Locality Manager Alex Lucas has worked for national not-for-profit support provider Dimensions for 11 years and now manages services supporting 35 people in Leicestershire. In May, she will accompany Chief Executive Steve Scown on the trip to share her first-hand expertise at a conference in Sydney and also visit social care providers.
Alex wrote a 500 word submission to Steve Scown to secure the opportunity, which was open to all of Dimensions’ 150 Locality Managers. Alex sees the opportunity as a chance for her to develop within her role and be an ambassador for Dimensions.
She said: “I was so surprised when I found out that I had been chosen. It is such a fantastic opportunity and I am very excited. I have never been to Australia before and this will really help to boost my career and raise our profile.”
It is hoped the trip, a first for Dimensions, will allow the organisation to learn and share key things from Australian counterparts about best practice when supporting people with learning disabilities and autism.
Alex added: “I truly believe that people with learning disabilities and autism should have choice and control in their lives. I want to share this vision and how it can be achieved with colleagues in Australia.
“I also believe that I can learn so many new things about how to support people in a personalised way. Being able to share that with my colleagues here in Dimensions when I return will be amazing.”
Alex first started work with Dimensions as a support worker and has developed her career further since. In her absence, her staff team will continue to support people with learning disabilities and autism in her services.
In the past four years, several Australian support providers have toured Dimensions’ services and this has led to Steve being invited to visit.
Steve said: “When I was invited to speak at the conference and visit services, I thought about taking a colleague and decided it would be great to get a manager who directly supports people. I was delighted that so many people were interested in the opportunity. Alex stood out because she applied with a very strong case and has clearly put time and effort into her research.
“I am really looking forward to helping a Locality Manager to go on a career defining experience. This will give Alex the chance to learn and develop her role, before coming back and sharing best practice with colleagues.
Steve will speak at the Self Directed Approaches conference in Sydney. Alex will also be asked to share case studies and personal experience of supporting people at the service she manages in Leicester.
Dimensions is a specialist not-for-profit provider of support for people with learning disabilities and autism. It supports more than 3,500 people across England and Wales. For more information visit www.dimensions-uk.org. For more iformation about the conference, visit selfdirectedapproaches.com/speakers