Social care provider Dimensions, which support almost 3,000 people with learning disabilities and autism, has held its first Inspiring People Awards to recognise staff for making a difference.
The awards have come at a time when the government is planning the first major reform of social care since 1948.
Chief Executive Steve Scown said: “The social care sector has been facing challenging times for a few years now. We all know that local authorities have less funding available and the impact this is having on social care providers and vulnerable people. But what I have found heartening is the unrelenting commitment of our staff to continue to make a difference to the people we support.
“Now more than ever it is important to highlight best practice both in our organisation and across the sector to demonstrate what can be achieved when people work together proactively. Keeping the best interests of the people we support is at the forefront of everything we do.”
Dimensions’ 5,000 employees had the opportunity to nominate six colleagues who most demonstrate the organisation’s values of ambition, respect, courage, integrity and partnerships. Given Dimensions’ commitment to personalisation, an additional award was presented to the employee who has championed person-centred support throughout the organisation.
Melanie Matthews, a Service Manager in Portsmouth, was presented the Integrity Award. She was recognised for transforming the lives of the people she supports by providing ‘just enough support’ so that they can be more independent in their own homes.
Melanie was on her annual leave but travelled to London especially to collect her award. She said: “I’d like to thank all those people that voted for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised but it was a very nice surprise.”
Recipient of the Courage award, Tinofara Hapaguti a support worker from Hertfordshire said: “To me courage is about standing up for what you believe in and forging forward with what you have to do despite what others might think of you for doing it.”
Geoff Rose, Chair of the Dimensions board who presented the awards, said: “It’s my absolute pleasure to recognise the fantastic work that goes on and, in particular, to see how staff are bringing to life the values that we identified as key pillars of the Dimensions approach earlier this year.
“Defining those values was an important step, but of course, that’s just the starting point – the beginning of the journey. Getting to a point where our core values shine through every aspect of our day-to-day work, at every level, is where that journey is leading.”