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Postural Care

Postural care is any intervention which protects a person’s body shape. We all need to look after our posture, especially as we get older, but for some individuals with pre-existing conditions, poor postural care can be a silent killer.

About poor posture

For people of all ages who experience difficulty in moving their own body – including people who are physically disabled, people who have a profound and multiple learning disability, and people who have had a stroke – poor posture can lead to a range of health difficulties over time.

These include changes in body shape (called ‘body shape distortion’) and other related health complications, such as hip dislocation; scoliosis; difficulties with breathing, and/or eating and drinking; digestive difficulties; and increased risk of respiratory infections.

Look after your posture

There are many ways to look after your posture. Some of these involve being more active, such as taking part in sports or walking regularly.

Some people may need therapeutic positioning and the use of equipment such as appropriate seating, wheelchairs, and night-time positioning equipment.

These methods should be regularly reviewed to make sure they continue to suit the individual and their current situation.

Postural Care Passport

We are currently developing a digital passport for people with learning disabilities who have postural care difficulties.

The passport is family led, and will contain both photographs and videos of the person, illustrating how best to support them. It is not intended to replace any hospital passport the person may have, as it is designed specifically for the target audience of people with the label profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Got My Back

The Got My Back campaign makes us all aware that we need to look after our posture.

Commissioned by NHS England, Got My Back: Young people and families putting themselves in control of postural care tells 6 stories of people who demonstrate the benefits of good postural care. We also produced four films that highlight how important good postural care is and what happens when postural care goes wrong.

Short Black n Sides

Short Black n Sides is a stream of our work that encompasses a growing range of community based projects that focus on the mental health of men from Black communities.

“We’re listeners, really; a lot of people come in the barbershop and it’s not really about the cut, it’s about the conversation.”

The original Short Black n Sides project in 2019 provided a platform for Black men from Sandwell to talk about, normalise and challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health in their own communities. The project was shaped through an understanding and appreciation of the historical legacy of the Black barbershop, and took these conversations to the very place these men meet, socialise and feel relaxed.

The relationship between barber and customer is a loyal one, with cuts, fades and shapes happening as often as once a week. This means that many men see their barber more often than they see their friends, GP and members of their own family. Who better, then, to recognise changes in a man’s mood or outlook on life, than his barber?

November 2021 saw the start of our Barbershop Stories project. This project further builds on the foundations of Short Black n Sides, but with a widened focus around Black men’s emotional health and wellbeing, particularly in relation to young Black men’s perceptions of their identity and the visibility of positive male role models in the community.

Common Ground

Common Ground is a stream of our work that focuses on young people’s experience of loneliness and isolation, which, if left unchecked, can have great detrimental effect on young people’s physical and mental health.

Through this body of work, we have worked across the West Midlands and supported young disabled people, their non-disabled peers, young people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and young people from minority ethnic communities to establish meaningful connections, relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships with each other and their communities.

This project has successfully challenged societal discrimination, cultural stigma, raised expectations for young disabled people and their families and celebrated the interests, talents and skills that connect us all.

The arts have played a significant role within this stream of work, as a tool for bringing young people together and in facilitating conversations around loneliness. 2020 saw launch of the “Your New Normal. My Normal.” arts campaign, which gave disabled young people and their non-disabled peers a platform to creatively explore their experiences.

This resulted in a body of work which was subsequently exhibited in Wolverhampton Art Gallery and an accompanying brochure of the exhibition.