Nicola Laffey

“Nicola raised that her client’s communication plan needed updating. I arranged to go and meet her client and Nicola to update his plan. Nicola was fab with him, she has clearly developed a great working relationship with him, she was really attentive to his communication and had taken time to learn and understand his individual way of signing.
With Nicola’s support, we created a ‘sign dictionary’, so staff can identify the sign he is using and will be able to know what each sign means. Using tools will benefit both Nicolas client and his staff members, as it will make communication for him smoother, help remove any communication barriers and broaden the range of people he can communicate with. Thank you for your help on updating the plan and sharing your knowledge! Great work!”- Steph Denison – Communications Manager

“Nicola is an established member of our client’s team and it shows. She knows him very well and he responds very positively to her. Her records are always thorough so I can keep updated on what he has been up to when I am not able to be there. Very well-deserved Nicola!” – Ash Craven – House Supervisor

“Really good work Nicola. We rely on support workers to let us know if there is a change in the client’s needs or an element of the Support Plan that needs reviewing to increase the effectiveness of our service. Two-way communication is so important in enabling clients to convey their wants and needs and fully participate in the day’s activities. Thank you for your observational, creative, caring and team work approach Nicola. So impressive :)” – Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Nicola – “Every client must be treated in a person-centred way, thus have their own individual needs. Each client has their own personal way of communicating what they need and want in their everyday life. Tools, like communication dictionaries, need to be put in place to ensure the client is understood by all staff ensuring they are getting the best of the care provided.”


Connor Staite

“Since joining Active Connor has gone above and beyond for his client and faced difficult situations with courage and persistence, to ensure the client is getting the right support. Connor has learnt how to handle his clients challenging behaviours and has shown real commitment to learning the methods we use to manage these. Connor has shown that he has listened and understood his training when recently managing several behaviours that his client has displayed due to ill health.
Connor is following the correct procedures and taking advice on board, to better his skills and further help his client. Self-development is vital in this role and Connor’s willingness to listen and learn, coupled with a passion to want to do everything he can to further help his client has made Connor a great addition to the team.
Whilst speaking to the communications manager Steph I have found that he went away and practiced his BSL and came back to shift having remembered it all. This is vital in reducing challenging behaviours as the more we can ensure we are communicating to the best of our ability with the client the more we are avoiding possible behaviours.
Well done Connor, and welcome to Active.”– Martin Brook – Senior Manager, Operations

“Connor is really impressive; he has made a great start and has shown real interest in reaching his clients outcomes” – Richard Greenwood – Client Key Worker

“Definitely, welcome to Active Connor. We always need staff with the right values to join our team and help us improve people’s lives. We do provide a lot of training and support is always available from your supervisor or specialist communication or behaviour management teams – you only need to ask. It’s great that you’ve used the training provided so far to develop your skills as a worker. This is impressive and demonstrates a true commitment to the company’s values and client’s wellbeing. Great also to see Richard’s comments that you are focused on helping your client achieve his outcomes. Great start Connor, we appreciate your efforts!”– Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Connor – “Thank you for the voucher, what I do to provide a good service is make sure I read the care plan about my client before working with them because I will then already have an idea about what my client is like and I know what the client likes and what he dislikes. When my client has a behaviour, I watch my colleagues who have worked with him for years, I pick up tips on how to keep him from feeling anxious and how to distract him, they are just a couple of things I do, thanks for the voucher again.

CATEGORY 3 – ROTA STAR (Day Services)

Nevis Allen

“You have been very helpful by offering to work extra almost every Sunday since the New Year. Thanks Nevis- it really is appreciated. Well done and enjoy the award…. You deserve it!”– Julie Bailey – Rota co-ordinator

“Aww Nevis, always so committed and caring, thank you for helping out in this way, for such a sustained period, to ensure continuity of care for our clients. We really appreciate your support” – Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Nevis Allen – “I help out in many ways that I can, if I have spare time, I will volunteer to help cover shifts at Active.”

CATEGORY 4 – ROTA STAR (Home/Community Services)

Jessica Hill

“Jess is such a trooper, she could not be more helpful if she tried. Jess has consistently gone out of her way to help when we have the rota team has been stuck. She is reliable, incredibly hardworking and always comes to work with a smile on her face. I don’t know what we’d do without you Jess – thank you, thank you, thank you!” – Daisy Hall – Senior Manager, Quality Compliance

“Jess is brilliant, she is the go-to for anything in the house, she never questions covering shifts and will always pick up the phone to ask house related questions.” – Ricky Thompson – House Supervisor

“Jess works with my daughter exceptionally well; she really engages when she plays with her and is fantastic at doing her hair.”– Clients Mother

“Fabulous work Jess. It’s so important to come to work with such a positive attitude and the clients benefit from the cheery atmosphere this creates. I also like that you take responsibility for your work and ask questions when you are unsure about something. No wonder you are becoming the ‘go-to person’ in the team. Great attitude Jess and we appreciate your professionalism” – Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Jessica – “Aww! Thank you so much!! Knowing we all work as a team and help each other wherever we can, when I am asked to work if I haven’t got plans for that day, I think about my clients and what they wouldn’t be able to achieve without the extra support. I am always happy to help out wherever and whenever I can.”


Sandra Bolton

“I have chosen Sandra for her unyielding approach to improving communication. Her signing skills have been invaluable as part of our client survey and Sandra has taken on the role of ensuring that all ‘voices’ have been heard.
One example is the time she spent with her client talking and signing with him to find out more about his likes and dislikes and then creating an easy read document that will feed into his support plan and help other staff to understand what he wants to do. Great work Sandra, well done!”– Sharon Weavill – Day Services Manager

“I told Sandra’s client that Sandra won the award for her great communication skills and work she does with the clients. Sandra’s client smiled, flapped his arms and looked really happy at the news! I explained I would like to include his feedback for the compliment, he signed he was happy to do this by looking up for yes. I asked if Sandra helps him to make choices and makes him feel happy, he signed yes for both with a big smile. I asked if he enjoyed his cinema trip, (Sandra gained the knowledge he wanted to go from the client survey), he signed yes and showed he was excited. I asked him if he had to choose a picture to describe Sandra’s work, which would he choose… (Faces with different emotions)

He looked at the face with a big smile and 2 thumbs up! Well done Sandra!” – Steph Denison – Communications Manager and Sandra’s Client

“Aww Sandra, our clients benefit so much from your vast skill set. It is absolutely brilliant that you support clients to communicate their views on our service so we can understand what works well and how we can improve. I absolutely love that you have worked with your client to co-produce the communication and support plan. This is how we personalise the service for individuals to make sure they work towards their outcomes and have a great day. You are just so wonderful Sandra. Thank you so much for your commitment”- Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Sandra Bolton – “I plan my shifts in advance, taking into consideration the client’s interests and their outcomes, I give myself time to set up activities, allow the client time to make their own choices, enable them to participate as fully as possible thus maximising their independence. Thank you”


Lily Gibson

“Lily has shown to be a true role model in documenting good working practice. Lily excels in providing the most detailed record of visits with clarity and compassion by understanding the needs of her clients. Her records have been presented to other staff as an example of how we expect records to be completed. Keep up the great work!” – Hayley Ryan – Manager of Seniors and House Supervisors

“She is absolutely lovely with my daughter; I can’t fault her at all. Very pleased with her and the work she does. My daughter loves her and looks forward to seeing her.” – Clients Mother

“Great work Lily, the daily records are so important in that they give us the evidence we need to spot patterns and understand what works and what changes need to be made. They are also a legal document and a requirement under the Health and Social Care regulations. You are also right that families like to read what the client has done and progress made towards their outcomes. It is so caring and professional of you to give this attention to detail. Please share your skills with colleagues to help others who want to develop in this area. Very much valued and appreciated Lilly!” – Karen Pogson – Registered Manager/Director

Lily Gibson – “Thank you so much! I think it’s important to keep detailed records so there is good communication between us and families of clients, to help better support them and to be always thinking how we can make things better and improve the care they receive. :)”

CATEGORY 7 – OFFICE STAR (including trainers and group leader’s)

Maria Semertzidou

“Oh, my goodness me Maria, you have been a little ‘rocket women’ this month. I cannot believe how much work you have got through and at such a high level.

Maria has worked in partnership with Skills for Care to set up an ‘I Care Ambassador scheme’ for the whole of Kirklees. We will soon be offering opportunities for experienced staff to undergo training and represent the social care sector at events to talk about benefits of a career in ‘care’. Representatives from the health care sector will also join us in this scheme as well as staff from other Provider organisations.

Maria has also worked in partnership with Kirklees Council and Skills for Care to set up a Recruitment and Retention Network in Kirklees. All social care providers are invited to join this network to share ideas and industry best practice in this area. Maria is going to chair the group.

There is absolutely no stopping this lady! Fantastic work Maria. You have absolutely blossomed in your role!!!

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to Active and wider social care community.” – Karen Pogson – Director/Registered Manager

“Maria is one of the nicest most helpful people I have ever met, Maria was unexpectedly off work ill at a very busy time but was an absolute star when helping people get through the work load. Every morning I would contact Maria and she would point me in the direction that I needed to go that day; she was dedicated to getting through the work even if it was from her bed.” – Jennifer Hirstle – Publicity Officer

Maria Semertzidou – “Thanks Karen, I’m excited to be pushing myself into new areas, for my own development and the company’s! I can’t wait to get started and work with staff who are just as passionate about their work as I am and to work together with people from other organisations to get new creative ideas that will help us to recruit more staff that have the right values, behaviours and attitudes to work in care and provide the best service for our clients.”


Charlie Durkin

“Thank you, Charlie, for having the courage and exercising your ‘duty of care’, to raise a concern over a matter concerning a home care client, that enabled us to take action to prevent an incident occurring. Your action led to us to reviewing a number of our systems to strengthen our processes to keep people safe. We very much rely on staff to notice when things aren’t just right or our systems aren’t just working as they should. It doesn’t matter what grade you are or how ‘new to the job’ you are, Safeguarding is everyone’s business!!!” – Karen Pogson – Director/Registered Manager

“Charlie has really ‘stepped up’ recently sharing concerns about matters that could otherwise have gone unnoticed. It takes confidence to raise concerns and a strength to deal with such matters professionally, so well-done Charlie!” – Sharon Weavill – Day Centre Manager

Charlie – “Thank you for this nomination. I understand it’s part of my job to raise issues like this to ensure the safety of all my clients.”

Terri Hegarty, Ash Craven, Clare Hainsworth, Sharon Weavill, Sue Hartley and Steph Denison

“Where do I start with this team of amazing people? You have all absolutely given 110% to get our new supported living house up and running and worked tirelessly to make sure the client had a good transition.

At one point I thought Steph had moved into the house herself as she was always there when I visited. In actual fact I’m sure Sue had moved in with her ’round the clock’ decorating marathon. The decor is amazing Sue, as always. Clare worked tirelessly to get the Support Plan right and source equipment. Absolutely beyond the call of duty was Ash, burrowing through the skip to find the bath seat control that had been accidentally thrown out. He found it… right at that bottom! Sharon was an absolute ‘rock’ in keeping us all on track and liaising between family and Social Workers. But, most of all, thank you Terri for your drive and commitment for personalising the systems, bonding and training a new team and stoically pursing our Health Care partners to address issues for the client. I have to say Terri that I feel the service is ‘safe’ with you! Thank you, guys, and hope you’re all having a more settled April, ha ha.” – Karen Pogson – Director/Registered Manager

“Terri has been absolutely fantastic setting up a new supported living house for our client. She has worked tirelessly developing the skills in the staff team so they can support him to set up a new home, with a whole new communication toolkit. Everyone is loving it!
Clare helped develop the paperwork backup for the new supported living house, changing it daily sometimes as our client and his staff developed new skills!
Steph worked with our client and his staff team to develop a communication system. He has amazed everyone with his ability to combine picture cards to communicate quite complex messages about how he feels or what he wants.” – Cath Bowers – Support Bowers

Terri – “This has been a huge team effort! I would have been absolutely overwhelmed without Ash guiding me through everything, Clare working tirelessly with me, Steph being amazing and a speed demon with the Communication aids, Sharon supporting me with much needed information and Sue keeping all the work men in check and making the Bungalow look beautiful. Most of all though the whole staff team who work in the Bungalow has been brilliant! Everyone has adapted to new systems and changes like a pro. We have all managed to make a beautiful home for our clients and our hard work really shines through with the positive daily life from the client and their happy family.”

Ash – “Teamwork is essential for any kind of success and it shows with all of the people involved who pulled together and made this a success story.”

Clare – “Thank you. It’s good to have the time and right team of people involved to do this and be able to see how the client has benefited from this and continues to thrive.”

Sharon – “It’s great to be part of something so life changing for clients and their families. The effort from everyone involved was really appreciated by the family and the outcome for the client was a fabulous new home!”

Sue – “With everything in life I give 110%, it was important to finish the house to make sure the client had a wonderful place to live.”

Steph – “Thank you! Everyone worked hard together to make sure it was a smooth transition for our client. It was really important to make sure the communication systems were set up from the start, for both our client and his staff. The systems are already developing and his team are coming up with new ideas to help improve communication and choice making. P.S I haven’t moved in… although it is lovely!”

Sarah Ellis

“Welcome back Sarah and I for one can say how much I’ve personally missed you! I note you haven’t wasted anytime in getting back to preparing the service and teams for an Ofsted Inspection! I know it’s in safe hands as always.

You’ve also ‘cracked on’ with reviewing all the Newsome Support Plans. It’s great to have your wealth of experience and wisdom back in the team Sarah. High five :)” – Karen Pogson – Director/Registered Manager

“Sarah has made an extraordinarily quick return to work after a serious illness. She got straight back in the saddle and has surprised us all with the way she has adapted to her return. She is already part of the support planning team. Welcome back!” – Cath Bowers – Support Planning Manager

Sarah – “I would like to say thank you for the award and the nice compliment. I would just like to say Thanks for the warm welcome back to work after a long absence. I try to always be there for all the staff and clients. We have a great staff team and we always do a fab job when OFSTED come to visit so bring it on (well maybe not this week…)”

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