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“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet Wendy Hind

This is a personal post relating to words and labels, expectations and understandings.

This impacts our team work as we develop our customer engagement strategy into 2021 and ensure full diversity and inclusion is achieved.

You can have a factual medical description:- For example, my disability is athetoid Cerebral Palsy. This means I have trouble controlling muscle movement. I also have the 2 other types - spastic as well as problems with balance and walking - ataxic Cerebral Palsy.

However all labels I have ever been given, have been of zero use, and have all been wrong.

As humans we want to find ways to describe what we see, but also as humans then judge against our own understanding of people and to differentiate.

Covid 19 has made me feel very uncomfortable, primarily as the daily use of the word “vulnerable” which in my head means “less than” In physical terms I may be vulnerable, but that very vulnerability has always been a huge source of strength and resilience – Many of us are brought up to believe that showing vulnerability is a weakness. Actually, the opposite is true, but I take issue with that as well, I’m certainly not aiming to be anyone’s inspiration or proof of resilience, just my own!

In terms of allocation of funding and support, the government had to make an urgent choice - who is most vulnerable and needing support by local government for food supplies, funds and shielding. This was the most practical way during a pandemic. We cannot in a society driven by capitalism, help everyone.

If we are going to work on data segmentation and focus on ensuring those shielded and vulnerable now remain involved, we need to be very careful in terms of assumptions.

By the same token, this is a golden opportunity to ensure all sections of society gain representation and inclusiveness. This will only add to our Tenant Involvement Ambassador Knowledge and range of experiences. We need to reach out to this new cohort of contacts.

What does vulnerability mean to you? How can we engage and focus our efforts on vulnerable groups without creating more division?


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Apologies Wendy - just realised that you are the author of this piece.


Find this piece very thought provoking. No comment at present but will be back with my thoughts after giving it the consideration it deserves. Thank you Justine for stirring the grey cells into action.

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