Culture Club – Why You Must Create The Right Environment For People To Speak Out

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Culture Club – Why You Must Create The Right Environment For People To Speak Out

06 Feb 2024 | Category: Blog
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Last month, you may have seen the news that three carers were imprisoned for abusing residents at a care home in South London.  

 

The men were convicted after they punched, slapped and verbally abused residents with learning disabilities at Grove House in Sutton. 

 

It goes without saying that everyone at The Trust wholeheartedly condemns these utterly disgraceful actions – as we would any such behaviour, but also true to say that this case had particular resonance with us given the type of residents that the home had in their care broadly matched with those that are in the Lisieux Trust family.  

 

Thea Viney, CPS London District Crown Prosecutor, said: “This is a really shocking example of a disability hate crime, involving the abuse of very vulnerable people with complex needs. 

 

“The victims should have been able to trust and rely on [the convicted trio] to look after them and keep them safe from harm, but instead they were subjected to horrendous abuse, with evidence of emotional and psychological mistreatment. 

 

“We worked in partnership with the police from an early stage to build a case that centred on the offenders’ behaviour and conduct, with key witness evidence proving that they were clearly acting contrary to training, protocols and the individual needs of each victim.” 

 

As a care provider in the same sector, it angers and saddens us in equal measure. We are proud of all of our residents, but also of the culture of friendship and support that we create. It’s not simply that we won’t tolerate anything else, it’s just natural to us, as it should be to anyone in care.  

 

We are privileged to work with people who need varying degrees of support and each one – and their families away from the Trust – can be certain that everyone here works every day to empower them to choose the life they want. The behaviour of those three and in other high-profile instances reflects badly on the sector and by extension, us all.  

 

The Crown Prosecution Service statement that we replicated in part above, mentions training – and whilst, obviously we cannot speak for the training that others receive – we can say every member of staff who begins their career with the Trust receives an extensive document that they are tested upon.  

 

This includes the Aims of the Trust – reproduced in part below:  

We recognise people’s abilities first 

We are creative and bold  

Give people time and space to voice their thoughts  

Support our Residents and Tenants to live a safe, meaningful and healthy life 

Deliver personalised support  

Challenge discrimination 

Create possibilities for our residents to choose a career  

And amongst others there is this one:  

Create a culture where staff can thrive and enjoy their work whilst making a difference.  

These aren’t difficult things to aim for, but they are harder to do. Fostering the right culture in an organisation takes time, but it can be done, we know because we do it and all our staff buy into it. 

 

This is why incidents such as the ones that saw the three individuals sent to prison are so upsetting. The “herd mentality” that enables people to see someone behave in this way and then think that abhorrent acts like these are somehow acceptable, must be challenged by all of us – it’s a matter of common decency and respect. 

 

Of course, the overwhelming majority of all staff in the care sector are like our staff, brilliant hard-working people who want nothing but the best for the people they support. Whilst these “bad apples” do not spoil the whole bunch, we are all, sadly, tainted by their behaviour.  

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