'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' - Carers Empathy Project - venues for Carers Week update

'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' - Carers Empathy Project - venues for Carers Week update

Update May 2018 -

Thanks to all those carers who've shared their stories with us so far. The Adult Care Information Team are currently busy editing the stories ready for the  launch of the project in June during Carers Week! Adult Care (with help from partners) have managed to record around 10 carers' stories with 3 more planned.

As Carers Week is only a few weeks away, there is no time to record and edit any more stories before the launch. However, this is an ongoing project so more stories can be added to the website in the future so carers are welcome to get in touch after Carers Week if they'd like to record their story.

You can read our recent blog to find out more about the aims of the project and get a flavour of one of the carer stories.

The venues staff will be visiting to promote the project are:

  • Monday 11 June - St Oswald's Hospital, Ashbourne, 10am to 4pm
  • Tuesday 12 June - Chesterfield Royal Hospital, 9am to 3pm
  • Wednesday 13 June - Ilkeston Community Hospital, 10am to 4pm
  • Thursday 14 June - Derby Festival of Caring, Haven House & Oddfellows, Charnwood Street, Derby, 10.30am - 2pm 
  • Thursday 14 June - Ripley Community Hospital, 1pm to 5pm
  • Friday 15 June - Arc, Clowne, 2pm to 6pm
  • Friday 15 June - Buxton Cavendish Hospital, 10am to 4pm
  • Friday 15 June - Shirebrook Village Hall (as part of a wider event), 11am to 2pm.

Come along and get involved - they'll also have lots of general information for carers.

Derbyshire County Council have been asking local carers to share their experiences and participate in a year-long empathy project called Walk a Mile in a My Shoes.

The project idea has been developed from work carried out by the Empathy Museum , which set up the first “A Mile in My Shoes” project to promote empathy by getting people thinking about what other people's lives are like.

The museum set up a mobile ‘shoe shop’ where visitors are invited to Walk a Mile in someone else's shoes - literally. 

When members of the public visit the Walk a Mile 'shoe shop' they're asked to choose a pair of unfamiliar shoes to walk a mile in while listening to an audio recording of someone else’s life story (or a day in their life) through headphones. 

Last year, the Health Foundation teamed up with the Museum to develop a collection of stories from people using and working in health and social care services in the UK. This included parent carer Becky Wyatt who recorded her story.

Walk a Mile in a Carer's Shoes

Derbyshire County Council Adult Care would like to give local people the opportunity to step into the shoes of carers - and see the world through their eyes - by running a Derbyshire based “A Mile in My Shoes” project in the twelve months running up to Carers Week 2018. 

Volunteer carers have been recruited from across the county via the many groups and organisations for carers in Derbyshire, and by running an open recruitment programme through local and social media.  Proactive recruitment has been undertaken amongst communities of interest and other minority groups to ensure the voices of Derbyshire’s diverse populations are included.

Volunteers were asked to do two things; firstly, they will be ask to choose a favourite pair of their shoes that they feel represents their lives to be photographed and secondly, to make a short audio recording describing the good, the bad, the funny and the sad aspects of their life as a carer and any key messages they wish to share.  Consent to enable Adult Care to share the recordings and photographs has been obtained from each volunteer; a copy of the consent form is attached here.

The audio clips and photographs will be used to build up a virtual “shoe shop” which will be located on the carers website and form a library of open access stories. These will be available in time for Carers Week in June.

The project will culminate in Carers Week 2018, with a series of events across the county (see dates above) to enable people to experience for themselves the remarkable contributions made, and challenges faced, by carers.  

This approach is intended to be person-centred, focusing on and highlighting the experiences and quality of life of local carers.  It links with the national drive to use storytelling as a means to increase understanding, to contribute to inclusion, to build connections in society and to bring about change. It aligns with approaches currently in use in the NHS to engage people with quality improvement work and will therefore foster collaboration across organisations.  The approach is applicable to all areas and to all client groups, including those with specific vulnerabilities. 

Get involved!

Most of the recordings are now complete and Adult Care are at the editing stage. Unfortunately there is no time for any more carers to get involved before the launch during Carers Week in June. However, there are plans to add to the library of stories after Carers Week as this will be an ongoing project. So carers can still get involved, but any new recordings will not take place until after Carers Week.

You can also get involved by attending one of the events listed above, listening to the stories on the website (when they posted) and following the Carers in Derbyshire Facebook page. If you are attending other events during Carers Week and would like to promote the project, the Adult Care Information Team can supply resources to help you do this. 

Please contact the Adult Care Information Team on tel: 01629 531310 or use the contact us form

For more information about the audio recording see A Mile in My Shoes - Brief for audio recording.

(image courtesy of the Empathy Museum website)

May 13 2018

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