Nick Ashley Cooper – the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury and Vice Patron of Livability was the special guest at this year’s Livability Staff Awards.
Hosted on 25th April 2018 by Livability and with awards endorsed by our charity patron HRH The Princess Royal – the event is an important moment in our charity calendar. Livability holds the ceremony every year to mark and celebrate the special achievements of staff, supporters and volunteers.
The evening was also an important moment in which to say thank you to Dave Webber, who retires as CEO from Livability in May and to introduce the charity’s new CEO – Helen England – to the award attendees.
Nominated by their peers, the winners are recognised as being people that go the extra mile in their work and service. The judging panel is made up of a combination of people in Livability’s HR and Operations teams, Trustees and people that use our services. Trustee award winners were given a special framed certificate from the Board of Trustees; royal award winners were given a certificate signed by HRH The Princess Royal and a specially engraved glass trophy with their name included in a Livability sum.
The evening was hosted by Adam Bonner – Executive Director of Public Engagement at Livability.
Liz Mell, Exeuctive Director of Resources welcomed people to the evening and outlined how award winners were acknowledged for their contribution to others and how they have lived out the charity values of being open, enabling, inclusive and courageous.
During the evening, Adam interviewed Martina and Philip, who use Livability’s services and were members of the award nominations judging panel. They shared their views on what they were looking for as they made the award decisions with the rest of the panel.
This year, there were six royal awards presented, all officially signed by HRH The Princess Royal
Ivan is the Registered Manager at Livability Dolphin Court – a care home to 16 disabled adults in Southend-on-Sea.
Nominated by Jamie McClen, Regional Manager at Livability, Jamie said: ‘I’ve nominated Ivan for the hard work and commitment he’s shown to Livability and the people we support. Since his arrival, staff have told me that Livability Dolphin Court is the best place I’ve ever worked’ and that they feel valued and empowered in their roles. He has great person-management skills and always looks for outcomes.’
Natasha is Deputy Service Manager at Livability Ashley Place, a state of the art care home on the Sussex coast for 18 disabled adults.
Nominated by Louise Bastable, Community Fundraising Officer at Livability, Louise says: Natasha is an amazingly dedicated manager who has many conflicting demands on her time. However, she doesn’t let this get in the way of getting the best for the people who live at Livability Ashley Place. Natasha is courageous in making things happen, working with well-connected, happy people.’
Peter Thompson is a running enthusiaist and mental health awareness campaigner. Last year he ran 44 marathons, in 44 consecutive days in 44 countries – to raise funds and awareness for Livability and the charity Mind. This year he embarks on a new self-set challenge: to run the 2069 mile-long Tour de France route and beat the bikes.
Nominated by Neil Stevens, Centre Director at Livability Holton Lee, Neil said: ‘This was not only an amazing physical accomplishment, but an inspiring example of Livability’s values in practice. Peter showed extraordinary courage throughout, as he challenged taboos and promoted inclusion.’
Jeanne has devoted her life to promote inclusion and wellbeing for disabled and vulnerable children and adutls. She raised funds to buy Lynton House in Broadstairs in 1970 which became a home for up to 11 disabled children at a time.
Nominated by Robert Hughes, Practice Manager at Livability Lynton House, Robert said: ‘It is hard to think of someone who is more open than Jeanne. She has given opportunities to many to realise their potential, and sought to meaningfully include disabled people in the community. Her courageous approach means that, despite having little financial support, if something was needed, she would raise the money and make it happen.’
Rainbow House is home to five younger adults with learning disabilities, who have lived together for 15 years.
Nominated by Stuart Crosscombe, Manager for Livability Devon services, Stuart said: ‘These staff ensured the people we support had the very best care we could offer and worked tirelessly to provide that. The team listened to each other and worked through some hard issues that really tested them, living out Livability’s values – they are courageous and enabling. I nominated this team for their outstanding dedication and commitment.’
Debbie Kiberd started at the charity 25 years ago, joining one of the founding charities The Shaftesbury Society, which became Livability in 2007. Debbie works as the HR Information Manager and is an expert in systems and legislation.
Nominated by Sioban Marrison, HR Business Partner, Sioban said: ‘In her 25 years’ service, Debbie has shown true dedication and commitment to the team and the whole organisation, helping us to achieve our goals. Debbie has a very heavy workload but she always finds time to help and enable others, in a way that passes on her knowledge. Debbie’s work ensures we have happy staff who feel in safe hands, which directly impacts the people we serve. She inspires all of us through her can-do attitude.’
A series of 12 Trustee Awards were also given to people in these categories, presented by Kate Clare, Vice Chair of Trustees (right below).
As a charity, Livability grew from a merger of founding charities John Grooms and The Shaftesbury Society, so it was fitting that awards were presented by Nick Ashley-Cooper, the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury. Dave Webber and Adam Bonner introduced Lord Shaftesbury to event guests and announced him as Vice Patron of the charity.
In a personal address to the guests, Lord Shaftesbury shared how it was significant to his family to be part of Livability and to be supporting the charity as Vice Patron. He expressed his congratulations to the award winners.
He talked of his inspiration that his great grandfather – the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury – had provided him in his life. Referencing changes brought about in society because of Shaftesbury like the Factory Acts, provision of schooling, more care and protection for children, he said ‘I had a feeling inside that if someone in my family could do so much good, that I wanted to channel it in my own life. Getting involved in charities like Livability is humbling but also provides a chance to give something back to society. Thats what I hope to do in this role.’
He also said bringing people together and breaking down barriers is vital in our society and that he looked forward to ‘The great and bold new future for the charity.’
In support of the awards, Lord Shaftesbury has said: ‘Working for radically caring and inclusive communities was central to the faith and work of my ancestor – the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. As Vice Patron of Livability, I am proud to know first-hand how that founding vision continues to inspire the charity’s staff, volunteers and supporters today.
Through a wide range of disability and community focused projects, Livability’s people support others to tackle the barriers they face and work for inclusion for all. I congratulate everyone that has won an award of recieved a nomination at this special event.’
Anthony Dixon, who takes part in a Livability Fellowship Group sang a moving rendition of ‘Feed the Birds’. Anthony is a talented vocalist, performing in charity concerts in the Swindon area. He is a leading member of the Open Door choir, a group for disabled adults, and helps coordinate the Swindon Livability Fellowship Group, including services and performing at local churches.
Livability’s new CEO was in attendance at the staff awards, and was formally introduced by Kate Clare, Vice Chair of Trustees for Livability. Helen joined the charity earlier in April, from her previous role as Director of Strategy, Organisational Development and Workforce at Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Helen’s career began as a music therapist and she worked in both the education and care sectors before joining the NHS. For the last decade Helen has worked at an executive level in commissioning and provider organisations.
During the evening, Keith Hickey, Honororary Treasurer for Livability, gave a special word of thanks and appreciation for Dave Webber, Livability’s CEO, who retires in May. Dave Webber has worked as CEO of Livability for six years, following a total of fifteen years with the charity. Following a career in mental health and as a local authority commissioner, Dave joined the charity in 2002. Keith presented him with a framed poster with photos from his time at Livability.
The evening also gave a special mention to Peter Thompson – a young runner and mental health campaigner – who is embarking on a huge running challenge in May. Taking on the Tour de France route, Pete plans to run the entire 2069 miles in a bid to beat the bikes, raise funds and awareness for mental health. Inspired by Livability’s Flourish project at Livability Holton Lee – the charity has just released a film about his new challenge. Find out more here.
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