Do actions speak louder than words?
In my first year of courting my boyfriend, I was bought a ring. Normally, you’d wrap up a gift and hand it over with a smile but this wasn’t the case. My boyfriend decided to cut the centre out of a chocolate box, just big enough to fit the ring box and then seal it all back up again as if untouched. I thought he’d brought me a box of chocolates which I was grateful for but when I opened the box, I was delighted.
That day, it wasn’t the gift that mattered, it was how much effort had been put into it. The point is, what you do is more important than what you say because its shows true intent and true feelings.
Why turn words into action?
- Carry more weight than words when building trust
- Create better relationships
- Add value to the goals we have
- Are essential to showing our true intent and feelings
- Are essential for good leadership
- Strongly responds to what matters and what we believe
- Foster strong collaboration
Many organisations make promises but who delivers?
The organisations and councils in TLAP’s online Covid-19 Adult Social Care stories of promise have carried out actions within a fast moving and difficult time making a positive impact on people’s lives. I’d like to draw your attention to two examples from the MacIntyre Charity who focus on empowering people with learning disabilities and keep them connected.
Ciaran set up a Netflix party to keep people connected through film. MacIntyre mentored Ciaran to begin an autism friendly film club in a community centre for people who find it hard to access the cinema or find it unaffordable. During lockdown, Ciaran set up a Netflix party where people watch the same film and then discuss it via zoom. This is keeping people motivated and socially connected.
Mac Homegrown project to keep people connected and having fun during lockdown. This project is based around gardening activities: some have started using greenhouses for the first time, whilst others have transformed their gardens into vegetable patches. There have been a number of “growing” competitions and keen gardeners are harvesting the “fruits” of their labour! The project has encouraged group interaction using virtual meetings e.g. a sunflower competition. People have thoroughly enjoyed taking part and the initiative has now become a long-term project for MacIntyre. Benefits include physical activity, sharing experiences and promoting healthy eating and cooking skills.
Lessons, cats & rocket science
I think there are some really good lessons here, which are reinforced by Elaine James, Hannah Morgan and Rob Mitchell in their book “Social work, cats and rocket science”  under the theme of wellbeing, belonging and citizenship:
- All human life is of value
- Everyone is capable of making a choice
- Everyone should have control over their lives
- Disabled people have the right to fully participate in society
A commitment to turn ideas into action can also be found in Making it Real, which provides a framework for what good personalised and community-based care and support looks like. The project also fits with the challenge set by Social Care Future for a better form of social care: “don’t we all want to live in the place we call home with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing the things that matter to us?”
As we recover from the pandemic and adapt to new realities, we must all strive to ensure our actions speak louder than words.
 Elaine James, Rob Mitchell and Hannah Morgan (2019) Social Work, Cats and Rocket Science