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by | Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 | News

Livewell Southwest has added its name to two charters which support employees who become terminally ill and the rights of volunteers.

The social enterprise provides health and social care services to people in Plymouth and signed up to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Dying to Work Charter and the Unison Helpforce Charter on Wednesday 4 September.

The Dying to Work Charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which seeks greater security for terminally ill workers.

It was launched after the death of Jacci Woodcook, a Derbyshire sales manager who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The charter is made up of five obligations, including implementing a policy that protects people with a terminal diagnosis from being dismissed because of their condition.

By signing the charter, Livewell has shown its commitment to providing a working environment where staff feel fully supported and valued, particularly if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Nigel Costley, TUC South West regional secretary said:  “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

“I’m delighted that Livewell Southwest has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.”

Joanne Kaye, UNISON South West regional secretary added: “It’s been great to work with Livewell Southwest on this campaign which reinforces its commitment to the protection of battling terminal illness.”

Livewell also signed up to Unison’s Helpforce charter aimed at supporting volunteers working across health and social care in England.

The aim of the charter is to ensure that the people who give up their time to provide comfort and help to patients are safeguarded and given guidance about their roles.

It sets clear boundaries for the managers of volunteer services and encourages them to work with health employees to develop their roles.

Angela Saxby, Associate Director of HR and Engagement, Livewell Southwest said: “Livewell Southwest is delighted to jointly sign up to the Dying to Work Charter and the Helpforce Charter with our trade union colleagues.

“Livewell has recently reviewed our organisation’s values and this reinforces our commitment of being a Kind, Respectful, Inclusive, Ambitious and Responsible employer.

“We work closely with our trade unions to support the wellbeing of our employees and  by signing up this pledge, we will offer further support to colleagues and their families at a time when they need it should they be diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“Livewell Southwest currently has 115 volunteers who play a significant part in enhancing the experience of our service users, our services and the community. We value our volunteers and know the benefits that they bring – that’s why we have signed up to the Helpforce Charter to strengthen what we already have in place and develop our volunteering programme further.”

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