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Afternoon tea with the Queen

Nadine Suitor and Sarah Smith at Buckingham Palace

What a year 2019 was!

The team in Cumbria had a stellar 2019 and one of the highlights was during the summer when Locality Manager, Sarah Smith and Deputy Manager, Nadine Suitor had the opportunity to attend The Queen’s Royal Garden Party. Sarah and Nadine who have both worked in social care for 22 years had the honour of attending the Royal Garden Party which is used as a way of “recognising and rewarding public service”. They spent the morning getting their hair and makeup done. “The whole day, it was amazing, walking through the gate, every minute was surreal. I kept pinching myself”, Nadine tells me. Everyone involved in providing support at Walsingham Support provide outstanding service and value people with disabilities the same as anyone else, the recognition the women have received is very well deserved. Sarah and Nadine had tea at 2pm, they walked through the palace, ate typical British sandwiches, cocktails and even got to try The Queen’s homemade ice-cream. The women polished it off with some refreshing apple juice made with apples from The Queen’s orchard, “it was gorgeous weather, red hot”, the sun definitely came out to celebrate with Nadine and Sarah. The brass band played in the gran marquees, and they walked around the lake, enjoying the view of the swans.

Nadine, Sarah and the team’s recognition began with Raymond, the father of Carol, a person we support. Raymond wrote a letter to the local paper, praising the service and the work of the staff at Crummock Rd. His daughter Carol has been greatly cared for at the service for over 20 years after moving from Dovenby, a long stay hospital. The team are dedicated to the people we support and that was shown by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating they received. The team were rated as ‘Outstanding’, with the report saying, “People obviously felt valued and respected and staff were happy working in the home” and “It was a place of laughter and sensitive care”. Their team spirit further demonstrated their care and value for the people we support by arranging a tea party while Nadine and Sarah were at the Royal Garden Party in London, “Everyone dressed up and they had balloons and banners”.

Additional to attending The Queen’s Royal Garden Party, Sarah, Nadine and the team at Crummock Rd won The Employer Award at The National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards in February 2019. “Walsingham Support’s passion and drive to enhance the lives of people they support was inspirational. We felt they were a dynamic team who focussed on making a tangible difference”. Quality Manager, Misha entered the team in for the award and they attended the Gala Dinner in Birmingham where they were “delighted” when receiving the award. Nadine and Sarah were also interviewed by ITV’s Lookaround talked about the team and the dedicated support they provide.

When speaking to Sarah and Nadine about their achievements they divert it back to the team saying “All the hard work within the team paid off”, this humility was not only noted by myself but by CQC also who stated in their report “We also saw that the registered manager and her deputy did not take themselves too seriously. They spoke about their achievements with some humility and praised their staff team and gave credit to the people who lived in the home.”

Congratulations to the team at Crummock Rd for all their achievements this year, putting people at the heart of everything you do and reminding us all that it’s not just support, it’s happiness.

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