Winner! Team of the year

The team at Alderton House has triumphed in the face of multiple challenges this year, demonstrating commitment and excellent communication. Their hard work has led to great outcomes for people they support

Supporting everyone through a rocky start to a new person moving to the home, extensive building works and medical emergencies all contributed to an eventful year at Alderton House.

The diverse support team consists of long-standing team members and newer team members. They work extremely well together and receive excellent leadership from the Home Manager, Jolene Reader, and Deputy Manager, Sarah Turnock. Expressing Achieve together’s values, they have made things happen, been brave, valued everyone and had a lot of fun along the way.

Helping a person to adjust to life in new surroundings, the team worked hard to understand and  this person’s needs and wants. They focused on building trusting relationships. Getting to know the person enabled the team to put in place a comprehensive support and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) plan.

This person now has a more meaningful life than before she moved in. She is meaningfully engaged and enjoying her time with the support team and new friends. The person is able to express herself more positively and safely.

A parent’s view

A parent explains: “Our daughter was experiencing aggression from a new person in the home. This was dealt with speedily and impressively. Communication was transparent, the needs of both were taken into account and support sought from other agencies. Senior support team members implemented a consistent plan for the team to follow and supported them through difficulties. The situation has been resolved, both people supported have an equitable relationship and our daughter feels safe. It was a complex situation, only solved through dedicated teamwork and a determination to support both people with a ‘can do’ attitude.”

Renovation requirements

Keeping the impact of the wide-ranging building works to a minimum, team members supported people to prepare for the changes. At times rooms became ‘out of bounds’, and the work took several months to complete. Undeterred, they made best use of the areas still available, planned fun outings and timed holidays, providing positive opportunities. The household coped well with the disruption, thanks to an uncompromising attitude to ensure high standards, fun and safety.

Health scares

Prompt action in noticing one person’s decline in health meant he was admitted to hospital and back home after just a few days in what could have been a life-threatening situation. Another person, recently diagnosed with epilepsy, has been supported through seizures, hospital appointments and tests. Although very scary for her, she now has the correct treatment and diagnosis.

The team also supported a family when their loved one was diagnosed with cancer. She was very scared and didn’t fully understand. Team members tirelessly researched the best ways to explain the diagnosis and what could happen next. Amazing news of being in remission had a knock on affect with other health needs, requiring surgery. Jolene requested that the team take over with all support needs in the hospital and arranged extra funding. This allowed her mother to enjoy the good moments rather than the challenging ones. Whilst hard for the team, it meant that the mother could ‘visit as a mother and give her all the love I could’.

Small changes, big impact

Around these major events, life continued as usual at Alderton House. Individual and group activities take place based on interests and needs, for example trips to the cinema and inclusive bike club. These enable people supported to have new experiences and develop new skills.

The views of everyone – people supported, team members and family – are valued and team work ensures a stimulating and appropriately challenging life for people who live at the  home.

When changes arise, the team finds solutions. They arranged to do more cooking with a young lady whose cooking lessons at college stopped. They also succeeded in supporting her to lose weight and be more active. She now has regular walks and weekly trips with another person to a local farm. To help alleviate her scoliosis they arranged weekly swimming sessions.

Team members have also broadened a young man’s social experiences, identifying a new monthly disco club which he thoroughly enjoys.

The excellent work has received glowing praise from family members and the local authority.


About Team of the year award

At our 2024 Heroes Awards, Alderton House won the Team of the year award, with nominations from team members and family members.

Team of the year recognises the frontline support or central support team that can best demonstrate a shared vision, agreed goals and outstanding outcomes for people over the last 12 months. ​Judges were looking for evidence of teams that have made a huge contribution to enabling people we support to live happy, healthy, and meaningful lives demonstrating our values of being brave, having fun, making things happen and valuing everyone.​

Jolene said: “We are all very delighted to win this award. My team and I have worked extremely hard to support those who live at Alderton House and their families through some challenging times.

“I believe the team have done an amazing job throughout, and proved why they joined the care sector – to support people that truly need it and to help them live a full and meaningful life.

“I truly cannot be any prouder than I am of them, and very thankful to be their manager.