2023-10-24 15:00:32

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.

                             Jenny (R) with her mum (L)

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.

                                  Abbie with the Mayor

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!

                               Susan with her award

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.

                             Abbie (L) and Claire (R)

“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

For further information please phone 07500 224654 or email media.enquiries@hft.org.uk

About Hft

Proudly established in 1962 by a group of visionary parents, Hft is a charity supporting more than 2,500 learning disabled adults in England and Wales. Together, we are creating a future where learning disabled people and their families can live the best life possible.

Providing personalised support. Creating solutions for living independently. Coming together to campaign for positive change. Fundraising for new opportunities and a bigger impact.

In 2033, we’ll live in a world where learning disabled people have greater choice. About where they live. The support they need and want. And how to spend their time and money.


Learning disability versus difficulty


A learning disability is different from a learning difficulty but the terms are often confused and used inter-changeably. A learning difficulty does not affect general intellect, whereas a learning disability is a life-long condition characterised by a reduced intellectual ability and struggle with everyday activities.

For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk