'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' - Carer Empathy Project

'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' - Carer Empathy Project

Derbyshire County Council have been asking local carers to share their experiences and participate in a year-long empathy project called Walk a Mile in a My Shoes. These 13 stories have been arranged into an online library of audio clips.

The project has now been launched and you can visit www.carersinderbyshire.org.uk/wam to listen to the stories.

You can read our recent blog to find out more about the aims of the project and get a flavour of one of the carer stories.

What's is Walk a Mile in My Shoes?

The project idea has been developed from work carried out by the Empathy Museum , which set up the first “A Mile in My Shoes” project to promote empathy by getting people thinking about what other people's lives are like.

The museum set up a mobile ‘shoe shop’ where visitors are invited to Walk a Mile in someone else's shoes - literally.  When members of the public visited the Walk a Mile 'shoe shop' they're asked to choose a pair of unfamiliar shoes to walk a mile in while listening to an audio recording of someone else’s life story (or a day in their life) through headphones. 

Last year, the Health Foundation teamed up with the Museum to develop a collection of stories from people using and working in health and social care services in the UK. This included parent carer Becky Wyatt who recorded her story.

Walk a Mile in a Carer's Shoes

Derbyshire County Council Adult Care decided to carry on the 'walk a mile' theme but concentrate on carer stories by running a Derbyshire based “A Mile in My Shoes” project . The idea is to give local people the opportunity to step into the shoes of carers - and see the world through their eyes. 

Volunteer carers were recruited from across the county via the many groups and organisations for carers in Derbyshire, and by running an open recruitment programme through local and social media.  Proactive recruitment has been undertaken amongst communities of interest and other minority groups to ensure the voices of Derbyshire’s diverse populations are included.

Volunteers were asked to do two things; firstly, they were asked to choose a favourite pair of their shoes that they feel represents their lives to be photographed and secondly, to make a short audio recording describing the good, the bad, the funny and the sad aspects of their life as a carer and any key messages they wish to share.  

This approach is intended to be person-centred, focusing on and highlighting the experiences and quality of life of local carers.  It links with the national drive to use storytelling as a means to increase understanding, to contribute to inclusion, to build connections in society and to bring about change. It aligns with approaches currently in use in the NHS to engage people with quality improvement work and will therefore foster collaboration across organisations.  The approach is applicable to all areas and to all client groups, including those with specific vulnerabilities. 

Thank you

Thanks to al the carers who have taken part so far. Your stories are varied and show that no caring role is ever the same.

If you would like us to give a presentation or talk about Walk a Mile please contact the Adult Care Information Team on tel: 01629 531310 or use the contact us form

May 13 2018

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