Outstanding care, commitment and dedication has gained recognition for Rachel Turner for providing “truly life-changing support” to a care service user.

From accompanying him to frequent dialysis treatments for his kidney failure to helping him build better relationships with other people, Rachel’s efforts have won praise from service users and colleagues alike.

The 30-year-old support worker, who works at Gordon Avenue, a supported living service near Camberley in Surrey, has also had her efforts recognised by being shortlisted as a finalist in the Support Worker category of this year’s National Learning Disabilities Awards – an outstanding achievement for someone who has not yet been working in the care industry for a year.

Rachel’s work with service user Peter Thorne, in particular, is what makes her stand out.
Peter, aged 40, who is on the autism spectrum and has suffered from depression and kidney failure, has lived at the Regard Group’s Gordon Avenue – a supported living service – since it opened in April 2012, and Rachel became his keyworker in January 2017.

Kylie Oakden, who leads the team at Gordon Avenue, said: “Peter is a hoarder, and his bedroom was so full of possessions, it was hard to get in. But thanks to Rachel he has been decluttering, and now has space to walk across his room, which has been re-painted. He also has a new carpet and a new bed.

“He has agreed with her that for every new thing he brings into his room, one has to go out. Keeping on top of things has helped Peter’s depression, making him feel calmer and more in control.”

She said: “Rachel has also supported him to begin thrice-weekly dialysis treatment for his kidney failure. She accompanies him to all his hospital appointments, changing her diary when necessary so that she can go with him and make sure he has consistency of care.

“She has taken him on several days trips and recently went on a two-day break to Pagham, organising a dialysis session at a nearby hospital for him. For Peter, Rachel’s support has proved truly life-changing.”

Peter said: “Rachel helps me a lot of ways. She is tough with me, but at times I need this. I find it hard to build relationships, but I know where I stand with her.”

Peter’s sister, Mandy Saville, said: “Considering that Rachel is quite new to the care system, what she has managed to achieve in such a short period of time with Peter has been amazing. The care she has given him is sincere and outstanding, and I really am so grateful to her for the commitment and support she shows to Peter.”

Rachel said she felt “very humbled” to have been selected as a finalist for the awards, and added: “I take my hat off to all the amazing people who dedicate their time to people with needs of every form. I felt very humbled attending the awards, which really showed just how selfless some people are, but at the same time I feel very proud of the achievement of being nominated.”

The National Learning Disabilities Awards celebrate excellence in the support of people with learning disabilities, and aim to pay tribute to individuals and organisations who excel in providing quality care.

Gordon Avenue is a supported living service for six adults with a learning disability with round the clock support. Each individual is supported to live as independently as possible in all areas of their life.
The service is run by the Regard Group, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, caring for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,200 people working at 150 locations throughout the UK.

The service is run by the Regard Group, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, caring for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,200 people working at 150 locations throughout the UK.