Special Christmas delivery!

In the last three years, Thomas who lives in one of our homes  has been to every Varsity Pro Wrestling show (VPW) which has come to Basingstoke to see his favourite wrestler ‘Ruthless’ Rob Holte and always waits after shows to congratulate the Basingstoke-born grappler, win or lose.

As a festive surprise, Mr Holte visited Thomas on December 21 to give him an early Christmas present. As soon as the wrestler walked through the door, Thomas’ face lit up and he ran over to give his hero a big hug.

After a tour of the home, Mr Holte presented him with a one-of-a-kind t-shirt which no one else in the world currently has.

The Basingstoke Gazette were also there to report on the event and Mr Holte said to them: “As entertainers we are nothing without our fans so be able to give something back is great.  Just seeing the look on Thomas’ face when I walked through the door was incredible and it makes you feel like what we do is worth it.”

The surprise was arranged by deputy manager of the house, Ian Wallis, who attends all of the VPW shows with Thomas.

Ian said: “The whole thing came about by chance when I bumped into Rob at Morrisons. We got talking as I said that Thomas was looking forward to the next show. One thing led to another and he said he would come and surprise Thomas. “The whole experience has just been incredible for him [Thomas] and you can just see how happy it has made him.”

Ian said since going to the wrestling, Thomas has been inspired by his hero and has started going to the gym. He has lost 10lbs in four weeks.  Throughout the tour, Thomas said he wanted to join Mr Holte in the ring to fight his foe Warren Brady.

When asked why Holte was his favourite, Thomas said: “Because he is from Basingstoke, he’s the pride of Basingstoke.  I want to say a big thank you to Rob for coming to see me.”

Co-worker achievements celebrated

Over 250 of our co-workers were recognised for their outstanding achievements on Friday 16 November 2018 at our annual awards evening, held this year at Novotel Southampton.

The team were presented with awards for outstanding achievements by guest presenters including Stephanie Regular, NatWest Assistant Relationship Manager (North Hampshire CBC), Graham Stead, Client Relationship Director of CMI (IT service providers), Paul Temple from Basingstoke & Deane Rotary Club and Director at Basingstoke Gymnastics Club, and Michelle Payne, Area Manager, South West Adult Services – National Autistic Society.

Our founder and Chair of Directors, Marion Cornick MBE opened the evening by thanking everyone for their contribution to making the company so successful in the important work they do supporting some of the most vulnerable individuals in the community.

Addressing the co-workers at the awards, Marion Cornick MBE said: “We couldn’t do any of what we do without the amazing dedication and support of all of you.  Thank you for everything you do, and keep up the excellent work”.

Marion also presented her daughter, Deborah Cornick, Managing Director with a special Business Development Award.  Presenting the award, Marion said “When my husband Tim passed away in 2001, Deborah gave up her career to help me run the business.  Under her guidance we have grown the company to the current 11 homes that we have and are now a major employer with over 260 people working for us.  This is to say thank you for everything Deborah has done and continues to do for the business”.





Marion Cornick, MBE, Chair of Directors with Managing Director, Deborah Cornick




Deborah added her thanks to the room saying “This is our opportunity to thank all of you for doing such an amazing job in the homes and offices all year.  We really appreciate everything you do.  And of course, we mustn’t forget those co-workers who couldn’t join us this evening for one reason or another – particularly those who are working caring for our very special people“.

A number of awards were presented on the night including Best Newcomer and Making a Positive Change, but sweeping the board for yet another year with an impressive three awards was Basingstoke Shift Leader, Martha Amaazee who won in three categories all focused on excellence in delivering personalised support.

Triple award winner Martha Amaazee with Paul Temple, from Basingstoke & Deane Rotary Club and Director at Basingstoke Gymnastics Club

The winners of the Teamwork award were ‘Applelea’, one of the Basingstoke homes.  They were presented their award by our Positive Support Director Henrik Holgersen who said “This year Applelea underwent a large redesign and build project making the environment even more bespoke to the needs of the people who live there. Throughout the build the team remained positive and did an outstanding job supporting the service users ensuring any disruption to their lives were well managed. The team also put a lot of work into preparing the service users for their new environment.

With the manager, the team worked very hard to prepare for their 2-day long CQC inspection which earned them a well-deserved excellent report, more evidence, as if it were needed, of the great team effort at Applelea.   

Deborah Cornick and Henrik Holgersen with the winning team from Applelea

Chair of Directors, Marion Cornick also presented a donation to Bone Cancer Research and Oxford Hospital charities.  Graham Stead who accepted the donation on behalf of the charities said: ”This is a cause that I am personally involved with raising funds for and we are very grateful for the donation which will be put to good use.  75% goes to Bone Cancer Research where the money is used to fund research, provide guidance and support to those impacted by Bone Cancer, and to raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms.  25% goes to The Oxford Hospitals Charity, who are are very directly using the fundraising to help with care on Kamrans Ward – the childrens cancer ward. They are replacing the monitoring systems that are used to care for the kids. Each new monitor costs about £5,000 and is a significant improvement on existing monitoring equipment. So far, we have raised £95,000 for the two charities in total, including Gift Aid, so the 25% for Kamrans is nearly £25,000 which has fully paid for 5 of these monitors; nearly half of the number required to fully re-kit Kamrans!”.











Graham Stead & Marion Cornick MBE


To find out how you can start a career with us, go to this link www.liaise.co.uk.

Doing what we do

At Liaise we are proud of our reputation as a specialist service so we were very pleased to receive the following email recently praising our coworkers for their professionalism and positive attitudes.

This was from a former teacher of a new service user who has recently moved into one of our services (published with her permission).


I’d just like to share my thoughts and feelings on a current transition of one of my pupils to Marika House.

marika-house-newI’ve been A’s teacher for 3 years having come from mainstream to suddenly be teaching a highly challenging class at Tadley Court School with A as one of the most challenging pupils in the school. I immediately developed a very close working relationship with A regardless of the daily behaviours he demonstrated. He has come a long way. So much so he is now (mostly) to be able to self manage his anxieties.

For the past 3 years I’ve been anxious about A’s transition into post 19 provision.  I needn’t have been. The transition plan that was put in place by Marika, rather than ourselves, has been second to none. Each and every staff that has met A, or myself, have told me how excited they are to get to know him. This has given me even more confidence that this is the best place for A.

I have every confidence that Marika house is the best place for this special young man. I’d like to pay a particular thank you and commendation to Lizzie who has ensured a flawless transition as well as developing an immediate positive  relationship with my special boy!

Many many thanks


Marion Cornick, MBE!

We are so proud to share the news with you that our founder & Chair of Directors Marion Cornick has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours for services to education.

Marion founded The Loddon School, in Sherfield-on-Loddon, in 1988 for children with severe learning difficulties including autism.

She has been involved in special education since 1961.

Marion who has also served as a  governor of Fort Hill Community School in Winklebury, Basingstoke saw an opportunity when an old school closed in 1988 and she personally leased the building from another trust to start a school for children who had no provision at the time.

The Loddon School is both home and school for 28 children who have the most severe and complex learning difficulties. Many children also have additional problems associated with autism and epilepsy, including self-injury, aggression and disruptive behaviour.MC, MBE

The children live at the school 52 weeks a year so The Loddon School is a home which provides education, leisure, play, outings and holidays. All children live in small family groups with their own staff who are responsible for their care and support programme and their social development.

Find out more about Marion’s story on our website.

She said of her award: “I am extremely pleased that the work the school has accomplished for children with autism and severe complex needs has been recognised.”


10 Good Reasons to Work at Liaise Loddon

A career is so much more than just a job, it’s something we devote a huge proportion of our adult lives to, and more and more these days people want to make sure that this investment of time pays off in job satisfaction and fulfilment. Here are 10 reasons why many of our co-workers have chosen to build a career at Liaise Loddon:

1) They make an incredible difference to peoples’ lives

And not just the lives of the people we support, but those of their family and friends, as well as your co-workers and the community as a whole. Supporting and enabling our service users to lead happy and fulfilled lives is truly rewarding, one reason why this is so much more than just a job for most of our co-workers.

2) An excellent salary and benefits package

Liaise Loddon is committed to becoming a Living Wage employer, and we currently pay all co-workers at least  £7.85 per hour.  All co-workers are entitled to a generous company pension scheme, as well as access to tax free childcare vouchers and shopping and travel savings.

3) Generous annual leave entitlement

All our co-workers are entitled to the equivalent of 7 weeks annual leave (28 days per year for support workers on the standard shift pattern) with additional bonus leave entitlement granted for long service.

4) Career development

Within Liaise we believe strongly that our co-workers should be given opportunities to develop their career, and our steady growth means that opportunities are always there. The majority of our Directors and Registered Managers began their careers as support workers.

5) 24 hour Employee Assistance Programme

All our co-workers have free access for themselves and their family to a 24 hour confidential helpline which provides qualified advice on a wide range of work-related and personal issues. Any co-worker who is sick for reasons related to stress or anxiety is able to access immediate help from trained counsellors.

6) Excellent Training

At Liaise we see the best training as being an essential part of our commitment to delivering the best possible support to our service users. Whether it be through our comprehensive in-house induction programme and ongoing development opportunities, or through our commitment to supporting our co-workers in achieving external qualifications such as the QCF, our priority is to ensure that our co-workers are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills they need.

7) Investors in People

Liaise Loddon has achieved the Investors in People Bronze Award, in recognition of our continuing commitment to achieving organisational excellence.

8) An active, varied day

Working with us means supporting our service users in every aspect of their daily lives – this could be anything from intensive sensory activities in the home, to making sure they have access to the widest possible range of activities in the community. Activities can include swimming, horse riding, gardening, visiting the local pub, or a trip to the seaside. No two days will ever be the same.

9) A predictable working schedule

As a co-worker at Liaise you will be working to a fixed rolling shift pattern, meaning that you can plan your life always knowing in advance what days you are going to be working.

10) Job security

There is an increasing need for adult care services of all kinds, and Liaise Loddon’s expertise in supporting adults with the most severe learning disabilities ensures that there is a constant and growing demand for our services.

If you want to find out more, you can see some of our co-workers talking about working with Liaise at https://www.liaise.co.uk/meet-our-co-workers/ , call us on 01256 812663, or email us at careers@liaise.co.uk.?????

Liaise Loddon Co-worker Awards Evening

Deborah & Marion

Managing Director Deborah Cornick & Chair of Directors Marion Cornick

We hosted our annual co-worker awards at the Hampshire Court Hotel in Basingstoke last week.  Over 100 co-workers  were joined by The Mayor of Basingstoke & Deane, Councillor Ann Court, ex England Cricketer and Managing Director of local business Cotton Graphics Shaun Udal and our founder and Chair of Directors, Marion Cornick.

Speaking ahead of the awards, our Managing Director Deborah Cornick said: “Every day, our extraordinary team each change the world in small but significant ways. They create safe, stimulating and fulfilling homes for the people we support.  They give the people we support the power to take as much control as they can to live happy and fulfilling lives as independently as possible.

“Liaise Loddon is only as good as our co-workers.  They’re the ones delivering the care  day and night.  We could not make such a positive difference to the people we support without their hard work and commitment.  It is important that we recognise their hard work.”

A number of awards were presented ranging from Best Newcomer to Service In the Community.  Winner of Service in the Community Award, Siobhan Phillips who also volunteers for St Michael’s Hospice shop in Basingstoke said: “It means a lot to be recognised.  I have lots of emotions.  It’s fantastic.”

Winner of two awards on the night, Spreading the Word and Promoting Wellbeing, Sam Kitojo said: “It’s great.  I couldn’t have done it without my team’s support.  The award is under my name but it is for everybody I work with.”

Founder, Marion Cornick also presented the local Mayor with a donation for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.  Marion said:  “I would imagine everyone in this room has been touched by cancer, whether it is knowing someone going through it or having lost someone to it, but we are delighted to support Ark Cancer Centre Charity this year.”

Celebration room

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