A Guild Care session leader has been named as a finalist in the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2019.
Mandy Ford, who works with the Growing Older with Learning Disabilities group, called GOLD, was nominated for the Supporting Older People with Learning Disabilities Award category by senior staff at Guild Care. They wanted to recognise her instrumental role in the successful development of GOLD and the special relationships she has formed with service users.
Lisa Matthew, Guild Care’s head of organisational development, described Mandy as an outstanding, passionate and committed staff member.
She said: “She has a real affection and connection with the people who attend the GOLD service, she treats them with dignity and respect.
“Mandy has an excellent ability to recognise triggers for individual service users, before they affect their experience. She demonstrates excellent person-centred support.
“Due to the success of the GOLD group, we are now providing an extra day of this service, which is already fully booked. Her hard work helps approximately 25 people per session to live their lives to the full, promoting their independence.”
GOLD is for people over 50 with a learning disability and provides a safe, peaceful yet stimulating environment for those who need support with their changing needs as they age.
Sessions are held every Thursday at Methold House, in North Street, Worthing.
This is a needs-led service, providing a range of person-centred individual and group activities, including exercise, singing, music, cooking, coffee bar, quizzes, entertainment, therapies, arts and crafts.
Mandy said: “I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this national award although it still doesn’t feel real. I’m hoping it raises awareness for GOLD and Ashdown, the two services that I feel very passionate about.”
In addition to GOLD, Mandy also works with Guild Care’s Ashdown Centre, which provides respite services for families of children and young adults with learning disabilities and additional needs.
Mandy will meet with the judging panel in a few weeks before the winners are announced at a gala dinner in June in Birmingham for finalists.