Information Standard, that specifies the right of individuals to receive communication and have consultations carried out in a way that best suits their communication needs.  Previously, at the Kendal and Barrow centres we met with Healthwatch Cumbria who left forms for us to help people fill in, if they wanted help, that would then be recorded on the NHS database clearly showing the preferred communication method of the patient, both in general correspondence and in appointments. If you want a form, please contact us and we can send one to you.

We are fortunate to live in the beautiful county of Cumbria, where much of the land in the central Lakes in owned by the National Trust.  Over the past couple of years we have been working with the team from Fell Foot, as part of their accessibility forum, in which they bring together local support groups, specialists and outdoor activity providers all of whom are keen to improve the visitor experience at Fell Foot. I was invited to speak to some of the staff and volunteers about how they can support Hard of Hearing visitors better, from their welcome to getting a cup of tea – the cake is very nice there too!

Fell Foot Cumbria

On Friday, Lucy and I, had an online meeting with Rachel Sanders from Home Instead, a local homecare service who are very active in the local community above and beyond the call of duty! Last year we delivered deaf awareness and an introduction to sign language course for some of their staff who support a deaf client. It was a big time commitment from Home Instead, and required careful management of the staff rotas to ensure everyone was available.  The purpose of our call was to suggest some ways we can all share information about community activities and to invite them to a special event, to thank them and others for the help they gave in sprucing up our Kendal gardens.

The week ended on a very bright pink note – one of my favourite colours!  I attended the Pink Link 2023 International Women’s Day Cumbria as an exhibitor, showcasing what CDA does to support businesses, meet other businesswomen, and the supportive men who came with them. It was an evening full of fun, chat, dinner, a quiz and some fine food. Going out to networking events allows me to explain our local purchasing policy, or that we’re committed to the Real Living Wage and that we’re Age Positive employers, all things that matter when choosing who to do business with.

Caroline Howsley of CDA attending the Pink Link 2023 International Women's Day Cumbria