The Local Solutions Annual Award event took place on Friday 20th December, bringing together staff and volunteers from across the company to celebrate the exceptional work done by individuals within the Local Solutions community but also to appreciate the work done by everyone to support Local Solutions’ goal of improving lives.
The David Shone Award
As is the case every year, the awards started with the the David Shone Memorial Award. David was our founding Chief Executive whose principal passion was to see young people succeed and this award is specially designed for a young person who has made significant progress/contribution/achievement to Local Solutions or the community during the year.
the winner of the award is Jordan Norman from Wirral Supported Lodgings. Jordan has been with our service for over 18 months now and despite significant challenges he has faced, he has made remarkable progress. Jordan has successfully completed a Foundation Skills course and has gone on to undertake a Level 1 in Construction Skills. He has gone from strength to strength and was recently awarded the “Bricklayer of the Year” award from Wirral Met and had been offered a traineeship.
The Unsung Hero Award
The next award of the day was The Unsung Hero Award. This award is for an individual that makes a consistent valuable contribution to a team or a service. The winner for this category is Paula Johnson from the Homecare Quality Team. Paula was initially employed as a Quality Officer for Homecare. However, due to health issues, she had to move to a more suitable, office-based position and now works as a Quality Administrator where she supports the Quality Team. For somebody who is used to being out and about in the community, Paula has adjusted well in this busy and complex office environment. She is in work bright and early to ensure she gets things done before the troops arrive. She works extra shifts to support colleagues and does it all with a smile on her face. It takes resilience to thrive in the Homecare environment as it is a very difficult and dynamic area in which to work. However, despite various challenges in her life, Paula is one of those people who does thrive and keeps going, day in and day out. I am told Paula is the warm heart of the office, always at hand to help always goes out of her way to make people feel good. In her nomination, Paula is described as being ‘Top’, ‘Boss’ and a ‘Pleasure to work with’!
The runners up in this category were, Sharon Boardman (Homecare Co-ordinator) and Emily Davies (Supervisor - Data Operations Team - DOT)
Volunteer of the Year Award
Next was the Volunteer of the Year Award, an award for a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to our services.
This year’s winner is Debbie Jones. Debbie has been on a journey with us for some years now. She has overcome barriers that, for most, would have been unachievable. She has made significant progress personally and is playing a key role volunteering as a peer mentor. Debbie has a high level of intelligence that stands out as she learns material in relation to her role. She then quite easily translates this information to the young people to spark motivation for themselves. Her emotional intelligence is second to none as she has now begun to turn all her life experiences into positivity and uses these skills to help the young people who access our service. Debbie is attending various training programmes to increase her skills. She has been present when key representatives have visited our Young Person’s Hub and has been confident to speak publicly about her journey in order to promote our work. Debbie has also taken the lead on a project relating to raising awareness with the homeless community about the serious affect that knife crime is having. She is a lovely person who deserves this award to show appreciation for her hard work and commitment in supporting others. One of the young people commented that “Debbie works tirelessly to help the young people feel comfortable and safe and she is a brilliant peer-mentor”.
Runners up were - Bin Yan who volunteers for Corporate Services, and Tina Williams – Householder with Wirral Supported Lodgings
Team of the year award
Now we moved on to the The Team of the Year Award. This is the award for the team that has demonstrated excellence during the year. The winners of this years award were the Data Operations Team
The Data Operations Team AKA DOT, are the bridge between Homecare and Finance for payroll and invoicing. The team’s role is incredibly complicated and challenging. They ensure all 600 plus care support workers are paid correctly, promptly and that any discrepancies are dealt with due care & attention. Their invoicing work is equally complex, as they manage and process the invoicing data for 1,800 plus service users across 5 different Local Authorities and private individuals. The team has undergone significant transformational change over recent years, which has seen a reduction in personnel, coupled with an increase in workload. The team epitomize the values of Local Solutions - they are resilient, having faced and overcome challenges head on, they continually aspire to achieve excellence in the work they undertake and through their dedication improve the service delivered to our staff and service users.
Runners up in this category were, The IT Team and Senior Carers - Homecare
Employee of the Year Award
Finally, onto the highly anticipated Employee of the Year Award. This is an award for an individual employee who has demonstrated excellence during the year. Our judges highlighted they were impressed by the three employees that were shortlisted. They felt that all had taken the initiative to go over and above what was expected of them in their day to day job role.
The Winner of the Award was John O’Shaughnessy. John has worked for Local Solutions for over 15 years and his appreciation for technology was clear to see at the very start. In the early days, he regularly had to post hundreds of letters – this would drive him crazy as each letter would need to be individually changed. A few thousand letters later John had had enough, he decided to teach himself how to build a Microsoft Access database to automate the letter creation process and he never looked back. His passion for technology intensified and with this he completed a degree in Software Engineering. To date, John’s databases are used across the organisation, they provide many departments with innovative, bespoke, creative and sophisticated systems for analysis, which have in turn provided efficiency savings to the organisation. John is one of the most well-known & well-respected individuals in the organisation. He is always happy to help anyone, even if it impacts on his own workload. John runs bespoke Microsoft training sessions, enabling staff to learn new skills or refresh old skills. One colleague said that “John always makes himself available and nothing is too much trouble. He is polite and always knows the solution to the problem. He is an amazing asset to every team in Local Solutions”.
Runners up in this category were, Alan Pritchard (Buildings and Facilities Co-ordinator) and Abby Lewis (Homecare)