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Lealholm Crescent supports older people with learning disabilities. In 2016, the team were named Finalists for the End of Life Care Award at the 3rd Sector Care Awards, nationally recognising their dedication and compassion.
A gentleman who had lived at Lealholm for 12 years, sadly became very ill and passed away within a month of being diagnosed with cancer. This was the first time that the staff team had ever provided end of life care and they adapted their support to do everything possible to ensure his end of life care was filled with love, dignity and respect.
Extra support staff were recruited and given the gentleman's One-Page Profile, identifying his interests and hobbies, including football. A football-mad Support Worker made sure he didn’t miss a single Middlesbrough match – even using his personal laptop to stream matches.
The staff organised days out to his favourite places with loved ones and created a photoboard of special memories. They also arranged a touching memorial service for family and friends, planting a tree in the garden that he dearly loved.
The extraordinary lengths the team went to, to provide support for the gentleman and his family and friends was phenomenal, especially as this was the first time they had experienced - let alone managed - the end of life care of someone they fondly supported.
The family praised the team, saying: "I cannot express how thankful I am in the way the staff team pulled together at such a sad time for my family. Nothing was too much trouble and everyone in the team went above and beyond to care for my uncle until he sadly passed away at home. Everyone was such a good source of comfort for us during this difficult time and this helped us get through. This even continued even after the funeral.”
Lisa Lazell, Regional Manager for Community Integrated Care, said: “The team went to extraordinary lengths to provide support, not only to the gentleman himself, but also to his family and friends. It was heart-warming to see how much they rallied around and supported themselves and his loved ones.
Lisa continued: "I am extremely proud they were named Finalists for such a prestigious award, acknowledging their hard work, compassion and dedication. It is also a special way for them to remember and honour his life.”
Joe joined Vocational Support in 1997 and has enjoyed a variety of work opportunities. For the past 10 years he has been a valued employee at McDonald’s and the customers often comment on how friendly and helpful he is.
The position in McDonald's was a great opportunity for Joe to develop his social skills. He became more independent and his confidence grew so much that he was able to travel to and from work unsupported. Vocational Support then decided to see if Joe could work unsupported in his role and McDonald’s were hugely supportive in planning this transition.
Vocational Support's Service Leader, Renata Davies, says: "Joe’s whole life has changed as a result of his employers giving him opportunities. His colleagues have become friends, he has a great social life and his confidence has grown. So much so, that Joe often drops into the office for a catch up and helps us interview potential new staff.”
Die-hard Liverpool fan Katie Bell has put her sporting allegiances to one side to take up a role at Everton in the Community! Katie is a key member of the team, who helps out at the club’s dementia support group.
Her work has even won her a couple of Everton in the Community Awards, in recognition of her commitment and great attitude. She’s known for making a great cup of tea and making the guests feel really welcome and at ease. Katie’s role means that she regularly meets legendary Everton players, and loves nothing more than telling them all about her love of the football team down the road!
Katie likes to keep herself busy, and also spends several days a week volunteering for the British Heart Foundation and Barnados in their local shops. This all goes to show Katie’s dedication to volunteering and helping others, while putting her skills to great use.
Louise Lamkin is Vocational Support’s very own IT whiz, and has recently found her perfect placement at one of Community Integrated Care’s Extra Care Services, Bluebell Park.
Working in a care environment has come naturally to Louise, who also helps support her Grandparents at home.
Louise has bags of enthusiasm and drive in everything she does, whether it’s helping out with staff training or supporting the team with rotas and care plans, it’s done with a smile.
Not content with all of this, she even finds time to write poetry and stories, and is planning a big birthday bash for her 30th later this year.
Widnes Vikings are the focal point of the Halton community and have been important in the lives of many people we support in the area, so our charity formed a pioneering partnership with the club. This sees their community coaches host weekly activity sessions in our local homes, and involve legendary players in reminiscence sessions. We’ve also created a monthly social event at the Halton Stadium for people living with dementia and supported many people to go to watch the team play.
This has made a huge difference to Fred, who is delighted to be reconnected with the club that he has supported since the age of 6. He’s rediscovered treasured memories of watching the Vikings in his youth and is thriving, getting involved in activities that he loves.
See how Fred’s life has been changed by this partnership…