THE SIXTIES came swinging back into Stratford at the Heart of England Mencap annual awards.
The charity celebrated outstanding achievements by both staff and service-users during a fun-packed evening.
Categories included Carer of the Year – awarded to support worker Gary Arnold. Gary works in the Stratford Supported Living Team, and has for several years supported one young man who has severe autism.
He was nominated by a colleague who said: “Without Gary, this young man wouldn’t be included in activities, days out and holidays. He has come on in leaps and bounds with Gary’s support. All of those who know the customer can see a big difference which is really nice to see.”
Team of the Year was awarded to the Stratford North Team for their hard work, and the award for Fundraising Achievement went to the ‘Wolf Pack’ – a team of support workers and customers who pedalled from Stratford to Wolverhampton to raise thousands of pounds to fund adapted bikes.
Donna Young won a trophy for ‘Going the Extra Mile.’
Ruth, one of the people Donna supports said: “Donna has helped me set up a Ladies Only group within the team. We have been on shopping trips, had a pizza and pamper night and more.”
Support worker Simon Gwynn picked up a Long Service Award having dedicated 20 years to the charity. Sue Taylor was named Most Successful Newcomer.
Service-users were also handed awards in recognition of their special achievements. Among them were Daniel Joyce, for his part in the ‘Wolf Pack’ and Will Morris, who paddled in this year’s Raft Race on the Avon.
Chief executive Helena Wallis said: “Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication. Without them we would not be able to make the difference we make.
“Our vision is to create a community where difference is embraced, independence is encouraged and every individual is valued for who they are, and we could never achieve that without our wonderful team.”
Heart of England Mencap provides wide range of services across Warwickshire and Worcestershire supporting those with learning disabilities.
These services include supported living, residential care, outreach care, short breaks and respite and a range of day activities.
Support worker roles are currently being advertised across the area, the charity having spoken out in the past about the chronic lack of people entering the care sector.
For more information on working for Heart of England Mencap email [email protected] or call 01789 298709.