Charity celebrates honour for trustee - 8848

Charity celebrates honour for trustee

The West Midlands’ leading sight loss charity is celebrating one of its trustees on receiving an MBE by backing a care quality campaign.

Jan Burns, who joined Beacon’s Council of Management in 2015, was recognised in the New Year Honours list for services to promoting dignity in care.

Pauline Heffernan, chairman of Beacon, said: “Everyone is thrilled that Jan has been acknowledged for her dedication to the care sector and tremendously proud that she brings her expertise to our charity.

“As chairman of the National Dignity Council, Jan’s main aim is to build the number of dignity champions in the UK.

“Currently more than 63,000 people have pledged to challenge poor care, act as role models and influence colleagues in care. Here at Beacon we are supporting Jan’s ambition to get that total to 100,000 dignity champions by signing up for the project ourselves.”

A Dignity Champion is someone who believes passionately that being treated with dignity is a basic human right, not an optional extra. They believe that care services must be compassionate, person centred, as well as efficient, and are willing to try to do something to achieve this.

Anyone interested in joining the Dignity Champions scheme can find out more at

Jan, from Great Wyrley, has been involved with the dignity campaign since its inception in 2008 and elected as chairman in 2010 when the National Dignity Council was formed.

A qualified and registered social worker, she has more than 35 years’ experience working in a care environment, as well as 12 years personal experience as the main carer for her own parents.

She said: “Through my personal experienced and professional knowledge, I set up a not-for-profit social enterprise called Safe and Settled Ltd. This introduced me to the Beacon centre two years ago, when I began working with four Beacon volunteers on a Community Connectors project.

“I strongly believe in the ethos and core purpose of Beacon and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience to support the team in meeting their organisational business plan objectives.”

Beacon offers a full range of facilities and support to visually impaired people across the West Midlands, including a mix of residential, day care and community services.

The charity also operates a range of charity shops across the West Midlands, which deliver much-needed funds through sales of quality donated items and a selection of new goods, and in Halesowen incorporates a coffee shop where you can relax and enjoy some refreshments.

As part of its commitment to promoting the importance of looking after your eyes, and developing enterprises that generate funds for the core charity, Beacon recently opened an opticians’ practice at its Sedgley site. The opticians’ is open to all and carries a range of frames and styles to suit all tastes and are competitively priced. To arrange an appointment please call 01902 886794.

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