Thursday, 29 November 2007

Winsford woman takes to stage to celebrate three-star award for adult care services

AN Exmoor woman will be centre stage tonight (Thursday, November 29) as a star-studded celebratory showcase takes place to recognise the latest three-star rating of the county’s adult social care services.
Three stars is the top rating given by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and means the services have been judged to be ‘excellent’.
The celebratory event is being staged at the Brewhouse Theatre, in Taunton, with many people taking part from across Somerset, including Becky Hayes, who lives in Winsford.
All the participants will have taken part in artistic endeavours within the service, helping it to receive the highest possible rating for a fourth consecutive year.
Becky, aged 23, has been involved in the Moves Afoot dance project which takes place in Minehead’s Seahorse day centre for adults with learning disabilities.
The project is run by Arts Exchange, which is funded by Somerset County Council and the Arts Council, providing activities in dance, music, and storytelling for adults with learning disabilities.
For the past year, dance artist Oliver Ellis has been working with service users on Friday afternoons, supported by Seahorse staff.
Becky has been one of the keenest participants, and Seahorse Centre deputy team leader Helen Chave said: “Becky communicates in a very particular way and we know when she is happy.
“We knew that she enjoyed the dance session and has developed a really good relationship with Oliver.
“All the group have benefited and the project has given them the confidence to express themselves creatively using the ideas and skills brought to us by Oliver.”
The Brewhouse Theatre evening will feature a screening of the award-winning comedy horror film about food hygiene ‘Germ Academy’, created by and starring people with learning disabilities.
Cast members will be on hand to discuss their roles, as will those involved in the service’s latest film production, ‘Shape Up’.
Also on hand will be people who have become community ‘storytellers’ with the help of an innovative project run by The Unlimited Company, based within the community team for adults with learning difficulties in Mendip.
The CSCI rating will contribute to the Audit Commission’s next comprehensive performance assessment of the way the county council works and delivers services.
This year’s test was even harder than previous years, with extra emphasis placed on delivering demonstrable positive outcomes for the community.
Among areas rated as ‘excellent’ in the report were leadership, use of resources, maintaining personal dignity and respect, increased choice and control, improving quality of life, and improving health and emotional well-being.
The county’s community director, Miriam Maddison, said: “To receive a three-star rating is a welcome endorsement of all the work the council does in this area, but this event is all about celebrating the achievements of people we help.
“As a service, it is important that we are not content to just support and care for people.
“It is about making a positive contribution to peoples’ lives, helping them achieve great things and this event is celebrating just that.”
Council portfolio holder for adult and community services, Councillor Justin Robinson, said: “We have forged excellent working partnerships with volunteers, partner agencies, and carers across the county, allowing us to deliver excellent services at the local level to people across Somerset.”
  • Our photograph shows Becky Hayes training with dance instructor Oliver Ellis at the Seahorse Centre. Photo submitted.

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