Two members of staff at a learning disability service in Worcestershire have been recognised for their commitment and dedication in supporting a resident described as “a true hero”, up until he passed away.
Lorna Campion and Paul Stenhouse supported Matthew Picton, a man with multiple and complex needs at Clementi Court, a residential care service run by Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities.
Matthew was born with a progressive condition and was sadly diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2013. Following a formal Best Interest consultation, it was agreed that he would not cope with either radical surgery or chemotherapy, and the focus would be on maintaining a good quality of life.
Lorna and Paul worked closely with Matthew to ensure that he was happy, comfortable and able to continue to enjoy the most fulfilling life possible before his death. This included organising annual wheelchair accessible camping trips, the last one a few weeks before he passed away, so he was able to enjoy his passion for the outdoors. This required ensuring all of his medical needs were met and consisted of five nights filled with barbeques, steam-train rides and visits to local National Trust properties.
Alongside other staff at the service, the pair also helped organise a final birthday party for Matthew three weeks before he died. The celebration was complete with a mobile fish and chip van, ice cream, live music and a novelty birthday cake in the shape of a teapot decorated with scenes of camping.
Matthew’s parents, Sue and John Picton, said
“Paul and Lorna were absolutely amazing supports for Matthew with their energy, resourcefulness, calm love and sense of fun that made his end of life so special.”
In recognition of the dedication, compassion and outstanding care provided to Matthew, the duo were highly commended in the Linda McEnhill award, after being nominated by Matthew’s parents. The award recognises those who have made a positive difference to the end of life care for people with learning disabilities.
The Chair of the judging panel, Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne said that they
“particularly noted the way in which they [Lorna and Paul] enabled Matthew to shine during his final years, bringing out the best in him, and going well beyond the call of duty to support him in all possible ways.
“Their dedication undoubtedly had a lasting positive effect on many people, not just Matthew but also his friends and family.”
Lorna and Paul were presented with their certificates in a special presentation by Matthew’s parents at Clementi Court on Wednesday (26th June).
Upon receiving her certificate, Lorna said
“I’m honoured to receive this award, but the real privilege was working with Matthew as he was an inspiration to us all.”
Paul described Matthew as
“a true hero for how he lived his life, touching so many people with his sense of humour, fun and dignity.”
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
Location: Hft Worcestershire Area