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.