I’d like to dedicate this week’s blog to our Annual Achievement Awards for the people we support, which took place last Friday evening. This is always such a great event and definitely one of those occasions which reminds us all why we work in social care. The awards are really treasured by those who receive them. I also regularly see the awards when I visit services, displayed proudly in individual’s bedrooms and individuals will talk about their awards for weeks and months afterwards. It gives them a real (and very much deserved) sense of pride and in many cases increases their confidence to continue their achievements still further. On the sad event of a funeral recently, the family of the individual who had died, brought the award along to the funeral service to commemorate her achievements in life, which was very touching to see.
The Awards evening, which took place at Imber Court Sports and Social Club in East Molesey, starts with a 3 course meal and then we move on to announce the winners in each of the 12 categories. Staff and family members of the finalists are also invited to attend the ceremony and join in the celebrations.
This year I was particularly struck by the really wide range of achievements that had been made. People we support who are in wheelchairs and have multiple disabilities may achieve things which might seem small to others, but for that person, can be life changing. One individual for example, who had spent his entire life in a wheelchair, had learnt to weight bear for transfers and to sit upright in a normal chair, both of which are remarkable achievements. For those more able individuals, achievements ranged from one young lady loosing 6 stone in just 13 months due to health concerns, to a young man we support who takes part in a whole range of sporting activities and has now progressed to coaching boccia and circuit training for other service users.
Individuals were also awarded in categories such as achievements in paid employment, voluntary employment, education and ASDAN. Achievements were also recognised for positive risk taking, social inclusion, advocacy and rights promotion.
Many individuals took to the microphone after receiving their awards and thanked CMG, staff at the service they lived in and often their family members for helping them accomplish their achievements. I saw many a person in the audience getting quite emotional.
It really was a great evening and my thanks to all those who attended. Thanks also to every individual who was nominated for the Awards. I’m told by the judging panel that there were so many worthy winners, that choosing a top 3 in some of the categories was incredibly difficult.
And lastly, a thank you to Sue Pym who did a fantastic job of organising the ceremony.