22 May 2019

Back in November 2014, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, wrote:

“NHS England’s recent work with people with learning disabilities, and this new report, all now prove that radical changes are needed in NHS and social care, so that people with learning disabilities and their families increasingly take control of how the services they want, and need are provided. This will mean challenging legacy models of institutional care, a shift in power via our new offer of personal budgets and Integrated Personal Commissioning, as well as broader action on employment rights and opportunities.”

The Learning Disability Network is based at Quarry House in Leeds (NHS England Northern HQ)

Simon went one step further in 2015 when he set up the Learning Disability Network in the Engagement Team within NHS England. The prime objective of the team is to get the NHS, across the whole of England, to engage more with people with learning disabilities and autism, employ more people within the NHS with learning disabilities and autism AND learn how to care and treat more people with learning disabilities and autism.

Aaron Oxford next to an iconic NHS statement at the NHS England Leeds HQ. 

The Unsung Hero Awards team were honoured to meet two of the founder members of the Learning Disability Network on a recent visit to Quarry House, the home to NHS England, Leeds. We met Aaron Oxford and Katie Matthews, two of the most inspiring people you could hope to meet.

Katie Matthews with Aaron Oxford. 

The reason we were there was because at the Unsung Hero Awards gala celebration in Manchester, March 1st, 2019 Carl Ramsdale won the Leader of the Year award  in the Admin and Clerical category.

Carl was instrumental in helping a young man with autism, Seb Swain, to really develop his potential and go on to achieve great things. The full story of this remarkable duo can be found here.

Sebastian Swain at the 2019 Unsung Hero Awards. 

The Unsung Hero Awards is a not for profit organisation dedicated to shining a light onto the hard work that non-medical staff and volunteers of the NHS strive towards daily. Work that is often overlooked, despite non-medical employees making up nearly half of the workforce. Now in our 6th Year we celebrate all the non-medical unsung heroes of the NHS at a gala dinner in The Hilton, Manchester.

Work is well underway planning the 6th national, annual, non-medical Unsung Hero Awards, which will take place on Friday, 28th February 2020 again at the Hilton, Deansgate, Manchester. If you are interested in the UHA event either for a) nominating or b) sponsoring, please visit https://www.unsungheroawards.com/contact-us

Carl Ramsdale, winning his award for his work increasing the work skills, confidence and personal development of Sebastian Swain.

 

Don Tomlinson

Managing Director - max20 and Founder of the Unsung Hero Awards