26 March 2015 saw over 100 finalists from all over the country come together for the Judging day of the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards

The search to find the overall national winners of the second National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards is almost complete. Shortlisted finalists were invited to attend the judging day for the national finals, bringing together the crème de la crème of the social care workforce who support people with autism or a learning disability.

The awards which are being organised by Care Talk magazine in association with the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) and the Voluntary Organisation Disabilities Group (VODG) and will take place on 15th May 2015 at the prestigious ICC in Birmingham.  The evening will consist of a drinks reception, a superb gourmet dinner followed by the awards presentation with host, compere and comic Steve Walls and surprise entertainment

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 seventeen 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 15th May The National Learning Disabilities Show will take place at Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens.  The Show, Living the Good Life, will be designed and delivered by people with a learning disability, providing a unique national platform to voice a unique perspective for the sector. The show will be the forerunner to the Awards, ensuring a full day and night of celebrations.

  The show and awards have received support from across the social care sector, including Adult Directors of Social Services (ADASS), Care England, Department of Health, Skills for Care, The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Mencap

Ann Chivers, chief executive of BILD said,

“Judging at the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards was a great privilege for all of those working in the learning disabilities sector.  Firstly to meet so many focussed and passionate people and secondly to see the fantastic supporters from a variety of settings and the innovative ways they are giving people with learning disabilities to live the life they chose.

“This is now the second year for the National Learning Disabilities awards and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm.  The quality of the finalists from across the country and throughout the sector is extremely high and the judges had the unenviable task of choosing an overall winner for each category.  The awards offer a unique opportunity to celebrate the successes of individuals, teams and businesses throughout the UK – people who really do make a positive impact on the lives of people with a learning disability.  We are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting and uplifting day and night of celebrations.”

Finalists for the National Learning Disabilities Awards are:

The Employer Award


Jaffray Care Group

Jane Payne, The Richardson Partnership for Care

Andrew Lennox and Ceri Lennon, Eden Futures

Consensus Support

Cream Care

Sandie Foxall Smith, Regard

Martin Nicholas, Partners in Support

Felicity Colton-Lane and Steve Ball, Crimson Hill Support


The Employer of People with a Disability Award


Countryside Sites Team, Worcestershire County Council

Chester O’Neill and Neal Jobling, Amber Support Services

Justin Hackney, Sharon Jeffrey’s and Jo Minchin, LCC/CCH Lincolnshire

Martin Beale, Travis Perkins

Peer Reviewer Project, Community Integrated Care

Gateshead Advice Centre

Ahmed Khan Restaurants, McDonald’s Franchise


The Newcomer Award

Elizabeth Smart, U-Night Group

Karen Macmasters, CMG Ltd

Hayley Scammell, Dimensions UK Ltd

Alex Robinson, National Star College

Audrey Banks, SeeAbility

Joseph Armstead, Voyage Care

Malcolm Pugh, Community Integrated Care

Kathleen McIntyre, Gateshead Council


The Support Worker Award

 Sian McGirr, Amber Support Services

Gareth Evans, Livability Lifestyle Choices

Lorraine Dixon, The Fremantle Trust

Hayley Wilkins, Consensus Support

Jackie Bray,The Grange

Michelle Burrows, MacIntyre

Wendy McAnena, MiHomecare

Sarah Pincher, Durhan Careline Lifestyles


The Registered Manager Award

 Kathryn Rudge, Halas Homes

Sophia Cursons, Voyage Care

Paula Smith, Community Integrated Care

Rebecca Nike, Hf trust

Mina Gandhi, Bluebird Care

Tracy Jenkins, Noble Care

Cathie Birrell, Turning Point

Christine Fewster, Pathways to Independence


The Senior Manager Award

Jacqui Orrells, Swanton Care and Community

Sally Jobling, Craegmoor

Paul Lord, Future Directions CIC

Andrea Par, MacIntyre

Kelly Johnson-Ward, The Willows PiC

Sarah Jones, Mencap Liverpool

Debbie White, Fitzroy

Joeanne Hamilton, Community Care Choice


The Frontline Leaders Award

 Sharon Watson, Gateshead Council

Susan Jamieson, CASA Newcastle

Mel McDonnell, Livability Lifestyle Choices

Kathryn Allison, Precious Homes Ltd

Elaine Coupland, County Enterprise Foods

Deborah Bratt, CareHomes Stoke Ltd/Park View Day Centre

Leanne Robert, Trident Reach


The Learning Disability Nurse Award

 Rebecca Tunney, Lighthouse Healthcare

Suzanne Ryan, Future Directions CIC

Sally Ryan, Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

Dawn Langwade, Bradford District Care Trust

June Greenway, NHS

Chris Shield, Danshell Group

Tracey Lloyd, Hywel DDA U.H.Board


The Making a Difference Award

 Sandie Love, Care-Yes

John Carswell, Chelsford College

Heather Birnie, Community Integrated Care

Bedford Project Team, Consensus Support

Tracey Brodie, Great Ormond Street Hospital

Herts Community LD Service, Herefordshire County Council

John Rose, Amber Support Services

Helen Bradley, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Judy Adams, Worcestershire Association of Carers

The Trainer Award

 Mary Johnson,  Joint Training

Lesley Tite, Beacon Employment

James Punch, Freedom Care

Steve McGuiness, Mistua Consultancy

Hailey Wood, Mencap Liverpool

SPICE, Future Directions CIC

Lucy Harrison, Certitude

Sharon Stanley, Houses of Parliament


The Supported Housing Award

 Mark Sturgeon, Affinity Trust

Origin Housing

Lorna O’Shea, The O’Shea Partnership

Mel Baynes, Bernicia

Park Road Independent Supported Living Scheme, Pathways to Independence


The Sporting Chance Award

 Lesley Senior, Sanctuary Supported Living

Tees Alive, Community Integrated Care

Louise Hammond, Recoil Trampoline Club

Bob Leeves and the Out There Team, Outreach 3 Way part of Dimensions

Michael Fullerton, CMG Ltd


Larissa Milden, Active for Life

Mark Goodwin, Bumble Bees Rufc


The Breaking Down Barriers Award

 Jo Allmond, MacIntyre

Ian Hubbard, Opening Doors

Sensory Team, Essex Care

Jodie Reichely, Wokingham LD Partners

Speak Out Leaders, VoiceAbility

Rebecca Hill, Danshell Group

Andrea Jackson & Dot Reeves, Real Life Options

National Brokerage Project Team, The National Autistic Society


The Supporting Older People with Learning Disabilities Award

 Oliver Street Team, Community Integrated Care

Carole Guy and The Team at Field House, Lighthouse Healthcare

Hema Abeyatunge, Regard

Josie Bolt, Milestones Trust

Sean Murphy, PSS UK

Polly Massie and The Woodhouse Team, Shaw Healthcare Group

Jennifer Lowe, Voyage Care

Shared Lives, Gateshead Council


The Great Autism Practise Award

 Ross Walters, Shaw Healthcare

Colliers House, Dignus Healthcare

Roxanne McKay and Jackie Drohan, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust

David Traynor, Community Integrated Care

Hariette Carpenter, Homes Caring for Autism

The Understanding Autism Project, SEQOL, BGSW, CRC & NPS

Jo Stevens, The National Autistic Society

ABI Homes


The People’s Award

 Alex Jordan, The Emily Jordan Foundation

The Choice Checker Team, Worcestershire County Council

Maurice Chappell, Parent

The Team of Young Adults and WATT Services, Together Trust

Jen Blackwell, DanceSyndrome

Wells Road Team, Craegmoor – Priory Group

Drama Team, Fitzroy

Andy Fox, Sunderland People First

Bradford People’s Parliament, Turning Point

The Late Sarah Micklewright, ASPIE


The Outstanding Contribution Award

 Jilly Davis, The National Autistic Society

Chris Hartshorne, Milewood Healthcare Ltd

John Campbell

Stephen Petts, Cream Care

Judy Adams, Worcester Association of Carers

Kathryn Clarke, Consensus Support

Rex Richardson, Linkage Community Trust

Maurice Chappell, Parent


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