Emma’s update – July 2021

Why not join us as we highlight some of the many achievements this July, including a meeting with the Secretary of State for Disability…

Dear all,

This past month we were delighted to welcome our new team members from RNID’s Care and Support Services across England and Wales. Achieve together will now be operating RNID’s care and support services, and we welcome onboard many amazing team members who will continue their inspiring work, delivering specialist support for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. I am really looking forward to working with our new team members, and to what the future will bring as we move ahead together. To read more, click here or to view my blog via video signed in British Sign Language (BSL) click here.

Earlier this month, Michael Fullerton, Director of Health and Wellbeing, and I, were invited to a hugely positive and successful meeting with Justin Tomlinson MP, Secretary of State for Disability. The Minister said that he wants to work with Achieve together to raise awareness of disability – specifically influencing the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions to work better together, and also across the Health sector and Local Government. There are a number of areas that we will be following up on in relation to agreed future projects and we will be keeping you up to date on how these take shape in the coming months. Justin posted this Tweet on his account:

Michael Fullerton also presented this month at the virtual International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD). They are the first and only world-wide group dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability. This year’s title was: ‘Enhancing peer & self-advocacy for people with profound and multiple intellectual disabilities’.

Michael spoke about how critical it is to ensure people with profound and multiple learning disabilities are included in peer and self-advocacy work, so their voice is not forgotten or ignored. Michael focused on the use of the PMLD Core & Essential Service Standards to ensure people with profound and multiple learning disabilities can be involved in advocacy work, and offered examples of how that is achieved.

Out and About

People across Achieve together have been enjoying the summer so far, and have been getting involved in a range of exciting activities and initiatives!  Homes around the organisation got involved in watching and supporting the football. In Caerphilly, Philly and Johnny had a great time cheering on Wales, and people at Gordon Avenue joined in the fun by decorating the whole house with flags.

I met Ian from Manor Barn when I was out visiting many of our homes in Shrewsbury, the Wirral and Manchester, meeting teams and many people we support.  Ian was absolutely delighted to get his first mobility car recently. When the car arrived, he wasted no time in deciding where to go first, and headed off to Wales for a picnic. He chose Wales for his first outing as this is somewhere special to him, having taken trips there as a child. Great news Ian!

A reminder about our lovely ‘Achieve in Bloom’ competition: It’s a great opportunity for budding gardeners across our homes to show off their gardening skills, and even win some prizes. Deadline for entries is 23rd August, and you can see the poster here, and submission form here. John from West Bromwich has already been busy growing some new plants, and enjoying developing his gardening skills!  I can confirm from being out and about on many visits that there is some strong competition, I am looking forward to seeing some of the submissions soon.

As part of the Norfolk and Norwich festival this year, Meesons Lodge were thrilled to win an experience for Frozen Light’s limited edition show ‘Something for your Shelter’!  During the show, people we support explored the sensory aspects of nature, followed a poetic journey with a soundtrack, and collected different items found in nature. It truly was an amazing experience for all:

We also celebrated Co-Production Week earlier this month, which is all about achieving together, as one. By creating a positive culture where people we support, carers and professionals alike all work together as equals, we can improve the care we provide. At Achieve together, we are proud to put the people we support at the centre of what we do, and we want to make sure we proactively involve people fully in the decisions we make together as an organisation – and make it easy for them to have their say about how things are done.

You can watch a video made by our Co-Production team and Campaign 4 Change, where they share what the meaning and importance of co-production means to them. Watch it here.

We are looking for people we support who are interested in doing co-production work – where people we support and our teams work together, as equal partners. Here is Co-Production easy read document explaining co-production. If people are interested in joining, please support them to sign up here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CoproductionSignUp

And finally, a huge congratulations to our amazing Health and Wellbeing team!  I am delighted to inform you that their entry for ‘Excellent nurse led support for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities’ has been shortlisted in the ‘Nursing in Social Care’ category, at the Nursing Times Awards 2021. Well done, this is a terrific achievement.

Enjoy the summer sunshine!


All the best,