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Letter from Professor Martin Green OBE

Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England has sent out the letter below stating that social care is open for business but that it needs help and support.

He is absolutely right!  Our homes are open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day.

 

Now, more than ever, we need enthusiastic, dedicated people to work with our very special adults.  You do not necessarily need any experience, just the right attitude and the  desire to really make a difference to peoples lives.  Liaise Loddon is proud to be accredited as an Investor in People organisation. We strive to ensure the provision of great quality training for all of our co-workers at every level.

On joining, co-workers receive a thorough induction in the home, which is supported by training room sessions and a comprehensive induction folder. In addition, we develop the skills and knowledge to support the individuals in our homes through a range of topics including: autism, recording keeping & confidentiality, safeguarding and first aid to name but a few. All of which support completion of the Care Certificate or Management Induction Standards depending on the role.


Once probation is successfully completed, co-workers can then complete a number of qualifications in a wide range of subjects from Person Centred Care through to a Certificate in Health and Social Care.

We encourage our co-workers to progress within the Company where opportunity, a willingness to develop and strong commitment exist.

So, what are you waiting for?  Whether you are an experienced care worker, or just fancy a change of career, or even find yourself unfortunately unemployed due to the current situation throughout the world, we would love to hear from you.  You can view all of our current vacancies here or email brionydove@liaise.co.uk for further information.

 

We have been recognised as Investors in People!

We are delighted that we have been awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard for a second time, demonstrating our commitment to high performance through good people management.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Investors in People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Liaise Loddon, Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. Liaise Loddon should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Commenting on the award, Andrea Ede, Head of Learning & Development said “Having first gained accreditation in 2015 we are delighted to have retained the Standard for another 3 years.  Our co-workers are the heartbeat of the organisation, investing in them is key to enabling the adults we support to live the most fulfilling life possible”.

For more information, please contact people@liaise.co.uk

For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.com

About Investors in People

Investors in People is the Standard for people management. The international people management Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results.

With a community of 14,000 organisations across 75 countries, successful accreditation against the Standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustained success.

Based on a tried and tested framework and a rigorous process of assessment, organisations that meet the Investors in People Standard proudly display their accreditation to the world because they understand that it’s people that make the difference.

Since 1991, the standard has evolved to keep pace with modern practices. The current sixth generation was launched internationally in 2015.

There are four levels of accreditation; Accredited, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

 

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.?????

Moving towards a Mindful Organisation

A few years ago, I was attending the annual Loddon Training & Consultancy Conference, and heard a presentation from Dene Donalds and Melanie Chapman on the increasing use of mindfulness practices in social care.

This struck a chord with me. I was intrigued and wanted to find out more.

So, a few days later, I found a local Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR) and started on a journey that has transformed both my life and my attitude to the workplace.

Being a natural sceptic, what has kept my attention is the increasing amount of research in this area. This is not some flaky, new age fad.

So, what is Mindfulness?

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School,

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention,
on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

Sounds simple? And in some ways it is, but in others, it is really difficult. But when you do give yourself some time to stop and just pay attention to how you are feeling and how you are reacting to situations, then, it can be transformative.

There is lots of information on line about mindfulness, so I’m not going to go into more detail here for now. Check it out for yourself, or let me know if you would like me to write another blog on it!

Stepping Stones

stepping-stones-1549415

After my MBSR course and starting a journey of regular meditation practice, I wanted to find out more. So, I went back to University in Bangor for a year. Bangor University was one of the first places in the UK to set up a research centre to explore and develop mindfulness based approaches.

During the year, I have gradually developed my ideas on how we can integrate some of the ideas and concepts behind mindfulness into our work, mainly focusing on enabling and empowering co-workers to have the skills to manage the high stress situations that appear and also, to enjoy more the successes that happen in the present so much of the time.

We have now run a few general Introduction to Mindfulness Courses as a taster for co-workers from across the organisation and the feedback has been positive and encouraging.

Next Steps

So, what are the next steps?

I am setting up a small focus group of about 10 co-workers, who want to take the lead on how we develop mindfulness within the organisation.

The first step is to let them loose on a full eight week mindfulness course and then, once they have more information and can see for themselves what seems to work, then we can work together to provide a range of tools, training, skills, practices and ethics that will help us move forward.

This is not something that should be done in isolation. Nor is thing something that can be rushed.

We need to make sure that we can actually show that it works and makes a difference to the co-workers, and ultimately, the people we support. This will link into many other activities within the organisation, such as Driving Up Quality, Practice Leadership and the development of a Wellbeing Strategy.

It is not something that will change overnight, it might take a few years for positive change to happen but I hope that it will be an interesting and inspiring journey.

 “Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Happiness


 

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director

 

Times change…………..

Liaise Loddon is about to be twenty years old and Loddon School is now about 27 years old but my life in the world of autism and education goes back much further! So a potted history of the changes in education and care.

chalkMy teaching career started 55 years ago when autism had only been identified for 20 years. My first job as a teacher was in a secondary school in Southampton where I taught English – and was amazed to find children there who couldn’t read or write – or some even who did not speak. Did they have autism I wondered? Today they would be in a special school but this was before the 1970 Education Act which gave education for all and so began the idea of special schools rather than training centres and hospitals.

My next job was in a special unit for children who found attending school difficult for various reasons. Here I met some highly intelligent children who had areas of brilliance and were gifted in certain subjects and who would now be seen as ‘savants’ who excelled in maths, music and art. One very challenging young man left this unit and founded a world famous computer company and was a millionaire at 18! Perhaps these were gifted children with autism at the other end of the spectrum from those I met in my first job.

At this time most children and adults with learning disabilities were usually put into the care of a local long stay hospital for the ‘severely sub-normal’. In the USA there were hospitals for such patients where 10000 or more people lived!

Girl drawing back to school

After a year teaching in a hospital school in New Zealand I knew more about autism. You learn quickly when you have a class of 12 children with no classroom assistant help and the children aged from 12 to 21 are your responsibility from 8.30 till 3.30 without a break – unless the teacher who shared the room with you and her 12 children gave you ten minutes to eat your lunch.  It was an exciting year where I learnt a great deal about classroom management and how to work with a wide range of disabilities and challenges.

‘Dibs in search of self’ by Virginia Axline influenced me at this stage – a really useful book!Dibs

On my return to the UK in 1975 I became Deputy Head of Hope Lodge School for children with Autism – a newly established school and one of the first in the UK for children with autism. On my first day one boy jumped out of the window and ran all the way to the shops about a mile away with me in hot pursuit! One child had to go into a long stay hospital for Christmas and I had to take her there. She was number 37 in a ward with one nurse sitting in a glass box office and 36 other children lying on a rather unsavoury carpet with a TV high on the wall but no other toys at all. It was rather like the films of Romania! But made me decide that one day, I would ensure it could be done better.

exam-time

During the 1980s I became Head teacher at Greenacres SLD School in Winchester where I introduced EDDY, real learning and the teaching of reading and a school day with a curriculum, teaching strategies and even their first BBC computer. Then I became Director of Education at Ravenswood Village in Berkshire where there were 200 children and adults living in a special village. In this job I introduced assessment and programmed reviews so that children and adults had targets and opportunities to learn new skills.

So from the early days of teaching in Southampton to the work in Berkshire I was working towards a new way of working with people with disabilities and making sure that each person was given respect and opportunity. It was at Ravenswood that I was introduced by a visitor to the developing programme in New York called SCIP. I worked with Janet Bromley and Linzi Holt to develop the programme and deliver it in Ravenswood so that it became a proactive positive programme forming the basis of our work today in Loddon School and Liaise Loddon now known as PROACT-SCIPr-UK®
Now we have more than 700 instructors teaching positive programming and behaviour supports throughout the UK and even in Zambia where we have 6 keen instructors already.

So my teaching journey began when I as a small girl decided to become a teacher and to ensure that children with disabilities were given real opportunities – and look where we are now! Do you have a vision? Where do you want to be and what do you want to achieve?

The world of disability has changed in my life time and will continue to change so that everyone has an opportunity and no one lives in the conditions I saw in old hospitals, and in Romania. Follow your vision!

Marion Cornick Co-founder & Chair of Directors Liaise LoddonMarion Cornick, Chair of Directors

Specialist Worker Training: What’s It All About?

Once we’ve put a programme in place for one of the people we support, that’s not the end of the story. People change, and circumstances change, so we’re continually monitoring our programmes to see what’s working well and what isn’t working so well.

We do a lot of observation to find out what our service users like and dislike, using photographs and objects to help them reflect on their experiences. And, where possible, we ask the person in question, too.

So how do the specialist workers and the people they support benefit?

The idea is that the specialist workers can decide what are the essential and best ways to review support plans by using recordings and behaviour data, by talking to colleagues – but also by looking at how the information is presented and to whom.

So far, Liaise’s specialist workers have had four sessions this year. Participation has been great, and everyone has worked very hard.

Participants have been analysing all the steps they need to review any and all aspects of a service user’s care and support plan. This might sound straightforward, but it actually covers the person’s whole life and lifestyle – including their health and wellbeing, goals and achievements, and the skills and positive behaviours they’re learning to replace challenging behaviours.

The specialist worker group identified that one of the most important elements of an effective review is involving the wider support team. Everyone evaluates what has worked and what hasn’t worked so well for each individual.

Direct support co-workers often know the individuals they support extremely well so they can be fantastic advocates when individuals need help expressing their views and wishes.

Everyone also agreed that involving the service user in reviewing their own support plan is also crucial, and should be the starting point in any evaluation. Sometimes the people we support can tell us what they like and don’t like about their lives when someone they trust asks them.

However, not everyone has speech or other ways of communicating, so they might need lots of help to understand what they’re being asked. This means we need to come up with more imaginative ways to get service users involved.

Specialist workers in the group have shared the different ways they’ve helped the people they support to express themselves. Here are just a few of those methods:

  • Creating a book of ‘things I like’ and choosing photographs of favourite activities, people and places.
  • Choosing which staff member they want to work with.
  • Keeping a daily diary by choosing a photo of an activity or experience they enjoyed that day.

In this way, we can make sure that everyone we support is getting what they need, when they need it.

Practice Leadership Project

Liaise is also taking part in the Practice Leadership Project with Roy Deveau, assistant research fellow at the Tizzard Centre, University of Kent. The specialist worker training is a great place to discuss the strategies each home will focus on as part of this project.

It’s a great opportunity to work on teaching skills to service users and staff alike – and the project has begun in earnest.

Roy is coming back to Liaise in October to see how we’ve been getting on. We’ll report back then!