23 July 2014

The British Institute of Human Rights, together with six advocacy and support groups, is to receive up to £87,454 to develop new, innovative approaches to health and care, actively share excellent practice or improve integrated care and efficiency.

Voluntary sector organisations submitted funding bids to the Department of Health setting out how they could help meet the Departments objectives of better health and well-being and better care for all and how their proposal has potential for national impact.

Minister for Care and Support Norman Lamb MP said:
“These projects play a crucial role in supporting people, their families and carers. They are examples of just some of the excellent and innovative work going on throughout the country in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector – all of which help to create and support strong and resilient communities.”

BIHR’s new project Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy will work with six advocacy and support groups to realise the potential of human rights law to make sure people with mental health and capacity issues are treated with dignity and their rights respected.

Director of the British Institute of Human Rights Stephen Bowen said:
“Learning the lessons of recent reviews calling for accountable health and care services means recognising the need for an increased focus on the individual person and their basic human rights, particularly around choice and control, respect and dignity, and maximising these rather than simply reducing the risks to rights.”

“Sadly, it is often people with mental health or capacity issues, such as older people, those with dementia or learning disabilities who often experience lack of choice and control over their own care and support. BIHR’s exciting new partnership project will show how a human rights approach offers a fresh way for advocacy groups to empower people and make sure they are treated with the dignity and respect we would all like to receive.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. For media enquiries contact Sanchita Hosali, Deputy Director on 0207 882 5850 or shosali@bihr.org.uk
  2. For over 40 years the British Institute of Human Rights, an independent charity, has worked to bring human rights to life across the UK. We help people to know what human rights are, to put human rights into practice to achieve positive change in everyday life beyond the courts, and to make sure our human rights laws and systems are respected and progressed. At the heart of everything we do is a commitment to making sure the international promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, developed after the horrors of World War II, is made real here at home. Our work seeks to build a society where human rights are respected as the cornerstone of our democracy and enable each of us to live well in communities that value the equal dignity of each person. We do this through information and community outreach, training and capacity-building projects with the public and voluntary sectors, authoritative commentary and analysis, and supporting others to have their voice heard in debates about the law and policy on human rights protections in the UK.
  3. Since the passing of the Human Rights Act in 1998 the British Institute of Human Rights has pioneered practical work to take human rights off the law books and into the heart of our public services and advocacy for individuals and families. We have a well-recognised expertise in partnership work within health and social care settings, particularly mental health, to bring human rights to life. For more information see The Difference it Makes: Putting Human Rights at the Heart of Health and Care
  4. Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy will work with six voluntary and community support organisations across England. The project is being led by Helen Wildbore, Senior Human Rights Officer at BIHR, contactable on hwildbore@bihr.org.uk and 0207 882 5851. This project begins work on the 1 Aug 2014 and will run until June 2017. See here for more information about the project.
  5. This grant comes from the Department’s Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) fund.