2012 has brought some well-deserved recognition for Outreach Community & Residential Services staff with the receipt of two awards. Level 1 PQASSO (Practical Quality Award System for Smaller Organisations) focuses on the overall quality of the care and support given to service users and the Dignity in Care Award recognises and commends the level of attention individual members of staff put into frontline health and social care.
“I first become involved with Outreach as a volunteer when I was 14 years old and this initial involvement had led to me becoming involved in politics. I had been introduced to Outreach by my mother, who was herself committed to the organisation and joining Outreach changed my life.
“During the 1980s and 1990s Outreach had the revolutionary belief that everyone should be treated as an individual. This attitude was ahead of any other organisation (especially regionally) and Outreach has continued to maintain this ethos and been ahead of other organisations in terms of its values and the way it continues to recognise and identify the needs of the service user, ensuring their dreams are met and that they attain their full potential.
“Everyone is interdependent, not independent and through the way Outreach provides support, people have been able to have relationships and lead fulfilled lives without becoming lonely and isolated.”
Akilah Akinola, Outreach Chief Executive, said:
“Outreach has always been a very progressive organisation. The future of Outreach is looking bright, the quality of staff is improving and as a result, the quality of the services provided is always getting better “The plans for the future include looking at new offices, improving the environment of the houses and improving awareness of Outreach in the community as well as recruiting additional staff in order to deliver more domiciliary services within the community and increase opportunities for people with a learning disability and/or mental health need to access community , social and leisure facilities.”
Ivan Lewis MP then went on to award staff or service users who deserved special recognition:
o Tony Simmons
Akilah explained that Tony was a service user who had done a lot of fundraising for Outreach and through his commitment and effort had raised a lot of money. She also thanked him for all his hard work and efforts.
o Helen Openshaw, Tony Beaney and Lisa Ogden
Akilah explained that these three members of staff had worked hard in delivering and planning activities with the leisure group and and at the Drop in centre. It was through their efforts that everything in this area was so successful.
o Beverley Shaw
Akilah reminded everyone there had been a lot of management changes and during that time Bev had been quietly working in the background and been extremely flexible in everything she did and supported her fellow managers through the changes. Akilah therefore wanted to thank Beverley for all her efforts.
o Elaine Carter
Akilah explained that within Outreach, service users had been involved in the recruitment of staff and taken part in interviews for a long time. She named all the service users involved and added that one person in particular had worked very hard, had always been willing to step in at the last minute and provided an excellent example for others to follow. That person was Elaine, who sadly was unavailable at the AGM to accept her certificate in person, it would therefore be taken back to her house and presented to Elaine there.