Gary LaVigna visits Liaise

Last week we had a visit from Gary LaVigna, co-founder with Thomas Willis of the Institute of Applied Behaviour Analysis (IABA) in Los Angeles. The IABA was created to provide the most advanced and highest possible quality services to support people with developmental disabilities. Their training programme is based on the multi element model of positive behaviour support (PBS) which was adopted and integrated alongside PROACT-SCIPr-UK® by Liaise Loddon to form the basis of our own  positive behaviour support model.

Gary LaVignaGary delivered a talk to Liaise managers and specialist workers on functional analysis and focused support plans and gave us advice and tips on how to effectively implement successful support programmes. There was also a discussion on ensuring consistency in delivery by support teams and measuring outcomes.

The session re-energised us in our work to create the best possible positive and sustainable services for our service users.

Exciting Times!

We have a few busy weeks ahead of us and then a busy year!

The Loddon Conference

Loddon Training and ConsultancyThis week, I am running a workshop at The Loddon Training and Consultancy Annual Conference on Promoting Wellbeing. Presenting isn’t one of my favourite things to do, but how could I resist talking about the work that we are starting to do at Liaise on Mindfulness!

PROACT-SCIPr-UK(r) instructors come from across the country to  listen to renowned speakers sharing new ideas and recent research.

This is a great opportunity for our many instructors to network with other professionals within our sector, sharing the work that we are doing and getting new ideas of how to continue to provide increasingly personalised support.
Liaise 20th

Annual Awards Evening

Next week, we have our annual co-worker awards evening. This is a great time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of everyone who works are Liaise Loddon. This year, we are also celebrating the organisation’s 20th birthday! Watch out for pictures and check out our twitter feed for (hopefully) some live updates on the night.

Another visit to Zambia

IMG_0136And then, the week after that, Marion is heading back over to Zambia to continue the work sharing good practice with the teachers at UTH Special School in Lusaka.

Because of the great successes that they have had, the staff at the school are arrange a conference to share information with others and the Ministry of Education is now interested!

Watch out for an update from Marion later on in November.

New Homes!

We have our new single person service, Marika 3, being built and everything is all to plan and we are aiming for a Christmas opening.

Also, we have now made offers on some new houses. It is our aim to be able to support another 3 or 4 individuals in Basingstoke by April 2016 and then another 4 in the Romsey area a few months later. We are so excited to talk about this, but really should wait until all the legal stuff is in place.

We will be looking to recruit new co-workers in a range of roles in both Basingstoke and Romsey area. Please contact us if you want to find out more – you can register on our recruitment page to get updates on new positions as they come up.

Keep in Touch

So, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, check back on our blogs – it is going to be an really exciting time at Liaise!

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director


Desert Island Developments

If you could take one thing onto a desert island what would it be?  A favourite book?  A musical instrument?  A hammock…sunscreen…a knife?  These are all pretty common suggestions.

Let’s consider the functions of these items for a moment…A knife will help build shelter and fires, catch and prepare food and will even help to make other tools.  Sunscreen will help keep you safe from the sun.  A hammock is obviously for sleeping in (you could also arguably use it as a net to catch fish).

Below is Maslow’s infamous diagram illustrating his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’.  This diagram attempts to categorise our needs and places them in sequence.  The argument is that people find it hard to reach the upper echelons of need unless the lower needs are first met.


A hammock, knife and sunscreen all help to meet needs from the lowest two sections on the diagram.  Ultimately they have the potential to directly improve your chances of survival.

Books and music on the other hand seem a little useless from a hardnosed survivalist perspective…they are not nutritious and don’t taste great.  They are not typically associated with procuring or preparing food, they don’t increase your safety (granted a swift swipe of a guitar might fend off certain predators in the short term but it is not its typical use) or meet any of our physiological needs.

So what point do they serve…and why are they two of the most common responses?  The answer is clearly and simply for entertainment.  Whilst we are hardwired for survival, when we think of what is important to us, our happiness is right near the top of the list.

Over the coming months within Liaise, we will be driving this message forwards with a passion…our service users need more than just safety, more than just nutrition and hydration, more than just activity rota’s and communication aids.  They NEED happiness.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has a lot going for it (I personally am incapable of being happy when I am hungry) and so these lower needs are important, but they are not the end goal we are aiming for.  We need to aim higher up on the diagram; Happiness is our goal.

happy-boy-1434104Our co-workers need to be happy too.  Why?  You will often hear people talking about how someone’s mood rubs off on other people.  This is true and is one reason (happier co-workers equals happier service users).  Happy co-workers will also mean lower employee turnover which means improved consistency for our service users.  Another reason is there is growing research that highlights just how stressful being a carer can be, and that highlights stress has a direct impact on your health.  Positive thinking and being happy is actually proven to help you to be physically healthier and can combat some of the health conditions which manifest as a result of stress.  Conceptually this flips the hierarch of needs diagram on its head!  This means to achieve good health it helps if you are happy first!

It is generally pretty accepted that people with Autism lead lives that can be filled with heightened and prolonged stress and anxiety.  Surely this must impact their health every bit as much if not more than stress affects ‘neurotypical’s’ health.  So happiness must be even more important for their health than it is for our own.

This is why we need books, and guitars, and games, and each other.  It is all about happiness.  So when you are next recording what someone ate, how much sleep they got, how they communicated their frustration, consider also recording what made them smile, what made them laugh, what made them HAPPY.

Paul Smithson, Specialist Learning Disability Managerhappiness-1227786

Are you on the right tax code?

Are you on the right tax code?

Many people end up paying too much or too little tax by being on the wrong tax code. It’s therefore important that you check you are on the right tax code. This would eliminate the pressure in case you underpaid your tax and you are sent a tax bill that you didn’t expect.HM Revenue and Customs form

Where to check for your tax code:

  • Payslips – You receive from your employer every time you get paid
  • Notice of coding received from HMRC
  • P60 – You normally get this at the end of the financial year
  • P45 – This is given to you when you leave a job

If you have more than one job, decide which your main one is so that it’s used to calculate your tax code and personal allowance. Your other second job would normally have a different tax code and HMRC would automatically apply your left over personal allowance if there is any to your second job. In many cases you will pay tax at basic rate (20%) on all your earnings of a second job. If you have more than one job you need to check that you are not getting too much in allowances across all your jobs.

Your tax code is used by your employer to calculate the amount of tax to deduct from your wages but the tax code is worked out by HMRC who sends it to your employer.

When you leave a job always get your P45 so that your new employer uses the right tax code otherwise you could end up on emergency code.

1060L is the tax code being used for 2015/2016 financial year for those born after 5 April 1938 with one job. Your tax code will change each financial year usually due to an increase in personal allowance.

However your tax code could change if you start or stop getting the following:

  • Benefits from your employer that you need to pay tax on like a company car, healthcare insurance etc..
  • Expenses from work that you can reclaim tax for
  • Income that isn’t being taxed like rental
  • State benefits that you need to pay tax on like state pension

There are also other small changes that could change your tax code like a promotion at work with a bigger salary, new employee benefit, taking on another job etc.

What to do if your tax code is wrong

Inform HMRtax 1C if you think your tax code is wrong and they will adjust your tax code so that you pay the right tax and get the personal allowance you are entitled to.

Your employer has nothing to do with tax codes so you will be wasting your time phoning up your payroll department as they won’t be of any help.

A phonecall  to HMRC today can relieve you pressure for tomorrow! .


The number to call is 03002003300