Hft Bedfordshire rolls out the red carpet for celebratory awards day
Learning disabled adults, families, and colleagues at a Hft residential service in Bedfordshire came together last month to honour a year’s collective achievements, celebrating with heart-felt speeches, glasses of fizz, and no person left unrewarded.
The group came together on a sunny afternoon, turning the garden into the perfect party backdrop fit for a dazzling awards ceremony.
The setting was complete with a formal dress code and a visit from Shefford Town Council’s Mayor, Ken Pollard.
Those supported at the service, run by learning disability charity Hft, each received an award for Outstanding Achievement. One resident celebrated their progress in adapting to change while another was recognised for overcoming obstacles and being the only resident brave enough to ride a tandem!
One-by-one, each recipient was invited up to the garden stage by Claire Davies-Sond (Registered Care Home Manager) and Abbie Greaves (Deputy Care Home Manager), and were greeted with a red carpet and unique speech to collect their commendation. Thanks to Support Worker Teresa Mead’s previous fundraising efforts, everyone took home a personalised trophy and chocolates.
Claire says, “Out of everything that day, the thing that really made it for me was how everyone – the people we support, their families, our colleagues – reacted to those individual speeches with such excitement and tremendous support.
“Even though we started off each speech without saying the person’s name, everyone instantly knew who we were talking about… building the excitement around each winner, so that they just couldn’t wait to leap up from their seat and down the runway to collect their award.
“After a year spent noting down every single person’s achievements, we had a job trying to keep each speech to just one page per person!”
The service not only celebrated the achievements of those it supports, but also of staff members.
Helen Inskip was dubbed the service’s Support Worker of the Year after receiving nominations from family members and colleagues for being “all about the people we support”, and for appreciating the strengths of those around her.
Mr and Mrs R, parents of one of the adults at the service, were also honoured for their unprompted help with turning the garden into a usable space.
“In short, everyone there won an award for going above and beyond; for being fantastic human beings and support workers,” Claire explains.
Claire herself, who celebrated her 50th birthday around the same time, unexpectedly found herself taking home an award for her passion, support and sheer positivity.
She concludes, “It was just an amazing day and it’s still all anyone is talking about!”
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk