The vitally important work of occupational therapists is to be celebrated as part of World Occupational Therapy Day.
Across Durham County Council, those in the profession will be promoting their service today, Wednesday 27 October, by sharing their pride in their role within their teams and also on social media.
Occupational therapists work with people whose disabilities or health conditions impact their daily living routines. By providing advice and information about how to be more independent in daily life, or by providing equipment or adaptations, they are able to support people to meet the outcomes they want to achieve, to live independently and enjoy a good quality of life.
Having worked throughout the pandemic to deliver services face to face and with digital adaptations, this year World Occupational Therapy Day provides an opportunity for colleagues within the council’s Adult and Health Services to acknowledge the contribution which occupational therapists make to the wellbeing of residents.
This year’s theme is “Belong. Be you” and promotes the power of diversity and inclusion, as occupational therapists work together within the local authority and the wider region to build community and resilience in their profession.
First launched in 2010, World Occupational Therapy Day has become an important date in the occupational therapy calendar, allowing the occupational therapy community to promote and celebrate its profession internationally.
People can join in the celebration on 27 October and show support by tweeting or sharing posts on social media using #worldotday
Rachel Borthwick, an occupational therapy assistant and apprentice, said: “I have been an occupational therapy assistant working for Durham County Council for 20 years.
“I work with adults living with a disability who all have individual needs and I love helping them gain or regain independence.
“During this time I have gained a lot of experience and my passion for the job has grown and I have recently been given the opportunity to progress by securing a place on the Occupational Therapy Apprenticeship programme.
“I am very excited to take up this challenge and develop both personally and professionally into a qualified occupational therapist. I am supported by a fantastic team who will help me with any future challenges I face on this new journey.”
Jane Robinson, Durham County Council’s corporate director of adult and health services, who herself qualified as an occupational therapist 30 years ago this year, said: “I am celebrating World Occupational Therapy Day 2021 to thank all of our occupational therapy staff working across adult and health services and across the council for everything that they do, and the work that they have all undertaken in the pandemic, which has been hugely challenging.
“I hope this will be a day to pause, reflect on, celebrate and really recognise the fantastic contribution and role of occupational therapy in really improving the outcomes for our local residents.”
Cllr Paul Sexton, the council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “World Occupational Therapist Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the hugely important work that those in the profession do for such a wide range of people.
“Particularly in the past 18 months, staff have adapted to big changes due to the coronavirus pandemic but have done so admirably, delivering first-class service to those in need. On behalf of everyone at the council, I’d like to thank all of our occupational therapists in County Durham. Keep up the good work.”
For further information on occupational therapy in County Durham go to www.durham.gov.uk/article/5660/Living-independently-at-home