Former Livability CEO Reverend Mike Shaw has a long history of supporting people with disabilities. When ministering as a clergyman, he spent 15 years as a Youth Officer in the Diocese of St Albans, focusing on promoting inclusion and accessibility.
It was at this point, in the early 1990s, that his relationship with John Grooms, one of Livability’s founding organisations, began – taking on the role of CEO. Under his stewardship, the charity focused on creating inclusive residential centres with an emphasis on forming close relationships with the residents. Mike also oversaw an expansion of the charity’s work overseas at this time
With a shared Christian ethos, and the potential for further changing lives, Mike initiated the merger with Shaftesbury Society that would form Livability as it is today. Although retired from the role of CEO, he remains active in the charity and his altruistic vision continues to guide Livability.
Mike visited Livability Bradbury Court in Harrow, where he met with Registered Manager Margaret Khaka and Service Delivery Lead Debbie Frimley. Mike talked with staff about the challenges that the service faced during the pandemic. Margaret stated that the good rating and relationship with Harrow Council and the CQC allowed them access to vital resources, including Blue Badges, Freedom passes and taxi passes. This made it easier for residents to get out when restrictions allowed.
They also discussed the current difficulty with recruiting the right people for the team that they have built; they have a great team but recruitment into the care sector is still a challenge: ‘The staff now really understand that there is a relationship beyond the professional and have the right values. They understand the pressures, have a ‘social touch’ and are not just task-oriented,’ Margaret says.
Afterwards, Mike sat down for a spot of tea and cakes with some of the residents – even recognising some familiar faces from his time as CEO. He spoke to them about his history with Livability and how he had been part of the building of Livability Bradbury Court, so it was special to him. He then thanked everyone for allowing him to visit and expressed his desire to come back for Tina’s birthday (who will be 70 next year).
Following his visit, Mike said he felt hugely encouraged by the service that was being provided at Livability Bradbury Court, and that it had developed and built on his original vision. He was particularly impressed with the homely individual quality of décor, which reflected that residents made their room their home. Mike talked said that Livability Bradbury Court provided social care for those with complex with the aim – to promote independence and inspire people to be as independent as they can. He also spoke of his aspiration to further improve the garden to positively impact the wellbeing of the residents.
The values that were important to Mike in his role at Livability continue to be central to the way we provide care and support, including …