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#DistanceAware Initiative

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We are very happy to announce that as of 31st July 2020, the Distance Aware initiative now have official backing from the Department of Health and Social care. The following statement of support was given by Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care Jo Churchill.

DHSC Statement

The ED Society are delighted to be involved with this initiative. We want to ensure our ED community remain fully supported and feel safe through the Covid pandemic, and throughout the changes you have had to make to your lives.

We have been working on our own Distance Aware badges and lanyards which are now available above.

The artwork for these is FREE for our ED community, allowing you to create your own badge and/or lanyard to help prompt ongoing social distancing.

You can use the above images to print, cut out and make a badge (shield image) or insert into a lanyard if you would prefer to wear this way instead (landscape image).

Yellow Distance Aware straps are now available to be purchased to go with your Ectodermdal Dysplasia lanyard –https://www.weprintlanyards.com

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Why social distancing matters more now than ever before – Press Release from the Distance Aware Project 31st July 2020.

Distance Aware is an NHS initiative that has been established to enable individuals and organisations to politely prompt ongoing distancing and respect of individual social space.

Since COVID-19 there has been a new focus on the need to maintain social distancing, while the public has made great efforts at this as with all things that require ongoing conscious efforts – people get tired. This coupled with increased anxiety of many who feel vulnerable, the virus still being present in our communities and the shielding period coming to an end, has made a number of individuals explore the concept of polite prompting of others by a means of self-identifying with a badge or similar.

A google-poll of 1749 people in late June found that over 91% thought it was a good idea to have a badge or similar available to enable individuals to self-identify, with over 95% believing this choice could help those who feel vulnerable during the upcoming transition period. There is a general understanding of personal responsibility and respect for others as demonstrated by 99% of those who took part in the poll, expressing that if they saw a badge/pin they recognised they would respect someone’s space and keep their distance.

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The ability to self-identify as wanting your space respected and others to maintain social distance has been largely welcomed. The symbol designed has been done so with the aim of maximising inclusivity through its simple shape, lack of text and colour palates. The scheme is open to everyone (not just those who feel vulnerable or who may have been shielding) reflecting the fact that the need for ongoing social distancing is everyone’s responsibility going forward. This was supported by over 50% of those not shielding who did the poll, expressing a will to self-identify and engage in the scheme.

The scheme has been formally endorsed by the Welsh Government and has been presented to HMG with the outcome pending. The symbol can be accessed and downloaded via the Bevan Commission website at www.bevancommission.org/distance-aware – you can also find posters, the design guidelines and comms pack.