Awards

2017

Shaun Hills – Great British Care Awards 2017: National Finals Winner

24th August 2017

After winning the regional finals in November 2016, we are very proud to announce that Shaun Hills won the Care Home Worker Award at the national finals, held in Birmingham on Friday, 31 March 2017.Two of the judges of this award personally congratulated Shaun, saying how impressed they were by his interview and the enthusiasm he displayed for his job.

This award recognises the significant role of the Care Home Worker in consistently providing a high-quality standard, for people living in residential care. The award was presented by Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England and Celebrity Martin Kemp known for his involvement in Spandau Ballet, Eastenders and more recently Let it Shine. 

Many congratulations Shaun.

Congratulations to the following staff and team members who have received nominations for the Great British Care Awards – South West Region.

23rd August 2017

 

Care Newcomer Award

Martin Burridge

Holly Tree Cottage

Nominated by Rob Lawrence

Devon Rich

Wembdon Rise

Nominated by Gareth Bradshaw

Debbie Carpenter

Apple Tree House

Nominated by Penny Williams & Andy Baggott

Care Home Worker Award

Suzanne Hornett

Holly Tree Cottage

Nominated by Wendy Moore

Julie Carter

Apple Tree House

Nominated by Alan Groves

Dom Long

Grange Court

Nominated by Rachel Underwood

Dom Long

Grange Court

Nominated by Jo Chandler

Care Team Award

Staff

Durlston Lodge

Nominated by Megan Williams

Grange Court

Nominated by David Chivers

Hilltop

Nominated by Dave Lock

Stafford Lodge

Nominated by Denise Hawkins

Taunton Stanway Close

Nominated by Carol Gonoud

Putting People First/Personalisation Award’

 Staff

Wembdon Rise

Nominated by Gareth Bradshaw

Jon White

Durlston House

Nominated by Matt Wilmott & Trina Snell

Front Line Leader Award

Megan Williams

Durlston Lodge

Nominated by Jack Sawyer and on behalf of the Durlston Lodge staff   team

Hannah England

Grange Court

Nominated by Ashley Davies

Adam Gontar

Services Support Team Manager

Nominated by Emma Pearce on behalf of the Services Support Team

Care Manager Award

Matt Wilmott

Durlston House

Nominated by a QCF assessor

Peter Bosworth

Grange Court

Nominated by Ashley Davies

Dignity in Care Award

Dom Long

Grange Court

Nominated by David Chivers

Outstanding award

For Social Care

Homes Caring for Autism

 

Nominated by Wendy Moore

Lee Derbidge - Finalist for the National LD and Autism ‘Making a Difference’ Award

20th June 2017

Congratulations to Lee Derbidge who is now a finalist for the Making a Difference Award. Lee was nominated for this award by our regional manager, who said the following;

ʺDuring Lee's 11 years with Homes Caring for Autism, it has been recognised by parents, social workers and other professionals that he has, without question, enhanced, even transformed, the lives of autistic individuals.

Lee has pioneered the use of IT to vastly improve communication and understanding with individuals who are non-verbal and can use challenging behaviour to communicate, potentially resulting in exclusion from local communities, facilities and external activities. There are many examples of situations where Lee has reduced challenging incidents via the use of appropriate and innovative communication formats which have helped to reduce an individual’s anxieties.

Lee has created, and delivers, various autism specific training sessions to our staff teams. He is an excellent trainer; we constantly receive feedback from staff saying that they feel motivated and inspired, that he is innovative and that his training is exciting and participatory. This training not only trains the staff teams to provide information in different formats to meet individual needs and break down barriers but also helps them to understand the potential reasons for behaviours and to look at them in a different way to enable staff to work more proactively with people to communicate their needs/preferences and problem solve.

One of his major successes is the creation of bespoke social stories. Each DVD is unique, based on an individual’s interests, using them as motivators to attract and hold an individual’s attention to communicate effectively and develop their ability to access and function both within their home and in the community, safely and without anxiety.

Lee continues to passionately develop communication programmes and is always striving for better communication via new technologies, with the aim of continuing to achieve a better quality of life and wellbeing for the individuals we support. ʺ

Grange Court - Finalist for the National LD and Autism ‘Great Autism Practice’ Award

20th June 2017

Congratulations to Grange Court Staff Team who are now finalists for the Great Autism Practice Award. Grange Court were nominated for this award by our Regional Manager, who said the following;

Grange Court has been open since 2015, providing direct support for 5 individuals whom all have autism with diverse and complex needs. The road has not been smooth, with many daily challenges but they have consistently problem solved, using person centred approaches, breaking down communication, sensory/behavioural barriers and built trust. Staff work hard to empower autistic individuals, using passion and creativity to achieve what others may never have thought possible.  Some of the achievements:

  1. Considerable reduction in self injurious behaviours and physically challenging behaviours.
  2. Specially adapted clothing has progressed to now wearing regular leggings/t-shirt.
  3. Hospital access difficulties overcome, staff led the way in best interest meetings ensuring individuals got access to the support required. Successfully supporting them through complex appointments and surgery where pain caused them considerable discomfort and anxiety (prolapse, tooth extraction, fillings).
  4. Previously unable to access local community on any activities, now regular access.
  5. Previous refusal to get out of public pool. Pool had to be drained over 9 hrs to remove the individual. Staff did not give up, with many months of planning and use of visual aids. This is now a weekly activity again.
  6. The team work hard with each person, creating guidelines, providing consistent approaches, routines, sourcing and offering opportunities and choice.
  7. The team frequently receive thanks and recognition via the social workers and health professionals for their continued achievements.
  8. An excerpt from the most recent feedback received from a parent: ʺI wanted to say a huge...thank you to you and your amazing team! What an achievement for everyone. The skills and training the staff have are so high and of course their kindness and patience with xxx. We are all very grateful that all went ok and xxx coped well. ʺ

Dom Long - Finalist for the National LD and Autism ‘Support Worker’ Award

20th June 2017

Congratulations to Dom Long who is a finalist for the Support Worker Award. Dom was nominated for this award by a parent and grandparent of on individual, who said the following;

 “Dom is a Senior Support Worker to my son who is cared for by Homes Caring for Autism, at Grange Court in Wiltshire. Dom has shown outstanding care towards my son and constantly goes the extra mile to try and help my son who is non-verbal and frequently anxious.

One particular example is how Dom organised a major dental procedure for my son, his first visit to a dentist in over ten years. The amount of planning and negotiation was astonishing and Dom took this all in his stride and organised pre-op visits and meetings with the medical staff involved. Dom’s meticulous planning left nothing to chance and he ensured all the paperwork was in place.

On the day of the operation Dom led a well organised and dedicated team to Royal United Hospital in Bath. The two hour wait for treatment at times was too much to endure for my son, who became increasingly agitated and anxious. Dom and his team handled the difficult situation in a calm, professional manner and ensured no damage was done.

Dom’s quite assurance, leadership and management skills have always been evident in his caring for my son, but no more than on the day he went to the dentist.”

 

“Dom Long is a Senior Support Worker assigned to our 19 year old grandson GU.

 G moved to Grange Court in February 2016 from Bridgwater where he had been cared for since his arrival from Swaziland in December 2015.

 In G’s second year at Grange Court, Dom has continued to focus and guide G so he can gain more independence.

This means challenges for G’s and the staff.

Dom’s leadership of G’s team ensures that there is plenty of cooperation in organising the daily routine.

Dom has been the key person this year in three major events.

  1. Working with Government Departments to obtain a National Insurance number for G. This involves an incredible amount of paperwork and phone calls: eventually a home visit was organised for G and Dom monitored this very well.
  2. G badly needed dental treatment. This involved pre-examinations at Bath Clinic. Dom headed this team effort. A date for the treatment was eventually agreed and Dom led the team of three in taking G to Bath Clinic. They had to wait for two hours in a small waiting room which caused G a lot of distress. G then went on t have a full anaesthetic and have four extractions and nine fillings. An amazing achievement!
  3. Dom’s team organised a birthday party for G in a local village hall. This was a real challenge for G and Dom’s team.

Dom and his team have now set a six month vision for G of getting him further involved in the community and aiming eventually to take G on holiday. Dom is convinced that this will further enhance G’s independence and ability to mix with others.

Dom is a naturally happy individual whose warmth and enthusiasm shines in his relationship with G.

At the same time he is a good team builder who gives responsibility to other members of staff. He also involves G’s parents and grandparents in everyday matters and special events.

I highly recommend Dom Long for the “Support Worker Award”. “

Stafford Lodge nominated for the National LD and Autism Award

19th June 2017

Congratulations to Debbie Moore and her staff team who have been nominated for an award by a parent, who said the following;

The team work incredibly hard behind the scenes to enable Mark to attend family events, so he can feel relaxed and enjoy himself amongst a lot of people.  To enable this to happen takes literally months of preparation and organization, such as taking photos/videos of the venue.

On a weekly basis, the staff will talk him through the event and show him the video of what he will see once he arrives and what he will encounter. They show him photos and discuss with him the wedding preparations; this enables him to feel safe and in control. 

On August 7, 2015 I re-married; we were looking forward to Mark attending our wedding day, which was held in Herefordshire – 80 miles away from Burnham-on-Sea, his home address.

He waited outside the wedding registrar office, with his two carers - Liam and Tracy. He was waiting for people to settle, so he could sit at the back. I joined Mark with my sister (I had arranged for my sister Louise to walk me up the aisle.) I felt nervous, Mark took my hand – I thought what a lovely gesture as he does not initiate any form of touch. I told Mark that it was time for him to sit down.  He said ‘NO’. He signed that he wanted to walk me up the aisle to join my future husband.

Everyone was happy that Mark was comfortable amongst family and friends. We are eternally grateful to Debbie Moore (Manager) and the team at Stafford Lodge for giving me a priceless memory of my son at my side – giving me encouragement; when I felt nervous walking up the aisle.

My daughter Ada-Rose is getting married on 17th September 2017 – the team are already working with Mark – future happy memories!

Shirley Smith nominated for National LD and Autism ‘Outstanding Contributions’ Award

19th June 2017

Congratulations to Shirley Smith who was nominated for the Outstanding Contributions Award by a parent, who said the following;

“Shirley Smith has been a huge influence on our son Duncan’s life, and for many other people with severe learning difficulties.

He first met her when he joined her class, as teacher of the leavers’ year at a special needs school.  He was suffering from severe anxiety and depression; when I took him into class that first day, I saw how her calm welcome and the class’s atmosphere had Duncan relaxing within minutes. Her skill and leadership helped him to settle and gain confidence over the year, while preparing him and his classmates for life after school.

She is a founding director of HCA, in one of whose homes Duncan has lived for thirteen years.  HCA has an inspiring ethos, where the residents are treated as individuals, their personal likes and needs are encouraged and respected.  Shirley’s main role is training the staff how to care for their residents, and treat them as adults with adult needs.  Duncan, together with his fellow residents, has benefited greatly from the caring and mature attitude of the many staff who look after him, and who he regards as his friends.  Their skill and ability to give the residents genuine choice in their lives, while ensuring their safety and well being, owes much to Shirley Smith’s role in selecting, supporting and training the staff.

Shirley’s ethos has had a huge influence on all the staff and residents; in addition Duncan has benefitted personally from Shirley’s care.  He spends a morning with her most weeks.  They have continued more ‘formal’ work, such as developing his communication and writing skills, while also enhancing his life skills, such as walking dogs, shopping, cooking, and feeding birds.  These mornings form part of his routine, which he values greatly, and tells us about with enthusiasm when we see him.”

2016

Shaun Hills –Great British Care Award 2016: Regional Finals Winner

14th November 2016

Congratulations to Shaun Hills who won the Care Home Worker Award on Saturday, 12 November 2016 and will now progress to the Great British Care Awards: National Finals in March 2017.

 Shaun is a Senior Support Worker at Holly Tree Cottage and was nominated by a parent of an individual whom we support.

 Our thanks go to all who made nominations.

Shaun Hills - Finalist for the Great British Care Award 2016

25th October 2016

Congratulations to Shaun Hills who has been nominated for the Care Home Worker Award and is now a finalist! Shaun was nominated for this award by Wendy Moore, one of our parents, who said the following:

 ʺShaun has been my son's care and keyworker for the last 8 years, starting as a support worker.  Over those 8 years I have seen Shaun's ongoing commitment to caring not just to my son but to all the individuals in his care. I sometimes feel he knows my son better than myself; his understanding of his needs which can sometimes be very challenging is always obvious. His communication is excellent, always ensuring that I am aware of any changes, often reassuring if there any worrying aspects of my son's health.  His attention to detail ensures that any changes are dealt with correctly, thus ensuring my son is always treated with dignity and respect.  He knows exactly how to work with him and to obtain the best from him. He is a good team worker and his personal development has enabled him to be promoted to a Senior Care Worker, a position he thoroughly deserves. I feel very lucky that my son has Shaun as his keyworker and I would love to see Shaun's hard work and commitment awarded.ʺ

Homes Caring for Autism - Finalist for the Great British Care Award 2016

25th October 2016

Homes Caring for Autism has been nominated for the Care Employer Award and is now a finalist! The nominations were made by Wendy Moore and Jo Chandler, who said the following:

Wendy:

ʺ Homes Caring for Autism (HCA) is a company that offers outstanding care and commitment to the individuals in their homes.  The directors of this company have a caring ethos that feeds down to their employees that all receive excellent ongoing training.  All staff have the opportunity for promotion and professional development, thus ensuring that staff are made to feel valued. Parents and carers are included in the development of this company by providing parent forum meetings as well as always ensuring they are made aware of any changes. My son lives in a lovely home, his privacy is always respected and he is treated with the dignity he deserves.  This company continues to thrive and has the ability to meet any change head on.  HCA's continued development is reflected in the entrepreneurial skills of the directors without losing their personnel touch.  HCA is a special company and would deserve to win this prestigious award.ʺ

 Jo:

ʺI have been involved with the company Homes Caring for Autism (HCA) since November 2014.

Our grandson, then aged almost 17 years, was due to be repatriated to the UK from Swaziland in Southern Africa.

Gregory is low functioning with some behaviour problems.

He was due to travel by air accompanied by an anaesthetist, psychiatric nurse and his mother.

Homes Caring for Autism quickly set up meetings with us as grandparents (we were acting on behalf of Gregory’s parents who were still in Swaziland).

In working with us and the social worker from the local authority, they were able to plan for Gregory’s arrival. Although this was a completely new and unknown challenge, HCA created a calm atmosphere for the day Gregory arrived at his new home on December 17th 2014.

HCA have since shown how as a team they can plan, show vision and be prepared for setbacks and then move forward again.

In January 2016, the planning of Gregory’s transition from his first home to a new home, again within HCA, commenced.

The transition period for Gregory’s move to another establishment was dealt with great understanding between both HCA homes and the members of staff. There was a crossover of staff for several weeks which enabled Gregory to settle in and to get used to new faces.

The move occurred in February 2016 and went very smoothly with staff from his original placement working with Gregory in his new home.

The care and planning continues and Gregory has made so much progress.

The involvement of parents and grandparents is well received with regular discussions and participation in outdoor activities. 

I think Home Caring for Autism offers care, vision, individual support and a willingness to acknowledge the complexity of autism.ʺ

Richard Smith: Finalist for the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Award 2016

9th June 2016

Congratulations to Richard Smith who has been nominated for the Outstanding Contribution Award and is a finalist! The nominations where made by members of the senior management team.

 Quote from the nominations:

 “His determination and dedication to continually evolve as a specialist provider is admirable. We now have 11 residential services for 57 complex individuals, achieving many successful new placements following previous placement breakdowns with other providers, supporting integration back into the community using person centred approaches. This expansion provides employment to more than 300 employees.

 

It is important that things are done right; he has high morals and values every person he comes across, both the individuals we support and employees.  A driver for the company commented that he was overwhelmed that Richard knew his name, taking time out to speak to him when visiting a service, even though the driver did not provide direct hands on support.

 

Richard’s support is unconditional and selfless, with a natural ability to think creatively, supporting the challenges faced by people, responding with interest to staff who’ve had ‘breakthroughs’ with individuals. Full of praise, his face visibly lights up when hearing of achievements, however big or small, encouraging people to celebrate successes; he will always share good practice and new ideas when visiting services.

 

Richard also invests a lot of time working in partnership with local authorities and other providers; he is a board member of various organisations including, the RCPA in Somerset, actively getting involved in projects linked to funding, personalisation, person centred delivery, staffing and retention, driving good practice and value for money.

 

Richard’s energy is infectious (and tiring!), his contribution to the care sector is invaluable and simply outstanding. His vision is to continue ensuring the delivery of high standards of care and support whilst still building on every individual’s capability, not to make assumptions, to achieve the unthinkable for both the individuals we support and all employees.”

 

Lee Derbidge: Finalist for the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Award 2016

10th May 2016

Congratulations to Lee Derbidge who has been nominated for the Making a Difference Award and is now a finalist! Lee was nominated for this award by our Special Projects Director, who said the following;

 

“During Lee's 10 years here it has been recognised by parents, social workers and other professionals that he has, without question, enhanced, even transformed, the lives of autistic individuals.

In particular, Lee has pioneered the use of IT to vastly improve communication and understanding with individuals who are non-verbal and can use challenging behaviour to communicate, potentially resulting in exclusion from local communities, facilities and external activities.

A major success is the creation of bespoke social stories, stored on DVDs. Each DVD is unique, based on an individual’s interests, and aims to develop their ability to access and function in the community, safely and without anxiety.

It's recognised that autistic individuals may have "obsessions" or "obsessive behaviour".  We see these as "passions" which can be a motivator, attracting and holding an individual's attention, therefore being a key to effective communication. Frequently receiving a message from a character who is liked results in strong engagement.

Some examples are:

C now safely accesses shops and environments with DVDs and games. Previously he would break doors or displays to get hold of these. As he responds to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles he has a social story on DVD that enables him to understand he doesn't need to do this.

N now accesses the community, activities, days out etc. without him inappropriately or dangerously touching, and running to, cars. He also no longer tries to “tidy” cars, when he previously wanted to close doors and boots and pull off windscreen wipers if not correctly aligned. There is no longer a constant risk of running across the road. He regularly watches his DVD, which enables a full and active life in the community, including his first ever day at Haynes Motor Museum.

Wenn Lawson has a bespoke social story, which helps him to handle the minefield of baggage claim at airports. Dr Who continues to engage and motivate!!

L now washes and brushes her hair.

J allows blood to be taken without sedatives.

I could go on. However, every day there is more as Lee is continually working towards better communication, quality of life and ultimately community and communal access and choice for the individuals he is so passionate about.”

Robert Lawrence - Care Focus 2016 Care Awards Winner

26th April 2016

Congratulations to Robert Lawrence who won Outstanding Care Worker – Tim Catley-Day award on Friday 22 April 2016.

Robert is a Senior Support Worker at Holly Tree Cottage and was nominated by a parent of an individual whom we support.

Other nominations included Shaun Hills and Suzanne Hornett from Holly Tree Cottage, Kayleigh Sykes from Apple Tree House and Holly Tree Cottage Staff Team.

Our thanks go to all who made the nominations and we are very proud of all the nominees.

Hilltop Staff Team Finalists for Outstanding Contribution to Care Award

30th March 2016

Congratulations to the staff team at Hilltop who were nominated by the home manager, Samantha Taylor, and are now finalists for the Outstanding Contribution to Care Award presented by Care & Support West.

 

The Care and Support West Awards are run by Care and Support West, a membership body that represents everyone that delivers regulated care across the four old Avon authorities. The annual awards have 12 categories that seek to congratulate and value the work of individuals and/or staff teams who have understood and welcomed models of dignity and personalisation in their particular care setting.

David Smallacombe, Chief Executive of Care & Support West, “In a highly regulated sector too much emphasis is placed on what goes wrong rather than what goes right. Every day there are people such as the Hilltop staff team making a huge difference to the quality of life of older and more vulnerable people. We are excited about this year’s line-up of award finalists that seek to recognise, reward and celebrate the outstanding work and contributions people make.” 

Sam had the following to say about her team:

‘I have been the home manager of the staff team at Hilltop since March 2015. Since beginning my role of home manager I have seen some remarkable achievements by all the team. We mainly work with individuals that are non-verbal and the team are really passionate in aiding with communications to help the individuals have their voices heard. Work is being completed with iPads, Proloquo2go (visual communication software), TEACCH boards, Widgets and signing and this has had a dramatic effect on the individuals we support. Staff have built really good relationships with the individuals within the home and also their parents, liaising with the latter on a regular basis to keep in touch with achievements and also to support with any concerns we may have and gain their input and advice. 

Staff are really supportive of each other, offering support and guidance to newer staff members and each other, making them feel valued and appreciated, which ultimately benefits the individuals in the home and helps build on relationships and trust.’ 

Well done!

2015

South West Region Great British Care Award Winners

20th November 2015

Congratulations to Robert Lawrence AND Richard Smith who both won their awards last night.

Robert won the Care Worker Award and Richard won Outstanding Contribution to to Care Award.

Our Stanway Close staff team were also nominated for the Care Team Award and although they didn't win, we are still very pleased to be nominated.

Richard Smith Wins Outstanding Contribution to Care Award!!

13th November 2015

We are so proud to announce that our Managing Director has been awarded a care industry ‘Oscar’ for his work.

Richard Smith, who established Homes Caring for Autism in 2004, won the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ category of the 2015 LaingBuisson awards, which celebrate the achievements of individual healthcare providers.

He was presented with a trophy by Michael Portillo, the broadcaster and former Member of Parliament, at a gala dinner at the London Lancaster Hotel.

The judges said: “For over a decade Richard has shown a fierce dedication to the specialist care sector. His commitment to both service users and his staff are enviable as is the continued level of involvement he maintains in a wide variety of related associations and partnership.

“He is an inspirational figure working in a very complex care provider environment and more than deserves the recognition that comes with this LaingBuisson Award for Outstanding Contribution.’

Richard was put forward for the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award by his senior management team without his knowledge. Their nomination included the words: “Richard’s support is unconditional and selfless.

“He has a natural ability to think creatively to support the challenges faced by people, responding with interest to staff that have had ‘breakthroughs’ with individuals. Full of praise, his face visibly lights up when hearing of achievements, however big or small, encouraging people to celebrate successes; he can often be seen sharing good practice and new ideas when visiting services.”

 

Robert Lawrence Finalist for Care Worker Award

9th November 2015

Congratulations to Robert Lawrence who was nominated for the Care Worker Award presented by South West Region, Great British Care Awards.

Robert was nominated for this award by his colleague who said the following:

"Robert has worked at Holly Tree Cottage for over 5 years supporting the Autistic individuals in his Waking Night Support Worker role. Robert has a flexible working approach and always commits 100% to his role.

Now onto the important part as too why Robert deserves this.

On the 12 March 2015, Robert was finishing off all of his duties and was asked to assist with an individual who has epilepsy. On entering his bedroom it was quickly identified that the individual was in fact in more discomfort than usual. It was then with Robert's experience than in actual fact the individual was unconscious and not breathing. Staff contacted the emergency services and was directed to start CPR. Robert took the situation into his own hands and started CPR until the ambulance arrived. It was the quick actions of Robert that greatly preserved the individual's chances of surviving. It was then afterwards where he wanted to follow this through and assist with comforting the individual by going into the ambulance with him. The individual's life was saved and he is now living a healthy life after the Doctors quick actions.

Robert felt throughout all of it that it was only 'part of his job' and felt that he only did what he was meant to do and didn't want any recognition from this.

I feel Robert deserves great recognition from this as although we have thorough training but nothing prepares you for this ever and Robert's commitment to one the individuals everyday day but secondly the commitment he showed that day before, during and after it happened."

Stanway Close Staff Team Finalists for Care Team Award

4th November 2015

Congratulations to the staff team at Stanway Close who were nominated by parents and are now finalists for the Care Team Award presented by South West Region, Great British Care Awards.

Well done!

The parents said the following:

"Our nominations were for the Stanway Close team and for their hard work and dedication. We also mentioned the leadership and the way the newer staff learn from the more experienced team members. It works well. We also mentioned the opportunities Thomas has had, experiences he would not get at home or elsewhere."

Adam Gontar Finalist for Management Excellence Award

17th September 2015

Congratulations to Adam Gontar, Registered Manager at Stafford Lodge who has been selected as a finalist in the Management Excellence category of the forthcoming LaingBuisson Awards 2015.

Below is the nomination from his team:

"Adam is an important part of what keeps this company ticking; he is willing to go above and beyond his call of duty and goes out of his way to help others. He is our registered manager but he also proactively offers support to other homes in his role of a positive behaviour management qualified trainer, being able to identify and mentor people that need It the most. He is not afraid to get stuck in and really problem solves a whole range of different situations, he never leaves a question unanswered and never leaves anyone not knowing what to do. This has resulted in the staff team being settled with low turnover. Adam has focused on in house staff development to build on core experiences, which has then in turn reduced incidents for the complex individuals that we support. He helps everyone, he supports everyone, he listens and evaluates what is said to him to establish what the best course of action should be to support the staff team. I am sure we could ask support staff and managers alike and they would say the same. Adam is person centred in his staff support approaches which provides good morale within the staff team, identifying specific training and organising it with staff.

He is always accessible and supportive with issues both within Stafford Lodge and for other managers and services within the company, it is amazing how he is still able to keep up the support at Stafford Lodge whilst supporting a lot of other people in the company and for this he deserves a medal! Adam ticks all the boxes of a perfect manager and more and we couldn’t ask for better here at Stafford Lodge.

The whole team are all supportive of this nomination as we have yet to see a time where Adam isn’t putting in 110%. He puts others before himself and makes his staff team feel valued and important, he always involves the house in important decisions that need to be made and as I said before, he always goes above and beyond his call of duty and for this I believe he deserves this nomination. We believe it and we hope you do too."

Finalist for the Autism Spectrum Services Award

10th September 2015

We are so proud to announce that Homes Caring for Autism have been selected as a finalist for the LaingBuisson 2015 Autism Spectrum Services Award. We were nominated by a parent who said the following:

"This company have given me constant peace of mind ever since I entrusted them with the responsibility of taking care of my son and I have had nothing but praise for the way this has been handled. I have continually seen all aspects of his life being enriched by the care, empathy and professionalism from his placement and the wonderful staff trained by the company to provide this exceptional service.His support workers can understand his needs so he is able to lead the best life he can. As a parent I am told all aspects of his life and informed of the slightest event which may impact him. His needs and interests are expanded. I would not hesitate in recommending any of the group homes to prospective parents."

Richard Smith Finalist for Outstanding Contribution to Care Award

8th September 2015

Congratulations to Richard Smith, Managing Director, who was been selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution category of the forthcoming LaingBuisson Awards 2015! Richard was nominated for this award by the senior management team who said the following;

"Richard started Homes Caring for Autism in 2004 and opened his first residential home, after identifying limited availability and delivery of quality care for individuals diagnosed with autism, whilst attending other providers as an agency worker. His passion for providing personalised services to individuals with autism is extraordinary and admired by the entire workforce. Personally delivering a presentation at induction for every employee is just the beginning of his commitment in providing excellent training, positive working environments, support, guidance and the tools to enable employees to enrich the lives of the individuals we support.

Richard continually strives for innovation in direct relation to the individuals we support, their families and employees, ranging from staff incentive schemes, assistive technology systems and bespoke development plans. His determination and dedication to continually evolve as a specialist provider is admirable, and over the past 11 years has expanded to deliver 11 residential services for 57 complex individuals across three counties, achieving many successful new placements for individuals whom have experienced previous placement breakdowns with other providers, supporting integration back into the community using person centred approaches. This expansion provides employment to over 300 employees.

Richard’s support is unconditional and selfless. He has a natural ability to think creatively to support the challenges faced by people, responding with interest to staff that have had ‘breakthroughs’ with individuals. Full of praise, his face visibly lights up when hearing of achievements, however big or small, encouraging people to celebrate successes; he can often be seen sharing good practice and new ideas when visiting services.

It is important that things are done right; he has high morals and values every person he comes across, both the individuals we support employees.  A driver for the company commented that he was overwhelmed that Richard knew his name, taking time out to speak to him when visiting a service, even though the driver did not provide direct hands on support.

Richard also invests a lot of time working in partnership with local authorities and other providers; he is a board member of various organisations, including Wiltshire Care Partnership Board, the RCPA in Somerset and Care and Support West. He actively gets involved in projects linked to funding, personalization, person centred delivery, staffing and retention, in order to drive good practice and value for money.

Richard’s drive and passion is infectious, inspiring others to develop, achieve personal goals and realise their potential. Employees have development and promotion opportunities within the company structure that Richard has created and continues to develop. He actively leads the philosophy of focusing on employees’ interests, supporting them to develop skills in relation to that interest which then benefits both the company and the individuals we support, increases staff morale and has resulted in several awards being won across the company.

Richard’s energy is infectious (and tiring!) and his contribution to the care sector is invaluable and simply outstanding. His vision is to continue ensuring the delivery of high standards of care and support whilst still building on every individual’s capability, not to make assumptions, to achieve the unthinkable for both the individuals we support and all employees.  People at all levels are inspired when they meet Richard; he makes you think and want to make a difference.

Such dedication and passion deserves the recognition of Outstanding Contribution."

Mathew Ninnes Winner of Outstanding Contribution to Care Award

6th June 2015

Congratulations to Mat who won the 'Outstanding Contribution to Care Award' from Care and Support West Awards 2015. Unfortunately Mat couldn't be there to collect his award so his work team did so on his behalf!

As a result of this Mat will be put forward as a nominee for the same category to the South West Regional event of the Great British Care Awards to be held later in the year.

The award was presented by Lynn Faulds-Wood who is a TV Presenter and Cancer Campaigner.

This nomination came from his manager who said the following;

"Mat has taken the time to get to know each individual well and develop positive relationships with them in order to be able to support them in their preferred ways. He ensures he treats them with dignity and respect at all times and also encourages staff to do the same. In particular, Mat has built up good working relationships with two people in the home and you can see in them both how happy they are to spend time with him. Mat will encourage independence in people never doing things for them they can do for themselves. He will patiently persevere and reassure the person, praising them for all they achieve no matter how big or small an achievement this is."

Harriette Carpenter Finalist for the Great Autism Practice Award

10th March 2015

Congratulations to Harriette Carpenter who was been nominated for the Great Autism Practice Award and is now a finalist! Harriet was nominated for this award by a fellow colleague who said the following;

"I have nominated Hariette for an award due to her outstanding contribution to communication in Starbrook and the work she has done with Amber so that she can access the community in a way that she wasn't able to before."

This awarding body who present this award is 'National Learning Disability and Autism Awards' who describe this particular award below; 

"The overriding goal of good autism practice is to enhance quality of life for individuals, families and supporters by making reasonable adjustments or providing support developing strategies to increase happiness and wellbeing in people with autism. This award will be presented to a team or individual who demonstrate evidence of good practice in their services and support to people with autism."

Harriette will be attending an awards ceremony on 15 May 2015 so we wish her the best of luck!

Comment from a parent:

Good luck Harriette hope you nail it ...you have done an amazing job with our daughter Amber, can't thank you enough and all the rest of Starbrook for giving my daughter a chance!

Durlston Lodge nominated for the Great Autism Practice Award

2nd March 2015

Well done to the staff team at Durlston Lodge who have received the following nomination from a parent who said the following:

I wish to nominate the staff team at Durlston Lodge for the Great Autism Practice Award.

My 26 year old daughter has lived there for the last two and a half years. She is profoundly autistic, non-verbal, has severe learning difficulties, epilepsy and extremely challenging behaviour.

She arrived there in July 2012 in a state of immense agitation and anxiety due to the breakdown of her previous care home placement. This had a devastating effect on her and the rest of the family. She had to be removed and brought back to the family home prematurely, due to serious concerns regarding her mental and physical state.

The negative experience left her in emotional turmoil resulting in extremely challenging, and often self-injurious, behaviours.

Homes Caring for Autism had already started their comprehensive transition programme with my daughter, within that setting, but seamlessly and professionally switched this to the family home. Their staff spent a lot of time with her in order to gain a robust understanding of her and the degree of her complexities. This was an impressively thorough transition. Their staff demonstrated a determination to provide my daughter with a care service underpinned by not only their expertise in the field of autism, but also confidence in their knowledge of her.

Upon moving in to Durlston Lodge her self- injurious behaviours diminished. Her countenance settled, she was finally at peace with herself. She is a very complex character, often presenting new, unfathomable behaviours. Each time this happens the staff delve deep, ascertaining the reasons and striving to negate possible triggers, thereby assisting her to overcome her anxieties. Their support, expertise, professionalism and dedication resulted in my daughter gaining the opportunity to be happy and to enjoy life, even with the constraints of autism. This has enhanced life for us all!

Tracy Whitcombe nominated for the Support Worker Award

2nd March 2015

Congratulations to Tracy Whitcombe who has been nominated by a parent for this award, they said the following:

Homes Caring for Autism took over the supported living care of our autistic son Cameron just over 12 months ago. Tracy is Cameron’s Senior Support Worker and is involved in direct care and co-ordinating the activity of his core team. Cameron has complex, autistic related needs and can demonstrate challenging behaviour, especially at times when he is stressed or anxious. Tracy and the team have worked hard with numerous strategies and actions to reduce the severity of these behaviours, to good success.  Prior to taking over the care provision, Cameron was overweight, withdrawn and very insular in his focus/behaviours.  In the last 12 months we have witnessed him return to a great level of physical fitness, his use of language has improved and he is becoming more involved in the activities required for him to live with some form of independence. Importantly, Cameron is now getting out and about within the community where he lives and is developing an active life, rather than being housebound.  He likes horse riding, swimming, bowling and long walks, all of which have been successfully introduced over the last year.  Tracy and the team have also established strong links between them, us as parents and Cameron’s college placement.  We all work closely together to continue to progress Cameron.  The last 12 months have been very positive.  Tracy fully deserves the Support Worker award as the level of support she provides in conjunction with Cameron’s core team has been exceptional. The support provided is more than just keeping Cameron happy within the house, it is very much focused on the continuous development of Cameron’s abilities and building the skills required for greater independence. This is done in such a way that fully understands the challenges his autistic condition presents, in-addition to making sure that Cameron is happy and enjoys life. A very impressive first year, and Tracy is a first class support worker and Homes Caring for Autism are best in class in their approach to autistic care.                                                            

Supported Living Services team nominated for the Great Autism Practice Award

27th February 2015

Well done to the Supported Living team who have been nominated for this award by a parent, they said the following:

The Supported Living Services staff team at Homes Caring for Autism are worthy nominees for the Great Autism Practice Award because, through excellent training and teamwork, they provide a best in class provision for supported living of young adults with autism. Unlike other providers I have worked with they have a great understanding of autism and are able to adapt their approach to meet the exact needs of the individual.  They work closely with us as parents, colleges and health professionals to ensure that there is a multi-disciplinary approach with all relevant parties, with agreed common goals which truly benefit the young person within their care.  All staff are trained to a high level of competency.  They communicate effectively with autistic adults and build positive relationships. They also develop effective strategies on how to deal with behavioural issues and often think outside of the norm to find the right approach.  They are very mindful of the needs of the person for whom they provide care and support to and, importantly, work closely on the development of independent and social skills.  They fully get to know the individual, their likes and dislikes and formulate a person specific programme of activities for enjoyment, stimulation and learning. The service they provide is much more than just supervising a person within the home.   Having been involved with autism for over twenty years as a parent and governor of a SEN school Federation, HCA have been very impressive and demonstrated many of the strategies and initiatives that have successfully worked within school/college to develop children and adults with autism. They introduced these strategies within a supported living environment as an adult provision.  There is a real gap in the market for providers that supply this service, specialising in autism and HCA has helped to fill this gap.

2014

Winner of Care Employer Award 2014

20th October 2014

We are delighted to announce that we are the proud winner of the 'Care Employer Award 2014' from the Great South West Care Awards! This award has only been achievable because of all the hard work, dedication and commitment from all the staff teams across the company. We are very proud and thank every member of staff in the company for this fantastic achievement. As a regional winner of this award, we will now go forward to the national finals, to be held in London in the Spring.

The South West Great British Care Awards say:

'This award seeks to acknowledge and celebrate employers’ commitment to care and how this is achieving success in delivering an excellent service. Employers should be able to demonstrate considerable acumen and entrepreneurial flair whilst at the same time having a sustained track record of delivering high quality care and managing improvement.'

To read more about what was required to win this award please follow the link: South West Great British Care Awards.

Winner of Outstanding Care/Support Worker Award

10th October 2014

We are so pleased to announce that Tracie Tabrett, shift leader/support worker at Stafford Lodge, has won an award for 'Outstanding Care/Support Worker'.

Tracie was nominated by the mother of a person who she supports and her award was presented by BBC Somerset radio presenter, Emma Britton.

Care Focus (South West) is a Community Interest Company working with individuals, as well as public and private sector organisations to promote quality care, support housing and community services across Somerset.

Winner of Outstanding Contribution to Care Award

8th July 2014

We are delighted to announce that Carrieanne West, support worker at Hilltop, has won an award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Care'.

Carrieanne was nominated by the mother of a person who she supports and her award was presented by Eastenders actor, Rudolph Walker!

Care and Support West’s award scheme provides an opportunity to congratulate and value staff who have demonstrated they have both understood and welcomed models of dignity and personalisation in their particular care setting and use (and promote) those values in their everyday working lives.

As an award winner, Carrieanne has been invited to attend the regional finals which will take place later in the year.

 

Finalists for Care and Support West Care Awards 2014

8th May 2014

Care and Support West’s award scheme provides an opportunity to congratulate and value staff who have demonstrated they have both understood and welcomed models of dignity and personalisation in their particular care setting and use (and promote) those values in their everyday working lives.

Having been nominated by a parent and a fellow colleague, Carrieanne West and Kim Parsons, have been selected as finalists for the Outstanding Contribution to Care and Care Home Registered Manager awards respectively. They will attend the finals ceremony on Saturday, 5 July 2014.

 

Carrieanne WON! Follow this link to see the full story.

Winners for National Service Excellence Award 2014

14th March 2014

The LaingBuisson award evening brochure says:

'The LaingBuisson Award for Service Excellence is a special award recognising the providers that challenge the conventional in order to deliver truly innovative services.

All finalists are eligible but only one will be presented with this prestigious accolade by LaingBuisson CEO William Laing at the end of the awards, after which the evening will draw to a close.'

We were delighted at the awards dinner to be announced as the winners. LaingBuisson's press release said the following:

'Back for the second year running LaingBuisson presented a special award for all round Service Excellence. For this prestigious award LaingBuisson considers all of the finalists and picks out one who stands alone as particularly remarkable. This year that recognition fell to Homes Caring for Autism, a company who has managed to expand without losing the personal touch, who focuses on the small as well as the big issues at hand, and whose service users and their families clamour to sing their praises.'

To read more about these awards please follow the link LaingBuisson .

LaingBuisson Independent Specialist Care Awards

19th February 2014

We are pleased to announce that Durlston Lodge were nominated for the Personalisation Award and the company for the Care Home Provider Award. We are delighted to have been selected as finalists for both awards and will now go forward to the final, which will be held in March 2014.

These Independent Specialist Care Awards draw attention to the best performing private and voluntary sector providers working in the provision of social care services for adults with learning or physical disabilities or mental health conditions, whether that be in residential care, home care or specialist hospitals. Therefore, to reach the finals at the first time of being nominated is very exciting.

'WE WON!'

2013

Great South West Care Awards 2013

21st November 2013

We were excited to be nominated for the Care Employer Award, along with Shaun Hills, Shift Leader at Holly Tree Cottage, being nominated for Care Home Worker Award and Dom Long, Senior Support Worker at Hilltop, for the Dignity in Care Award.

At the Regional finals held in November 2013, we were delighted that Dom Long was announced as the winner of the Dignity in Care Award.  Many congratulations to Dom, who will now attend the National Finals in 2014.

Dom Long wins 'Dignity in Care' Award

15th November 2013

We are delighted to announce that a member of our team Dom Long, a Home Supervisor for Hilltop, has won a Dignity in Care Award!

The Great South West Care Awards, supported by the Department of Health, are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of regional awards which celebrates excellence in social care and pay tribute to those who work in the sector throughout England.  The awards are all inclusive, bringing together the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, as well as unpaid carers; promoting joint working.

The Great South West Care Awards said:

'Dignity in care forms the basis of everything that Dominic does, from person-centred planning to communication techniques with his clients to make sure that their voice is heard. A truly inspiring young man who we are sure will go far – well done Dominic.'

Winners from the awards have been invited to attend the national finals for either the home care or care home sector which will take place in April and June 2014 at a prestigious venue in London. We would like to wish Dom all the best for the finals.

To read more about these award please follow the link: Great British Care Awards.

Apple Tree House reached the finals of the Care Focus Somerset Awards 2013, for the category of 'Care Home Award'

13th October 2013

In order to meet the criteria for this category, the staff team have to:

  • Provide an excellent service to individuals;
  • Understand and demonstrate treating each person as an individual by offering a personalised service;
  • Help people to be more independent wherever possible;
  • Respect people’s right to privacy and dignity;
  • Involve residents in the development of their care and planning of activities;
  • Have examples of putting in extra effort for residents.

On the occasion of the gala evening final, held on 11 October 2013, the Apple Tree House staff team were unsuccessful in being announced as winners but we are very proud of them that their hard work and commitment to providing a quality service has been recognised.

Excellence in Customer Service Award

19th September 2013

Wiltshire Adult and Social Care Awards: September 2013

The above scheme originated in Wiltshire Council and the awards are open to all individuals, groups, teams and organisations in any social care organisation in Wiltshire, including private, corporate and Council organisations teams and individuals.

The awards have been designed to recognise good practice and good performance, encourage sharing of success stories and celebrate the many excellent and innovative things happening in the county.

There were several award categories in the scheme, including the Sara Book award, Success in Partnership award and Excellence in Customer Service award.

One of our Shift Leaders, Steven Robinson, was nominated by a service user parent for the Sara Book award and the Company, together with the staff team at Durlston Lodge, were nominated by service user parents for both the Success in Partnership and Excellence in Customer Service awards.

Our thanks go to the parents who made the nominations and we are very proud of all the nominees

At the awards final, held on 17 September 2013, we are delighted to report that the Company and the Durlston Lodge staff team were declared winners of the Excellence in Customer Service award. Well done to everybody!

Both Jim Nicholls, Registered Manager, and his staff team feature in the Wiltshire Times.

Jim quotes, “We were very proud and we have done a lot of hard work to get here.To win was fantastic and it was a big boost for everyone who has worked so hard.”

Dom Long announced as runner up for the Care & Support West Awards 2013

1st July 2013

Having been nominated for the Residential Specialist Award, Dom Long and Ollie Mitchell were successful in reaching the finals. Both Dom and Ollie were nominated because they have both made a difference to particular service users by positively transforming their quality of life. The award ceremony was held on 29 June 2013 at St Monica Trust, Bristol, with the awards being presented by Rudolph Walker (OBE) and Sally Challoner (Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC Points West).

Congratulations to Dom for being runner up and to Ollie for reaching the finals.

Holly Tree Cottage South West regional winners for the National Great British Care Awards 2013

22nd April 2013

The Great British Care Awards celebrate excellence across the care sector. The awards promote best practice within the sector and pay tribute to those individuals or teams who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their fields of work.

Having been nominated for the award by a parent of a young person living at the home, the staff team at Holly Tree Cottage were first successful as winners of the South West Region Care Team Award in November 2012.

As a result of being Regional winners, they attended the National Finals, in London, on 20 April 2013. The award criteria stated that the team must demonstrate a shared vision and agreed goals and that each member’s skills should be recognised within the team, demonstrating a commitment to dignity and privacy for clients.

Although Holly Tree Cottage were not announced as the winners, we are very proud of them for progressing this far. Well done team!.