25 May 2016 saw over 140 finalists from all over the country come together for the Judging day of the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards

After being inundated by nominations the search to find the category winners of the third National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards is almost complete. Shortlisted finalists were invited to attend the judging day which was hosted by Weightmans Solicitors in Birmingham, bringing together the crème de la crème of the social care workforce who support people with autism or a learning disability. Judges represented all corners of the sector, all of whom commented on the high standard of candidates and the difficult job to find the category winners.

The Awards, which are being organised by Care Talk magazine in association with The Voluntary Organisation Disabilities Group (VODG), will take place on 14th July 2016 at the prestigious ICC in Birmingham. The evening will consist of a drinks reception, a superb gourmet dinner followed by the awards presentation with celebrity host Christopher Biggins and surprise entertainment

The Judging Day was held in association with Turning Point, , a leading health and social care organisation with over 25 years’ experience of supporting people with a learning disability, who bought along staff and the people they support to assist on the day. Finalists at the judging day represented all areas of the sector, including inspirational people with a learning disability, charities, private care providers, residential and nursing homes and local authority adult social care departments – one thing they all had in common was they epitomised the unsung heroes of communities. Without such people quality, person centred support for people with a learning disability would fail.

The National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards are a celebration of excellence across the learning disability and autism sector. The purpose of the awards is to promote best practice and pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work.

There are a total of twenty one awards categories available for nomination, representing all areas of the sector. From frontline staff such as support workers and managers, to people who have made an impact in other ways through training, breaking down barriers and housing.

On 14th July the National Learning Disabilities Show will also take place at The ICC from 10 am – 3 pm. The Show Working Together, is being is being led by Turning Point. It is being co-produced by people with a learning disability, providing a unique national platform to voice a unique perspective for the sector, and will be the forerunner to the Awards; ensuring a full day and night of celebrations.

Both The Show and The Awards have also received support from across the sector, Association for Real Change (Arc), Care England, Fitzroy, Mencap, The National Autistic Society and The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) aswell as commercial support.

Professor Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said:

“It is time to celebrate great care and that is why the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group is delighted to support the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards. Many of the best-known organisations supporting people with learning disabilities and autism are VODG members delivering responsive, high-quality, person-centered services day in, day out. This is not easy given current economic pressures which makes it all the more important to recognise and celebrate excellence and hold it up as an example for others to learn from and aspire to.”

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said:

“Social care work is one of the most difficult, and at the same time, one of the most spiritually rewarding careers. People who work in social care, make a huge difference to the lives of the people they work with, and are some of society’s unsung heroes.

The Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards looks to redress the lack of recognition that people who work in social care receive, and is recognising and rewarding the very best in the social care workforce, giving them praise and respect for the transformational work that they do every day.”

2016 Finalists are:

Employer of people with a Disability Award
Ahmed Khan Restaurants McDonald’s Franchise
Intu Metrocentre
Kennet Tyre Services
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Somerset County Council
Project Choice Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital
The Smart Enterprise Ltd

Frontline Leaders Award
Dom Dyer – Affinity Supporting People
Katherine Dann – Beyond Limits
Colin Peel – Birtenshaw
Stephanie Smith – City Hospital Sunderland
Sue York – Coventry City Council
Dave Ridley – Potens
Kerry Nairn – RMP care ltd

Registered Manager Award

Penny Meah – Birtenshaw
Rachel Bradford – Eden Futures
Sharon Main – Gretton Homes part of Consensus Support Services
Loraine Atherton – RMP Care
Lisa Runnalls – The Regard Partnership
Mike Hand – The Regard Partnership
Danielle Thomas – Voyage Care
Geraldine Leavy – Priory Group

Senior Manager Award

Natasha Clarke – Craegmoor
Gayle Woodcock – Brookdale Care part of the Tracscare Group
Yvonne Diamond – Craegmoor
Paula Braynion – Future Directions CIC
Kevin Bryne – Potens
Sara Woodall – The Accord Group
Martine O’Reilly – Yarrow

The Breaking Down Barriers Award
Cambridgeshire DAAT and Speak Out Leaders – Cambridgeshire VoiceAbility Cambridgeshire DAAT and Speak Out Leaders
Kelly Swift – Capita
Amanda Chapman – Chartwell Trust
Sarah Wiest – Nottingham Community Housing
RAID and PBS Implementation Team – Partnerships in Care
Straight Talkers – Straight Talkers
The Avalink Committee – The Avalon Group

The Employer Award Ind

Denise Doggett – Frontier Support Services
Phoenix Support
Sharon Showler – Springfields Healthcare Group
Swanton Care and Community Ltd
Glen Randall – Precious Homes
Laura and Greg Richardson-Cheater – The Richardson Partnership for Care

The Employer Award NP
Rob Thomas – Branching Out (Bucks Care)
Michelle Hart – Camphill Village Trust
Jaffray Care Group
Karen Carter – Yeovil District Hospital NHS
Alison Hibbert & Luci Sanderson – Rochdale Borough Council

The Great Autism Practice Award
Elaine Nicholson MBE – Action for Asperger’s
Wast Hills Autism Service – Danshell Healthcare
Sue Hatton – Embrace group
Homes Caring for Autism
Louise Zandian – Lifeworks Staffordshire
Mentaur Group – Mentaur Group
Specialist Learning Team – Sarah Lillico – Newcastle University

The Learning Disability Nurse Award
Andrew Birkenshaw – Bradford District Care Foundation Trust
Barbara Sayers – Hertfordshire County Council
Liz Smith – Consensus Support
Suzanne Ryan – Future Directions CIC
Jim Blair – Great Ormond Street Hospital
June Greenway – N.H.S Great Yarmouth
Marie Winters – Precious Homes Ltd.
Mary Fairgrieve – South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Trust

Supporting Older People with Learning Disabilities

Dawn Hughes – Choices Housing Association
Stembile (Sharon) Moyo – Christies Care
Angela Fitzpatrick – Mencap
The Selwyn Road Team (managed by Ron Campbell) – Outward
Nadia Batool – Precious Homes

The Making a Difference Award
Lisa Main & Lynn McRostie – Bridgewood Trust
Pippa Gascoigne – Choice Support
Lee Derbidge – Homes Caring for Autism
Paula Allcroft – Livability
Natasha Clarke – Craegmoor part of the priory group
Jayne Watkins – Livewell (Care & Support) Ltd
Rashmi Becker – University of Cambridge
Alison Owen – Speakup Self Advocacy
Kate Todd – Cream Care

The Making a Difference Award
Adelphi Care Services Limted – Adelphi Care Services Limited
SPICE – c/o Future Directions CIC
Care in style
Emerald Team at Christies Care
Ellie Coyles, Julie Hayes and Sharon Atkin – Dimensions
Lincolnshire Autism Partnership
The Staff Team – Trident Reach
The Links Resource Centre – Consensus

The Newcomer Award
Silvana Duggan- Affinity Supporting People
Aisha Dawson – Care in Style
Edward Warrick – Community Integrated Care
Tasmin Jones – Lucy Glyn Support Services
Tom Williams – Oakwood Court College
Jonathan Walton – SYI Midlands
Shay Mullis – The Fremantle Trust

The People’s Award
Anna Kennedy OBE
Donna Tate – British Red Cross
Dudley Voices For Choice Self Advocacy
The Enable Forum – Enable Care and Support
Iceni Care Staff Team – Iceni Care Ltd
Gary Bourlet – People First England
Jonathan Andrews – Reed Smith; Westminster Autism Commission; Ambitious about Autism; Disability Confident; Elimination of Domestic Violence Youth Council

The Sporting Chance Award
The Dance Leader Team- DanceSyndrome
Jonathan Whitwell- Danshell
ASPIE Avengers FC – ASPIE Avengers FC
Joel Bailey and Doug Radmore – Lifeways
Amy Webster – National Autistic Society
Active for Life Team – Plymouth Guild
Georgia Smith – PSS
Rob Flynn – Sporting Edge

The Support Worker Award
Marie Rogers – Lighthouse Healthcare
Hayley Hindmarch – Cambridge Care Company
All Staff Team – Craegmoor, Priory Group
Nigel Anderson – Pathway to Independence Springfields
Jo Thorpe, Bebe Gale, Penny Grice and Caroline Egan – Dimensions UK Limtied
Karen Wells – Precious Homes Ltd.
Kath Richards – The Hesley Group
Katyann Price – Hallmark Care Home

The Support Worker Award
Matthew Armstrong – Affinity Supporting People
Sian Trott – Somerset County Council
Oluwakemi Yusuf – Accord Housing
Noel Brown – Bradford District Care Foundation Trust
Phillip Cowan – Future Directions
Karen Martin – Gateshead Council

The Supported Housing Award
Natalie & Jan – Accord Group
Daniel Cross & Di Benden – Advance
Diane Young & Eric HardmanEssex Housing Brokerage Service – Dimensions UK Ltd
Richard Webb and David Holt – MCCH
Joanne Rodele Treow House – Precious Homes
TP Properties

The Trainer Award

Sangita Boyd – Alium Care Training Ltd
Denise Wherton – Allied Healthcare
James Punch – Freedom Care
Siobhan Maguire – Maguire Training & Consultancy
Rachel Blackburn – Millennium Care Services
Steve McGuinness – Msitua – Autism Consultancy
Emma Jones – National Autistic Society
Vicky Ackroyd – Purple Patch Arts
Sue Sharples – U-Night Group

Lets celebrate excellence in the learning disabilities sector and help it get the recognition it deserves