Specialism: Regard will provide a bespoke care plan for each individual based on their own needs through a considered assessment and discharge process.
Mark is enjoying a new lease of life after moving to a supported living service near King’s Lynn. Mark, who is 27 and has learning difficulties, relocated from a service on the opposite side of town in February, and is ‘a different man’ according to senior support worker Danielle Garrigan.
“Mark was very keen to be living closer to his mum,” said Danielle. “His previous home was 20 miles away, whereas now she’s just around the corner, so that’s a big part of why he’s happier, but that’s not the only reason.
“We’ve given him a lot of personal support and he has settled in quickly at Sail Close, where he’s developing new skills including a much better understanding of how to manage his money.”
Budgeting was something Mark had previously struggled with, but The Regard Group – who run Sail Close - has identified money-management as a key area in supporting people to develop independent living skills, and Danielle has been working closely with Mark to help him focus his growing financial acumen.
Danielle Garrigan said: “In the past Mark would often discover that he’d used up his weekly allowance before he got to the weekend, but he now understands how to follow a weekly budget plan.”
He is supported to revise this plan weekly by his key worker, Lesley Bradnam, according to the activities he plans to do that week.
“Mark likes variety in the things he does from week to week, so staying on top of his cash-flow is critical,” said Danielle. “He now budgets his money and, for example, limits himself to one takeaway per week.
“Last week he has actually managed to save some money so that he could go out and buy an e-cigarette because he wants to quit smoking.
“My colleagues and I are supporting him to make other changes in his life as well. One of these is to support him to do his shopping at the local supermarket, instead of relying on online shopping. This enables him to make better informed shopping decisions, and also gives him the opportunity to interact with other members of the community.
“As a result, with our support, he is now cooking well-balanced meals from scratch, and he’s also looking after his flat very well and generally doing fantastically.
“He recently told me that he’s really very happy now, which was great to hear because he’s not the sort of person who is inclined to say things like that very often.”
Because one of the things Mark used to enjoy at his previous placement was a regular dog-walking job at a local rescue home, he is also currently being supported to contact the local RSPCA to explore the possibility of a dog-walking placement in his new locality.
Danielle has established a good relationship with Mark’s mother so communications between home and Sail Close are easy, and because they’re living closer now they can see each other as often as they like, something they both enjoy very much.
Following on from the success of last year’s events, we are pleased to announce that many of our residential services will opening up their doors, once again, for National Care Home Open Day 2018.
Care Home Open Day’s emphasis is on the importance of connecting with local communities to develop lasting relationships. We value the relationships we have with the communities near to our services very highly and would welcome the opportunity to show you around and introduce you to some of the wonderful people that we support.
Please see the list of services holding events if you are planning on attending, please email the service directly to let the manager know.
(Please click on the name of the services below for more details about the home.)
Alderton House, Littleport (Friday 20th April) Alderton.House@regard.co.uk
Clareville, Caterham (Friday 20th April) Clareville@regard.co.uk
Cerrig Camu, Gwynedd (Friday 20th April) CerrigCamu@regard.co.uk
Peach Cottage, Braintree (Friday 20th April) Peach.Lynraystaff@regard.co.uk
Mill House, Kings Lynn (Saturday 21st April) MillHouse@regard.co.uk
Merrington Grange, Shrewsbury (Saturday 21st April) Merrington.Grange@regard.co.uk
Town Farm Workshop, Cranborne (Wednesday 25th April) TFWCranborne@regard.co.uk
Douglas House, (Friday 27th April) Douglas.House@regard.co.uk
Garthowen, Ceredigion (Friday 27th April) Garthowen@regard.co.uk
Uplands House, Gwent (Saturday 28th April) Uplands@regard.co.uk
Vancouver, Lewisham (Friday 4th May) Vancouver@regard.co.uk
Coneyhurst, Worthing (Friday 11th May) Coneyhurst@regard.co.uk
Kingsdown House, Strood (Friday 8th June) Kingsdown.House@regard.co.uk
Starboard House, Woolston (Tuesday 12th June) Starboard@regard.co.uk
Homeleigh, Manchester (Wednesday 13th June) Homeleigh@regard.co.uk
Rosebank Lodge, Mitcham (Sunday 8th July) Rosebank.Lodge@regard.co.uk
Beudygwyn, Anglesey (Wednesday 25th July) Beudygwyn@regard.co.uk
Bay Lodge, Holbech (tbc) Bay.Lodge@regard.co.uk
Fleetwood House, Littlehampton (tbc) Fleetwood.House@regard.co.uk
We enjoyed opening the doors of 20 of our homes last year, the photos shown are a selection of those events.
A two year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Jack Russell cross who was adopted by one of our residential homes for people with physical and learning disabilities last November, is brightening their lives with his infectious enthusiasm for life.
The idea of finding a pet for the people who live at Oak Lodge came to one of their senior support workers Geraldine Bird when she noticed how much they enjoyed the company of a dog which regularly spent the evenings with them in the holiday accommodation in Devon where they stayed last summer.
Geraldine said: “All the people who met this dog on holiday absolutely loved him, and thought it was great when he laid on the floor and watched TV with them.
“When we got home again, we all had a chat and decided that it would be wonderful if the people who live at Oak Lodge could adopt a dog of their own.
“We contacted several different rescue homes before we found Teddy, but he was worth waiting for – he’s the perfect pet for the people who live at Oak Lodge.”
As well as getting lots of cuddles and petting, Teddy goes out for daily walks with the residents, many of whom are in wheelchairs.
Some of the people who live in our nearby services, also get involved in exercising him, which is delivering additional benefits by strengthening bonds between these neighbouring groups.
Geraldine Bird said: “Teddy has been a great hit since day one. Everywhere the people we support go, he goes too.
“Last week they took him on an assessment visit to see a barge which two of them will be hiring for their summer holiday this year because – naturally - Teddy will be going too.”
Having pets around the home has proven therapeutic benefits which include improving a sense of well-being as well as helping people deal with anxiety.
Teddy has inspired three members of the Oak Lodge staff team to take part in the UK’s first 2.5km and 5km dog-and-owner obstacle run and raise money to help care for the animals of Battersea Dogs’ Home.
Geraldine and her colleagues Sami Baker, Service Manager and Claire Duerdoth, Senior Support Worker, have all signed up for the 2018 Muddy Dog Challenge - with Teddy – and are already in training for the event which will take place in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 29 September.
The people who live at Oak Lodge have also decided to donate all the funds they raise at their planned summer fayre in July to Battersea Dogs’ Home.
Amyleigh Normanton, who gave up a job as a beautician to pursue a career in the care sector, has been named Learner of the Year through an apprenticeship scheme funded by the Welsh government.
Amyleigh started work as a support worker for the Regard Group in 2008 and has since obtained four QCF diplomas in adult health and social care through the organisation Progression Training.
She is now manager of Garthowen residential care home in Rhydowen, near Llandysul in Ceredigion, which supports people with learning disabilities, mental health and complex needs.
“I was a trained beauty therapist and had just started training as a hairdresser, but three months in I realised that I had had enough. It was just the same old, same old every day,” said Amyleigh, aged 27.
“I applied to be a support worker at a Regard service in North West Wales because I needed a job basically. But once I was there, I found I absolutely loved it and realised I’d found my calling.
“It’s so rewarding. No two days are the same. Knowing you’re making a difference and giving people the best quality of life possible gives me a real sense of achievement that would be hard to experience anywhere else.”
Since taking over as manager at Garthowen last August, Amyleigh has implemented an activity system to make sure individuals at the service are actively involved in the community.
She has increased the number of daily in-house activities including baking, and crafts and weekly karaoke and discos.
One person now attends a local knitting club, others attend chair aerobics and there are also walking sessions and holidays to increase community inclusion.
“It’s all about having a good care plan in place and a motivated staff team that shares both my own and Regard’s vision and values,” added Amyleigh.
Amyleigh, who travels 62-miles each day to Garthowen from her home in Dolgellau, obtained her care qualifications through Progression Training as part of a work-based learning scheme.
The scheme, funded by the Welsh government and the European Social Fund, involves monthly work-based sessions with an assessor from Progression Training.
“I’m really lucky as I would never have been able to get these qualifications any other way because I needed to work,” added Amyleigh, who has an eight year old son on the autistic spectrum.
“Regard has been really supportive throughout my training. They are a fantastic organisation to work for, and I’m really lucky to have inspiring managers whose knowledge is outstanding.”
Progressive Training provides QCF training for the Regard Group’s care services across Wales.
“Amyleigh is a good example of what an apprentice can achieve”, said Sara Davies who was Amyleigh’s assessor at Progressive Training. “Regard is very lucky to have such a fantastic staff member and it’s great to see an employer encourage and support staff development.”
We have launched an initiative to recycle half of the waste that we produce, and aim to increase recycling by 50% in 6 months.
“In the past we used different bin providers across the country,” said our building compliance officer, Stuart Cockle, who heads the efficiency drive. “We are now able to rationalise this by going through one central procurement point.”
Regard is working with national waste management company UKWSL who took over all bin collections at our residential care homes, offices and some supported living services in January.
“UKWSL will be auditing the sites to confirm what, and how much, is being thrown away,” added Stuart. “They will then analyse the waste amount based on the occupancy of each service so we can see where recycling could be increased.
“Recycling is roughly 70 per cent cheaper than general waste in terms of collection charges which means there will be economic benefits as well as environmental.”
Meanwhile, Regard is hoping to introduce a number of incentives to spur on staff and the people they support, to get on board; including the introduction of a Recycler of the Month award.
Winchester House, a residential care home run by us in Sheerness, is already cutting back on waste that is destined for landfill.
The service, which provides a home for up to 12 individuals, currently fills two x 1,100 litre recycling bins for every 1,100 general waste bins.
“Recycling is very much part of our daily lives,” said home manager Lisa Falconer. “We now think twice when it comes to sorting the waste matter we generate.
“I am delighted with the new initiative we’re now embracing as this will reduce the negative impact on the natural environment.”
On average each person in England and Wales produces nearly 500kg of household waste a year, with food waste making up the majority of this.
Winchester House provides a 24-hour residential home for adults with learning disabilities, mental health, autistic spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
The UKWSL contract with the Regard Group encompasses all waste: general, offensive, sharps, sanitary and recycling. Regard hopes to include food waste recycling collection in the future.
Roland Archer, sales director of UKWSL, said: “We are excited to be working with the Regard Group across their estate, and feel extremely confident that we can support them in their drive to become a greener, more sustainable business over the coming years.
“Engaging their employees at every level is an integral part of this initiative and one where we feel we can add significant value.”
We are delighted to announce the recipients for this quarter’s Awards.
Award recipients: The Benefits Team
Julia and her team were nominated by Diane Carole who said “The Benefits Team not only support staff, but also assist families of the people we support and ultimately, they help our vulnerable individuals to obtain the financial support they are entitled to. This in turn helps our registered landlords and so the impact of their good work threads through the whole company. As the company has grown they must have taken on more and more work and yet the response time for advice and support is often immediate. I appreciate them and hope that if they win this they will see that others do too.”
Madelaine Williams, Support Worker at Manor Barn, Wales and West. Nominated by Angela Swale
Staff team at Orchard View, London, South East & East. Nominated by Linda Ribbands
Jane Burse, Service Manager at Whitehatch, London, South East & East. Nominated by Kathleen Belfield
Award Recipient: Rebekah Latimer
Rebekah was nominated by the members of her staff team who said how supportive and approachable she is, how you can rely on her for anything and how she is ‘special to everyone’. The people she supports said:
Debbie said: ‘Rebekah helped me to go on holiday and is always there if I need her. I feel I can tell her things that I can’t say to anyone else.’
David said: ‘Rebekah is very good and kind. She sorts things out for me when I ask for something. I am very happy.
John said: ‘Rebekah does a good job. I am happy with everything she does.’
Gary said: ‘Rebekah goes things done for the house to make it look nice. She always says she likes my new hair.’
Stephen said: ‘Rebekah will sit and talk to me’.
Debbie said: ‘Rebekah helped me to go on holiday and is always there if I need her. I feel I can tell her things that I can’t say to anyone else.’
Sharon Jones, Support Worker at Highbury House, Wales and West. Nominated by Debs Fritzl
Katrina Greff, Locality Manager for London, South East & East. Nominated by John Joplin
Shirley Ford, SW at Barra House, Wales and West. Nominated by Debs Fritzl
Nick Hobbs, SW, Newton House, South and South West. Nominated by Chloe Saunders
Award Recipients: Garthowen staff team
The team were nominated by Amyleigh Normanton and Sara Ratcliffe who told us how the team have been committed and passionate about improving Garthowen as a home. Amy said that this has been demonstrated in a number of ways:
• The support I received as a new manager, implementing and improving systems and services which has led to continuous ‘green’ audits.
• The goals and achievements the Garthowen team have enabled the people we support to achieve through their support, motivation and care.
• The support they provided to the people who transitioned from Faerdre to Garthowen - displaying care and compassion in order to enable them to feel settled and comfortable within their new environment as quickly as possible.
• Their passion in making Garthowen a home and creating a warm and friendly atmosphere for everyone.
• Giving the people we support a name within the local community by encouraging community inclusion. This has been achieved by supporting people to access the community on a regular basis, attending classes such as knitting, chair aerobics, horse riding, visiting local shops and going for walks around the village and socialising with neighbors and passersby.
• The support they provide to their fellow colleagues whilst on shift. Assisting each other during incidents of challenging behaviours, supporting each other with tasks and giving each other advice with assignments for their QCF qualifications.
Sara said, ‘The rural location of Garthowen provides plenty of challenges to overcome – all amenities are more than walking distance away. Staff tackle these obstacles head on – ensuring that the people we support are able to participate in activities and lead a life of a quality they desire. Staff work with people to plan ahead, work around time constraints and resources and involve them in decisions.’
Manor Barn Team, Staff team at Manor Barn, Wales and West. Nominated by Angela Swale
Ravenscroft Team, Staff team at Ravenscroft, South and South West. Anonymous
Fairway, Staff team at Fairway, Wales and West. Nominated by Charlotte Wild and Diane Carole
Mill House Team, Staff team at Mill House, London, South East and East. Nominated by the People we support and their families
Kelyn, supported by Jubliee House, Twickenham, is celebrating living an independent life in the community. She has been living in care settings since she was 18, and has recently moved into her own flat. Kelyn is now 34, and is being supported by care staff from nearby Jubilee House.
“Keyln has been dreaming about moving into a home of her own for many years,” said Jubilee House manager Louisa Terry. “But with housing opportunities so limited, it has taken until now for it to become a reality.
“We are absolutely delighted she has achieved her long-term goal. She is taking it all in her stride and gaining confidence every day. She is enjoying decorating her new flat just the way she likes it.
“She loves going shopping and cooking for herself.
“We were able to support Kelyn to buy items for her new home and to give her a hand setting up and managing her utility bills. She continues to receive daily outreach support from Jubilee House, and is also able to join in with group activities there.”
Staff help Kelyn, who has a learning disability, with her weekly menu planning, including helping to increase her awareness of healthy eating options.
She now attends Richmond Adult and Community college independently twice a week, and volunteers two days a week at Regard’s neighbouring Chertsey and Kneller Road services, with the objective for her to develop skills that might lead into paid work opportunities. She also enjoys visiting her local swimming baths and gym.
Jubilee House is a supported living service for adults with learning disabilities and individual complex needs in Twickenham.
To view a short video of the highlights or our conference please click here: Inspiring Leaders Conference 2018 video
When Carole Edmond, CEO of the Regard Group, chose the theme of ‘Inspiring Leaders’ for our 2018 conference, the choice reflected her conviction that the ability to inspire is the common characteristic of Regard management at all levels.
In her keynote speech Carole, who joined Regard at the beginning of 2017, told conference delegates: “What you do so amazingly well is focus on seeing the person first and then the disability, and I think that’s what makes you and your teams so incredibly special.”
She went on to praise them for creating “…the most incredible environments and cultures where the people you support simply do things that other people told you they could not,” and attributed Regard’s culture to these leaders’ “…natural intelligence, natural warmth and natural openness.”
Carole, who has visited all of Regard’s 163 services over the past year, said: “The hard work that you do, and your leadership of your teams is hugely valued. Together, let’s continue to inspire people to fulfil their potential.”
A drumming workshop was just one of the many interactive sessions at the two-day conference which highlighted the importance of communication, support, respect, trust, listening, and team-working.
Many delegates also brought with them success stories of people they have supported to share with their Regard colleagues at the ‘Big Picture’ workshop.
Staff spoke about how proud they were to work for Regard and to help make such a positive difference to people’s lives.
One staff member said: “The challenges that we face daily are huge, but equally as rewarding, we get so much out of it.”
Another said: “We can start with the people we support; as soon as they are celebrating success, you can get wrapped into that and it makes you feel like going to work is really worth something.”
Niamh McBreen of AMP Capital explained to the conference how AMP had been inspired to invest in Regard at the end of 2017 because they realised that “Other people in the sector look to Regard and we thought: ‘Actually they’re the ones to beat, they’re the ones who are performing, who are doing well.’
Niamh continued: “We will work with you to make Regard the first-choice destination for people who want to work in this sector, and we are looking forward to the future together.”
Delegates were also addressed by CQC lead inspector Jane Jewell about the ‘Journey to Outstanding’, including the key characteristics that make the leadership of service exceptional and distinctive.
In closing the conference, Carole Edmond told staff: “We want you to take the inspirational leadership that you already have and just really grasp it with both hands, with everything that you have got, with all your loving kindness, and take it back and share it with your teams, and really make meaning, because you are incredibly inspiring leaders.”
Seventeen ‘Star’ awards were presented at the conference to staff who made outstanding contributions in the ‘Big Picture’ session.
The fourth largest private care provider for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries, we now support 1088 individuals across the UK, with more than 2600 staff working in 163 services.
Jonathan was facing a lonely New Year after friends at his residential home moved out, but is now enjoying a whole new social circle thanks to the creative thinking of his service manager.
Jonathan, aged 29, has learning difficulties and autism, and has been living at Winchester House in Sheerness since 2008. He was missing two close friends who had moved out into supported living accommodation at the end of last year - so service manager Lisa Falconer suggested they find him new friends by creating a profile to share with other services which we run locally.
Lisa said: “Although Jonathan was still in contact with his former housemates, he needed new friends to fill the gap when they moved out, and the profile we created for him has yielded great results.”
Jonathan said: “I met up with one of my new friends, who lives at Ashford Lodge in Chilham. We got on really well together and I enjoyed going for a walk with him and seeing where he lived. Next time he’s coming to visit me.
“I’ve also got a new pen pal, who lives at Bradwell House in Hythe. She’s fun to correspond with and we have a lot to say to each other.”
The team at Winchester House supports Jonathan in many other respects, such as ensuring a packed timetable of weekday activities selected jointly with him. This includes two days at the beginning of the week volunteering at Spadework in West Malling, where Jonathan’s work involves weeding, watering, digging, helping with log deliveries, and making items to sell such as decorative pot-men.
On Wednesdays he attends Skillnet in Sittingbourne, and is part of a group which visits local schools to talk to the children about how people with special needs would like to be treated.
Jonathan said: “It’s great to have the chance to share the anti-bullying message with a young audience, and a group of us even perform a rap that we made up ourselves which helps to get the message over.”
On Thursdays he does voluntary work at Truck By Truck, packing up boxes of sweets for distribution to local outlets, rounding off the week at Blue Skies School in Chatham, where he helps out with filing and photocopying, as well as showing visitors round, answering the phone, and accompanying the 13-19 year old autistic students to activities such as basketball, swimming, roller-skating, and occasional trips to places like Blue Water.
Lisa Falconer said: “It’s a central part of the work we do at Regard to make sure the people we support are really living their lives to the full, and that’s certainly true of Jonathan.
“Having readily-accessible friends is very important for him too, and the new friendships he has made as a result of the profile we did together are making him very happy - which is so great to see.”
Winchester House, a residential home for 12 adults with learning disabilities and autism located on Minster Road, Sheerness, Isle Of Sheppey, was recently inspected by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, which rated the home’s safety, management, effectiveness, care and responsiveness, and leadership as ‘Good’ across the board.
The New Year has got off to a rousing musical start for staff and the people they support at our services in South Devon, with the launch of a brand new open-to-all choir.
Paige Marley, senior support worker at Victoria, a Plymouth-based residential service for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, is leading the group which has called itself ‘The R-Factor’ - R stands for Regard.
Paige was keen to give everyone joint ownership of the choir from the start, and was delighted to receive a great response to her request for song suggestions from people interested in attending.
Ten of the people who live at various local Regard services, plus 11 members of staff, attended the first session of the New Year, and Paige reported that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and left the session smiling from ear to ear.
Kay Morgan, who lives at Regard’s Victoria House service, said: ‘I’m having such a great time,” with a huge smile, while James Toll, who lives at Douglas House, said: ‘I really enjoyed the signing and ‘It’s raining men’ was my favourite song.”
Lucy Tempest, service manager at Harbour in Torquay, reported that the people she supports who attended the first choir meeting all returned in a great mood, and said they couldn’t wait to go again.
Paige Marley said: “It really was a fantastic launch session. We truly raised the roof at the Hyde Park Social Club where we met, with rousing performances of Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall,’ ‘My heart will go on’ by Celine Deon, ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen, and others.
“It was astonishing what my colleagues and the people we support managed to achieve in just one session, and we really looking forward to the next one.”
“I am encouraging people to be involved whether or not they think they have a good singing voice, as the whole project is about the positivity that singing brings. I honestly feel that singing with others is good for the soul - it inspires confidence and has such an amazing uplifting effect.”
The R-Factor has already had its first request to perform in public - Plymouth City Council’s quality and assurance team has invited them to sing at one of the Dignity in Care Forums in 2018.
After five years as CEO of the Regard Group, Sandie Foxall-Smith has announced her decision to step down from her senior leadership position.
Since Foxall-Smith took over the helm at Regard in 2012, the organisation has gone from strength to strength and is now the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.
At the end of 2017 the Group was acquired by AMP Capital, and their global Head of Infra Health, Julie-Anne Mizzi, has emphasised the importance of Foxall-Smith’s leadership.
Julie-Anne Mizzi said “Sandie has made a significant contribution during her tenure at Regard. This is reflected in the quality of the business, the reputation and the industry awards the group has received; attributes that AMP Capital found very compelling.
“We want to thank Sandie for her tremendous contribution to both Regard and the adult social care sector and wish her all the very best for the future.”
Regard now cares for more than 1,300 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,600 people working at 161 locations throughout the UK.
During Foxall-Smith’s time at the helm, Regard has been awarded Investors in People’s Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. In 2016 she was awarded the IIP global ‘Leader of the Year’ award, which recognises inspirational leadership across all industry sectors. The judges praised her for achieving ‘a demonstrable track record of delivering results for the organisation’ and for being a ‘leader who is decisive and gives clear direction.”
Foxall-Smith was included in the 2016 HealthInvestor ‘Power Fifty’ list, which acknowledges those in the independent health sector who effect real changes, and recognises the leaders ‘who exert the most influence and command the most respect.’
Sandie has also ensured that colleagues at all levels within the Regard Group have had their efforts recognised, with short-listings and wins in a variety of care industry awards, and through Regard’s own in-house awards scheme.
Sandie said: “When I joined in 2012 my aim was to create a culture of innovation through team-working, which would create the desire among our staff to be the best in care delivery, and that aim has been realised now - our success speaks for itself.
“With the right management in place, everyone is able to work together to achieve the goals they have identified, and most importantly, to improve the lives and outcomes of all those we care for across our services.
“I leave the Regard Group in fantastic shape, and in the safe hands of managing director, Carole Edmond, who will now step up to the CEO role.”
Carole Edmond said: “I want to thank Sandie for her dedication to building a high-quality organisation and developing our people-focused culture, and to second her vote of thanks to the whole Regard team for a sustained commitment to making people’s lives better every day.”
Sandie Foxall-Smith has had a long career in healthcare. This included working as Director of Development for Circle Hospitals, ten years as a manager and Director in BUPA hospitals and three years as Chief Executive of St Peter’s Hospice, Bristol. She holds voluntary senior posts in charitable organisations and also spent a number of years as a Prince of Wales Ambassador.
She continues to champion disability rights, and since 2014 has been an active participant in the ‘Fulfilling Potential Forum,’ a government initiative to help formulate opinions of government and civil servants on relevant matters.
Ceejae, who has just moved into a newly-opened supported living service near Rochdale is so delighted with her placement that she has written a poem about it.
20-year-old Ceejae’s new home, Fairway, is a much-needed new supported living service for women with learning disabilities and mental health needs. The six-bed newly-refurbished property on Rochdale Road caters for individuals from local authorities across Rochdale and Manchester.
Ceejae writes about how much she values the friendliness of the staff and her new house-mates, finishing her poem with “This place is a dream.”
Fairway is home to six women who have transitioned from long-term hospital or residential care.
“There is an enormous need for this type of accommodation in the area,” said Regard locality manager, Simon Buxton. “We’re offering the chance for individuals to live independent lives while having access to the relevant level of support they need.
“The women are being supported proactively to develop personalised coping strategies. This not only develops their skills in the practical elements of daily living, such as budgeting, but also enables them to manage the emotional and psychological impact of community living - especially important due to the many years they have spent in long-stay hospitals or other institutions.
“Everyone is settling in brilliantly. We are beginning to see friendships forming and the women bonding as a group. They enjoy planning menus and sitting down together to watch TV.
“They go out shopping supported by a member of staff and buy what they need for their meals or things for their rooms. Recently they all came together to make some delicious millionaire’s shortbread.”
The team at Fairway provides person-centred support plans which include details of how to assist individuals to maintain their independence
Located on the Rochdale/Middleton border, the new service occupies a detached house with a large garden and includes a self-contained one-bedroom flat. It is the second new service for Regard in the Rochdale area, following on from Canal View which opened last spring and supports six adult males with learning difficulties, autism and/or mental health needs.
The last few weeks have been out of this world for science fiction fan Peter Makar, who has come face-to-face with some of his favourite stars.
Peter, who lives at the Homeleigh residential care home in Crumpsall, Manchester, not only saw the latest Star Wars movie on the big screen, but also got to see some of his favourite characters in person.
Peter, who has recently celebrated his 52nd birthday, attended the ‘For The Love Of Sci-Fi’ event at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park.
Guests included Star Trek’s legendary Captain Kirk, alias actor William Shatner, alongside a galaxy of other stars from the worlds of science fiction and cult television. But it was the stormtroopers from Star Wars that particularly caught Peter’s attention, as they are among his favourite characters of all.
Peter, who has mental health difficulties, has been a lifelong fan of science fiction, and our staff at Homeleigh have been supporting his love of all things sci-fi - so much so, that Peter’s room at Homeleigh has been described as being more like a science fiction museum than a bedroom.
Peter said he really enjoyed his visit to the recent event at Trafford Park, and particularly liked seeing fellow enthusiasts dressed up as their favourite characters.
He said: “There were stormtroopers everywhere, plus Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Jedi.”
Senior support worker Ian Murdoch said: “Peter has a huge science-fiction collection, of between 400 and 500 pieces altogether; including action figures, spaceships and helmets - which he tends to keep for display rather than wear himself.”
Ian has been supporting Peter for eight years, and admitted that he had not been a particular fan of sci-fi himself – until he met Peter.
“I have definitely become more of a fan now,” he said.
“When I first met Peter, I had never been to a convention, and nor had he. But I soon found out about his love of science fiction and when I learned about fan events close to where we are, I thought Peter might like to go.
“We’ve been to quite a few conventions now over the years, and we have enjoyed going together.
“Peter had a great time at the event at Trafford Park. He enjoyed seeing William Shatner, David Hasselhoff, as well as Batman and all the stormtroopers. He came back with even more items to add to his collection.”
Peter’s next sci-fi fix came on Christmas Day, when he watched the special festive episode of Doctor Who, another big favourite of his. He said he really enjoyed the episode, and has given his own thumbs up to Jodie Whittaker, who took over the role of the Doctor from Peter Capaldi at the end of the adventure.
Ian’s support for Peter, and his own growing love of science fiction, reinforces the Homeleigh approach of helping people to live full and active lives, promoting independence. People living there are continuously encouraged and supported to reach their full potential, and Ian said he has been delighted to share Peter’s love of all things sci-fi.
Our Manor Barn service in Neston, Cheshire, is supporting Ben to lose weight by helping him to improve his cooking skills and to do more exercise.
Ben, 29, who has Down’s syndrome and lives at Manor Barn supported living service, is steadily losing the pounds, and hopes to hit his target weight by next spring.
Senior support worker Stuart Thompson said: “Ben really likes his food but struggles to understand the importance of healthy eating.
“We are supporting him to improve his cooking skills as a way of teaching him about nutrition and he’s really taking everything on board.
“We are helping him identify the different food groups, how to use less fat by baking or grilling, and how to select foods that make you feel fuller for longer.
“Being over-weight really affects Ben’s self-esteem. He loves football and would really like to be sportier and not feel so self-conscious.”
The Manor Barn support team believe the best way to approach Ben’s weight-loss ambition is to reinforce his achievements through praise.
He is weighed every Friday at Neston day centre where his progress is tracked as he loses the pounds and edges towards his goal.
Liverpool supporter Ben moved to the service in 2015 from the family home in Chester and has settled down well.
He recently raised money for the local lifeboat service running a tombola stall and has won a number of medals for his sports activities, including football and swimming.
Ben’s long-term aim is to work in a shop. Support staff are currently trying to secure a volunteering position in a local charity shop as a stepping-stone to help him achieve this goal.
Manor Barn caters for adults with enduring mental health needs or learning difficulties, Asperger’s, autism and acquired brain injury, providing a home for up to seven people, including two self-contained flats surrounded by spacious grounds.
The service offers a chance for individuals from Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merseyside, Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester to live independent lives, while at the same time having access to the relevant level of support they need.
The community feel of the service is enhanced by the provision of a communal area where people can meet up, cook meals together and relax with each other.
Relocating to brand new home gave cause for celebration to Elinor Gunz and Janet Bird, and they were even more delighted when they were presented with personalised welcome hampers courtesy of the Regard Group.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of Regard, said: “Moving into a new home is such a big event, we’ve decided that going forward we want to mark the occasion for everyone concerned by giving them a hamper full of things that will make them happy and be useful in their new environment.
Elinor and Janet’s hampers contained a supply of store-cupboard essentials such tea, coffee and cereals, as well as some good quality cleaning items, but Sandie says the hampers are not intended to be one-size-fits-all.
“We will tailor the contents according to the needs of the individuals concerned, in the same way that we tailor all our new accommodation,” she said.
We welcomed a significant number of new people to our services in 2017, with seven new services opening in the year due to organic growth, and a further 17 added as a result of acquisitions. It is expected that five more new services will open by March 2018.
We have established a 12 week integration programme to guarantee a seamless transition when established services, previously run by other operators, join our group. This ensures that everything goes as smoothly as possible for all staff, the people we support, and the families involved in the process.
The central purpose of the plan is to ensure that the people living in these services are affected as little as possible by the change of ownership, and that they are well supported while it happens. The welcome hampers are just one element of that, while other provisions include communications in an easy-read format tailored to their needs.
Hampers are also now given to newcomers at other Regard services, with the central objective of ensuring that people feel thoroughly settled in their new homes.
Wakeling House, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, has been named after Jan Wakeling, who worked for Suffolk County Council for more than 33 years.
She had been due to retire in November 2016 but delayed that until June 2017, so that she could support the people who would be living there to move into their new homes.
Jan was invited back to their home for an open day earlier this month.
Wakeling House is a supported living service for adults with learning disabilities and/ or autism which has three large ground-floor en-suite rooms with extra living space and three, first-floor, en-suite rooms.
Helen Petitdemange, Regard’s Customer Service Manager (East), said Suffolk County Council approached Regard to develop the service after a housing association had pulled out.
She said: “Jan delayed her retirement to work with us to see the project finished and support the individuals who would be moving into Wakeling House.
“Jan knew the individuals and their families well and I worked in partnership with her to carry out all the relevant assessments, and to make sure that we personalised each person’s living area.”
We have worked hard to tailor the accommodation to individual’s needs and preferences, in order to make them feel it is a home from home.
Helen explained: “We have one lady who loves the colour red, so we ensured that we put as many red items in as possible, from the microwave and kitchen utensils to red blinds and towels.
“Hopefully this will really make it feel like it is her home.
“We have a man who likes aeroplanes, so we chose a room with a view and a seating area near the patio doors, so he can clearly watch all the planes that fly overhead.
“We had curtains made especially with planes on them.
“We have a man who is a fan of Thomas The Tank Engine, so we have had Thomas-themed blinds and curtains made for his room.
“We have one lady who likes very feminine colours, so her home has been decorated in pinks and purples, including the curtains, bedding and even a purple double sofa.
“All those living in Wakeling House were given a choice to have, where possible, a bath or a walk in wet room.
“One man was keen to have his own washing machine, so we have added one into a cupboard in his room.
“We’ve worked hard to personalise the rooms to match what the individuals want and need in order to feel as comfortable and happy as possible at Wakeling House, and we’re very proud of what we offer here.”
Helen added: “We worked closely with Jan and her team, and we thought it would be appropriate to name the service Wakeling House as a tribute to her to honour her perseverance and hard work on the project.”
Jan Wakeling’s last role with the County Council was to develop bespoke Supported Housing for people with Learning Disabilities or Autism.
She and her team developed over 14 new schemes and supported over 76 customers, many from out of county, to move into their own home and to be close to their families. Wakeling House was her last project before retiring.
She said she was “highly honoured and extremely proud” when told that the service would be named after her, and she was very impressed with the refurbishment work carried out by Regard.
Regard, which now has 161 services and 1,186 beds across the country, has been acquired by specialist investment manager AMP Capital. AMP Capital acquired the Group from The Montreux Healthcare Fund PLC and Macquarie Principal Finance.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Regard Group, said: “This change of ownership will not have any initial impact on the day-to-day operation of our services.
“With a growing need for our services it is vital that there is strong investment backing so that we can provide the care that people require and expect.
“At the heart of everything we do is caring for people but to enable us to keep providing better care for more people we need strong financial backing and we believe this move puts that in place.”
Regard, founded in 1994, provides a range of services to those with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health needs including residential care, supported living, outreach support services and day resource centres. Approximately 93 per cent of its sites were rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in inspections by the Care Quality Commission in 2017.
AMP Capital has a strong heritage of social infrastructure investment and ownership in Australia and New Zealand and also owns two Primary Care Centres in Ireland.
Julie-Anne Mizzi, Global Head of Infrastructure Health at AMP Capital, said: “Regard has a strong existing management team, offers stable cashflows, and has industry-leading occupancy levels. In addition, the freehold ownership of its properties means they can be tailored to meet local needs, which can support the UK Government’s objective of providing quality care closer to home. The strong focus on quality of care at Regard was a critical factor for us given the important social role it plays in the community, and we are committed to continuing to deliver a high standard of care.
“Current demographic trends in developed markets mean that the need for investment in social infrastructure and healthcare is growing. Our team’s expertise and experience in this sector and established track record of responsible investment, demonstrated by our market-leading ESG performance, make us well-placed to manage and develop an asset of this significance in the UK care sector.”
Oliver Harris, CEO, Montreux Capital Management (UK), stated: “Over the last three years we have developed The Regard Group into the foremost specialist care business in the UK. This growth is a testament to the excellent staff and management teams both within Regard and Montreux. We wish AMP Capital every success with their new acquisition and feel confident that they can grow the platform yet further.”
Since December 1, a number of services have been taking part in a ‘24-days to Christmas’ project where people they support undertake a different festive activity each day.
“It means every day there is something new to look forward to.” said Ann Peebles, manager of The Uplands in Newbridge, Gwent, one of 28 services participating.
“This could be anything from making Christmas cards to mince pies, from creating a special festive notice board to making a Christmas wreath.
“‘The people we support absolutely love it and have really engaged in all the activities. It is making every day feel a bit like Christmas Day!”
Each of the services, which jointly support 203 people, has been given a list of possible suggestions for daily activities.
At Homeleigh in Manchester individuals made a giant Christmas snowman out of plastic cups, and a life-size fireplace out of cardboard boxes.
“They also really love watching Christmas movies, especially Jack Frost with Michael Keaton which is a big favourite,” says Manager Lillian Kidd of Homeleigh in Middleton, Manchester.
“They watched the film in the afternoon while eating popcorn and then again in the evening with fish and chips.
“It is fun for the staff as well and brings everyone together.”
The ‘24 days of Christmas’ idea is the brainchild of Katie Owen manager of our Caeronnen service in Ceredigion.
“Katie ran the project at the service last year and it proved so popular we decided to roll it out across the region,” said Kay Beacham, Regional Director (Wales and the North West).
“It has had a wonderful impact in all of our services as some of the people we support can find Christmas a lonely time.
“The joy of all joining together to complete each day’s challenge has been an added bonus. Staff have also been motivated by the daily challenge and are having huge fun preparing for Christmas.”
The list features outstanding female leaders drawn from a broad range of backgrounds, including women who hold senior executive roles in FTSE 350 firms and other significant organizations such as large non-listed companies, major charities, professional services firms, educational institutions and the Civil Service, with many different disciplines and functions represented.
Carole’s listing highlights her current position as managing director of the Regard Group, as well as her achievements during her previous two decades in the childcare sector.
Inspired by research she carried out for Bupa into the childcare market, Carole developed Bupa Childcare from a start-up position to become a top 10 operator within three years. After its spin off to Bright Horizons in 2009, she led Bright Horizons to become the leading nursery operator in the UK and Ireland.
During her time with Bright Horizons, Carole’s focus on safety, quality and learning outcomes saw the business develop award-winning services, gaining sector recognition and leading to several successful mergers and acquisitions.
Since Carole, who is author of a doctoral thesis on “female attainment” on how to navigate career challenges, joined the Regard Group at the beginning of 2017, she has been overseeing the integration of New Partnerships, which has brought 8 new services into the Regard group this year and is currently working on the acquisition of other operators.
Cranfield launched the ‘100 Women to Watch’ supplement in 2009 as part of the Cranfield Female FTSE Board Report. It is now a highly respected reference point for nomination committees and those who influence shortlists for Non-Executive Director positions in FTSE 350 companies.
We are delighted to announce the following winners of our quarterly Regard Awards:
Winners: The Mill House Team, East Region
The Mill House team were nominated by the people they support and their families as well as other staff members. Here are some of the reasons:
From the people they support:
‘Kelly creates a nice atmosphere and makes the place feel like a family.’ Tim
‘Anthony talks to me when I need support and helps me make positive decisions.’ Callan
‘Anna talks to me about my bad thoughts’ Graham
‘Annie looks after me and helps me through day-to-day activities.’ Tina
‘Michaela is everything you could wish for.’ Pamela
‘The staff took the time to get to know my son, respecting and encouraging his love and great knowledge of natural science, they have turned his life around… he has a girlfriend and can now see a future for himself. We are very grateful to you all.’
‘The manager and the whole team are outstanding in attitude and dedication to residents, responding to them as individuals and within the group dynamics with knowledge, patience, firmness when necessary but always with kindness and cheerfulness.’
• Cerrig Cornel Team, Wales and West
• MM Support Team, Wales and West
• Tarvin Road Team, Wales and West
• Caeronnen Team, Wales and West
• Homeleigh Team, Wales and West
• Arundel House Team, East
• Waverley Team, London and South East
• Arden House, London and South East
• Cloverdale Team, London and South East
Winner: Kirsty Southall, Senior Support Worker, Arrowe Hall, Wales and West Region
Kirsty was nominated by Jordan Hall for her ‘hard work and dedication to TD’s transition’. Jordan said, ‘Bearing in mind this is her first time transitioning someone into service, she has taken to it like a duck to water. Her knowledge of TD ‘s needs and ways in which to manage her behaviours have been unbelievably impressive. Kirsty has attended the transition visits and each time has come back with ideas on how to ensure that the move creates as little distress as possible. Everyone in the sector will identify one person who ‘taught’ them. This is evidently one of these occasions as Kirsty has developed greatly in her role by having met TD. We are sure that TD will benefit from this as she moves into her own home.’
• Paige Saunders, Kingston Office
• Louise Kemp and Team, Wales and West
• Sarah Jones, Wales and West
• Kate Varutti, Wales and West
• Rachel Dalley, London and South East
• Blue Cottage Team, London and South East
• 22 Kings Ripton Team, East
• Victoria & Grenville Team, South and South West
Winner: Harwich House Team, South and South West region
The Harwich House team were nominated by Richard Harris who said that the team have helped someone they support to move on and supported two individuals with complex needs (whilst recruiting a full staff team) and have also ‘had a practice used by CQC as an example’.
• Sian Wain, Wales and West
• Sarah Jones, Wales and West
• Molly Robinson, Wales and West
• Whitehatch Team, London and South East
• 22 Kings Ripton Team, East
Twelve months ago, Leanna Carey would keep herself to herself in her bedroom at Coneyhurst Lodge in Worthing, our residential care home for adults with complex health needs.
Coneyhurst Lodge’s deputy manager, Daniel Adams, who arrived in September 2016, said proudly: “Over the past year, Leanna has come on leaps and bounds.”
Leanna has severe learning difficulties, and is on the autism spectrum. She has lived at Coneyhurst Lodge, where she has had one-to-one support, for more than three years.
Daniel added: “She was a very challenging lady who could not express her needs. She could get very angry, was very withdrawn, and staff often did not really know how to work with her because of her communication difficulties.”
Staff at Coneyhurst Lodge discussed how best to support Leanna and then worked together to address her needs. They soon started to see a welcome transformation.
Daniel said: “Leanna now says more than 30 different words, and is really expressing herself.
“She has changed from a very tense, closed, person who staff had some tremendous difficulties with to being someone who greets you in the morning with a lovely smile.
“She used to get angry a lot, but now she smiles, she sings, she is much happier, and there has been a significant reduction in the number of behaviour-related incidents.
“Her knowledge and learning has come on so well, her trust in the stuff has really grown, and she is now coming to staff when she wants some food or wants to do some activities, which she never used to do, and feels much more comfortable walking around the house, rather than confining herself to her room.”
Leanna loves messy play and sensory play, story time and singing nursery rhymes but, more than anything else, loves water, and often walks around the home with water guns.”
Leanna’s mum has also noticed some considerable improvements in Leanna’s behaviour, and the two are spending a lot more time together.
Daniel said: “This is not just a great story for Leanna and her family, but for the staff here too, who have worked hard to help bring about this transformation, and who have all seen such a positive change in Leanna - who is becoming more confident, more independent and who is generally much happier, which is so rewarding to see.”
Coneyhurst Lodge offers 24-hour residential care; the property has two lounges, and there are additional rooms to ensure that space is available if individuals want some quiet time away from the main lounge area.
There is also a fully-equipped sensory room and an activity room in the garden.
Families or individuals wishing for more information should contact Guy Page on 07773 746 614.
Staff and the ladies they support are celebrating the opening of a brand new Regard Group bungalow at Chertsey Road.
We have built the four-bedroom facility in the large garden of our existing service in Chertsey Road, Twickenham.
The bungalow will be home to four ladies who have been living at the existing building, but whose declining mobility means that the current two-storey accommodation is becoming less suitable for them.
Janet Bird, aged 75, Elinor Gunz and Marily Glass, both 73, and Christina Clarke, aged 70, have all been with Regard for 20 years, and have spent all that time living in the same area.
Guy Page, Head of Strategic Relationships for the Regard Group, said: “We have thought laterally about how we could provide a solution which would best meet the needs of the four ladies, who all have learning disabilities.
“They have been known to the Whitton community since they moved into Chertsey, and have always enjoyed each other’s company.”
“Trying to find a suitable bungalow in the Richmond area for them was impossible, so one option would be for the four ladies to move to suitable accommodation away from this area. We were keen not to separate them, as this would have been very stressful.”
“None of them wanted to do that, as they are very settled and happy in Richmond, so we looked other options
“Chertsey Road has a really large garden, so we decided to go for a new-build, which will enable the ladies to continue living in a safe environment, and lead independent lives with the continued support of the Chertsey Road team.”
Not only are the ladies already living in a brand-new bungalow, but they have also had a say in how their new home looks.
Mr Page said: “They have been involved in decorating and choosing the colours and furniture for their new bedrooms as part of the building process.
“This has personalised it, so that it really feels as if the bungalow has been built just for them, and is somewhere they can truly call home.”
It’s taken around nine months for the project to be completed, and there was lots of official planning hurdles to be cleared to make it possible.
But it all came to a head this week when Sandie Foxall-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Regard Group, proudly cut the ribbon to mark the official completion of the building work.
The four ladies were able to move into their new home within a few days of the open day.
Mr Page said: “This is the first time we have created an entire new service from scratch. It has been an exciting project and we are all very pleased and proud of the results.”
The main house at Chertsey Road is to be redeveloped into a supported living service, which will allow the Regard Group to offer further support to individuals who wish to lead independent lives.
Families or individuals wishing for more information should contact Guy Page on 07773 746 614.
The autumn edition of Regard’s quarterly newsletter, entitled ‘The People’s Issue,’ features inspiring news stories and advice columns put together by some of the individuals we support, and also shows showcases their creative and editorial talents.
Articles include a feature on ‘Top tips from the people we support,’ with advice on running from Will (Cerrig Cornel), who has completed two 5k runs; on woodwork from Shaun (Longden Road), who enjoys building furniture from recycled wood; on gardening from keen horticulturalists Barry and Linda (Cloverdale); on how to make the most of a day’s fishing from angler Stephen (Llwyngwian Fawr); and on getting a job from Jonathan (Cecil Court) who successfully landed a paid job as a kitchen assistant.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of Regard, welcomes this new initiative.
“Regard focuses on opening all sorts of new opportunities to ensure the people we support live their lives to the full, and it occurred to us that our regular newsletter, which is for them and about them, could also be produced by them,” said Sandie.
“This reflects our determination to provide support which is person-led, not simply person-centred, because we really value the input of the people we support in our wider business as well as their vital, but more obvious, guidance around individual care.
“Another current example is us asking the people we support to nominate themselves to join our Health and Safety committee, and their feedback indicates that they really value such direct involvement.”
Sandie personally wrote an ‘easy-read’ introduction to the eight-page newsletter about how much Regard’s staff value the involvement of the people they support in every aspect of their care, also thanking the numerous contributors to the newsletter and inviting feedback.
Simon, who lives at Regard’s Arden House service, demonstrated his creativity by designing and editing the page which featured the pick of the submissions for the annual art competition, while Douggie from Hersham Road, another guest editor, was involved in judging the annual photography competition and selecting which entries should appear on the page he was responsible for.
Other content included details of Regard’s ‘People’s Awards’ – another first for us, with all nominations for these quarterly awards coming on this occasion from the people we support.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “The nominations were so moving. It was wonderful to hear from the people we support, in their own words, how much they appreciate the progress we are enabling them to make in their lives.”
The awards recognised staff in the categories of ‘Living Our Values,’ ‘Continuous Improvement,’ and being an ‘Outstanding Team.’
Further expansion has been announced by The Regard Group, with the acquisition of eight additional services previously run by New Partnerships.
We recently opened twelve new services as part of our organic growth in the year to July 2017, when we also expanded our portfolio with the takeover of Shropshire-based Adelphi Care Services, bringing to 159 the total number of specialist residential and supported living services we run nationwide.
The most recent acquisition is of an organisation whose culture and care values closely mirror Regard’s own and will strengthen the organisation’s presence in Essex with eight extra services - six for supported living.
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “We are delighted to welcome the people who live and work at the New Partnership services into the Regard Group.
“Our guiding principle is that everything we do should come together to ensure we are continuously enabling those we support and care for to lead more fulfilled lives, providing a rewarding working environment for our employees, and running our business prudently in order to achieve those outcomes.
“The kind of placements available at our new services are exactly what the local authority commissioners are increasingly requesting, so our growing capacity will be catering for identified needs.”
Regard reinforced its position of expertise in the supported living market earlier this year by securing the title of ‘Specialist Care Provider Of The Year 2017’ at the prestigious HealthInvestor Awards.
Judges said they were impressed with the innovation and excellence demonstrated by our investment team, and by the quality of the care we provide to the people we support - described as ‘the best care for adults with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems.’
The former New Partnerships services and the people they support will benefit from the merger by gaining access to a wide portfolio of specialist in-house services, such as Regard’s dedicated Benefits Team, all designed to ensure the best possible quality of life.
Founded in 1994, Regard now employs more than 2,600 staff to support over 1,300 people to live their lives to the full and as independently as possible.
Regard’s management is driving its expansion by reinvesting 100% of the organisation’s profits back into the business every year.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “We are expanding our portfolio both with organic growth and by acquiring sound people-led companies run by likeminded proprietors.
“New Partnerships has been delivering a great service, which is part of what we’re buying, and we’re really looking forward to working with their brilliant staff team.”
New Partnerships’ previous owner, Neil Davis, said: “It’s really gratifying to see how hard Regard is working to ensure continuity of care for the guys we support and continuity of employment for our staff.”
His business partner, Clair Leonard added: “I have every confidence that the new ownership will deliver exactly the sort of results we would most like for our people, and we’re delighted to be handing over to such a forward-thinking group.”
Regard regional director Sam Collier is leading the team that is helping to ensure a smooth transition for the New Partnerships services as they are incorporated into The Regard Group.
Plymouth City Council’s ‘best newcomer to care’ award winner Enamul Hoque is helping transform the life of an individual with a learning disability to access the community and to gain more confidence.
Enamul (also known as Nams), who previously worked as a call centre trainer, was encouraged to consider a job in the care industry by a friend who thought he would be good at it and who told him to ‘give it a go’.
Since July Nams has been key worker to Guy, who lives at our Restormel House residential care home in Mutley, a six-bed service for individuals with learning disabilities and complex needs.
“Nams has a natural compassion and enjoys making a difference to the lives of the people he supports,” said Restormel manager Carla Dearling.
“Guy has come on in leaps and bounds since Nam started working with him. He is now more confident in himself and is able to ask for his needs to be met. Guy has also been able to access the community on his own for short periods which is doing wonders for his confidence.”
Guy recently returned from a trip to Portugal accompanied by Nams where he got the chance to visit an old Arab market which sold fresh fish and fruit and vegetables and to take a guided history tour.
“He was really in his element,” said Nams. “Previously he’s only been on holiday as part of a group so because it was his first one-to-one holiday he could do the things he wanted to do.
“History is Guy’s passion so he was absolutely thrilled to learn more about the region and learn more about the Algarve’s Phoenician, Carthaginian and Moorish past.”
Over the past 15 months Nams has taught Guy how to play pool, and Guy now regularly beats him. He has also supported Guy to redecorate his bedroom and choose items of furniture.
“I’m really enjoying working at Restormel,” added Nams. “Before I came here I had no clue about the care industry. I now have a better understanding of the amazing work that is done to support people with disabilities.”
In the future, Nams is looking forward to taking Guy, who is a professional wresting fan, to see a match, and also to see his beloved Chelsea football club play.
“I like Nams’ temperament and his jokes, and beating him at pool,” said Guy, who has lived at the service since May 2014.
For more information about the service contact Guy Page on 07773 746614 or visit the service page below.
Generations of people have had ‘bikes’ on their birthday wish lists, but not many end up celebrating their special day with a whole convoy of them, complete with leather-clad riders.
But that’s what happened to Chantelle, when members of a Torbay bikers club turned up to make her birthday extra special.
Chantelle, who has learning difficulties, lives at our Harbour residential service in Cleveland Road, Torquay, a home which provides services for younger adults with profound or multiple learning disabilities and communication difficulties.
A support worker at the home, Terry Rogers, is a member of The Fallen, a local motorcycle club, and he organised the birthday treat for Chantelle.
Lucy Tempest, the Service Manager at Harbour, said: “Chantelle had been talking about her birthday for several months before the day, and she had also been showing a new interest in Terry’s bike club.
“When Terry suggested that members of the club might be able to drive by and see her, she was very excited.”
Not only did around 15 bikers show up to wish Chantelle a happy birthday, but they also presented her with a ‘Fallen’ T-shirt, mug and a birthday card.
Lucy said: “Chantelle really appreciated a fuss being made of her birthday. She keeps her mug and T-shirt in her room to keep them safe, and talks from time to time about how much she enjoyed the visit.
“Chantelle is a happy, smiley, person who is very helpful, and wants to be liked, and this visit made her smile even more.
“Her fellow residents also enjoyed the visit, and we are grateful to Terry and his biker club colleagues for helping to make Chantelle’s birthday extra special.”
There is currently a vacant first-floor bedroom at Harbour, which is an en-suite, studio flat-style room.
Harbour is a large Victoria house, with 24-hour staffing, including waking night and sleep-in staff.
Each room at Harbour can be decorated to meet individual tastes, choices and sensory needs.
To find out more, please contact Amy Drew on 07912 540 425 or visit the service page below.
For this quarter of the Regard awards we asked the people we support to nominate staff and teams.
We are delighted to say that we had a great response and it has been such a pleasure to read all the entries. They are a wonderful way to remind us of the difference we can make to people’s lives every day.
The winners are:
Living Our Values
Winner: Vikki Fysh, Oaklands. Vikki Fysh was nominated by Stephen Bacon.
Stephen said: “Vikki helped me get contact with my children, setting up meetings with social care teams and supporting me to visit them. I now visit my children and grandchildren independently because of her support”.
Shortlisted (with a brief note on why):
Sarah Langley, Eastbourne Road. Sarah was nominated by Amanda Brooks and Kellie Homewood who said Sarah has supported them with a garden project which includes vegetables, flowers and a fairy town.
Sara Ratcliffe, Caeronnen. Sara was nominated by Kevin Larder because ‘she looks after me and makes me laugh’.
Laura, Alderton House. Laura was nominated by Lottie Jones who said: ‘Laura helps me with my hair, and supports me with singing and dancing and playing on the Wii’.
Samantha Williams, Cherrycroft, who was nominated by Clare Jeffries because ‘Sam is very reassuring about things that worry me. She is a good listener, has good ideas, helps me with my budgeting and makes drinkable tea.’
Claire King and the team at Walnut Tree. Claire and the team were nominated by Craig Fletcher as they have ‘helped me with a lot of things I found difficult last year. Claire has helped me find a partner online and I am so grateful to her. We are still together now.’
Winners: The Shelden Drive Team. The team were nominated by Mark Mould.
Here is Mark’s nomination:
“I would like to nominate the fantastic team at Shelden Drive. The team help me and everyone to be happy. I enjoy helping and they give me jobs and things to do in my home and get me involved in everything. Staff take me out to do all of the things I enjoy like pub lunches, which I love my £5 lunch meals. Nikki is great, she runs us all about to do the things we love. I wouldn’t be able to do the things I want without staff”.
“Amanda was great, she came to the hospital to visit me all of the time and I would like to say a big thank you to her and the team for helping me at hospital and taking me to the hospital. I was very panicky and staff helped me feel better, they told me I had nothing to worry about, I was very ill and staff helped me fight to get better. I am much better now and I haven’t got to go back to the hospital for a year as I am now Tumour free and want everyone to know this. I would also say a big thank you to staff who took me to the hospital for the first time and stayed with me when I got the results for my tumour. I was very scared and they stayed with me through everything”.
Mark also asked if he could nominate the people he lives with as part of the team - “I love everyone I live with, they make me feel welcome, we all pull our weight and work together with the staff to have a happy environment, we are all one team. We go out once a week all together with staff and we have a really good time, I loved going to the star and cricketers and we laugh a lot like when I balanced a teaspoon on my nose for minutes and everyone laughed!!”
“It might not be long before I can start to out in the community again on my own now I am better. I enjoy going out with staff on a one to one but staff have helped me to get ready to go out on my own again, I am excited about this and staff have given me lots of encouragement and helped me get ready for this”
“I love living at Shelden and I think the staff and my house mates are great and I think they should win the best award”
To finish Mark said - “I feel great I have done this, I feel great they might win”.
Shortlisted (with a brief note on why):
Laura Radcliffe, Lucie Snelling and Karen Sloots, Walnut Tree Lane. Nominated by Irene Franklin because they ‘support her to see her friends every day in town’.
The Oaklands Team. Nominated by Philip Hatton Gilday because ‘they are supportive to me and have organised a group holiday.’
Ted, Adam and Jimmy from Roman House. Nominated by Wayne Elvidge because ‘they were a great team who take their jobs very seriously’.
The Town Farm Workshop Team. Nominated by Stacey Eustace, Gizelle Barton and Tracy Stevenson because the team are ‘helpful and kind and easy to talk to’.
The Mill House Team. Nominated by Callan Campbell because ‘all the staff are very supportive and listen well’.
Winner: Lillian Kidd, Homeleigh – Lillian was nominated by Brian Sykes Lomas.
Brian said that Lillian is ‘good to get on with, a good manager’ who has improved ‘my bedroom and the whole place.’
Stuart McAllister, Portland Street. Stuart was nominated by Jeremy Wilson because ‘we talk about punk music and football’.
We are delighted to announce that our staff teams in the Plymouth area are celebrating after winning awards which recognised their dedication to care in the Plymouth City Council Care Awards.
The special event celebrates excellence in the city’s care sector and is a chance to showcase and acknowledge the best practice care in the Plymouth area.
Sarah Ghent, the Locality Manager for Devon, was the one who knew about the awards as she used to work for the council. She put forward the idea for managers to nominate their staff teams in the hope of recognising their dedication and hard work.
Everyone was thrilled when Enamul Hoque, Support Worker at Restormel House, won the award for ‘Best Newcomer to Care’. Since joining Regard, he has shown his compassion to care and just how much he enjoys making a difference to the lives of the people he supports.
Meanwhile, Donna West, Service Manager at Victoria and Grenville, and Carla Dearing, Service Manager at Restormel House, were both given an award in recognition for completing Plymouth City Council’s Leadership and Management Programme in 2016/17.
Finally, Sue Johnson, Support Worker at Douglas House, was up for the ‘Devotion to Care’ award, she did not win the award, however, the judging panel were so impressed with her nomination that they recognised her devotion to care with a special award.
Sarah said: “As you can imagine both Sue and Enamul were surprised and overjoyed at winning an award and receiving recognition for the work that they do. As locality manager, I was extremely proud of them all and it was a privilege to share their success and represent The Regard Group.”
The team were also congratulated by Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO, who said: “What a fabulous result. Well done all – a great recognition for all your hard work.”
Since October 10th is World Mental Health Day, we are co-ordinating a series of fundraising activities across the UK, including an organisation-wide support for the charity YoungMinds’ #HelloYellow campaign with everyone dressing in yellow for World Mental Health Day.
So far, we have raised over £4,000 since April in aid of YoungMinds in their campaign to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young adults.
Staff and the people we support are expanding their focus by having an entirely ‘Yellow October’ – a whole month of fundraising and awareness-raising specials, such as coffee mornings, paying to wear yellow clothes to work, office games including ‘guess how many yellow sweets in a jar’ and hook-a-duck, plus a variety of other activities across our services.
Fundraising events earlier in the year included the ‘Big Picnic,’ which involved many of the residential and supported living service holding a picnic for the people they support and their families and friends. There have also been regional fun runs and barbecues, and an inflatable obstacle course undertaken by staff from the Kingston office.
Every year our staff and the people we support vote to decide which charity they wish to support, Regard then also make a substantial contribution from the corporate coffers to enhance the total raised by staff and the people we support.
Regard’s managing director Carole Edmond said: “With an estimated three children in every classroom living with a diagnosable mental health condition, and over 80,000 young people suffering severe depression, it has never been more important to highlight the importance of education about mental health.
“YoungMinds does a brilliant job in raising awareness and supporting children and young adults with mental health issues. We are proud to be associated with them and to direct our own fundraising efforts their way this year.
“In addition, the charity-linked activity taking place in our services provide a sense of purpose for the people we support, not least because it allows them to connect to their community, make new friends, and develop social skills.”
She may have turned 70 earlier this year, but Christine Anstey is showing no signs of slowing down, providing a shining example of how a positive approach can lead to a happier life.
Christine, who has a moderate learning disability, hearing impairment and a severe spinal condition, lives at our Tolworth Park Road residential service in Surbiton.
She moved to Tolworth, which provides 24-hour care for up to six adults, in 2002 having previously lived at St Ebba’s Hospital in Epsom.
The move from an institutional setting - where Christine had spent much of her adult life - to a shared bungalow, was something she initially found challenging.
Tolworth’s deputy manager, Louise Butler, who has known her for 13 years, said: “Christine was previously very distrusting with the environment she lived in, but since she joined us she has built a mutually positive and trusting relationship with our team which has transformed her life.”
Despite facing many difficulties and ongoing challenges, it’s the positive, happy and carefree way Christine interacts with others that really makes her stand out. She has a fantastic sense of humour and easily interacts with individuals at all levels, including all her peers in the house who find her an inspiring person to be with.
A talented keyboard player, Christine loves making music and is proud to display her skills at any opportunity. She has a big collection of CDs, mainly classical, and is a great fan of Jools Holland, who she has seen in concert at Hampton Court Palace on several occasions.
Louise Butler said: “Christine is a keen reader, a very good speller, and has a fantastic memory, with the ability to readily recall past events that are of importance to her. She also has a very inquisitive mind, buying newspapers and magazines four times a week.
“She loves cars, especially Volkswagens, and can tell you makes and models of different cars, as well as demonstrating a keen knowledge of landmarks and places of interest, such as Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.”
Featuring prominently among the regular activities Christine chooses for herself are her twice-weekly visits to a day centre in Surbiton where she has made a number of firm friendships. She also enjoys going out for lunch and evening meals with her fellow housemates and support staff.
The staff team at Tolworth Park Road works with adults over 40 who have complex needs and high levels of vulnerability, supporting and enabling them to become more independent in their everyday life. They work with the people they support to enable them to achieve their own goals in a way that is meaningful for each individual.
Families who would like more information about the service or The Regard Group should contact Guy Page on 07773 746614 or visit the service page below.
A passion for building and restoring furniture is helping one of the people we support who has learning disabilities to build his confidence and independence.
Shaun has built a shoe rack, a table, a stool and a chair so far from reclaimed wood and old pallets, and now wants to build a pair of speaker stands for his bedroom.
Shaun lives in Longden Road, Shrewsbury, a supported living service, which has recently become part of The Regard Group.
Martin Simkin, team leader at Longden Road, said his own work with reclaimed wood sparked Shaun’s interest.
“My personal passion is to recycle and upcycle old furniture. About 18 months ago, I wanted a foot stool for my front room. I saw one for sale for £150, and thought that was too much, and that I could make one for a lot less than that.
“I did some research, and I built one, followed by a unit for recycling bins, a window box, some shelves and a toy box.
“One day I was talking to Shaun, who likes tools, about what I had done, and he seemed very interested, and it went from there.
“Tim, a senior support worker who works with Shaun, arranged to source some pallets and within 24 hours Shaun had built a shoe rack - made without plans or guidance. He did a really great job.
“I then convinced him to make stools, and we built one together before I left him to do one on his own. He copied what we had done together, and built one independently.
“Shaun really focuses on his work, and with staff support he is growing in independence by being given responsibility and gaining freedom through his woodwork, which he is very proud of.”
Shaun was among a number of people who received a welcome hamper recently from Sandie Foxall-Smith, Regard’s CEO, when we formally took over Adelphi Care Services.
Martin said everyone is looking forward to seeing what other wonderful creations Shaun is going to produce in the coming months and watching his independence and confidence grow, with help from the Longden Road team.
Regard’s Benefits Team raised money and awareness this week for YoungMinds during ‘Yellow October.’
Nicole Kadoo, from the Benefits Team in the Kingston office organised a charity coffee morning which coincided with national coffee day last week.
This coffee morning was part of ‘Yellow October’ which we are participating in for our chosen charity, YoungMinds. All events we will be hosting will be discussed using the hashtag ‘#HelloYellow’ if you want to keep up to date throughout the month.
YoungMinds is a charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young adults.
Nicole, Julia, and Jake from the Benefits Team sold coffee and pastries throughout the day, all purchases came with a raffle ticket and there was a with a raffle to win a variety of prizes.
The team are still waiting for a final total as they are continuing to sell their products throughout the week, Nicole is hoping that the event will have raised lots of money for YoungMinds. Since June, Regard has raised over £4000 for the charity.
This event was the first of four, throughout the month of October a different department will organise a yellow event for YoungMinds each week. Everyone is excited to see how creative and competitive the departments get with marketing holding an entire yellow day including guess how many yellow sweets in the jar and hook-a-duck.
Regard Group chief executive Sandie Foxall-Smith, talks to Tim Barsby, business development director, at CarterSchwartz, about training, quality and commitment.
Who is Sandie Foxall-Smith?
I think first and foremost I’m someone who came into the care sector because I enjoy what I do. When I joined The Regard Group it was about making sure all the systems were tightened and putting process and procedure in place. When I took it by the scruff of the neck and invested in training and put quality into the company, it started to grow. We’ve found that the combination of training and quality has been a fantastic recipe for success. From £9m EBITDA to potentially hitting £25m this year – doubling since we sold for £12m about two years ago. You’ve got to have the right ethos and the right culture. It’s important to get out into the business and I regularly visit services. My newly appointed managing director Carol Edmonds has already visited 130 of our 157 services. To grow the company, we go to the local authority to see what the need is. We don’t just buy something and then try to fill it – we work with commissioners and have a 40-point template to work through before we do anything. We’ve done this opening 12 sites in the last 12 months and all but one of them are full. As a group, 93.3% of our services are rated as good or outstanding and that is something to be proud of.
When have you made a mistake, how did you rectify it, and what did you learn from it?
For any mistake, absolutely the first thing I do is own up. Now I would ring the chairman straight away and say I’ve made a cods up. I never hide anything and everybody in the building knows that. If you have that honesty and you lead from that perspective your staff will be very honest with you as well.
Is there anything specific that you believe everyone in social care should be working towards?
I think a personal plan for everybody in the entire business, whether you’re a service user or member of staff, it’s the only way forward. One of my regional directors came up with the idea because if you treat your staff and your service users in the same manner, you can then alter your care plan and your staff training accordingly.
And what advice do you give your home managers when you go and meet them?
Treat people as you’d want to be treated. There is no other advice.
What advice would you give to yourself on your first day in the care sector?
Maybe a better work life balance but in care the only way to deliver is to see it first-hand. That’s not just a 20-minute Royal Visit. You have to be there a couple of days so you understand the challenges that your team face.
What can we learn from other sectors?
Social care is a product, okay, it’s a challenging sector but you can’t change your principles just because its social care or you will be short-changing people. If those principles mean you make more money and you can put more in your CAPEX bill that’s your upside. If it means you spend more on your training and you deliver better care that’s your upside. Sometimes people come into social care, take their coat off at the door and forget there are all those fantastic business principles they’ve learned over the years; they think oh well, it’s different because it’s social care. It’s not different; at Regard we’ve been fantastically lucky and hardworking and we’re achieving an amazing product. For me it is because of all those business principles that I refuse to forget that we are successful.
How do you see the future in terms of public perception?
Until you buy a yellow car you never see a yellow car on the road. Until you have a child with learning disabilities you know nothing about it at all. So, consequently, I think people need to smell the coffee and realise that service users not in their family homes are much less likely to have parental contact at all, so we are their families. We must train our staff to do it right but there’s got to be more funding. It’s absolutely outrageous that we’re fighting for people to have a normal life that you and I wouldn’t even consider not having. Why should the people in social care services not be able to go onto further education, or go on a course, or go out for a day to the seaside? These lovely people who we look after deserve the best life they can have and people who have no knowledge of special needs probably need not comment. I suppose the question should be, how can you make a difference? Whether it’s in care, or how you make a difference in the road where you live or to your family or friends. I think if you keep the ethos of trying to make a difference, hopefully a positive difference… then that’s as good as it’s going to get and it’s getting better.
Article first published in Caring Times – October 2017
Regard is working with one of the UK’s leading specialist learning providers, the Positive Group, to support the company’s leadership team to manage pressure and adapt to change more effectively.
The 20-strong team are set to embark on a programme in partnership with Positive to design, implement and measure learning solutions looking at individual, team and organisational mindsets and behaviours.
It will be the first time Positive, who operate across the corporate, public and educational sectors and who specialise in coaching leaders and senior executives, has worked within the social care industry.
“The resilience and responsiveness of the UK’s leaders, teams and organisations has become paramount for companies to survive and thrive,” said Regard managing director Carole Edmond.
“The partnership with Positive means Regard will be in the vanguard in the care sector when it comes to improving the psychological wellbeing of the leadership team, building resilience and developing potential.
“With the critical challenges facing today’s business environment changing faster than ever, the programme will support Regard to successfully navigate periods of change, transformation and uncertainty.”
Positive co-founder, doctor of medicine and health psychologist, Dr Brian Marien, says the group was looking forward to having the opportunity to take its work into the care sector.
“Our partnership will support Regard staff to improve and maintain psychological wellbeing and manage the unique pressure and challenges presented by the care industry,” said Dr Marien.
Regard, formed in 1994, has grown into one of the top providers of person-centred care within the learning disability and mental health arenas. We provide supported living, residential and day services in over 159 locations.
Carole, who is author of a doctoral thesis on “female attainment” on how to navigate career challenges, attain career potential and have a fulfilling working life, joined Regard in January 2017 after nearly two decades in the childcare and work/life services sector.
She will be presenting a talk as part of the ‘Barriers, Biases and Beliefs’ conference at Putney High School on September 27 where Positive co-founder Dr Brian Marien will be delivering insights from the latest advances in psychology and neuroscience.
Regard has been named as a finalist in the LaingBuisson 2017 awards which reward adult social care organisations for high quality care and continuous improvement.
The Regard Group has been shortlisted in the ‘supported living’ category for excellence in specialist care for people with physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems.
The LaingBuisson awards, regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the health and social care sector, will be presented in London on November 15, with all nominations having been assessed by an independent and objective panel of judges.
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “The LaingBuisson awards provide an independent endorsement of the quality of the service we deliver and we’re delighted to have been selected as finalists.
“In the past 12 months, we have opened 12 new services which we were able to fill very quickly due to the careful monitoring of and targeted response to local authorities’ demands.
“We now have 65 supported living services in total supporting 395 people. We plan to open and fill 12 more services by early 2018.
“Our long-term vision is to be the market leader and focus on growth in the provision of evidence-based services for vulnerable adults with learning difficulties, mental health disorders and other complex needs.”
New services include Caeronnen in Ceredigion, which provides independent accommodation for up to six people; Bishop’s House in King’s Lynn, offering six studio flats, and Blue Cottage near Sittingbourne, which accommodates six.
Regard was formed in 1994 and now has a staff of over 2,600 operating at 159 sites around the country. We support more than 1,200 people, helping them to live their lives to the full and as independently as possible.
Our operating profitability has grown since 2014 due to a combination of organic growth, new openings and a merger with ACH. Our most recent acquisitions are nine new Shropshire-based centres, previously operated by Adelphi.
The 12th LaingBuisson awards evening will be hosted by writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip Gyles Brandreth and will take place at a gala evening at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.
More than 60 people attended a special event which marked the end of an era for the founders of the Shropshire-based care group.
Adelphi Care Services, which provides services to adults with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour, has now become part of The Regard Group.
A special event took place to mark the official retirement of Joe and Annette Kwaterski, and for us to formally welcome Adelphi into Regard.
Guests at the event, at Bomere Village Hall, Bomere Heath, Shrewsbury, included service users, family members and staff.
The event began with Joe and Annette making a ‘farewell’ speech, thanking everyone for their hard work, and remarking on how they had seen the people they support grow and develop.
Kim Walshaw, locality manager, then presented them with gifts and made a short speech saying goodbye to them, and welcoming Regard.
Carole Edmond, managing director of Regard, then presented Annette and Joe with a bouquet of flowers before giving a welcoming speech, which was followed by a buffet lunch.
Kim Walshaw said: “It was a very emotional day, saying goodbye to Joe and Annette, but we wish them well in the future.
“Regard have been very supportive and have handled the transfer of Adelphi to Regard with care and kindness.
“The values of Regard appear to be the same as Adelphi, in that the needs of the service user are at the centre of everything we do, and we’re committed to delivering high-quality services.”
All of the people supported in Adelphi services have received a special welcome pack from Regard, which included a home hamper pack containing start-up items such as coffee, tea, biscuits, polish, cleaning wipes, tea towel and more, and also a personal pack which included toiletries and towels. Pictured to the right is Richard with one of his welcome hampers which he received at the welcome event.
Kay Beacham, regional director for Regard, said: “The welcome from the Adelphi team has been warm and friendly from the outset. All the team have shown a positive approach to the changes being introduced and are focused on enhancing the lives of the people they support by fully integrating with Regard.”
Claims that the success of an enterprise is boosted by nurturing home-grown talent have been validated with the recent promotion to senior roles of two key staff members, Kerry Libby and Sam Collier and the creation of a new head office post for former employee Matt Butcher.
Regard has expanded significantly over the past three years, due to a combination of organic growth, new service openings, a merger with ACH and, just last month, the acquisition of Shropshire care group Adelphi Care Services. Regard supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries through specialist residential and supported living services.
Kerry Libby joined as a service manager in 2001, rose through the ranks to locality manager in 2007, and is now regional director for the South and South West area.
Kerry said: “I’ve always been well supported by Regard and given the right opportunities to develop in each role. People have recognised what I was capable of and have supported me so that I could make progress.
“Some of the people we support have very complicated needs. It’s so rewarding to know that we’re supporting them to live their lives to the full, and equally rewarding – now that I work at a more senior level – to support the staff teams working in the services to develop their own care skills and professional development.”
Sam Collier joined Regard nearly three years ago as a locality manager, was made regional director for Kent and East Sussex in May 2016, and is now responsible for the whole of London and the South East.
Sam said: “My employer has taken the time to invest in me, recognise my individual strengths and create opportunities for me to progress through the organisation.
“I find my job very rewarding and it’s great to work for a provider that strives to deliver the very best quality of service to the people we support. We work hard to ensure mechanisms are in place for those working at the frontline to ensure we deliver that quality.”
A third new appointment goes to former health and social care recruitment consultant Matt Butcher, who started his career in the care sector 22 years ago with three years as a support worker at a Regard service in Kent, and has now returned to work out of the organisation’s head office in Kingston upon Thames as their first corporate senior recruitment advisor.
Matt said: “My role is UK-wide – we now have 159 services across England and Wales – and at the moment I’m working with 16 homes with multiple vacancies, plus new acquisitions and new builds, which is a big responsibility, but I love what I’m doing and am passionate about recruiting the right candidates.
“What has amazed me is that during my induction I revisited some of the Regard services I knew from my early career to recognise some of the same people – individuals who have reached their optimum level of independence - still happily living there after 20 or more years.
“Progress in the care sector in the intervening decades has been phenomenal, but what is still obvious – and always was – is how Regard’s staff all buy into the same set of values, and how their passion for providing the best possible quality of life for the people they support is evident in everything they do.”
Downing Street claimed that “no disability applicant will lose out as a result of the changes to personal independence payment (Pip)” but, in my experience, hardly a day has passed without hard evidence to the contrary. It’s heartbreaking.
Pip is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability for people aged between 16 and 64. It is gradually replacing the disability living allowance (DLA) but, for many, navigating the new assessment system is an ordeal. Benefit recipients and those acting on their behalf are struggling to ensure that claims are correct and being made in full.
Claiming Pip is time-consuming. The application form is a monstrous 40-page document that needs to be handwritten. And Pip is assessed using a completely different set of criteria to DLA. You now need to score a certain number of points in relation to 12 activities. These comprise 10 daily living activities – including preparing food, washing and bathing, managing toilet needs, dressing and making decisions about money – plus two mobility activities: planning and following a journey, and moving around.
The application usually also requires a face-to-face consultation with a health professional to confirm individual needs.
What I have found particularly hard, in my experience of assisting claimants, is the apparent lack of understanding or empathy from healthcare professionals and telephone representatives at Atos and Capita, the two private companies that carry out the assessments. For someone with a physical or mental health condition, for example, there are challenges involved in simply travelling to the assessment. A client who lives in Cardiff was asked to attend an assessment in Swansea, with no recognition that this could be difficult.
Someone may present as very capable at an assessment but in reality needs a high level of support
Claimants are also forced outside their comfort zone during the appointment. Often they are asked lots of personal questions, many of which they don’t fully understand because they have very little insight into their own health conditions. Someone with a mental health condition may present as very capable at an assessment but in reality needs a high level of support.
At one recent assessment, in a hot, cramped room in Croydon, I had to sit on an examination bed because there were no spare chairs. The heating was stuck on high, so the health assessor had an electric fan on the table. I asked how he could work in such conditions. When our 90-minute assessment drew to a close I overheard him complain to a colleague that he’d had no lunch break.
The following day a support worker came to me in tears after being turned away from an assessment with a client. She was terrified that the client might lose his benefit. He didn’t fully understand the situation and began to behave in a challenging way. We complained and the client eventually received compensation, but many of those affected have no access to professional support, either to help fill in the application form, go to an assessment or appeal an unfavourable decision.
With all this going on, it is tricky to reassure people – especially those with mental health issues – that their benefits are being properly dealt with, and even more of a challenge trying to explain why it takes so long for the government to process a claim. Sometimes, when a phone call is not enough to allay their concerns, I have to write to them as well, even if there’s nothing new to report.
While it’s easy to understand the role of benefits in ensuring basic conditions for living, people also rely on them to fund activities vital for their quality of life. Pip enables them to take up a hobby, travel to visit friends and relatives, or take part in unpaid voluntary work that can be a route into paid employment.
One recent decision under the new regime meant a man with an acquired brain injury lost his motability car. For him this meant a total loss of independence. Even going to the supermarket is now fraught with difficulty.
The new mobility guidelines make it harder in particular for people who experience psychological distress when they undertake a journey, perhaps as a result of phobias or anxiety, to have this taken into account as the basis for a claim.
The changes mean that those with learning disabilities, autism, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, cognitive disorder due to a stroke, dementia, depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and OCD will all be affected. How can the government claim nobody will lose out?
Article first published in The Guardian – August 2017
All over the country the people who live or work at our supported living and residential services are coming together to take part in ‘Regard’s Big Picnic Fortnight’ and raise funds in support of YoungMinds, which we recently announced as our charity of the year.
Regard has a long history of charity fundraising, with staff and the people we support voting annually for a charity we wish to support. Regard matches every pound raised by the staff and service users with a pound from the corporate coffers. Last year over £7,000 was raised this way and donated to the charity MIND.
The chosen national charity for 2017, YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young adults. Any money raised from Regard’s picnics and other events to be held throughout the year will go to further this important work.
Other fundraising events will be undertaken regionally all year long, featuring a huge variety of activities such as sponsored or fundraising barbecues, picnics, walks/runs, muddy obstacle courses, bake-offs, tombolas, charity days and auctions.
Guy Page, Regard’s head of communications, said: “The ‘Big Picnic Fortnight’ is a great way for our staff teams, the people we support, friends and family to all get together and raise money for an amazing charity and to celebrate the work they do whilst also having fun.
“The picnics will see our services getting creative by running a number of fund-raising events and – importantly - having fun at the same time. It’s also a terrific way to promote community involvement for the individuals we support.”
Activities at the picnics, which are being run nationwide from 4-18 August, will include running competitions, ‘pin the tail on the donkey’, lucky dips, egg and spoon race, face painting, board games, bake sales, tombola, raffles and a number of regional variations.
It’s all change at Wren Park, our service for people with an acquired brain injury, where five of the service’s long-standing individuals have developed their independent living skills to the point where they are now able to move out into their own homes in the community.
Heather Jupp, who currently leads the team at Wren Park, says: “Matthew, Michael, James, Alison and Reuben have all lived at Wren Park for quite a few years so we’re going to miss them very much, but for every one of them it’s a fantastic success to be able to reclaim their independence in this way.”
The group, affectionately known as ‘The Pembroke Five’ because they used to live together in Wren Park’s Pembroke apartments, are all relocating to independent flats nearby provided in partnership with Surrey County Council.
Outreach support will continue to be provided for one of the group by the team at Wren Park. Heather, who has recently joined the Wren Park team, said: “Supporting people with ABI and complex needs to progress to the point where they are able to live in their own home requires a huge amount of commitment and dedication, and the staff at Wren Park, including the previous service lead, have delivered that in abundance.
“So it’s with a mixture of sadness and joy that we’re waving goodbye to The Pembroke Five, and we wish them all the best in their new homes.”
The Wren Park staff who have worked with the group for several years said they are extremely proud of them and - although they will be missed – The Pembroke Five deserve their progression to continued independence because every individual has worked very hard to achieve it.
All their moves have been in the planning stage for at least a year, with the support of a variety of specialist staff supporting each individual to ensure they are all fully prepared and ready for this important step, and equipped with all the skills they need to live independently.
The departure of The Pembroke Five means that other tenants at Wren Park who are ready for greater independence, can now move up to the newly-vacant Pembroke apartments and be supported by the staff team as they continue their own journey towards independent living.
Heather and her team undertake detailed entry assessments and regular reviews to ensure that appropriate support is provided at all times to ensure the people with ABI they support will have the best rehabilitation experience, and progress steadily towards independence.
The support provided encompasses all aspects of everyday life including visiting family and friends, budgeting, helping with food preparation, accessing and attending medical appointments to maintain optimum mental and physical well-being, travelling to and attending college, and participating in voluntary work.
The various relocations mean that there are now three ground floor vacancies and two semi-independent flats on the second floor with shared kitchen available for individuals with ABI and complex needs. Interested families should contact Theresa Cook, Customer Relationship Manager, on 07812072043 for further information or visit the service page below.
In support of YoungMinds, our recently voted charity of the year, we have invited all our 158 services across England and Wales to take part and join us in ‘Regard’s Big Picnic Fortnight’ this August.
This is a great opportunity for our staff/teams, the people we support, friends and family to all get together and raise money for this amazing charity and to celebrate the work they do whilst also having fun.
YoungMinds, are committed to supporting children and young adults. Any money raised from our events and through-out the year will go towards their vital work to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
The picnics will see our services getting creative by running a number of fund-raising events as well as having fun at the same time. These will include running competitions, ‘pin the tail on the donkey’, lucky dips, egg and spoon race, face painting, board games, bake sales, tombola, raffles and lots more.
We look forward to hearing all the festive stories and seeing the pictures from all the picnics that are being held.
As well as re-launching our gardening competition; Regard in Bloom, this year we introduced a new competition for staff and the people we support. In March we sent a packet of giant sunflower seeds to all 150 of our services, and it has been a race to grow the tallest sunflowers and to take the best photographs of these.
These sunflower seeds weren’t your usual type of sunflower seed, the ‘Kong’ variety that everyone received can grow up to 15 metres tall, although the competition came to an end before everyone’s sunflowers reached their maximum potential we intend to track the progress throughout the coming months.
The winning service was Gordon Avenue who produced some great photographs, with one of the people we support, Josh, looking after them (here on the right). Well done to Josh and the team at Gordon Avenue.
Everyone got involved in the action and we noticed some real ‘green fingers’ among our staff and the people we support. Although the competition has closed we are still excited to see how tall they can grow and maybe we will break a world record for the tallest sunflower!
We recently launched the Regard relay and introduced our company mascot Reg. We have been using this image for a number of years on our website and in marketing material and we decided it would be a fun idea to create a physical mascot that could tour all of our services. Reg was made in Greece so has already been on an aeroplane before arriving at the Kingston office.
He has now left Kingston starting his journey in the London and South East region moving around every single service within the company. He is hoping to stop off at a picnic or two during ‘Regard’s Big Picnic Fortnight’ which will be taking place in August along with other adventures he hopes to have along the way.
We are hoping to see some creative photographs from all our services and maybe even some success stories that involve Reg.
We look forward to monitoring his travels and having fun with our new mascot.
Outstanding care, commitment and dedication has gained recognition for Rachel Turner for providing “truly life-changing support” to one of the individuals she supports at our Gordon Avenue service in Surrey.
From accompanying him to frequent dialysis treatments for his kidney failure to helping him build better relationships with other people, Rachel’s efforts have won praise from the people we support and colleagues alike.
Rachel, who is one of our support workers at Gordon Avenue, has also had her efforts recognised by being shortlisted as a finalist in the Support Worker category of this year’s National Learning Disabilities Awards - an outstanding achievement for someone who has not yet been working in the care industry for a year.
Rachel’s work with Peter, in particular, is what makes her stand out. Peter, who is on the autism spectrum and has suffered from depression and kidney failure, has lived at Gordon Avenue, a supported living service, since it opened in April 2012, and Rachel became his keyworker in January.
Kylie Oakden, who leads the team at Gordon Avenue, said: “Peter is a hoarder, and his bedroom was so full of possessions, it was hard to get in. But thanks to Rachel he has been decluttering, and now has space to walk across his room, which has been re-painted. He also has a new carpet and a new bed.
“He has agreed with her that for every new thing he brings into his room, one has to go out. Keeping on top of things has helped Peter’s depression, making him feel calmer and more in control.”
She said: “Rachel has also supported him to begin thrice-weekly dialysis treatment for his kidney failure. She accompanies him to all his hospital appointments, changing her diary when necessary so that she can go with him and make sure he has consistency of care.
“She has taken him on several days trips and recently went on a two-day break to Pagham, organising a dialysis session at a nearby hospital for him. For Peter, Rachel’s support has proved truly life-changing.”
Peter said: “Rachel helps me a lot of ways. She is tough with me, but at times I need this. I find it hard to build relationships, but I know where I stand with her.”
Peter’s sister, Mandy Saville, said: “Considering that Rachel is quite new to the care system, what she has managed to achieve in such a short period of time with Peter has been amazing. The care she has given him is sincere and outstanding, and I really am so grateful to her for the commitment and support she shows to Peter.”
Rachel said she felt “very humbled” to have been selected as a finalist for the awards, and added: “I take my hat off to all the amazing people who dedicate their time to people with needs of every form. I felt very humbled attending the awards, which really showed just how selfless some people are, but at the same time I feel very proud of the achievement of being nominated.”
The National Learning Disabilities Awards celebrate excellence in the support of people with learning disabilities, and aim to pay tribute to individuals and organisations who excel in providing quality care.
Gordon Avenue is a supported living service for six adults with a learning disability with round the clock support. Each individual is supported to live as independently as possible in all areas of their life.
For further information visit the service page below.
Our specialist training centre for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs in Dorset is at the ‘heart’ of preparations for a marriage blessing ceremony.
Individuals who attend the Outcomes with Learning (OWL) Town Farm Workshop in Sixpenny Handley are putting the finishing touches to an order for 30 ceramic ‘wedding favours’.
The heart-shaped gifts had pride of place on guests’ tables at the nuptials of Carole Edmond and husband Tim Saxton in Milborne Port.
Carole, who is the managing director of Regard said: “I visited OWL Town Farm Workshop in November as part of a visit to Regard’s services across the country and was amazed at the wonderful things they make.
“I particularly loved their ceramic work; and was so impressed in fact, that I put in an order for the ‘wedding favours’ to share with our guests on our ‘big day’.
“We are so delighted to be able to contribute to Regard’s local social enterprise by buying these beautiful items.”
Eight individuals who attend the workshop – which offers activities including crafts, gardening, and horse riding pottery, weaving and swimming – were tasked with making the hearts.
“The first part of the process is to knead the clay to make it easier to work with and to force out any air bubbles,” said the workshop’s Corinna Whitehead, who is co-ordinating the ‘wedding favour’ order.
“The clay is rolled out to the right thickness and the hearts are cut out using a special a template with a hole at the top for a ribbon to go through. They are then biscuit-fired in the kiln for 18 hours.
“The next part of the process involves putting wax on the back of the items and a painting white glaze on the front, along with Carole and Tim’s initials and the date of the ceremony.
“They were fired one last time after which the hearts were decorated with a rhinestone and threaded through with a champagne-coloured ribbon.
“Everyone has so enjoyed working on this project. There was a real sense of purpose and excitement among the group.
“I can see ‘wedding favours’ being a new line for the OWL Town Farm Workshop team.”
Some of the potters travelled to Carole’s reception venue the day before the ceremony to hand them to her in person.
The workshop produces a variety of arts and craft products, including pottery and loom-woven items which are sold at local fairs and online.
The resource and training centre also provides horticultural experience at the nearby Rushmore estate where individuals grow fruits and vegetables and lavender.
OWL Town Farm Workshop provides care and support to adults with learning difficulties, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.
For further information email: email@example.com or call: 01725 552 992.
This summer’s Regard in Bloom competition has seen record entries providing plenty of evidence of the wonderful gardens in many of our services.
Lots of our services get involved in this competition, taking interesting photographs of their gardens and showing off all the ‘green fingers’ amongst our staff and the people they support. A second category, ‘Urban Garden’ allowed everyone to be involved in the competition even if they did not have a dedicated garden space, and saw some lovely photographs of hanging baskets and window displays.
There were many great entries this year to choose from, but the winning services were Starboard House in Southampton for the ‘Best Garden’ category and Strathnairn in Cardiff for the ‘Best Urban Garden’ category, (photographs included on the right). Congratulations to both services.
Due to the success and number of entries we had this year we hope to run this competition again next year, and this gives all of our services time to prepare and plant their seeds ahead of next summer, we look forward to seeing what they come up with next time.
We are also still running our sunflower photograph competition which will be ending shortly and has also proven very popular within our services. Every Regard service was sent a packet of sunflower seeds and we are looking forward to seeing the results soon.
One of the individuals we support is determined to prove that learning difficulties are not necessarily a barrier to securing paid work, paving the way for a much more independent lifestyle.
Lewis Partridge, who lives at Walnut Tree Lane, our supported living service in Sudbury, has worked for Sainsbury’s for nearly five years, collecting shopping trolleys.
Lewis, who has lived at Walnut Tree Lane for three-and-a-half years, has a mild learning disability but is determined to be as independent as possible, and dreams of having his own home.
Senior support worker Claire King, who has worked with Lewis for three years, said he works five days per week at the supermarket, including Saturdays and Sundays, and that the job has had a positive impact on his confidence and self-esteem.
She said: “He works very hard in all weathers, no matter if it’s freezing cold or very hot, and he never complains.
“He gets himself out of the door, and is always punctual.
“On occasion, he’s even gone into work when he is meant to be on holiday.
“He is determined not to rely on benefits, and thinks it is very important to have a wage that he earns by working for it.”
Lewis said: “I used to do voluntary work but I wanted to move on, and start working towards getting my own house. I want to be more independent.
“I really enjoy the work and it has improved my confidence very much. I would say to anyone in my position that they should try getting a paid job and see how it goes. If it’s not for you, at least you have tried. If it is for you, you will really like it.
“The staff are very friendly. We have a good laugh and I’ve made some friends since I’ve been working there, who I socialise with.”
He enjoys watching live football matches in the pub with his friends, and playing computer games.
Claire added: “Through his work, his self-confidence and social skills have grown tremendously, and he has become much more outgoing.”
Yvonne Raven, Customer Service Manager at the Sainsbury’s store where Lewis works, said: “Lewis is always willing, helpful and friendly. He is always looking for customers in our car park who he can assist. He is a great asset to our team.”
According to the charity Mencap less than 6 per cent of people with a learning disability are in paid employment, despite many more wanting to, and being able to work. This has been the focus for the charity’s recent Learning Disability Week, the aim of which was to raise awareness of the benefits of employing people with a learning disability.
Walnut Tree Lane is a supported living service for three people with a learning disability who are ready to take their next steps towards independent living.
There is currently a vacancy at a nearby residential service in Sudbury, Girling Street, in a ground floor single room, suitable for an individual who can manage some stairs. The first floor bathroom and shower room are accessible via a stair lift, and other shared facilities include a dining room, communal lounge and garden.
Further information is available from the service page below.
Commercial trainee, Murray International Metals, 1987-1988
I went into the workforce when I was 17. I come from a very working class family in Scotland and money was in short supply, so I worked myself up very much from a grassroots level. I didn’t actually see the inside of a university until I was nearly 40. Murray International Metals was fantastic early work experience. I started at 7.30 in the morning and we finished at 6.30 at night and I learned the basics, like how to be a team player, how to prioritise things and what the sale process looked like.
Sales and account management, Bupa Healthcare, 1988-1994
I learned quickly that I wasn’t cut out for the steel industry, it was very male dominated and I’ve always been quite a people-focused person, so working in healthcare had much greater appeal. So I then joined Bupa at 18 and I think that’s when things really kicked off for me.
I went in as a junior sales person and as I had no personal life responsibilities, I just worked incredibly hard. One of the early defining moments for me came when I was running the sales office management function in Edinburgh. We’d made a lot of changes but many branches down south, weren’t running in the most efficient fashion. So I wrote to the sales director at the time saying “you don’t know me, I’m running the sales office management function in Edinburgh, and I think we could restructure this across the country, and I’d like to have an opportunity to talk about it”. They flew me down a couple of days later, I had a 40 minute interview and they said “when can you start”. It was an early lesson for me that there can be some real benefits in putting yourself forward.
Customer service manager, Bupa Healthcare, 1994-1997
I completed the project and it went well, probably better than people were expecting and when you’re in a bigger organisation that’s more London-centric inevitably you get spotted by other folks. So I then moved from project based work in sales into customer service management, where I worked over a number of years on a combination of areas, including operational, call centres and back office management as well as on a fairly big transformation project.
Managing director, Bupa Childcare, 1998-2009
I got headhunted to go and work for one of the big banks. However, Bupa had a female chief executive, [Val Gooding] who was very pro diversity and didn’t want a senior woman leaving.
She said to me: “When I was a mum trying to get back to work there wasn’t any childcare for the boys, so I think there’s a good opportunity to stretch the Bupa brand into childcare and I think you’d be a really good person to do it.” I was only 27 at the time.
There was something about that opportunity that appealed – whether it was the entrepreneurial nature of the role or the chief executive having confidence in me – so I stayed and started with a blank piece of paper and developed a market entry strategy which I took to the main board. I think I asked for £3 million and they said they’d give me more than that.
First off, we bought one company which was very small, which did holiday clubs and helped parents find childcare, but for the likes of employees at Goldman Sachs and Shell. That was my first deal. Then a year later we bought one nursery and I spent a bit of time working in the nursery to learn the business. Then, the next year we bought Teddies Nurseries, which had 18 branches and we effectively used that as a buy and build platform.
Val’s timing in terms of spotting the opportunity was perfect because Labour had just come into power at that point and had launched the national childcare strategy, so it was quite high up the political agenda.
Managing director – UK and Ireland, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, 2009-2015
After a few years, Bupa decided to exit the childcare market and sold the business to Bright Horizons in 2009. I initially moved across just to do some integration work but the chief executive of Bright Horizons asked me to stay and run the whole in the UK and Ireland. And I just thought it was the best thing in the world. I was doing something I loved on a much bigger scale and having the platform to really work on key areas such as curriculum, safety and quality, workforce development and leadership. It was owned by Bain Capital at that point and they wanted the business to grow in the UK and that was very much my ambition, so we moved it from around 120 nurseries to over 200 by the time I left. Revenue grew from £50 million to £150 million.
Subsequently there was an IPO in 2013. And the landscape does change a bit when the business goes from that ownership structure to an IPO – the results are being reported on a quarterly basis, for example. For me, a couple of years after the IPO, I felt, I’ve been here for six years, I’ve achieved everything I want to do, it was time to pause for breath, step away from an exec role and spend a bit more time being a mum and writing my thesis.
Owner, Glass Moon Strategies, 2015 – present
I had a career break, spent a bit more time at home, got on with the thesis but I then kept getting phone calls from knowledge networking companies and investors who wanted some advice on education, predominantly early education in the UK and internationally. And I was also being asked to do public speaking on women in leadership. So I set up Glass Moon Strategies. The work was initially a combination of doing paid-for public speaking slots and advisory work for a number of different funds in the UK and internationally. And then I was asked by one fund to work for them exclusively probably about this time last year, which is what I did.
Managing director, Regard Group, 2017 – present
I got a call out of the blue from the chairman at Regard and he said “I’d like you to meet Sandie Foxall-Smith [chief executive of Regard]”, we had a great chat and it went from there really.
I was very clear in my own mind that if I was going to go back into an exec role, that it did not necessarily have to be in childcare/education but it had to be in a sector where there’s real purpose and meaning. And Sandie clearly articulated from that first meeting the social impact the guys at Regard do on a 24/7 basis.
I’m a big believer that you’re on a journey of lifelong learning and with your career you sometimes have to reinvent yourself. I saw this as my opportunity to apply a lot of my knowledge and experience of building and scaling businesses successfully but to a new and more complex area and that was really appealing.
Masters in high performance leadership, Middlesex University, 2010 – 2012
Senior executive doctoral programme, International Management Centre, 2013 – 2017
I started my doctorate of philosophy two years before I left Bright Horizons and it was initially going to be about safety in a multi-site commercial human services business, because safety’s a huge thing for me in terms of how you do not wrap children in cotton wool, but equally how do you keep them safe. But after I left Bright Horizons I spent a bit time just contemplating what really appealed to me from a research point of view and there were just a couple of things that made me start to look into gender equality, gender in the workplace and the glass ceiling as a phenomenon for senior women.
Basically the title of my thesis is ‘How can I relate my lived experience and career journey to the factors affecting female attainment in post-modern society’. I had my viva a couple of months ago and I passed with no rewrites which I suppose is the ultimate outcome. What I’m now hoping to do is create a few articles from it and also I’ve been asked to turn it into a book for the modern day career woman. So I’m in the process of figuring out when I’m going to get the time to do that.
First published in HealthInvestor Magazine. Please click here for more details; www.healthinvestor.co.uk
Shropshire care group Adelphi Care Services, which provides services to adults with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour, is to become part of The Regard Group.
Nine specialist residential and supported living services will become part of Regard, which was formed in 1994, and now has a staff of over 2,200 operating at 150 sites around the country. The organisation currently supports more than 1,100 people, helping them to live their lives to the full and as independently as possible.
Carterwood, the specialist property agents dedicated to the care sector, were instructed by the shareholders of Adelphi Care Services to seek a suitable buyer for the business and played an integral role in facilitating the acquisition by Regard, which comes at a time when it is already experiencing significant organic growth. Regard has opened 12 new services within the past 12 months - all of which filled very quickly - with a further 12 new openings planned by mid-2018.
The Regard Group was named ‘Specialist Care Provider of the Year’ in the 2017 national awards of HealthInvestor magazine. Judges said their team had demonstrated ‘innovation and excellence in the deals they worked on over the past year as well as an ability to bring meaningful change to the lives of the people they support.’
The Adelphi services will benefit from the merger by having access to a wide portfolio of specialist in-house services, such as Regard’s dedicated Benefits Team and Positive Behaviour Service, all designed to ensure the best possible quality of life for the people they support.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Regard (pictured above), said: “We believe that Adelphi shares our values of putting the people we support at the centre of everything we do. “We fully understand how important continuity of care is for them and their families, and are looking forward to welcoming them into The Regard Group. Despite the market being very tough at the moment, Regard is growing steadily across the country - both occupancy-wise and business-wise - due in no small part to the way we monitor and respond to regional demands.”
Regard Regional Director Kay Beacham is leading the team that is helping to ensure a smooth transition for the Adelphi services as they are incorporated into The Regard Group.
Tom Hartley, principal agent at Carterwood, said: “ All parties involved have worked extremely hard to achieve a successful completion of this acquisition and we are pleased to achieve a good outcome for all.”
Regard, has been named ‘Specialist Care Provider of the Year’ in the 2017 national awards of HealthInvestor magazine which recognise achievement in the business of healthcare by a huge range of organisations.
Judges were impressed by the quality of the care the Regard Group provides to clients - which was described as ‘the best care for adults with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems’
They said: “The Regard Group stood out in evidencing a step change in its approach to care, over and above comfort and safety. Through focusing on performance measurement it demonstrated its ability to bring meaningful change to the lives of its clients and in doing so has built an economically sustainable business model to support the financial pressures of commissioners.”
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “We are delighted to have been named as the winning ‘Specialist Care Provider’ in what the organisers have acknowledged as the most competitive year in the awards’ 11 year history.
“We should be especially proud of ourselves because we faced stiff competition from eight other companies in our category, and it’s great recognition of, and reward for, the hard work I know everyone at Regard has put in over the past year.
“We remain totally committed to keeping our entire service person-centred, and to be named by HealthInvestor as the top specialist care provider is a wonderful independent endorsement of the way Regard succeeds in combining the provision of excellent care with sound commercial business principles.”
Highlights from Regard’s winning entry included ambitious projects such as nationwide implementation of a pioneering method of data capture developed in-house; innovative training in positive behaviour support (now on a six-year national roll-out); Institute of Leadership Management accreditation for their internally-run ‘Managing People at Work’ programme; excellent client support exemplified by their benefits team; and meticulous quality control by the in-house audit team.
Regard was able to provide plenty of case study evidence to illustrate the success of these projects, as well as impressing the judges by setting quality control standards which exceed those demanded by the Care Quality Commission and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales.
Judges considered the headline achievements of all nominees over the past year. For Regard this included the opening and prompt occupation of 12 new services, the success of which was attributed to their careful monitoring of and targeted response to, relevant local authorities’ demands.
As a result, Regard now supports 1,016 individuals across the country – a new record for the care-provider - and has introduced 110 new beds in the last two years as a result of new service launches. A further 12 new openings are planned by mid-2018.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “Despite the market being very tough at the moment, Regard is growing steadily across the country - both occupancy-wise and business-wise – and it’s a very exciting time for us.
“We believe very strongly in ‘growing our own,’ by which I mean nurturing the special talents of our staff and investing in them to give them every opportunity to rise through the ranks.
“This award is the icing on the cake – we were so pleased by the positive feedback we received.”
The HealthInvestor Award follows a string of award successes for Regard, as well as them being awarded Investor in People’s gold standard. The IIP assessor identified the same strengths as the HealthInvestor judges, concluding: “It quickly became obvious that people continue to be focused on the notions of excellence and quality; they are fully committed and passionate about delivering the best possible outcomes for customers; patients, stakeholders and the organisation.”
First published in Care Talk, July 2017
We are delighted to announce the following winners of our quarterly Regard Awards:
Winners: Rhyme House Team, London and South East
Victoria Hodgson, who nominated Rhyme House, said: ‘Rhyme House has continued to go from strength to strength in the recent months. Becky De Rose, manager of the service, has worked with her team to consistently achieve the best for the people they support.
Rhyme House has had some challenges: whilst overcoming these, the team have continued to make the home a happy and positive place to be. The service has recently received its first green health and safety audit, something which was a great team effort and of which, everyone was very proud.
The team are always proactive and inventive in thinking of ways to improve the environment of the home. For example, they created a ‘chilled room’ for anyone who would like some quiet time. They have also changed the kitchen layout to ensure that everyone has their own storage and preparation space – all with the aim of improving skills and independence.
Every time I visit Rhyme House I am welcomed by a friendly member of staff or someone we support, they make me feel relaxed and happy to be there. It really is a person-led service – the team have taken the time to get to know each person and tailor the support to them.
I recently went to a BBQ arranged by the home in which peoples’ family and friends attended, the atmosphere was great and feedback from families was really positive; it was a pleasure to be there. I am very proud of the home that Rhyme House has become and the support that is given to those who live there.’
Living Our Values
Winner: Amyleigh Normanton, Acting Manager, Garthowen, Wales and North West
Amyleigh was nominated by Simon Moore who said:
‘Amyleigh has worked as a support worker at Cerrig Cornel since 2008 and was integral to the team building and teamwork that, after a period of uncertainty, led to consistent ‘green’ audits and won us our ‘Continuous Improvement’ award.
At Garthowen, Amyleigh has quickly made her mark, stepping up to Acting Manger despite having four hour commute to work and back. She has enthusiasm, determination and lives Regard’s values every day.
The team are all missing her at Cerrig Cornel, but all behind her in her task and looking forward to welcoming her back to help us celebrate our Golden Thread Award (something else which she played a huge part in).’
Orchard View Team London and South East Sam Collier
Winner: Lillian Kidd and the Domiciliary Care North West Team, Wales and North West region
Diane Carole nominated Lillian and her team due to their success with a new service: Canal View.
Diane said, ‘As soon as Lillian became the Project Lead the progress of the service moved at a pace, with staff quickly recruited and trained, policies and procedures implemented. Becky supported Lil to implement rotas and introduce the Canal View team to new systems.
Lil has a great eye for interior design and bought wonderful furniture and fittings throughout the house, whilst overseeing the final stages of the building work. With the ‘hands on’ help of her senior team the Open Day was organised for Friday 27th March and was a great success with many of the potential service users attending and picking their rooms on the day. Then, on Monday 20th March the first person moved in and Lil was there to ‘meet and greet’ and settle him into his new home. From there, with Lil’s drive for quality and strong leaderships skills more people were welcomed until it was full by the end of May. This is a great achievement, completed in an amazing timescale, with Lil and her team ensuring that safety and quality were a priority at every stage.’
Berkeley House Team London and South East Victoria Hodgson
Caeronnen Team Wales and North West Julie Davies
Sail Close Team East Helen Petitdemange
We are delighted to announce that, after judging, we are through to the final in five categories at the National Learning Disability Awards, an awards evening is being held in Birmingham on 14 July.
The National Learning Disabilities Awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to individuals and organisations who excel in providing quality care.
The Regard Group itself is up for ‘The Employer Award’, having satisfied judges that we are an ‘exceptional employer…committed to their employees delivering an excellent service to their customers, people with learning disabilities or people with autism and their families.’
The highly-coveted ‘People’s Award’ which celebrates individuals or organisations who offer exceptional encouragement and support ‘for individuals with learning disabilities and or autism in providing support services and or personal development and inclusion,’ has on its shortlist our OWL Town Farm Workshop in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, where 31 adults with learning disabilities collaborate on numerous projects, united in their pursuit of positive outcomes for themselves and the enterprise.
Service Manager Stephanie Duncan (Arrowe Hall, The Wirral) – is nominated for her ‘high level of expertise, exceptional skills in leadership and management, great support for colleagues and positive commitment to person-centred support’ - has beaten off strong competition to achieve inclusion in the shortlist for ‘The Manager Award.’
Meanwhile Rachel Turner (Gordon Avenue, Camberley) who was nominated because of her good humour, dedication, great team-working and the dignity and respect she affords to those she supports, has also been named as a finalist in her category: ‘Support Worker Award.’
And finally our specialist Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Service has been shortlisted for a new award which will recognise best practice in PBS, the overriding goal of which is to enhance quality of life for individuals and their support providers.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO, said: “It is so lovely when the hard work we all put in receives objective recognition like this from fellow care industry professionals.
“Just being included in so many shortlists makes us feel like winners already, but obviously we’re all hoping very much that at least some of these translate into outright winners when the results are announced on the awards evening.”
The Taylor Report, published this week, sets out that “all work in the UK economy should be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment” – hot on the heels of last month’s National Learning Disability Week which focused on raising awareness of the benefits of employing people with a learning disability.
Meanwhile Mencap, which organised NLD Week, claims that less than 6 per cent of people with a learning disability are in paid employment, despite many more wanting to, and being able to work.
But two sisters living at our Hedera House supported living service for people with learning disabilities in Snodland are celebrating working in paid employment.
Emma and Kirsty Dougan have jobs at Tuck by Truck in Aylesford, and at Spadeworks in Offham.
Tuck by Truck provides self-service snack trays for the workplace and Spadeworks produces garden centre plants, and fruit and vegetables that served in the café and sold in the farm shop.
Emma, works four days a week at Tuck by Truck – going out on delivery rounds one day a week and spends the rest of her time at the onsite packing unit.
Kirsty, has a job which involves digging, planting, woodwork and working in the charity’s canteen.
“Emma and Kirsty love going out to work each day,” Asha Wells, who leads the team at Hedera House. “They enjoy being part of the cut and thrust of a vibrant working environment.
“Interacting with people helps build their confidence and gives them independence and something to look forward to each day.
“They love being part of the community and making relationships and earning a wage means they can save up for things they want to buy.
“When we go into Maidstone we often bump into Emma and Kirsty’s work colleagues which gives them a lovely sense of community.
“Sadly, people with a learning disability are far less likely to have a job than the general population and we are delighted the pair have this wonderful opportunity.”
Tuck by Truck is run by MCCH that supports people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs across London and the South-East.
Spadework is a charity that provides life skills training and work experience for over 90 people with learning disabilities.
Hedera House is a supported living service for nine adults with a learning disability with round the clock support. Each individual is supported to live as independently as possible in all areas of their life.
For further information on Hedera House please visit the service page below.
Katie Collinswood, who has cerebral palsy was born in the Tywyn area has moved back to her roots and is celebrating making the successful transition from leaving home to leading an independent life, thanks to support from the team at Cerrig Cornel.
Katie moved to Cerrig Cornel in May 2013 from Buckinghamshire where she had moved with her mother a year ago.
Katie wanted to move back to be close to her grandmother and school friends, and Cerrig Cornel has been her first home away from home.
And now, four years after her return, Katie has been able to move out to be in her own flat, where she will continue to receive a package of support but will live independently.
Simon Moore, who leads the team at Cerrig Cornel, said: “Katie was very excited when she joined us at in 2013, and thoroughly enjoyed her first taste of freedom living with us.
“Ever since she moved in Katie has been has been an active participant in any activity that was on site.”
Her experiences, with staff support, have included swimming, visiting Alton Towers, Harry Potter World and Chester Zoo, ghost hunting, taking part in Aberdyfi Pantomime, attending pantomimes in Llandudno and Wolverhampton, weekly meals out with other service users and staff, shopping trips, bowling, and sole survivor church camp.
Katie is also an active participant in the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), with staff supporting her to win awards in competitions and to attend weekly lessons. She has raised money for RDA by completing a sponsored walk, and volunteers with Dyfi Donkeys whenever possible.
The staff at Cerrig Cornel have helped Katie develop her independent living skills so that now she can live in her own accommodation and, with some continued support, take an active part in community life.
Katie said: “I am really grateful for everything the team at Cerrig Cornel did to help me be able to live independently. Activities gave me more opportunities to access things in the community.”
The team at Cerrig Cornel was recently declared overall winner in Regard’s annual nationwide award scheme due to its ‘outstanding attitude to teamwork and consistently positive attitude’.
The service offers supported living to people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury in a converted 19th century Welsh farmstead, offering a range of separate households with modern interiors.
People who live at the service are involved in the day to day running of their home from deciding menus, shopping and cooking to laundry and gardening. There is currently a rare vacancy at the service, in a ground floor self-contained flat.
For further information visit: the service page below or for referrals call: 0800 840 0313.
Chertsey Road, our residential service in Richmond, is undergoing a makeover; we are currently in the process of building a new four bedroom bungalow on the grounds. It is being designed around the needs of the four ladies currently living at Chertsey Road as the current building is not going to be able to meet their longer-term needs. The new build will enable the ladies to continue living in a safe environment and lead independent lives with the support from the Chertsey Road team. They will also have the opportunity to personalise the bungalow and be involved in decorating and choosing colours/furniture for their new bedrooms as part of the building process.
Once the bungalow has been completed, the main house at Chertsey will then be redeveloped into a supported living service, which will allow us to offer further support to individuals who wish to lead independent lives.
Check back here for future updates and pictures as the project progresses;
Latest news as of 31st August - Work is mainly now focused on the inside of the building with the installation of kitchen cabinets, white wash and en-suite bathrooms. The ladies moving into the building have all chosen their own colours for their feature wall in their bedrooms. The next stage will be to focus on the lounge and dining room areas.
Latest news as of 26th July – The external fence around the building has gone up. The focus will now be on the internal fittings and painting.
Latest news as of 12th July – All internal plastering has finished. Electric, cables and pluming have all been fitted inside the building. The installation of the solar panels has also begun.
Latest news as of 26th June – As of today, the roof is almost complete. The next steps will be for the windows to go in, the building will then be boarded up and insulated ready for plastering.
Latest news as of 7th June; Exciting news! Brickwork has now begun on the site.
Latest news as of 15th May; Day 1 of the project; cleaning and preparations for the site begin with the foundations going in. Please click through the pictures above to view the progress of the project.
Our services are embracing the start of summer with a new competition: ‘Bloom and Win’.
Every service has been given a packet of sunflower seeds and their teams are racing to see who can grow the tallest ones. Later in the summer we are holding a competition across Regard to win a prize for the best photograph – we’ve already seen evidence of many green fingers with sunflowers reaching a metre high in a very short time.
At our OWL service, Town Farm Workshop in Dorset the people we support have really got into the groove – making colourful paper sunflowers and wonderful art – look out Van Gogh!
Watch this space to see giant sunflowers coming soon.
We’ve had a great year holding many fundraising events to help raise money for our 2016/17 charity MIND. We raised a total of £3500 with The Regard Group matching this to make a grand total of £7000.
Many of our services, staff and the people we support got into the spirit by holding fundraising events throughout the year which included; mud races, coffee/cake mornings, BBQs, a Rock ‘n’ Roll themed party, sponsored bike rides, Scrabble competitions and much more (you can read more about these events by visiting www.regard.co.uk/success-stories).
This year, YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity committed to supporting children and young adults have been voted as our charity of the year for 2017/18.
Money raised throughout the year will go towards funding YoungMinds vital work to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Over 2,000 of our staff were given the opportunity to vote for our charity this year with YoungMinds coming out on top.
We look forward to another year full of fun events to help raise money for this amazing charity and the work they do. To find out more about YoungMinds you can visit their website; www.youngminds.org.uk
Following on from the success of last year’s event some of our services are opening up their doors, once again, for national Care Home Open Day 2017.
Care Home Open Day’s emphasis is on the importance of connecting with local communities to develop lasting relationships. We value the relationships we have with the communities near to our services very highly and would welcome the opportunity to show you around and introduce you to some of the wonderful people that we support.
Please see the list of services holding events, if you would like to come and meet us please email the service directly.
Llwyngwian Fawr, Gwynedd (Tuesday 13th June) LlwyngwianFawr@regard.co.uk
Whitehatch, Horley, (Wednesday 14th June) Whitehatch@regard.co.uk
Portland Street, Kings Lynn (Thursday 15th June) PortlandStreet@regard.co.uk
OWL Town Farm Workshop, Sixpenny (Friday 16th June) TFWCranborne@regard.co.uk
Garthowen, Ceredigion (Friday 16th June) Garthowen@regard.co.uk
Fleetwood House, Littlehampton (Friday 16th June) Fleetwood.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cerrig Camu, Gwynedd (Friday 16th June) CerrigCamu@regard.co.uk
Starboard House, Woolston (Friday 16th June) Starboard@regard.co.uk
Inglewood House, Camberley (Friday 16th June) Inglewood@regard.co.uk
Cloverdale House, Hove (Friday 16th June) Cloverdale.House@regard.co.uk
Faerdre, Ceredigion (Friday 16th June) Faerdre@regard.co.uk
Uplands House, Gwent (Sunday 18th June) Uplands@regard.co.uk
Woodlands, Cornwall (Monday 19th June) Woodlands@regard.co.uk
Kingsdown House, Strood (Friday 23rd June) Kingsdown.House@regard.co.uk
Bay Lodge, Holbech (Friday 23rd June) Bay.Lodge@regard.co.uk
Beech Trees, Woking (Saturday 1st July) Beech.Trees@regard.co.uk
Beudygwyn Farm, Amlwch (Thursday 15th June) Beudygwyn@regard.co.uk
Arundel House, Frinton-On-Sea (Saturday 29th July) Arundel.House@regard.co.uk
Ivers House, Marnhull (Saturday 5th August) Ivers.email@example.com
Homeleigh, Crumpsall (Date TBC) Homeleigh@regard.co.uk
The Regard Group has been named ‘Specialist Care Provider of the Year’ in the 2017 national awards of HealthInvestor magazine which recognise achievement in the business of healthcare by a huge range of organisations, ranging from financial and property advisers, to clinical services and technology providers.
The judges said: “The Regard Group made great strides in 2016, under the leadership of its charismatic CEO, which saw circa 10% organic growth, and an extended new service pipeline, notwithstanding marshalling a high profile merger consolidation, and receiving independent recognition for enhancing its quality assurance programs.
“The Regard Group stood out in evidencing a step change in its approach to care, over and above comfort and safety. Through focusing on performance measurement it demonstrated its ability to bring meaningful change to the lives of its clients and in doing so has built an economically sustainable business model to support the financial pressures of commissioners.”
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “We are delighted to have been named as the winning ‘Specialist Care Provider’ in what the organisers have acknowledged as the most competitive year in the awards’ 11 year history.
“We should be especially proud of ourselves because we faced stiff competition from eight other companies in our category, and it’s great recognition of, and reward for, the hard work I know everyone at Regard has put in over the past year.
“To be named by HealthInvestor as the top specialist care provider is a wonderful independent endorsement of the way Regard succeeds in combining the provision of excellent care with sound commercial business principles.”
Judges considered deals that all nominees had been involved in during the past year. For Regard this included the opening and prompt occupation of 12 new services, the success of which was attributed to their careful monitoring of and targeted response to, relevant local authorities’ demands.
Regard now supports 1,016 individuals across the country – a new record for the care-provider - and has introduced 110 new beds in the last two years as a result of new service launches. A further 12 new openings are planned by mid-2018.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, who was included in HealthInvestor’s Power Fifty List in 2016, said:
“Despite the market being very tough at the moment, Regard is growing steadily across the country - both occupancy-wise and business-wise – and it’s a very exciting time for us.
“This award is the icing on the cake – we were so pleased by the positive feedback we received.”
Judges said they were impressed by the way the Regard Group’s investment team demonstrated innovation and excellence in the deals they worked on over the past year, and in the quality of the care the organisation provides to clients, which was described as ‘the best care for adults with learning or physical disabilities or mental health problems’.
Highlights from Regard’s winning entry included ambitious projects such as nationwide implementation of a pioneering method of data capture developed in-house; innovative training in positive behaviour support (now on a six-year national roll-out); Institute of Leadership Management accreditation tor their internally-run ‘Managing People at Work’ programme; excellent client support exemplified by their benefits team; and meticulous quality control by the in-house audit team.
Our Cerrig Cornel service in North West Wales is celebrating after being declared overall winner in our annual award scheme due to its ‘outstanding attitude to teamwork and the team’s consistently positive attitude’.
The Regard Group’s quarterly in-house awards scheme is topped off every summer with its ‘Golden Thread’ award celebrating the staff team that best works together to achieve the organisation’s vision and mission.
The inspiration for this top award came from a quote in the report which helped earn Regard its Investors in People ‘Gold’ status in 2015: ‘There is a golden thread leading from the strategy to each service and department.’
In winning the award the team at Cerrig Cornel has faced off stiff competition from Regard’s 148 other services nationwide, and earned organisation-wide recognition of its outstanding teamwork and drive for continuous improvement.
Cerrig Cornel, which is based in Llanegryn, near Tywyn and provides 24-hour support for people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical impairment, is headed by service manager Simon Moore.
“Simon and his team provide an exceptional standard of care for the people they support,” said Regard’s chief executive officer Sandie Foxall-Smith.
“We have received consistently positive feedback in writing from family members of the people that are supported by the service to say how happy their relatives are at Cerrig Cornel.
“We have also received praise from Gwynedd Council’s care team on Simon’s ‘respectful and considerate’ approach ‘towards clients and staff alike’ and his ‘lovely team of staff’.”
Julie Davies, locality manager for Regard in Wales and the North West, praised the service for its positive attitude.
“The team are constantly offering encouragement – suggesting ways in which they can improve life for the individuals who live there,” said Julie.
“The communication between staff is second to none and they are all extremely competent and dedicated.
“Each individual staff member consistently promotes a ‘can do’ attitude enabling service users to achieve many things they initially thought impossible.
“As a team they have redecorated the property’s barn area, and taken the initiative to source a pool table and sofas to make it a comfortable happy place for people to go.”
To mark their success Simon and his team were given a trophy, along with a ‘Golden Thread’ award certificate at a special party for staff and the people they suppport.
Cerrig Cornel, which occupies a traditional 19th century Welsh farmstead, has been converted to provide a range of separate households with modern interiors.
The service is located in a rural setting which offers peace and tranquillity, and has stunning views of the Dysynni Valley.
The team at our Crystal House service in Bromley are supporting four individuals who live there to make sure their voices are heard at the upcoming general election.
Crystal House is home to young people who are in transition from residential college, foster care or the family home.
Senior support worker Diane Liston says the service has made sure the group are all registered to vote on June 8.
“The election is providing us with a great opportunity to demonstrate to people with learning difficulties and mental health needs that they have a voice,” said Diane.
“Usually those who find decision-making difficult are in that position because they have never been given the opportunity.
“Within Regard we challenge that every day, enabling people to move along a pathway where they can make ever more decisions for themselves.”
Just like the rest of the electorate, the individuals who live at Crystal House are receiving numerous leaflets through the door from the various political parties, and looking at what they all have to say.
Diane said: “The people who live here like watching the news together, and sitting around the dinner table in a group talking about what’s going on in the world.
“We try to prompt discussions all the time. Our task is then to support them to make decisions for themselves.
“Having the ability to vote is a fundamental right in a democracy and every person has the same power as the next person to affect the result.”
According to Diane the ‘hot issues’ among the group are the lack of litter bins on Penge High Street, a more reliable public transport service and fixing uneven pavements.
Crystal House, run by Regard, the UK’s fourth largest care provider, aims to support people the people who live there to develop their independence.
Statistics released by Mencap show that only a third of people with learning disabilities vote.
An individual we support has been managing severe anxiety levels is now making ‘great progress’ after moving to one of our residential services in Sittingbourne.
Lamar Romans-Smith, a young man on the autistic spectrum, left the family home in July to live at Rhyme House in Chaucer Road which supports people with learning disabilities.
Ten months on Lamar enjoys going out and living alongside his house mates, and his key worker, Chelsea Bosley, supports him to manage his anxiety using a planner which is organised by Lamar himself to arrange his day.
“Lamar has his own magnetic photographs which staff support him to choose to stick on his planner according to what he is going to do that day,” said Chelsea.
“He typically fills in the planner after breakfast, and then again after lunch. Being able to visualise the day ahead of him has drastically reduced Lamar’s anxiety levels.
“Because he now feels more secure, he is much more flexible and able to handle any changes to his routine more easily.”
Chelsea says Lamar, who moved to the service from London, is now less rigid and better able to concentrate.
He enjoys a variety of activities in the community, including weekly swims and going to Gravity Trampolining Park in Maidstone.
“Lamar’s family are delighted by how well is doing and can’t believe how much he has settled and developed,” added Chelsea.
“Rhyme House staff support him to do the weekly house shop, and occasionally he cooks for everyone. He is a very capable all-rounder, and is making such great progress. We are all really proud of him.”
Lamar’s mother Pamela, said: “This is amazing to me because Lamar could never accept changes. Since his diagnosis in early childhood any change would cause a huge explosion in his behaviour.
“I’m so glad I decided to put my trust in all the brilliant hard working staff at Rhyme House, and with all their expertise in autism I believe that Lamar will continue to make progress.”
Rhyme House provides accommodation for up to 10 young people, aged between 18 and 28, and includes a self-contained flat.
The service provides 24-hour background core support, including a sleep-in night member of staff and background staff during the day.
Rhyme House currently has a vacancy for a large first floor room with shared bathroom. For further information contact Theresa Cook on 07812 072043 or visit the service page below.
Martin has spent most of his adult life living in care services and hospitals across the country is now leading an independent life in the community in rural Lincolnshire.
He has a number of physical and mental health needs, but is now being supported to live in his own self-contained one-bedroom bungalow.
Locality manager for Lincolnshire, Katrina Greff said: “Martin is quite a character. When he first came here he said he was so happy that every day was like Christmas Day.
“He loves to go out and about seeing the sights, and visiting the seaside at Skegness and Great Yarmouth. He is a real ‘people person’ and is the life and soul wherever he goes.
“For someone who has spent most of his life in care units, to see him settled in his own home, living his own life, and making his own decisions is inspiring.
“Since moving into his own home, Martin has been on holiday, had barbecues and parties at his flat..
“It may all seem like simple things to most people, but they are so important to Martin, and are things he was unable to do before.”
Martin has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a mild learning disability, complex needs and is fed directly into his stomach through a special ‘peg’ device.
Over the past year, the team have focussed on developing Martin’s independent living skills, which include managing his own medication, washing his clothes and keeping his home clean and tidy.
Kat Greff said: “Although he is unable to eat food himself, he adores baking for other people or having a barbecue. He absolutely delights in preparing things for people to enjoy.”
For further information on similar vacancies in the area please email Helen Petitdemange at: Helen.Petitdemange@regard.co.uk or call her on: 07944 105428.
Paul’s determination to achieve his personal development goals, backed by staff from West Street where he lives, is yielding great results.
Paul is a huge football fan, so staff at West Street have used that as a motivator in identifying which skills needed working on to give Paul access to new opportunities and greater independence.
Gemma Watson, who leads the team, said: “Since October last year when Paul joined us, we have been supporting him to learn to interact better with other people, and develop his independent living skills.
“With support, he decided he’d like to enrol for some activities at Facet College in March, and he now thoroughly enjoys going there every week to play footie and take part in art classes.”
Paul - a devoted Manchester United fan – has become the star goal-keeper for Facet Football Team, and regularly accompanies them to participate in tournaments in Cambridge.
And at his weekly art classes, Paul has had a great time making a papier-maché model of Man United’s stadium, Old Trafford (pictured).
Paul’s keyworker Anne-Marie O’Sullivan said: “Both these things have given Paul an enormous sense of achievement, as well as an opportunity to socialise and meet new people.
“Before he joined us he used to find interacting with others very challenging, but with the right support he has come on in leaps and bounds.”
To help Paul get started, staff took him to have a look at the college and find out about the different activities that might suit him, as well as supporting him with travel training. He continues to receive high levels of support but this is enabling him to develop his skills further.
West Street, has recently been completely redeveloped and refurbished to offer self-contained accommodation in three two-bedroom flats and a one-bedroom flat. There are currently vacancies in each of the three two-bedroom flats.
Gemma and her team support the people who live at West Street to attend adult education courses like Paul, as well as to find supported employment and take part in other meaningful daytime activities to help them develop and maintain new skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
The house is located close to Wisbech town centre and all local amenities, allowing the people who live there to take an active part in community life. Details are available from Helen Petitdemange on 07944 105 428, or visit the service page below.
Paul, who is making the slow recovery back from a brain injury following a fall in 2007, is holding his second one-man show at a community centre in Gillingham.
Paul has decided to hold another auction after the huge success of last time, which raised £400 for Headway.
Paul will auction his paintings at the Sunlight Centre in Richmond Road at 1.30 pm on Wednesday 10th May, with money raised to be donated to the head injuries charity Headway.
Paul, who lives at our Livingstone Road supported living service likes to create still-life portraits of everyday objects.
“People who have had a brain injury like me, I just want to say to them that there is a chance they can get better like I have,” he said.
Livingstone Road service manager, Heather Jupp said Paul had only taken up art in recent years and it was now playing an important role in his life.
“Painting enables him to relax and put any day to day concerns from his mind and helps him concentrate and focus,” said Heather.
“The staff at Livingstone Road have seen a real difference in him as a result and we are all so thrilled for him.
The auction will also include refreshments.
Livingstone Road supports adults with Acquired Brain Injury and varying degrees of cognitive, physical, behavioural and emotional difficulties.
It has nine single rooms over three floors with a communal kitchen, lounge and dining room and a garden.
For further information visit: www.regard.co.uk or for referrals call: 0800 840 0313.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, chief executive of The Regard Group, tells Care Markets what she thinks the key to good leadership is, the difficulties faced by small-scale operators, and why she is not afraid to put on a pair of rubber gloves and get stuck into cleaning a toilet.
How did you come to work in social care?
I’ve worked in health care for 20 years but fell into social care when I was head-hunted for this job by a blue chip company which knew I did a lot of charitable work.
I’ve always done charitable work, both in this sector and with the homeless, and I’m a past ‘Prince of Wales Ambassador’ for the homeless.
Learning disabilities care is fabulous and I love it. Every day is rewarding, and every day is different. We have 1,100 clients to look after, so no two people, personalities or behaviour are the same. Our work is very challenging, but very fulfilling. I am lucky because I have some fantastic staff and we’ve achieved a huge amount in the nearly five years I’ve been at the helm.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing your business at the moment?
There isn’t enough joined-up writing between health care and social care. We get challenged on our fees like everyone else, and we are not seeing the precept figures coming through to us from the Government even though we tell them our wages, food and utilities bills have all increased.
I can understand why this happens - they need to stretch their budget as far as possible, but any reduction in our income means an economy has to be made somewhere. So that might mean some of the vulnerable people we support can no longer go swimming every week, or we have to withdraw another activity they enjoy - because we have to cut our cloth according to our means.
However these kind of interesting and enjoyable activities add value to their lives, and they so look forward to them. When you start cutting back on the things they enjoy, their behaviour changes and that is not good either.
The biggest struggle is going to be the social care budget. Our homes are just that – homes. They are not big care homes or institutions, and running a home with just five people can be very expensive.
A big challenge for the sector will be that the smaller companies will go out of business, and there will be a reduction in available beds. Then we really are going to be stuck.
The demographics in our business are changing significantly too. It used to be that people came to us for care or they stayed with mum and dad. But mum and dad are ageing, and are less able to care for their adult children as they used to.
And our demographics are changing, too. One of our clients who, sadly, passed away recently was 96 years old. That was almost unheard of in learning disabilities years ago, because people with learning disabilities often had other medical conditions which meant a shorter-than-average life expectancy. But advances in medical care mean that is no longer true.
So now, not only have they got learning disabilities, they are elderly as well.
Last year, you were named Leader of the Year by Investors in People. What is the most important quality to being a good leader?
Yes, winning was a bit of a shock. I wasn’t paying attention when the award was announced and I didn’t even hear my name mentioned. My staff all screamed and had to give me a nudge in the direction of the stage.
In our line of work you have to genuinely care about what you do. You live and breathe the sort of care we deliver. My job isn’t about driving a fancy car or playing golf every week while my staff are left to do all the work. I care passionately about what I do, and I remain hands-on.
So yes, I will spend three hours on the road driving to a care home in the middle of nowhere just to make sure I’m happy with it.
And I strongly believe in leading by example. If your employees see you actively engaged all day, every day, it is amazing how that filters down and what cohesion it inspires among your work-force.
I don’t mind cleaning a toilet. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again if I need to. Why wouldn’t you just get a pair of rubber gloves and get on with it if necessary? The staff think that’s wonderful.
You can inspire that level of commitment in your staff and expect them to reciprocate if they know you’re prepared to get stuck in yourself.
The way we deliver care is changing, moving increasingly to delivery in home situations and coaching of vulnerable clients in the life skills they need. That might mean teaching them how to catch a bus into town, or to spend wisely the £5 a day they have to go shopping.
Our aim is to ensure everybody’s life is fulfilled so when, as a boss, you encourage people to pursue that goal, and train them to do it, and bang the drum about it all the time, that helps make you a good leader.
What Makes Regard different to others?
We ensure all our homes are real homes. Everyone has choice and if they want a purple room they can have one because it’s their home. It’s those sorts of things that make a difference.
Regard trains everybody whether they are a carer, cleaner or client. We give them as many skills as possible to enable them to have the best life they can. And that is a culture that IIP (Investors in People) recognises and that we live and breathe by.
I even write birthday cards to all my managers and then everyone sees that’s how it should be. Everybody in the organisation gets a birthday present, and we look after them.
What is The Regard Group’s strategy when it comes to growing its residential care estate?
We agree with supported living and not just residential care. Clients have keys to their own bedrooms and to the front door. They often have tenancy agreements so it feels like their own home.
Can you imagine how satisfying it is for a parent of a less-abled child to see them with a set of keys to their own home? That it is amazing.
What barriers/challenges do specialist care providers, who typically have smaller homes than care home providers for older people, face when it comes to opening new homes?
It is finances again. When buying small homes you are competing with ordinary residential buyers. We can’t afford to buy any more homes in Twickenham, Richmond or Surrey because it is so expensive.
Renovation of re-purposed properties costs a lot too, and I think that will be a barrier moving forward.
I’d expect some small businesses to disappear because of the new living wage which – by the way—I entirely support. If you are not big enough to weather the storm and then suddenly your staffing bill goes up by 8%, that’s a massive pressure.
I also think Brexit will cause problems for the sector. Some areas have virtually no unemployment so if you open a care home there, who will want to work for a living wage?
About 15% of my staff don’t come from the UK, so it also has implications for how the sector will access new staff.
How do you incorporate the preferences of your service users into this process?
We do this in a lot of different ways.
They are heavily involved in their care plan, whether that is going for walks, swimming, making papier-mâché or going on holiday.
There’s menu-choosing, where they voice their preferences about a curry or a tapas night.
If we are interviewing for staff, a lot of the clients become involved in the hiring. If we can involve them, we will.
Everyone has their own personal development plan to illustrate what they might want to be able to do. That could be to go on a bus, a train, go to Paris or Disneyland.
These are their aspirations and we take all this into consideration and plan it with them.
We treat them like one of us. It is sometimes other people who treat those with learning disabilities differently.
After merging with ACH last year, what have been the challenges and benefits of bringing the two organisations together?
We were on the road permanently for a month meeting every single member of staff, because we believe that if you can touch and feel the new company that employs you it makes a massive difference.
We set up focus groups to look at both companies’ care plans and we picked the best from both. We wanted them to get fully involved, and that was really good.
The ACH staff have seen some benefits in their terms and conditions, and now receive bank holiday pay.
They have seen some positives in how we treat the clients, and ACH used to be all residential but now they have also adopted the supported living model.
If you could change one thing in the care sector what would it be?
For people with learning disabilities to be accepted just like everybody else is.
They have just as much right to funding as everybody else and I don’t see why we have to fight so hard to get it. But fight I will - for every penny and every vote they are entitled to. Our specially set-up benefits team achieves great results in this respect.
People with learning disabilities should not be the poor relations. They should have a certain standard of life just like everybody else.
Article first published in Care Markets April 2017
Rachel Fuller’s life has just taken a turn for the better since she’s been reunited with long-standing family friends.
Rachel, who has learning difficulties and complex health needs, lives at one of our residential homes in Strood.
Andy Jupp, who manages Kingsdown House, said: “Rachel is so happy that we’ve managed to support her to re-establish contact with her friends.
“It took some detective work by us to track the couple down. They were a big part of Rachel’s early life and it means a lot to her that they have started meeting up again.
“We’ve seen a much smilier Rachel over the last six weeks. She says she values these friends as much as she would a biological family. She’s been on trips to the cinema with them, and out for a Chinese meal, and she loves having the chance to play with their two young sons.”
The recent reunion is just a part of the support strategy Andy and his team at Kingsdown House have brought into play to improve Rachel’s quality of life.
She has been supported to attend Mid Kent College in Rochester where she did an Independent Living Course which, among other things, has enabled her to start cooking for herself – as well as preparing the occasional ‘house’ lunch – and to take responsibility for her personal care.
Pottery classes, also at Mid Kent College, are a continuing passion, and Andy said she has produced some genuinely beautiful pieces including, recently, a glazed dish and a convincing model cow.
Rachel said: “I love my pottery sessions and the friends I’ve made there. We talk on the phone between classes, and we all enjoy being creative at college.”
Andy Jupp said: “Her friends are really important to Rachel, which is why we were so happy when we rediscovered her special family friends.
“She’s also a very capable young woman and we’re working hard to give her a chance to develop her skills. Recently she worked with us to decorate her bedroom and she’s really thrilled with the results. The ownership of projects like this is so important to Rachel and the other individuals we support.”
A big music fan, Rachel recently went with her senior support worker Natasha Boyle to one of the Olly Murs concerts at the O2 Arena.
“It was amazing,” she said.
For Andy Jupp, Rachel’s expressions of happiness are a reward in itself.
“Our job is to ensure the people we support live the best lives they can,” he said. “We know we’re delivering the kind of service we set out to when the people we support feedback that they’re loving life.”
When it comes to recruiting new staff, we are always championing the on-going involvement of the people we support in the decision-making process.
We invite the individual(s) to sit in on face to face job interviews for staff vacancies as part of a process to identify the best candidate for the role.
Along with care users, the service puts together a set of questions and illustrations as pointers as to the kind of questions they might want to ask.
At Beudygwyn Farm residential service near Anglesey, Brian Williams, who has an Acquired Brain Injury, played a role in recruiting a new support worker.
Service manager, Gwenda Potter, said: “Brian is really keen on exercise, especially weights and boxing, and asked the interviewee what she thought about going to the gym and swimming.
“She told him she was very interested in healthy eating and all forms of exercise and that keeping fit played a huge part in her own life.
“She said she would be keen on taking the individuals who live here to special swimming sessions for people with disabilities, which obviously went down a treat!
“She was a big hit with Brian and the other people who live at the service and I’m delighted to say got the job and starts with us shortly.”
Meanwhile, at Ambleside residential service in Redhill, Surrey, support worker Steven Calleja proved a winner with house members because of his passion for football.
“When we interviewed Steven, a couple of care users showed him around the property as part of the interview process,” said service manager, Rebecca Cretten.
“It soon became evident that he was a massive football fan and they all struck a chord with each other immediately and there was a lot of banter.
“The lads here all support different teams – Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Chelsea – and Steven supports Newcastle United so it makes for some lively conversations.”
Angela Hurrell, who lives at the Caeronnen supported living service in Llangrannog in Ceredigion, has enjoyed playing an active part in the recruitment of support workers.
“Before the interview, we talked with Angela about some of the questions she might want to ask and to identify what was important for her,” said Katie Owen, who leads the team at Caeronnen.
“She joined the interview for about half an hour. She spent a lot of the time listening to what Stacey has to say and then had an informal chat with her.
“For Angela, it is important that we recruit someone whom she feels comfortable around and whether she thinks they will get on with her.
“Angela is semi-paralysed and needs support to dress and to shower herself, so it is vital that she feels staff understand the issues she faces.
“We all need to feel we have control over our lives; so having a say as to who supports you on a daily basis plays an important part in that.”
Angela also asked questions on behalf of fellow housemates at Caeronnen who have disabilities but lack the capacity to be involved in the recruitment process.
There are currently vacancies at Beudygwyn Farm, Ambleside and Caeronnen. For further information contact the referrals hotline on 0800 840 0313 or visit the service pages below.
Donjeta, from our Rosebank Lodge residential care service in Mitcham, is a young woman with learning difficulties who is enjoying a happier lifestyle thanks to support from her sister and a specialist behaviour psychologist who teamed up to help her be better understood.
Donjeta Kaliquani, who is non-verbal, was displaying behavioural challenges so her sister Fitore Kaliquani and behavioural expert Francesca Gerald worked closely with her and the support team at Rosebank Lodge to turn things around.
After about six months of dedicated efforts, Donjeta is now calmer and settling down well in her new home.
Deputy service manager Victoria Rosiji believes the key to success has been their close co-operation with Fitore, who lives in nearby Croydon.
Victoria said: “Fitore was able to give us vital information about the best way to respond to Donjeta when she becomes agitated.
“She told us how her sister likes someone to sing to her when she is anxious, and to draw her pictures in the form of a social story to help her understand her emotions.
“She also explained how Donjeta loves it when someone reads to her, and we found this can really help calm her down if she is feeling agitated.”
The team at Rosebank Lodge have also put together ‘communication cards’ which Donjeta points to if there is something she would like to do, such as going into the sensory room or looking at a book.
Added Victoria: “This means she can ask us to read to her or for us to get her sister on the phone so she can hear her voice. It may seem small but it makes a huge difference.
“She is now much more involved in the running of the house and learning new skills such as drawing up menus, grocery shopping, and getting involved with preparing the evening meal.
Victoria’s team were coached by Francesca Gerald from our Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) service in how to promote proactive and supportive management of Donjeta’s behaviours, using the model ‘Proact-scipr-UK’ which underpins all our PBS work.
Mother-of-one Fitore, said she was delighted that Donjeta had settled down to life at Rosebank Lodge.
“Because of her learning disability and being non-verbal my sister often feels frustrated and agitated when she can’t express her needs.
“Working closely with support staff at Rosebank to help them understand how to communicate her needs is making a big difference.
“She is really beginning to enjoy life now and I feel confident that our coming together as a ‘team’ has really made a huge difference to Donjeta’s life.”
Rosebank is a residential home supporting young adults with learning disabilities who may also have associated complex behavioural needs, epilepsy and or autism.
Our PBS training is available for all 149 services nationwide and focuses on exploring what the impetus might be for different expressions of a person’s behaviour, then by using continual and reflective practice they adapt their approaches to suit the person and deliver their best possible quality of life. For further information see www.regard.co.uk/pbss-page
A big congratulations to our final quarterly award winners of the year. We will be announcing our annual winners later this month, along with the winner of our Golden Thread award.
Winners: Faerdre Team, Wales and North West
Hannah Lumby nominated her team saying, ‘I feel that they excel in the support they provided the service users within the home. Faerdre is a homely environment with a laid back approach – which can be felt as soon as you step through the door. The service users have control in the running of their home and this is always promoted by the staff. We remember that the people we support do not live in our work place, we work in their home. Faerdre has a very person-centred way of working, staff always promote the choices that individuals make and in turn this enables them to gain independence in all aspects of their lives and have complete control in all decision making. My team know it is important to connect with the service users who sometimes think very differently to them. The staff are caring, patient people who enjoy helping others, showing great empathy; they are sensitive to needs of the people that they support and never push their own views and opinions.
As the manager of Faerdre I feel that this award would help show appreciation to the staff team. It would give them the job satisfaction that they deserve and to help them to know they are valued no matter how tough and long days are. The staff team are the heart of Faerdre, and I for one will always honour their hard work and commitments. I feel privileged to be part of an amazing team of people that have such an important and significant daily role in the lives of others.‘
The East Team – East
HR Team, Kingston Office - Kingston Office
Ravenscroft Team - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Winner: Lauren Linnell, Support Worker, Manor Barn, Wales and North West
Lauren was nominated Andy Bentley for her positive attitude, caring nature and her swift development from new starter to DRP. Andy said, ‘Since Lauren joined Regard in April 2016 she has excelled herself and always faces the daily tasks within the service with a smile, ensuring the service users are at the heart of all she does. Lauren has been a constant source of support, has led shifts, organised allocations, reviewed PDOs and care plans and helped bring structure to the service.
Lauren’s attitude is one of positivity and determination and her empowerment of the service users and direction in leading the staff team has been fluent and consistent. She is also a constant source of new ideas with which to improve the service we provide and also ways in which to develop herself.’
Ambleside Lodge Team - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Kelly Prosser, Service Manager, Domcare South Wales - Wales and North West
Kingsdown Team - Kent and East Sussex
Tolworth Team - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Living Our Values
Winners: Oak Lodge and Hillview Teams, Kent and East Sussex
Caroline Robins nominated the Oak Lodge and Hillview teams saying, ‘I am nominating two teams – Oak Lodge and Hill View to share the award as they are on the same site and usually share the same manager.
Since October 2016, they have been without a manager on a day to day basis to support them and guide them. However, the services have continued to uphold high standards, keeping the needs and wishes of the people they support as their top priority. Rather than becoming weaker, the teams have become stronger because they have joined forces to work together and support each other. They work harmoniously overall and describe themselves as all being a cog that turns a wheel to make sure that things run smoothly.
The staff are always looking for new activities for people to enjoy. One support worker even grew his beard over Christmas, to become Santa for the day, which gave everyone great enjoyment.
After a recent review chaired by one of the seniors, the care manager came and found me and commented that the service was the best that she had seen it and that it looked lovely and homely, people were comfortable in their environment. She also noticed that one person’s behaviours had significantly decreased as she seemed more settled. This is an absolute credit to the team there.
The team believe in high standards and when they had a quality audit, they wanted to get those actions closed as soon as possible and worked to achieve this. They deserve this award for their continued compassionate care, hardworking attitude and commitment to high standards’
The Lodge Team - South West & Dorset
Gordon Avenue Team - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Clare Searle, Senior Support Worker, Harwich House - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Sail Close Team – East
Sam Long, Service Manager, Springfield House - Kent and East Sussex
Deborah Harper, Support Worker, Waverley Avenue - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Aleksandra Sukpe, Deputy Manager, Whitehatch - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
Ali Bear Brady, Administrator, Wren Park - London, Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire
The team at Canal View, our new supported living service in Rochdale, recently welcomed many families and social workers to the newly refurbished service.
The event was attended by young people looking for supported living accommodation, the majority of whom were accompanied by their care managers and families. Local representatives from commissioners and learning disability teams from Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Salford and Cheshire East also attended. Diane Carole, Regard’s customer relationship manager, who talked them said. ‘People were impressed with the property, Regard’s ethos and staff team as well as taking comfort from the size of the organisation and the support services it provides.’
Many of the people who attended commented how homely Canal View feels and some of the young people even chose their rooms and asked how soon they could move in!
Anthony attended the open day and was shown around the various bedrooms. He loved them all and said he would be more than happy with any of the available rooms. He moved in on Monday 27th March and settled in immediately.
Michael came and said he loved the house and chose a large double bedroom with en-suite then sat with staff and enjoyed some of the buffet. His placement has since been confirmed, but staff are undertaking specialist Epilepsy training before he can move in.
Rachel chose the bedroom with the largest built in wardrobes saying, ‘I’ve got a lot of clothes!’
Everyone enjoyed a tour of the service which will support adults with learning difficulties, autism and/or mental health needs, who would benefit from living in their own space. All individuals will benefit from a bespoke care package to suit their needs, plus background support. The local team are experienced in managing complex and challenging behaviours.
Lillian Kidd service manager for Canal View was overwhelmed with how lovely the service looked and how well the open day was attended. She said she felt ‘very proud and quite emotional’ at the end of a long and busy day.
The Canal View team worked hard to finalise care packages as quickly as possible after the event and the first person moved in the following Monday. The service is expected to be full by the end of April.
For further information please click the link below or call Diane Carole on 07984 736457.
Two friends from Cornwall are celebrating leaving residential care to live in the community.
Jon Barnes and Sharon Murley both left Highdowns near Camborne – where they have lived for nine years and 10 years respectively – to move to a village near Redruth.
The pair now live at Meadow View, a new supported living service run by care provider Regard, and are already active members of the local community.
Jon and Sharon, who both have Asperger’s Syndrome, were supported to take their first steps towards independence by the care team at Highdowns.
Initially, the friends lived in the main house at Highdowns before eventually moving into self-contained cottages in the grounds of the 10 acre farm.
Said Highdowns deputy manager, Colin Jull: “It was really important for them to learn life skills in order to ease the transition into independent living.
“These included things like cleaning, shopping for groceries, preparing and cooking meals and learning how to manage a budget.
“Being involved in the running of a house meant learning new skills and helped give them confidence and a sense of fulfilment.
“It all takes time, but we knew they were both capable of independent living and that it was a question of supporting them until they felt they were ready.”
Jon and Sharon moved into Meadow View service in November.
The property, which has 24-hour staffing, is made up of two self-contained flats, plus a main house with six en-suite bedrooms and large communal areas.
It provides homes for people with autism, moderate to severe learning disabilities and complex needs, moving from residential care, family home or educational establishments.
Jon now has a job at his local Tesco in Pool which involves working on stock rotation and unpacking deliveries and also attends a day centre in Stithians.
Meanwhile Sharon works at the Kernow Animal Welfare shop in Camborne and also attends the Crackermac activity centre.
Leah Bone, Regard Domcare manager South West, said: “We are delighted to see Jon and Sharon settling in so well and enjoying life.
“We aim to work with the people who live at our services to encourage the development of life skills and support them to integrate within the wider community.”
Highdowns is around two miles from Camborne with views over St Ives Bay, and has a barn which provides communal recreation opportunities for people who live on the properties on site.
The service supports individuals with learning disabilities, mental health issues and other concurrent complex needs.
There is currently a vacancy at the Highdowns service. For further information contact service manager Jenna Betts on 01209 832261 or email: Highdowns@regard.co.uk. Alternatively you can visit the service page below.
Over a third of our 149 services across England and Wales are planning local fundraisers for Purple Day (Sunday 26 March) in aid of Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading epilepsy organisation, with some of them already ahead of the action.
This year sees the ninth celebration of Purple Day, an international annual theme day aimed at dispelling the myths surrounding epilepsy and raising awareness in a positive manner.
Members of Regard’s OWL Town Farm Workshop in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, raised nearly £70 through a variety of fun craft-based activities.
Workshop manager, Helen Ritson, said: “Lots of people tried their hand at hula hoop weaving and added some purple fabric to our still-to-be-completed community collage.
“We decorated cakes with purple icing - then scoffed them, obviously!
“It was great to see everyone in their purple clothes, faces were painted and - most importantly - we raised money for a great cause and had lots of fun at the same time.”
OWL Town Farm Workshop provides craft, drama, IT, photography sessions and literary classes for 36 people with learning disabilities, and sells their products at craft markets and festivals across the country. OWL stands for Outcomes With Learning.
Meanwhile in Dyffryn Ardudwy, North Wales, the people who live at Regard’s Llwyngwian Fawr service organised a sheep race, starring Wilma and Daisy, two sheep who first arrived at the service as ‘rescued lambs’ in 2015 and have been firm favourites with the people who live there ever since.
Service users and staff raised £12 betting on the sheep, who were adorned with purple ribbons. Daisy was the winner.
Regard’s CEO Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “A significant number of the people with learning disability and mental health issues we support nationwide have epilepsy as an additional health challenge, so we welcome the opportunity to contribute to awareness-raising and fundraising for Epilepsy Action.
“There are purple tea parties with face-painting and themed food at a many of our services, and even a purple talent show. Wherever possible the events are being run with the involvement of the local community, because community involvement is so important to the people we support.
“We recognise that the social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on a person’s overall psychological well-being, so we try to ensure that everyone we support has the opportunity to be involved in charity fundraising like this.
“Our final tally for funds raised is still awaited – many of the activities aren’t taking place until next week.”
Phillip Lee, chief executive of Epilepsy Action, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people nationwide turning their world purple to raise funds for Epilepsy Action. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of people like this.”
Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK and 87 people are diagnosed with the condition every day.
Carers are supporting Heather who is battling severe anxiety to access her local community.
Heather Breen, who has a learning disability and is on the autistic spectrum, moved to Latymer House care service in Redhill last April.
Latymer manager, Martin McGibbon, said: “When Heather came to us she was very anxious about leaving the house and experiencing new things.
“I am delighted to say 10 months on she is really beginning to find her feet and now takes part in two sessions a week at Bletchingley Activity Centre.”
Due to her disabilities Heather finds any changes of routine can result in her experiencing feelings of extreme anxiety.
Heather attends the centre, which is run by Surrey Choices, where she enjoys ‘self-image’ sessions, where she learns about hair and make-up, and an art and crafts class.
To support Heather, staff showed her photographs of Bletchingley, based in Stychens Lane, and practiced making the journey there and back on foot and by taxi.
Heather receives one-to-one support on her visits to the centre.
Added Martin: “One of Heather’s support workers works shifts there which meant that she would see a familiar face when she went to her classes.
“First of all she attended a few taster sessions to see what she would like to do and once she gained sufficient confidence, she chose which classes she wanted to do.
“I’m delighted to say her confidence levels are continuing to improve and we are absolutely thrilled she is making such great progress.”
Anne Shiels, Surrey Choices area operations manager, said that Heather was taking everything in her stride and making great progress.
“She joins in with the rest of the group and enjoys getting involved in conversations and having a laugh with her fellow classmates.
“She was very quiet when she first came here and kept herself to herself but little by little she is gaining self-belief. We have seen a marvellous improvement in her.”
In addition to her visits to Bletchingley, Heather also attends a local Zumba class with her family.
Latymer House currently has one vacancy in a ground floor room. The house is very close to the town centre and all local amenities. Details are available from Rod Brizzell on 07885 998240 or the service page below.
Bletchingley works with people who have learning disabilities and complex needs and supports them to enjoy classes including arts and crafts, exercise and independent cooking and living skills.
People with learning difficulties and complex health needs living in our Arundel House residential service in Frinton-on-Sea are looking forward to enjoying a fragrant new sensory garden in the grounds of their home this summer, thanks to a gift from the family of a former house-mate.
Delia Nassim was so impressed with the support and care her brother William Glasgow (pictured far left) received from the team at Arundel House in the 18 months he lived there before passing away last December, that, on behalf of his family, she has promised to fund the development of a sensory garden in the grounds of the home for the enjoyment of the other people they support.
Mrs Nassim said: “William was really well looked after by Pat Ward and her team, and we wanted to show our appreciation for the care he received at Arundel House in a way that would be of lasting benefit to everyone there.
“Several of the residents had been his companions and friends for many years, along with a number of the professionals who cared for him, and we would like to think that the planned garden will be a fitting and happy way for them and everybody at Arundel House to remember William.
“He lived at Arundel for nearly 18 months, but before then had spent a whole decade being supported by Regard which runs the service. He had a variety of complex health needs which they met admirably, and I always felt the staff made great efforts to find ways to enable him to live life to the full.”
Pat Ward, who manages Arundel House, said: “We all miss William very much and were so sad to lose him before Christmas.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team who did a fantastic job, coping with some very complicated health issues and always ensuring that he received the very best care possible.
“When William’s sister said that the family wanted to fund the development of a sensory garden as a way of saying ‘thank you’ we were all delighted.
“It will be a lovely way to remember William, and the people who live with us will really enjoy spending time outside in a tranquil space which caters for their specific needs.”
Staff are hoping that work on the new garden will be able to begin when the weather improves in the spring, so that it will be ready for the people who live at Arundel House to start to enjoy in the summer.
Pat Ward said: “Some of our residents would enjoy the opportunity to be involved in the planting of the new garden, and with ongoing maintenance, so this is another welcome aspect of the new garden.”
Most of those who live at Arundel House have enduring health needs, including some with the early onset dementia often associated with a learning disability.
However Pat and her team are passionate about supporting their service users to live life to the full, and they regularly support them on outings to local drop-in centres, day services, libraries and the pub, as well as lunches out and coffee mornings.
Meanwhile at home everyone is encouraged to be involved in the way Arundel House is run, through weekly menu-planning meetings, monthly residents’ meetings and involvement in regular health and safety committee meetings.
Arundel House accommodates 10 people in a large detached house with two dining rooms, a large lounge, a visitors’ room and a fully enclosed garden.
There are currently two vacancies at the service, both in en-suite bedrooms, accessible via a recently-installed lift.
Families and external professionals can learn more about the vacancies by contacting Helen Petitdemange on 07944 105 428 or visiting the service page below.
Regard attends the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) periodic examination in Westminster
Regard’s Head of Behaviour Support, James Kiamtia-Cooper, is attending a series of events hosted by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) as the UK begins its first periodic examination of the UNCRPD. Conducted by the UN Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the examination will consider the UK’s progress towards full implementation of the Convention.
At the first gathering members and stakeholders raised a number of priority issues and amendments to be taken back by UK Equality and Human Rights Commission to UN in Geneva. These included:
James Kiamtia-Cooper’s particular emphasis for comment (which was noted for review) underlined the seemingly commonplace use of restraint, seclusion and medication in secure health and care settings. In addition, James discussed the conventions obligation to focus upon proactive approaches in care which maximise the quality of life for the individuals who live in all care settings. This is in line with the core values of PBS and The Regard Group.
Additionally, it is crucial for the UNCRDP to consider how it will outline the prerequisite for regular review, to monitor use of medication and restraint (Article 15), in preference of less restrictive approaches such as positive behavioural support strategies. Indeed, a clear message for the need for evidential ‘restraint reduction process’ and how the mechanisms for ensuring the mismanagement of people with disabilities, concerning sedation or restraint is not lost under the convention. The Office for disability issues welcomes stakeholder involvement.
James Kiamtia-Cooper noted, “Days such as these area real pleasure to be involved in, particularly the debate and discussion that surrounds the event. It is important that The Regard Group continue to provide stakeholder involvement and input on issue that relation to national policy for people with disabilities.”
James will be attending further Westminster meetings which are scheduled for April and September.
With the awards now in their 11th year, HealthInvestor has acknowledged 2017 as the most competitive entry process yet.
The awards recognise achievement in the business of healthcare by a huge range of organisations, ranging from financial and property advisers, to clinical services and technology providers.
Regard, who has been named as a finalist in the category ‘Specialist Care Provider Of The Year,’ is the country’s fourth biggest private provider of care homes and supported living services.
Founded in 1994, the organisation employs over 2,200 direct care staff to support more than 1,100 service users with learning disabilities, mental health needs or acquired brain injuries at over 148 services nationwide. AC
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “These awards provide an independent endorsement of the quality of the service we deliver and we’re delighted to have been selected as finalists, in the face of some very stiff competition.
“It’s important to us because these awards recognise that we are not only an excellent care-provider, but also a sound commercial business.
“Our guiding principle is that everything we do should come together to ensure we are continuously enabling the people we support and care for to lead more fulfilled lives, at the same time providing a rewarding working environment for our employees, within a business structure which is well-managed and prudently financed.
Regard is currently experiencing a period of growth, having opened 13 new services in 2016, with another three due to open during the first three months of 2017. These are all supported living services in response to demand from local authorities in different parts of the country.
Regard will join the other finalists to discover whether they are winners in their category at HealthInvestor’s prestigious annual awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 1 June 2017.
If you think old, unloved wooden chairs and coffee tables are only good for the tip, think again.
Thanks to a group who attend Whiz Kidz in Pennycross, Plymouth, they are now being transformed into the latest, must-have ‘shabby chic’ furniture.
The items are being upcycled by Kay Morgan, Leon Gough and Sandra Fuller (pictured) who live at our Victoria and Grenville House residential service in Victoria Terrace, in St Jude’s.
The trio all have weekly sessions at the activity centre where they restore and paint the pieces or cover them in decoupage.
The furniture is then sold to locally or via online sales sites. The group also make bird boxes.
Said Victoria and Grenville manager, Donna West: “They all really love coming to Whiz Kidz. It is the highlight of their week and they really look forward to it.
“They enjoy transforming something that has apparently out-lived its usefulness into something that is desirable and pleasing to the eye.
“Coming to the centre also means they get to learn how to use tools, develop new skills and improve their hand eye coordination.”
As well as developing their artistic abilities, an important element of Whiz Kidz is enabling group participants to engage with the local community on outings to buy or collect resources for projects, and to enjoy chatting with people who visit during group sessions.
In the summer they visit places of interest where, again, they are able to mix and interact with other visitors.
Staff from Victoria and Grenville House support the group to attend the activity centre – accompanying them to Pennycross and being on hand if they are needed.
Alan Jones, who runs Whiz Kidz with his partner Sue, said: “It is amazing to see their skills improve week by week. It is great to watch their self-confidence and concentration levels grow.
“Coming into a work setting and working alongside each other as co-workers also makes them feel they are part of a team, united in completing a common task.
“In addition, the environmental benefits of upcycling are really important – minimising the volume of discarded materials being sent to landfill and also reducing the need for new or raw materials.”
Whiz Kidz, set up six years ago by Alan and Sue, offers a range of programmes for young people, holiday clubs all with an educational theme, and job clubs and careers guidance for the unemployed.
Victoria and Grenville House supports adults who are vulnerable and have a learning disability, mental health issues, challenging behaviour and autistic spectrum disorder.
The service which occupies two Victorian terraced properties supports individuals to access community facilities including swimming, sport activities and Adult Education colleges.
For further information about Victoria and Grenville House, contact Guy Page on 07773 746 614 or visit the service page below.
Further information about Whiz Kidz, contact Sue or Alan on 01752 560 360 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When people say they could eat ‘anything’ they don’t normally mean it, but staff at Sheringham House know only too well that literally anything will be viewed as fair game by one of the autistic men they support.
Christopher, who has lived at Sheringham House since it opened in 2007, is non-verbal and has a disorder called Pica, which means he likes to eat non-food items. Although rare among the general population, Pica is one of the most common eating disorders in individuals with autism.
Christopher’s key worker, Amanda, said: “There is nothing Christopher wouldn’t consider eating, and staff have to monitor him constantly and always be on their guard.
“Naturally we take precautions to minimise the risk of Christopher eating something inappropriate, but I find the best approach is to be constantly alert to behavioural signals which indicate he’s about to eat something he shouldn’t, and be ready with an appropriate diversion.”
Amanda’s success in monitoring Christopher’s behaviour since she started working at Sheringham House in April has made it possible for him to go on regular outings and take part in activities which were previously considered too risky.
Amanda said: “A big part of the solution is to make sure that whenever we go out we’ve got a suitable supply of distractions with us, in case we encounter something that might trigger Christopher.
“He loves vending machines, but I’ll offer him a healthy snack instead of a bag of crisps and this usually works.
“He also really loves Coca Cola, but drinking too much of that wouldn’t be good. However if we allow him to hold a small bottle of Coke when he goes out, that keeps him very happy.”
When Amanda first started working with Christopher she found he needed a great deal of encouragement to go out, but with her support he now regularly enjoys outings to places like the Rare Breeds Centre in Ashford - where he especially enjoys petting the rabbits – Cyclopark in Gravesend, and trips to the pub.
Every Friday Amanda takes Christopher swimming in the pool at Shenstone School in Bexleyheath, where he used to be a pupil and where his mother is employed as an administrative assistant.
He recently travelled by train for the first time, an experience Amanda said he clearly enjoyed so long as he could sit with his back to the engine. Plans are now underway to organise a trip to London, and possibly a holiday later in the year.
Amanda said: “Perhaps the highlight of the last year was the birthday party we organised to celebrate him turning 30, with a bouncy castle, a visiting ‘petting zoo’ and party food decorated with varieties of edible ‘buttons’ because Christopher’s nickname is Button.”
She confesses to the occasional mishap, such as on a recent visit to a garden centre café when Christopher managed to sneak a large bite out of a whole coffee cake on the café counter.
“We had to buy the entire cake,” she said, “but on the up-side the other individuals who live at Sheringham House didn’t seem to mind sharing it with him when we got home.”
Amanda’s manager, Mark, said: “The progress Christopher has made since Amanda has been supporting him has been remarkable, and we’re so pleased to have her on the team.
“We all feel strongly that the people we support should have the same opportunities to go out and enjoy themselves as everyone else, so we develop bespoke care plans for each of them which enables them to live their lives to the full.”
There is currently a first-floor en-suite room available at the service, which can accommodate up to ten adults with learning disability, mental health and autism, and is staffed by a team experienced in managing complex and challenging behaviours.
Families interested in further details should contact Theresa Cook on 07812 072043 or visit the service page below.
With schools, businesses and charities nationwide holding events to mark ‘Time to Talk Day’ (9 February), the annual awareness day to get people talking about mental health, Hannah who lives at our Tarvin Road service is helping promote that understanding by sharing her own story.
One in four people will face a mental health problem at some point in their life and since it launched three years ago the Time To Talk campaign has sparked millions of conversations.
Hannah Williams, now aged 20 said: “My childhood wasn’t the best, and due to difficulties at home I moved out when I was only sixteen.
“I started off staying at my friend’s house for a week, and then I was taken into care homes and supported living up to the age of 17.
“While I was in the care system I went off the rails and started drinking heavily and self-harming, and I became suicidal. This meant I got detained under the Mental Health Act and spent time in a variety of secure settings which were horrible - I never want to do that again.
“When I got discharged off my section, my care coordinator offered me a variety of flats and supported living settings and I chose Tarvin Road near Chester.
“I feel like I hit the jackpot moving here, I’m really happy to have my own tenancy agreement as I have never had one before and it gives me security, stability, and my own home instead of a hospital. I’d be lost if I left here.
“The staff are very supportive and very caring and generous, they help me as much as I need help, and they’re always there if I need to talk and will always listen to me and help me.
“They also give me time and space when I want it, and encourage me to continue with my hobby, which is dancing. I have won two trophies and a medal for dance and really enjoy it.
“I now look back at the past but I don’t stare at it too long, then it doesn’t affect me. I feel free now to be me.”
Victoria Ramage, who leads the team at Tarvin, said: ”Hannah was the very first tenant to move into Tarvin, which is a newly-opened supported living service for adults with learning difficulties, mental health needs, Asperger’s or autism, including additional complex needs.
“She’s settled in so well, and it’s great to see how her self-confidence and self-esteem is blossoming.”
Regard, the organisation behind Tarvin, provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, and cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,200 across 148 locations throughout the UK.
Just one vacancy now remains at the service, and Tarvin has been so positively received by local care managers that Regard is already exploring the possibility of developing further services of the same kind in the area in the near future.
Each of Tarvin’s three bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, and there is also a self-contained first-floor flat and two ground-floor flats - one of which is wheelchair-accessible - a number of large internal communal areas, and spacious grounds.
The staff team focuses on promoting independence, supporting individuals to find employment opportunities and providing background support for those who can be more independent. They are experienced in managing complex and challenging behaviours.
Anyone interested in further details should contact Diane Carole on 07984 736 457.
For Joseph Osoba and his team at our supported living service in Penge, while it tugs at the heart-strings to say ‘goodbye’ to the individuals they support when they move out and start living independently, it is also a time for celebration.
“They all have learning disabilities and associated mental health issues, and they come to us for support in learning the skills that will enable them to live on their own, so when they’re ready to move on, it means we’ve done our job,’ Joseph said, “but it’s always hard to see them go.”
The latest success story from Joseph’s service, Crystal House, is Harrison, who lived at the service for just over a year.
Joseph said: “Harrison has learning difficulties and epilepsy, and is partially-sighted. He needed support to become self-sufficient with medication, as well as with other aspects of looking after himself.”
Travelling to and from college to study computing was one of the first things Joseph’s team helped Harrison to manage independently.
“At the beginning one of us would go on public transport with him, then we shadowed him until we were confident he was ‘travel-trained’ and able to make the journey safely on his own,” said Joseph.
Once the Crystal House staff and Harrison’s social services liaison officer were satisfied he was ready to ‘fly solo,’ they sorted an outreach package for him which enabled him to move out into his own flat, within walking distance of the home of a much-loved sister.
Joseph Osoba, said: “Now three of the other people who live with us are celebrating personal achievements, so it’s a very happy start to 2017 at Crystal House.”
For Lucille, who arrived in July 2014 straight from her family home, the move was ‘a big thing.’ Since her arrival she has attended Bromley College and Croydon College to study cookery, step-up to work, maths, English and daily living skills. She currently spends one day a week studying and two days doing work experience at a Shelter charity shop.
House-mate, Gavin, has been doing voluntary work at various charity shops locally. He was recently supported to get a certified copy of his birth certificate and obtain a passport, in the hopes of foreign travel at some point in the future.
In November, Rebecca, was delighted to receive an award from the Mayor of Croydon for her outstanding achievement in college during the past year. Rebecca came to the service in September and currently attends Croydon Adult Learning and Training College where her activities include rambling, creative computers, advanced cookery, dance, healthy living, and developing independence. With staff support she also attends a sporting activity organised by the Royal London Society for Blind People two Saturdays every month at Crystal Palace.
Rebecca said: “I feel really good living at Crystal House. The staff help me with my college work - they are very good to me and the other tenants. Our last holiday to Blackpool was great - my lovely keyworker and other support workers ensured we had the best of times.”
Joseph Osoba said: “We have a great team and feel privileged to support some wonderful people, so we’re keen to share news of their achievements with their community.”
To mark Crystal House’s third anniversary of operation in 2017, staff and service users are planning a house party in May, to which they will be inviting families, friends and social workers as well as people who live at other Regard services.
The seven bedroom property provides a home for people aged between 18 and 28.
There is currently one first floor en-suite room available at Crystal House, which is located close to local shops and amenities in Penge and has good transport links to places further afield.
Further information is available from Rod Brizzell on 07885 998 240 or visit the service page below.
Llŷr Joyner, from Gwynedd in Mid Wales is celebrating landing his ‘dream job’ at a local supermarket.
Llŷr, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was taken on as a volunteer by the Co-Op in Tywyn, and now works three shifts a week.
He lives at Cerrig Cornel care service in Llanegryn which provides support for people with learning disabilities, including autism, mental health, alcohol and substance misuse issues and acquired brain injuries.
Cerrig Cornel service manager Simon Moore said Llŷr was as ‘pleased as punch’ about his new job at the Old Station Yard store.
“Because of his Asperger’s Syndrome Llŷr doesn’t like change, so the whole process has been quite challenging, but I’m pleased to say he’s taking it all in his stride.
“Llŷr was measured up for his uniform and is delighted that he really looks the part. He is thrilled to be working as an active member of the community.
“He is very well liked at the Co-Op and they are all very proud of him, and he is also proud of his own recent achievements.”
Llŷr’s responsibilities include stocking shelves, fresh and frozen goods, collecting trolleys, ensuring baskets are in the right place, unpacking deliveries and taking them to the store room.
Added Simon: “Depending on how things go in the future, we hope he will eventually be able to help people with their bag-packing.”
In his spare time Llŷr loves to travel and enjoys all forms of transport. He regularly takes the train to see his family who live in Aberystwyth.
Cerrig Cornel is set up as a ‘younger adult’ service and employs the active model of support, ensuring each individual has access to outcome-based activities. Cerrig Cornel has an on-site activities co-ordinator, so each person will have an individual profile of activities and opportunities.
The service would be suitable for anyone coming through transition or moving on from residential care for the first time. The aim is to support individuals to achieve their goals; achieved by delivering a high quality service based on active support and outcome based activities.
For further information on Cerrig Cornel visit the service page below or call Julie Davies on 07885 998254.
Anne Marie, who has learning difficulties, moved into a Willesden residential home as an emergency placement just before Christmas 2015, she is looking forward to a New Year which sees her with better prospects than she’s ever had before, according to her social worker.
The team responsible for the turnaround in Anne Marie Cox’s life works at the Wrottesley Road service, where she lives with other people with learning disability and mental health needs.
Anne Marie’s social worker, Nuchjaree Fisher, said: “I am pleased to hear that Anne Marie has managed to achieve so much since she started her placement at Wrottesley Road. The staff are very supportive, proactive and creative, hence it shows in her progress.
“This is the most successful placement that Anne Marie has ever had. She is happier and more stable - the best I have seen since I started working with her.”
A key player in this success story is service manager Paul Emile, who Anne Marie refers to as her personal financial advisor because of the way he is helping her learn to budget and pay off her debts.
Paul said: “Understanding how to make informed financial choices is a really critical step in Anne Marie’s increasing independence, and she now understands how to stay solvent, which is a great break-through.”
“She is a very sociable person who enjoys every chance she gets to go out and about in the community, and wouldn’t dream of missing a session at any of her Mencap clubs, including regular keep fit sessions, conversation groups, church activities and volunteering.”
For the New Year Anne Marie is balancing the prospect of a hairdressing course against a jewellery-making course or a social care course, and is also hoping to be able to pursue art, drama or singing and music activities.
Paul Emile said: “We’re supporting her to explore the various options and choose the best one for her.
“The reason we achieve the results we do is because we believe in doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.
“Our aim is to support all the people who live with us to live their lives to the full and make the most of the opportunities available to them.
“In Anne Marie’s case, this includes being supported to make regular visits to Slough to meet up with her boyfriend and friends from the service where she lived previously, all of whom are still very important to her.”
People who live at Wrottesley Road are involved in all aspects of their support, from the recruitment of staff through to day-to-day matters. Staff appreciate how important this responsibility is to the people they support and how it reflects their desire to make a genuine contribution.
Wrottesley Road is a shared house which has space for six service users, with access to a lounge, kitchen/dining area and individual bedrooms.
There is currently one first floor front-facing room available in the six-bed house, which is located in a pleasant residential area of Willesden.
Paul Emile said: “Ours is a happy, warm, welcoming place to live, located in a good area with access to a great range of amenities, including the shops at Shepherds Bush’s Westfield centre, and close enough to the heart of London to allow us to take people there for day trips or mini-breaks.”
Further information is available from Paul Emile on 0208 838 3048 or visit the service page below.
We are delighted to announced the appointment of Carole Edmond as the new managing director for The Regard Group,
Her arrival coincides with a period of significant growth at Regard. Having opened 13 new services over the past year, we have another three due to open during the first three months of 2017.
Regard’s CEO, Sandie Foxall-Smith, said: “We are delighted to have Carole join us at what is shaping up to be a very exciting time for Regard.
“Her experience will add breadth and depth to the business, not least in relation to the acquisition opportunities we continue to explore.”
Carole Edmond said: “I’m really impressed with the ethos, passion and purpose that Sandie and her team demonstrate for delivering high-quality services for adults with learning disabilities.
“The organisation has a great culture which is so important in a deeply people-based business.
“I’m very excited to become part of Regard’s senior team, and am looking forward to being part of an organisation which really lives its values and makes a difference every day.”
Carole comes to Regard after almost two decades in the childcare sector. After spearheading research for Bupa into the childcare market, Carole developed Bupa Childcare from a start-up position to become a top 10 operator within three years. After its spin off to Bright Horizons in 2009 she led Bright Horizons to become the leading nursery operator in the B2B and B2C markets in the U.K. and Ireland.
During her time with Bright Horizons, Carole’s focus on safety, quality and learning outcomes saw the business improve its regulatory performance and develop award-winning services, gaining sector recognition and increased customer satisfaction, and leading to several successful mergers and acquisitions.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “It is clear that during a time of significant growth at Bright Horizons, having Carole at the helm created a culture of inspiring leadership at all levels and high employee engagement.”
During this period the organisation was the first childcare company to be awarded the nationally recognised Education Investor Education Business of the Year in 2013, and it rose to seventh place on the ‘Great place to Work’ list in 2015.
Carole left Bright Horizons in 2015 to complete her doctoral studies. In the last year she has set up her own company working as an industry expert providing consultancy services to investors in the UK and internationally, as well as undertaking public speaking on the findings from her doctoral research on ‘female attainment’.
The merits of our staff development programme have been recognised by inclusion in the 2017 ‘Accolades’ shortlist by Skills For Care, the strategic body for workforce development in adult social care in England and Wales.
As the UK’s fourth biggest private provider of supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries; Regard are now through to the final three in the category of ‘Best Employer Support For Registered Managers.’
This award recognises organisations which can demonstrate their commitment to providing excellent support to their registered managers, and Regard earned its place in the shortlist by proving how the support it provides is effective, responsive and robust, and how it benefits other staff.
Regard CEO Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “We also had to provide evidence of how we champion the role of the registered manager and show a commitment to the provision of on-going support.
“We are delighted to receive such public recognition because we strongly believe in ‘growing our own’ when it comes to registered managers.
“While we do sometimes recruit in managers for our services, we have a well-established, proven career path with lots of in-house support which enables people to work their way up the ladder from front-line staff to senior management.
“Our development programme really works, and it’s very gratifying to receive this endorsement from such a well-respected source.”
The Regard Group provides a three-tiered management development programme supporting front-line staff to develop their careers from its ‘Aspirational Leaders’ course, aimed at junior management, to ‘Managing People at Work’ and ‘Inspirational Leaders’ for senior management.
These programmes combine face-to-face training with self-directed study. Delegates develop confidence and self-awareness in managing a team, knowledge and skills in motivating and supporting people at work, and a deeper understanding of their role and responsibilities, and are endorsed by the Regard’s board of directors, members of which assess delegates’ final business presentations.
Regard is also committed to providing Positive Behaviour Training in the form of PROACT-SCIPr-UK training for staff with the support of a sizable Positive Behaviour Support team. The effectiveness of one of Regard’s trainers was recognised last year with a Gold Award in the ‘Care Trainer’ category of the Great British Care Awards.
Skills for Care, whose remit is to create a better-led, more skilled and valued adult social care workforce in England and Wales, has been running its annual Accolades scheme since 2003. The awards seek to recognise the achievements of organisations committed to boosting the skills and knowledge of the growing adult social care workforce.
The organisers say the 2017 Accolades finalists shortlist is ‘an eclectic mix’ of employers, training providers, local authorities and individual employers who have all demonstrated an innovative approach to developing learning and development opportunities for the 1.5m strong adult social care workforce in England.
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “Adult social care needs to be much more confident about celebrating the excellence in service provision that happens day in and night out. All the Accolades finalists are outstanding examples of how we can make sure highly motivated care and support workers can develop their skills and knowledge which leads to high quality care and support for people in our communities.
“It is also a chance in the continuing tough financial environment for us to share knowledge of how we can find, retain and train people with the right values to meet increasing demand for care and support so everyone who needs it can access truly person centred care.”
The awards ceremony will take place in Birmingham on Thursday 10th March 2017.
Congratulations to the following team and individuals who have won this quarter’s internal awards. They will receive a framed certificate, pin badge and a £50 voucher (£100 for teams).
Winners: The Pipwell Manor Team, East Region
The Pipwell Manor team were nominated by Viv Collin who said, “Pipwell Manor is the Phoenix in Regard. It has only been open since February 2015 but the team have overcome many challenges. This is entirely due to the hard work and dedication of Ashley and his team of staff. Today Pipwell has ‘green’ audits and a strong team who have the determination to succeed. The staff work tirelessly to cover shifts themselves to keep consistency for the people we support. They actively engage with the individuals and bring laughter into the house.”
Crescent Road - Wales and North West
Cerrig Cornel - Wales and North West
Operations Team (Evette Townley and Lindsey Cooke) - Wales and North West
Kingston Office - Kingston
Rhyme House - Kent and East Sussex
Whitehatch - London, Surrey & Hampshire
Winner: Sheila Lawrence, Support Worker, Whitehatch; London, Surrey and Hampshire
Sheila was nominated by Jane Burse who said, “Sheila started with Regard in January 2016. She has gone from strength to strength over recent months and has embraced the ‘shift leading’ role, working hard to ensure a shift runs smoothly. Sheila is passionate about healthy eating and has used her experience of working in a school kitchen to produce recipes using fresh ingredients and “cooking from scratch”. The individuals we support are really enjoying the new menu ideas which support their weight management and well-being. Sheila has a positive attitude and is really working hard in her role. She loves to learn and is willing to try new things.”
The Homeleigh Team - Wales and North West
Living Our Values
Winner: Trevor Wilcox, Service Manager, Cloverdale, Kent and East Sussex
Theresa Cook nominated Trevor, saying “In October I arranged to meet with Sue, from Chailey Heritage Foundation and a young man that she wanted to find support for. The visit was the first visit for the young man to any provider. When he arrived he was very nervous but Trevor got down onto his knees on the young man’s level. He found out what he liked and bantered with him on his level. To see this young man using his communication aides as well as laughing and relaxing by the end of his visit was amazing. Most of all to see the smile on the young man’s face and hearing the feedback from Sue after the visit made me so proud to be part of a company that really cares. “
Heather Jupp - Livingstone Road Kent and East Sussex
The Tolworth Team - London, Surrey and Hampshire
A young man with learning disabilities from Worthing has fulfilled the dream of a lifetime and taken to the skies on board a helicopter.
James, who is on the autistic spectrum, and who has a passion for all things aeronautical, made the pleasure flight from Goodwood airfield.
Coneyhurst Lodge, where James currently resides, is a residential service in St Lawrence Avenue, he was accompanied by his key worker Aimée.
The pair enjoyed a thrilling 30-minute flight along the Hampshire and West Sussex coastline on board the G-Sunn helicopter.
“James really loves aeroplanes and helicopters and was delighted when he got the chance for a flight from Goodwood,” said Aimée.
“It was a big thing for him but he coped brilliantly and took the whole thing in his stride.
“He was a little apprehensive to begin with but once we were airborne and looking down over the sea and the countryside below he was entranced.”
James has lived at Coneyhurst Lodge since he was 18 and attends Chichester College.
His mum Jane, a Skills for Life manager at Bexhill College, said she was delighted her son was able to have the experience.
She said: “He looked a bit scared at one or two points but when he came back he was so proud at what he had managed to achieve.
“He couldn’t have done it without Aimée. She talked him through the whole thing and was there with him throughout the flight for support.
“James has always loved flying and has been to places like Spain, Portugal and Tenerife on a plane, but this was the first time he’s been on a helicopter.”
Coneyhurst Lodge is a 10-bed service that cares for adults with autism, health and physical health needs such as epilepsy.
The Coneyhurst Lodge staff team focus on promoting independence, opportunities and empowerment within a safe structured environment.
The service currently has a vacancy for a first floor en-suite room with lift access and is wheelchair accessible and another due on the ground floor.
For families interested in knowing more, details are available from Theresa Cook on 07812 072043 or the service page below.
Our Kneller Road residential service in Twickenham, which supports adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues, has just celebrated its 20th anniversary by holding a party for the people who live there, as well as staff, family members and friends from neighbouring services.
Guests of honour were deputy manager Bruno Verdosci, and two of the people who live at the service - all three of whom have been at Kneller Road, since it opened in 1996.
Bruno said: “I have stayed working here all that time because I love my job. Knowing that you are making a positive difference in people’s lives makes this job so rewarding, and Kneller Road has always been a well-run service and a great place to work.”
Previously Bruno had worked at the old Normansfield Hospital, transferring to Kneller Road when Normansfield closed.
Service manager, Andrea Cully, said: “Bruno is a highly valued member of our team. He has such a lovely way with him when supporting the people who live with us and they love him.”
Kneller Road is a small residential service, currently long-term home to five individuals with complex needs and high levels of vulnerability.
Andrea Cully said: “Although the people who live with us are all non-verbal, we can tell from their behaviour that they are relaxed and enjoy the stability provided by our staff team.
“A lot of things have changed in the care sector over the past two decades – mainly in respect of regulation and accountability, which is all to the good.
“Regard was founded in 1994 and now cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,100 people working at 147 locations throughout the UK, so we’ve seen a great many changes.
“We’re recognised as innovators in the care sector, having pioneered some notable improvements such as Regard’s Personal Daily Organisers – now in operation in our services nationwide – which enable us to respond to people’s changing needs and provide crucial evidence to our funding bodies.”
An example of the way Regard caters for the changing needs of its service users can be seen in Kneller Road’s response to the increasingly complicated care requirements of one of the people who live there.
Andrea Cully explains: “Foundations are now in for a new property which is being built at the rear of Kneller Road in response to the changing health needs of one of our service users.
“The new accommodation will mean they will be able to remain living at the service which has been their stable home for as long as possible.”
This reorganisation will result in a vacancy at the service early in the New Year, details of which are available from Andrea on 0208 898 5431 or see the service page below.
It will also mean that there are new employment opportunities available for support workers at the service, both full-time and part-time.
Andrea Cully said she’d be interested to hear from people who have the desire to really make a difference to the lives of others.
Andrea said: “You couldn’t describe what we do as ‘easy’ but it can be incredibly rewarding. Care offers interesting and challenging opportunities, and attracts people from a variety of backgrounds. The most important characteristic of a good carer is having genuine passion for what they do.”
A Christmas party for a group of local people with learning difficulties and mental health problems went with a real swing at Teynham Village Hall near Sittingbourne in Kent yesterday.
The festive get-together was arranged by the team at Berkeley House, a Regard residential home, and was attended by over 115 service users, staff, neighbours, family, and friends from eight of Regard’s nearby services, who enjoyed a Christmas disco with lots of their favourite seasonal songs and a festive buffet. Some of the highlights were a visit from Santa, who came bearing gifts, and the judging of a ‘design-and-make-your-own’ cracker competition, which everyone involved really enjoyed.
Alison Fraser, service manager for Berkeley House said: “Among our guests were some non-verbal individuals, who raised their thumbs and smiled to show how much they were enjoying themselves, while others - including some physically disabled people – told us what a great party they thought it was.
“We put a lot of effort into organising an event that everyone would enjoy, and my team and I were delighted that everyone had such a good time.”
Service users at the party came from Regard services located in Lynsted, Hythe, Sittingbourne, Herne Bay, Chilham, Bobbing and Rochester.
For families interested in knowing more, details are available from Theresa Cook on 07812 072043 or on the service page below.
A man with learning difficulties has been celebrating the achievement of a personal milestone with family and friends at a specialist training centre in the Dorset village of Sixpenny Handley.
Not only has Andrew Michael-Phillips earned the National Open College Network (NOCN) entry level 3 certificate in ‘Gaining Craft Skills for Employment,’ he has so impressed his new employers at the village’s Crossroads Café that they decided to fund a presentation evening as a ‘thank you’ for his dedication.
Andrew, is one of seven people with learning disabilities or mental health needs who have gained an NOCN certificate this year, thanks to skills developed at Town Farm Workshop, an Outcomes With Learning (OWL) centre run by The Regard Group.
Service manager, Helen Ritson, said: “Andrew joined us at Town Farm Workshop in 2012, taking part in pottery and weaving as well as going swimming and to the gym, and his is a real success story.
“After several months’ attendance he had gained a huge amount of confidence and developed friendships, so he decided to make the move from his parents’ home to a supported living flat in Cranborne, also run by The Regard Group.
“With support he has continued to experiment with new activities at the workshop and has also been involved in exhibitions and events, including Bovington Arts and Craft and Larmer Tree Festival.”
During 2015 Andrew enrolled on the NOCN course and was supported by TFW tutors to complete units such as career preparation, setting goals for personal development, customer service skills, and health and safety procedures.
Having successfully completed his qualification in early 2016, Andrew was then supported to secure a work experience placement at the Crossroads Café in Sixpenny Handley.
David, the café organiser said: “This work placement has been a great success. Andrew makes a determined effort to always be on time and works really hard.
“We consider him a great asset at the café, and we’re thrilled that his work with us has contributed to the widening of his social circle, and helped further develop his skills and confidence.”
Visitors to the Crossroads Café make donations to help cover its running costs, with any excess being donated to charity.
David said: “We decided it would be nice to donate to Town Farm Workshops as a kind of ‘thank you’ to Andrew for all his efforts.
“Since a special event was being planned at which NOCN certificates were to be presented to all the successful candidates, including Andrew, we decided the donation from the café would be well spent on covering the cost of this grand affair.”
Over 70 family and friends came along to the presentation evening to help celebrate the achievement of Andrew and his six peers.
Andrew said: “We had a great time together. Thank you to my tutors at Town Farm Workshop and to David for his support.”
For more details or to book an OWL day session please visit the OWL page below.
The Regard Group recently sponsored a series of 4-day training workshops which were hosted by the Institute for Applied Behaviour Analysis (IABA).
We have established a mutually beneficial training partnership arrangement with the IABA who are a US-based organisation, prominent internationally for their work in specialist behaviour support for individuals with intellectual (learning) and developmental disabilities.
The training was attended by an assortment of social care professionals from, NHS psychologists, learning disability nurses, group home managers, behaviour specialists, senior managers from a number of care providers, commissioners, and family carers.
Also attending from the Regard Group was three of the senior regional directors, along with a number of area managers and several service mangers/team leaders as part of Regard’s continuing professional development management programme. The purpose of the training partnership with the IABA and workshop series is used to consider adaptations and enhancements in the care planning processes and specialist behavioural management support provided by Regard which maximise quality of life outcomes for the people we support.
The IABA is headed up by Gary La Vigna who is renowned in the social care field for his work in behaviour management. Gary is recognised by carers, social care managers, academics, allied health professionals. policy makers and commissioners for his pivotal research and work in service design, organisational management systems within social care field of learning disability care provision (such as the model of the periodic service review) and his work in behavioural programming which formed the foundations for specialist behaviour analysis and clinical support used currently within the social acre field to manage behaviours which may challenge.
Regards Head of Behaviour Support, James Kiamtia-Cooper said “this is one of the most inspiring and thought provoking training series I have attended and can only serve to enhance the way we work”.
A residential care and support service near Ringwood in Dorset, has helped a man in the final days of his life to enjoy a special 50th birthday with friends and family.
Staff at Northfields House in Poulner organised a party for David shortly before he died in July at the property where he had lived since 2011.
David, who had a learning disability, was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 which affected his intellectual functioning and mobility.
Karen, Service Manager at Northfields, said her team were determined to ensure David could enjoy the celebrations.
“We had planned on having a big 50th birthday bash for David but he became very poorly in the last few months of his life.
“He went from being very mobile, to needing a walking frame and wheelchair, to finally deteriorating to the point where he was confined to his bed.
“It was agreed that a temporary bedroom would be made for him that was completed just in time for his big day.
“To ensure he could still celebrate and be involved in his birthday, the team needed to support him to be able to go downstairs from his bedroom on the first floor.”
The people from whom David’s bed was hired took it apart and moved it downstairs so he could be comfortable in his new bedroom, and the service organised for a private ambulance team to carry David from his bed and take him downstairs to his party.
Karen worked with support staff to make party food, including a birthday cake, and hung up balloons and personalised bunting around Northfields.
To make the celebration more personal, Karen and senior support worker Becca Leonard, helped David take a trip down memory lane.
Karen added: “We found and printed many pictures of David with life-long memories, activities and people he had met over the years. We put them up on the wall next to his bed to create a visual memory wall.
“During the party we played his favourite Abba CD and he giggled and smiled all the way through. It was a memory everyone will remember and treasure forever.
“The party was enjoyed by all of David’s family, friends and staff old and new who helped him celebrate his birthday.
“I am so proud of the team at Northfields and our sister service at Two Wells. Everyone pulled together to help a very special man who touched everyone’s heart.
“David was a truly amazing person and we would have gone to the moon and back to make him happy. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his family.”
As a result of the caring and co-ordinated support they demonstrated working with David, the team at Northfields House was named by Regard’s as their ‘Outstanding Team’ in the care-provider’s latest ‘Celebrating Excellent Support’ in-house awards scheme.
Families wishing to know more about the residential facilities and support offered at Northfields can find out more from Helen Petitdemange on 07944 105 428 or visit the service page below.
A man who decided to switch to a career in caring after visiting a Dolgellau residential home to do some building work and eventually rising to become its manager, has won a top award at the 2016 Wales Care Awards.
Andrew Papirynk visited Cerrig Camu in Dolgellau in the winter of 2004 to carry out some labouring work for the firm he was with at the time.
He quickly struck up a rapport with some of its residents and immediately opted to make caring his profession.
Nine years later Andy was appointed as Cerrig Camu’s registered manager and has been commended for the way he runs the service, and credited for helping integrate clients with learning disabilities and mental health needs into the community.
It is this dedicated approach to his caring role that landed Andy, 30, the Gold Award for ‘Excellence in Learning Disability and Mental Health’ in the annual Wales Care Awards.
Originally from Barmouth, after finishing school at Ysgol Ardudwy in Harlech, Andy went straight into the building trade.
He said: “I’d been working as a labourer for a couple of years when I went to Cerrig Camu to do some building work there.
“At that stage I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, but when I started to talk with some of the service users and managed to build up a rapport with them I felt that caring was a career I could go into.
“Not long afterwards I started at Cerrig Camu as a support worker and then gradually worked my way up through the ranks, going from team leader and support manager until I became service manager in June 2013.”
Mario Kreft MBE, Chairman of Care Forum Wales, said: “The aim of the Wales Care Awards is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce - they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”
Cerrig Camu is run by Regard, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation which provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.
Regard is one of just four of the 17,000 care organisations in the country to have achieved the Gold Standard from Investors in People which – to quote the head of the accrediting body – acknowledges Regard’s “great people management practice, and commitment to being the very best it can be.”
There are currently four rooms available in the recently refurbished 14-bed manor house which is at the heart of Cerrig Camu. The building is divided into three separate services, each self-contained on its own separate floor, with shared living rooms and a kitchen diner on each floor where people can come together to socialise.
Two of the available rooms are wheelchair-accessible en-suite rooms on the first floor, sharing facilities with three other individuals; one is a second-floor en-suite room, sharing facilities with two other people, and the fourth vacancy is a ground-floor self-contained flat. All care packages are person-centred and tailored to the needs of the individual. Further details about the service can be found via the service page below.
An imaginative approach to care has enabled local woman, Gwenda, to see off competition from across Wales to secure a bronze award in the category of ‘Leadership and Management in Residential or Nursing Care,’ in the 2016 Wales Care Awards.
Farmer’s daughter Gwenda Potter was brought up next door to Beudygwyn Farm at Carreglefn, near Amlwch, where she now works, and recalls the residents visiting her home.
That inspired her to go into the care profession six years ago and to involve the 12 residents of Beudygwyn Farm in the day-to-day work on the farm.
The people who live there all have learning disabilities, mental health problems or acquired brain injuries and Gwenda said: “Many of them are heavily involved in the work on the farm, one of them cuts the grass and they share the chores.
“It’s a small working farm and having them involved in looking after the sheep and chickens, growing vegetables and collecting eggs is good for them, gives them purpose and new skills, and the knowledge of where the food comes from and how it’s produced.”
The eight-acre smallholding can accommodate up to 14 people and Gwenda, who has a partner and three children, still lives next door and is Welsh-speaking which is often useful as most of the residents are from North Wales.
Other family members had worked at Beudygwyn and Gwenda started there in 2010 as a support worker and trained to become a senior social worker and then deputy manager before taking over.
”I love the job,” she said: “The farm is very rural but it’s only five minutes to the shops and it’s very relaxing and therapeutic.
“It’s very good for the residents to get used to looking after their own environment, to maintain their own home by doing little jobs, and the eggs and vegetables produced here are used in the meals they have.
“I wouldn’t change my job at all. As a farmer’s daughter I’ve got the best of both worlds because I’m on a farm and I enjoy a job where little things can mean so much, like teaching a man to fasten his shoelaces for the first time.”
Gwenda holds regular meetings and training sessions for the residents which gives them a voice in their care and allows them to gain knowledge of their own diagnosis.
Mario Kreft MBE, Chairman of Care Forum Wales, said: “The aim of the Wales Care Awards is to recognise the unstinting and often remarkable dedication of our unsung heroes and heroines across Wales.
“The care sector is full of wonderful people because it’s not just a job it’s a vocation – these are the people who really do have the X Factor.
“If you don’t recognise the people who do the caring you will never provide the standards that people need and never recognise the value of the people who need the care in society.
“We need to do all we can to raise the profile of the care sector workforce - they deserve to be lauded and applauded.”
Beudygwyn Farm is a residential service for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and autism. Further details about the service can be found via the service page below.
A Crystal Palace fan, who has a mild learning disability and is being supported to live in the community, is celebrating landing his dream job as a steward at the club’s stadium at Selhurst Park.
Graham, who lives in Gipsy Hill, began his career with ‘the ‘Eagles’ working outside the sports ground and was recently promoted to work inside the stadium helping ensure a safe environment for visitors on match days.
Graham lives independently in the community in his own flat, receives 20 hours of support a week from the South Road supported living service in Forest Hill to help manage his finances and shopping.
Said South Road team leader Folahan Adebowale: “We are delighted for Graham. As a Crystal Palace fan this is a dream come true. He loves being part of the action on match days and helping making sure everything runs smoothly.
“We supported Graham to go for the job and fill in the relevant paperwork because we knew he could do it and that he has a lot to give. He enjoys working with the public and the chance to shine as an ambassador for the club.”
Graham lived at the South Road service for three years before being supported to make the move to live independently since 2012. In preparation for this staff worked with Graham on how to manage his finances, including drawing up a weekly budget and putting away savings each week.
Added Folahan: “Moving out to live on your own can be a huge step and Graham is managing very well and enjoying have the freedom to organise his own affairs and live his own life.”
South Road is a male-only service for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs, autism, and complex epilepsy. The service has a large garden and the added benefit of being located close to local shops, amenities and with good transport links.
The house is split over three floors, with seven single bedrooms including a bedsit on the top floor, and currently has a vacancy in one of its ground floor rooms.
The South Road staff team focus on promoting independence, supporting the people who live at the service to find employment opportunities and developing person-centred transition plans for independent living. Packages of outreach support are available for those able to move on, like Graham, which ensures continuity of support.
Families interested in further details should contact Rod Brizzell on 07885 998240 visit the South Road webpage below.
The TV show ‘Four In A Bed’ which has B&B owners from around the country competing to be named ‘best value for money’ has inspired the manager of a Manchester service to engage her staff in a fun new way of delivering quality care.
Emma, who manages Manchester-based Homeleigh, a 30-bed residential service for people with learning difficulties and mental health issues, has already earned recognition from her industry by being shortlisted for ‘Special Needs Manager’ in this year’s National Care Awards.
Now Emma has introduced an element of fun into her staff’s routine by launching Homeleigh’s own version of the TV competition.
Emma said: “We have a responsible job to do, caring for a great bunch of people with very special needs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t embrace the lighter side of life.
“I’d just been watching the show, when my friend walked into the room singing the Mary Poppins song that goes ‘You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game,’ and I thought – yes, we could do that!”
The game Emma developed mirrors ‘Four In A Bed’s’ concept of asking people to inject a little fun competition into their work by rating each other on the standard of the service they deliver.
At the start of their shift on ‘game days’ members of the team are given a simple questionnaire with a colleague’s name on, to indicate who they will be judging. The forms are returned at the end of the day with a score of 1-10 on questions such as: how pleasant was this person towards residents? how clean were their rooms? did they go the extra mile? would you be happy if that person supported your loved one?
Questionnaires are handed in at the end of the day and reviewed by the shift senior, with feedback given to each participant and the overall winner receiving a prize such as flowers or chocolates.
Emma said: “Feedback from my team has been overwhelmingly positive, and they say they find it a real morale-booster.
“The game encourages staff to reflect on their own working practice, and helps managers see where improvements can be made or further training is required, enabling them to identify strengths and weaknesses on the team.
“It also gives them an insight into how staff perform when they are at their most productive, which gives them a realistic level of expectation for each team member.
“On top of that, the people who live with us are on the receiving end of a team who are really giving it their all.
“I’d say this means everybody wins, but Simon Daulby (pictured above)- one of our support workers – has won the game twice, so he’s a super-winner!”
Emma Jarrett and her team at Homeleigh support the individuals who live there to undertake activities which make them happy and meet their needs to be involved within the community and their home, such as promoting college attendance, full involvement in their daily activities and in the community, organising outings, and meeting individuals’ wishes and preferences.
There will be openings for new support staff at Homeleigh in the near future so Emma would be pleased to hear from people who have the desire to really make a difference to the lives of others, whatever their background. Emma can be contacted on 01617 407 313 or at email@example.com. Further information about Homeleigh is available via the service page below.
A new twist has been given to the campaign for person-centred care launched earlier this year by The Regard Group.
Following on from Regard’s push for improved focus on service users being at the centre of their own care, the organisation is now calling for learning disability and mental health care provision to be not just person-centred but person-led.
Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of Regard, said: “Our ambition is to empower those we support to be fully involved not just in their own care but in the bigger decisions that affect the homes where they live.
“We believe in giving them a voice to help us make decisions, even when there are communications difficulties. This approach builds the self-esteem of the people we support and helps them become more independent.
“The staff teams based in Regard’s 147 services across the country appreciate how important this responsibility is to the people they support, and how it reflects their desire to make a genuine contribution.”
The organisation’s new initiative is now being rolled out nationwide, in the wake of a successful year-long pilot project in London and Surrey.
Individuals supported by Regard will be asked whether they would like to become more actively involved in decisions about their support, and how it is delivered. They have also been invited to feed into the broader aims of the organisation, and increase their involvement in issues such as the internal and external auditing and inspection of services.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “We’ve also asked them how they would like to extend their involvement among the community they live in and – because we’re doing everything we can to encourage full participation – we’re asking them to tell us how they want this campaign to work. It’s the people who live with us who get to decide what they want from the campaign, where and when they want campaign progress meetings, and who should be involved in those meetings.
“They’ve called the project RISE@Regard, with RISE standing for respect, independence, speech/being heard and equality, which is what our service users have said are most important to them.”
Groups involved in the pilot project have drawn up a charter featuring six elements they would like staff teams, managers and the people they support to sign up to, which has been signed off by Regard’s senior management.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “The charter addresses eminently reasonable aims: for the individuals we support to be at the centre of their own care planning and any decisions made about their lives, to be supported to live their lives as independently as possible and to have increased involvement in their communities.
“The charter also makes it clear that they would like to have an active part in audits and inspections which take place in their homes, that they wish to be involved in staff recruitment, and that they want to know about the ‘big decisions’ The Regard Group makes about their homes and their care.
“We’re not just dealing with immediate goals and outcomes here, we’re looking ahead over the next couple of decades. Our work involves supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society and it is vital that they should be able to tell us whether we are getting it right or not.
“There are likely to be times that we shall be asked awkward questions, but the individuals we support have a right both to ask questions and to expect honest replies, and outsiders such as commissioning bodies are endorsing our initiative and giving us great feedback on the RISE campaign.
“It’s now our responsibility to take the project forward, and I’m delighted to say that all the regional teams in Regard are signing up to the new charter with enthusiasm, as well as developing local RISE groups.”
Our staff are getting their posh frocks and suits out for a gala awards evening in London on 25 November, with four of the organisation’s nominees shortlisted in various categories.
The Regard Group itself is up for the award of ‘Care Home Group’ of the year, having satisfied judges that the organisation delivers ‘exceptional client care combined with excellent staff development and impressive financial results.’
CEO Sandie Foxall-Smith, who has already been named as Investors in People’s ‘Leader of the Year’ for 2016, is up for the title of ‘Care Personality,’ and two of Regard’s service managers, Emma Jarrett who runs Homeleigh in Manchester and Heather Jupp who leads the Livingstone Road service in Gillingham, Kent, go head-to-head for the 2016 Special Needs Manager award.
Sandie Foxall-Smith said: “It is very gratifying when the hard work we all put in receives objective recognition like this from fellow care industry professionals.
“We already feel like winners just by being included in so many shortlists, but obviously we’ve all got our fingers crossed that we might hear our names called out when the results are announced at the awards evening.”
The aim of the National Care Awards is to celebrate the very best people in the long-term sector, highlighting excellence and rewarding those who work tirelessly to provide consistently outstanding care.
Regard cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,100 people working at 147 locations throughout the UK.
Testimonials submitted in support of the nominations included a quote from the inspector whose report resulted in Regard receiving ‘Gold’ status from Investors In People: “Your employees are highly motivated and are fully embracing the person-centred approach, which is the foundation of their work. It is rare that I find a cohort of staff so committed to improving the life of those in their care.”
For more information about the awards please click here.
It may only be October but Kay who lives at one of our services in Plymouth is already thinking what she can do help people who are living on the streets this Christmas.
Kay, who lives at Victoria and Grenville, is collecting for the South West’s Homeless Shoebox Appeal for the South West.
Kay, her fellow housemates and the staff team who support them will be collecting items including toiletries, hats and scarves, torches and sweets that will be handed out on Christmas Day.
Said Victoria service manager Donna: “Kay really loves getting involved and is looking forward to bringing a bit of Christmas cheer to people who are having a tough time.
“It may seem only a small thing but these little parcels really do make a difference to people who may feel excluded from the festive celebrations.
“Over the next few weeks Kay and the team at Victoria and Grenville will be asking local shop owners if they are willing to donate items to the cause.
“Christmas is all about giving and everyone deserves a gesture of love even if it’s something small.”
Kay, who has a learning disability, is one of nine people who live at Victoria and Grenville, in two terraced houses close to Plymouth city centre.
The registered service provides support to adults who are vulnerable and have a learning disability, mental health issues, challenging behaviour and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Donna said: “One of the reasons we support the people who live with us to help others in this way is because such activities provide them with mental stimulation, a sense of purpose and develop their social skills.
“It’s also a great way for them to connect to their community and make new friends, and it makes them feel valued because they’re making a contribution, which is good for their self-confidence and provides a natural sense of accomplishment.”
“It’s typical of the sort of person-centred support we provide at Victoria and Grenville, which is all about focusing on supporting individuals to live life to the full by doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.”
There is currently a vacancy at Victoria House with an upper floor room available. For further information contact Donna on 01752 661171 or visit the service page below.
By Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of The Regard Group
Studies measuring hormones and brain activity have revealed that being helpful delivers immense pleasure - we are hard-wired to give to others and the more we give, the happier we feel. It’s not just a question of instant gratification, helping others through charity work or fundraising provides mental stimulation and a sense of purpose. Also, very importantly, it allows you to connect to your community, make new friends, and develop your social skills.
Recognising that the social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on our overall psychological well-being, the question for Regard has never been whether we should support our service users’ involvement in charity fundraising and voluntary work, rather how can we ensure everyone we support has ample opportunity for suitable involvement?
Claire Searle, who lives in a supported living property in Gayton, Norfolk, is one of the many people we support who enjoy working in a local charity shop.
The Sail House team helped Claire - who has learning difficulties - to identify a suitable position and she has now been working happily at the British Heart Foundation shop in King’s Lynn High Street for more than three years.
She travels to King’s Lynn independently and we get fantastic feedback about her. Claire’s contribution is clearly highly valued and she’s been presented with a ‘Long Service’ certificate, which means a great deal to her.
Such opportunities are invaluable to the people we support - it gives them a platform for integration, makes them feel valued because they’re making a contribution, increases their self-confidence and provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Even those who are not capable of undertaking voluntary work in the community are supported to participate in regular charity fundraising, with our staff and service users voting annually for a charity they wish to support. Regard matches every pound raised by the staff and service users with a pound from the corporate coffers.
The chosen national charity for 2016 is MIND, and fundraising events are being undertaken regionally all year long, with activities such as sponsored or fundraising barbecues, picnics, walks/runs, muddy obstacle courses, bake-offs, tombolas, charity days and auctions.
At Arrowe Hall in the Wirral, service and locality managers entered fully into the spirit of the service’s charity summer barbecue subjecting themselves to an onslaught of wet sponges in the stocks. The feel-good day raised nearly £670 for MIND, and strengthened relationships with local businesses and individuals who kindly donated raffle prizes.
And in Snowdonia, when our OWL project at Cerrig Camu and Llwyngwian Farm held a joint fundraiser for MIND, service users were fully involved in all the organisation, planning, and preparations, helping design and make water stocks, bookmarks and trinket boxes to sell - not forgetting all the lovely cakes for the cake stall.
Suzanne, who attends day sessions at Cerrig Camu said: “I had a great time; I enjoyed having the tombola. My family came up too and it was nice to introduce my friends to them.”
Terry, who lives at Llwyngwian Farm said: “It was nice to meet up with my friends and the homemade cakes were lovely. My favourite part of the day was getting my care worker soaking wet in the stocks.”
Endorsement for such efforts was received recently from the CQC inspector who gave an ‘Outstanding’ rating to our Douglas House service in Plymouth - the rating being due in part to the brilliant way our service users integrate with the local community while fundraising for the city’s St Luke’s Hospice. Our resolve to keep on helping others just got stronger.
Article first published in the Care Talk magazine August 2016 - www.caretalk.co.uk