St Martin’s Church in Allenton was the venue for this year’s Dignity Action Day event; the programme also included an insight to the work on “Shared Histories”.
The Shared Histories Project was introduced by Cllr Jonathan Smale and presented by Jahan Mahmood. He explained the extent to which the British troops during World War 2 were supported by men from across the Commonwealth. Millions volunteered from South Asia including Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims, and many thousands from countries within Africa and the Caribbean. He told of many acts of heroism from those ranks, and of the men who were given the highest awards for bravery by the British Crown.
As this project is presented across the country it will go some way to deal with the “colour blindness” which has crept into the collective memory of how the war was won, and to dispel some of the narratives which underpin hate and racism.
Allan Breeton, who is the Independent Chair of the Derby Safeguarding Adults Board, introduced the Dignity Action Day presentations.
And Liam told his story of being in the military and how his return back into civilian life and his PTSD led him into drug addiction. Being introduced to Jericho has resulted in him being clean for 6 years and 3 months….an announcement that gave rise to a spontaneous round of applause from the audience.
Lorraine Testro from Derby Homes, Housing Management talked about how she, and her team, endeavoured to bring dignity into their approach to housing and explained how, being homeless, can drive people to take short term actions, with little concern over the consequences simply to secure a safe space.
Cllr Roy Webb, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Housing gave a “whistle stop tour” of the activities within his brief which also includes children leaving care and entering adulthood. He highlighted the work being done by the Council to reduce homelessness and announced that the numbers were reducing.
To recognise some of the good work being done in the Community and Voluntary Sector, a number of Community Respect Awards were given out by Allan Breeton and the Mayor of Derby.
Chellaston Mothers and Toddlers Group
Derby City Life Links
M Prez Enterprises
The Invisible Friends
War Memorial Village
And a Dignity Award was given to Umbrella
The High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Lord Burlington closed the event.
…but just before the end, there was a surprise for Carl Tring-Willis. Carl, who was instrumental in arranging the event and much more over the years, was leaving Derby Homes, and joining Derby City Council. Although he had been seconded to the Council for the last 3 years, this was now being made permanent – a cake and gifts, and much appreciation from the audience.