Who cares?

The circle of live shows each of us will need care at some point in our lives to varying degrees. For some it will be a gentle directional push as illustrated in the elephant feature photo. For others it will be more intensive and on-going support that is required.

Not everyone requiring ongoing, intensive support will be old. We need to see everyone as fellow humans needing support with value to add to the wider community.

As humans, don’t we need to ensure quality support is there at every stage?

We have known for a long time now that care workers in the UK were underpaid. Covid-19/Coronavirus has shone a spotlight on this profession. Government has acknowledged they are underpaid and we need to value the care workers. Yet our media has not kept the spotlight on the Government to do something. Ignore it and it will go away could be the thinking.

We expect strangers to take care of our elderly so we can get on with our own lives. Yet, if we don’t respect those carers, give them the time, support and financial rewards to enable them to focus on our relatives, our relatives will not have a caring, safe environment to live in. We won’t have peace of mind. The carers won’t have the energy to do the job they want to do well. Remember, one day we will be the elders in care. How do we want to be treated?

Even after the arrival of Coronavirus/Covid-19,the dedication and commitment , carers showed – they are still on minimum wage. In the community, carers chase between ‘clients’ doing one or two tasks but not staying to build an emotional connection because they have to get to the next ‘client’.

How is this right?

What about the hidden carers? Children brought up to be their parent(s) carer at the sacrifice of their ability to be a child enjoying play and education?

We need to give the investment to all carers now and make it a career choice that is respected and valued. Ensuring children who are carers can focus on their education and childhood whilst their parents get the care and support they need from the community.

Sometimes, as a country, it feels like we have so much but little of what really counts.

If our children are growing up hungry – where are businesses getting their future talent from?

Listening to the radio this morning, the above question jumped into my head. I have my solution at the end of this post. What would be your thoughts?

Time for us all to have an uncomfortable conversation maybe?

The radio feature was on free school meals and the excellent spotlight the footballer Marcus Rashford has shone on this.

Children going hungry is shamefully not a new problem for the UK. Following the end of WWII, free school meals were introduced to ensure no child went hungry. Bearing in mind this was a time when food additives, were a lot less intensive than they are now. Basic, nutritional food that ensured healthy growth for all children in the UK was the norm.

Over the following years, we seemed to lose this ‘collective’ thinking that we are all responsible for the health of the next generation.

I well remember the endeavours of chef Jamie Oliver from 2004 to address putting ‘nutrition’ back into school dinners cost effectively. This would ensure concentration in lessons resulting ultimately in social mobility. Education on an empty stomach is totally non-productive and a complete waste of money. Children can’t concentrate with their stomachs rumbling. As adults, we know when we’re hungry we can think of nothing else. Why would we think it’s different for children?

The radio feature this morning spoke about Jamie’s work and the fact two of his chefs are working in Schools in Greenwich to help feed children nutritionally during school holidays.

Marcus has re-foccused the spotlight back on the need to feed vulnerable children during school holidays as parents struggle through coronavirus.

Many parents will feed their children fast foods because they are cheap. Quantity is better than quality thinking. We know fresh food doesn’t have to be expensive. It does take effort to buy and prepare especially when trying to hold down a number of poorly paid jobs to provide a secure home.

A few of ideas spring to my mind:

  1. Tax cheap, fast food so it becomes a ‘treat’ and heavily discount fresh foods so they become the norm.
  2. I know from experience many families won’t apply for help even when they are entitled. Pride gets in the way. Radical thought here – provide free school meals for every child so not one child is ‘singled’ out as being ‘poor’. From 5-18. Schools become community hubs. Open through school holidays. This would create:

a. Employment throughout the UK

b. Community cohesion

c. Brain power amongst all our children to take advantage of education, realise their dreams, become the innovators of tomorrow, feeding our businesses making the UK a vibrant country of integrity for all.

Of course there would be a huge cost for this. But, what is the cost of not doing it?

As a business owner, I’d be in favour of increased taxes if they were going to this worthwhile cause. I wonder if very wealthy people, would be willing to make annual donations to this cause and write this off against their taxes? Some people earn telephone number salaries and are reluctant to pay HMRC. No one likes paying taxes. But if part of their taxes went to a specific cause like this, would their attitude change if they could see the good they are doing?

A minority of the UK are living in a bubble where they have so much money they will never be able to spend it. Maybe social taxation could be the answer.

Maybe it’s time to do something radical and something different.

What would be your thoughts?

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑