Flag’s at the ready, it’s competition time in the North and Wales
At Consensus, two of our core values are ambition and imagination – something we aim to embody in everything we do. The people we support, who have learning disabilities, autism and additional complex needs including Prader-Willi Syndrome, are shining examples of creativity and inspiration, something they proved once again with a regional flag designing competition held in some of our residential, supported living and day services in the North.
Regional Director for the North and Wales Katy Preedy says, “I believe in creating a culture of support and inclusion, so we are always looking for ways to connect with each other despite the miles between us.”
In the past, Katy and her team have come up with many initiatives to get our services in the North and Wales working together and engaging with one another. Their latest idea was inviting the people who live and work at each of our services to use their creativity and artistic freedom to express themselves and make a statement about the things that make them happy, the things that make them feel at home and the things that make them unique. It’s safe to say, we were all blown away by the submissions!
Ashbury House – Magor, Caldicot
This amazing flag proudly waves the colours of disabled pride, with their home at the centre. This flag definitely makes a strong statement. At Consensus we pride ourselves on creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all the people we support as well as team members and visitors where they can fully embrace and express themselves in all aspects of their identities. Service Manager Chris says, “The inspiration for our flag was the people we support. Jackie and I, one of the people who lives at Ashbury House, put our heads together to come up with a design. Jackie wanted each of the people we support to be represented on the flag and she wanted something that was similar to the ‘Pride flags’ as she thought they were really pretty. We therefore came up with coloured lightning bolts for each of the people we support that represented the colour of their bedrooms. Jackie also wanted a badge/symbol in the centre of the flag – so I came up with the shape of a ‘house’ with the letter ‘A’ over it to represent our home, Ashbury House.”
Cheshire House – Cheshire, Midlands
This flag is full of fun and colour – featuring some of the things that bring the people we support at Cheshire House happiness and pleasure. From Doctor Who, trains, unicorns and puppies, Cheshire House are definitely diverse and individual in their interests.
Supported Living Service in Westhoughton, Bolton
This tie dye masterpiece is inspirational – showing the progress and milestones of five years of living independently with support from Consensus’s community support team. DE, who designed this flag said, “My inspiration was my success and my journey with Consensus, it was a celebration of all my adventures along the way.” Forensic Lead and Operational Manager in the Northwest, Selina Wain also commented, “This really is a show of everything DE has achieved and makes such an important statement.” Well done DE!
Kingarth – Radcliffe, Manchester
The people we support at Kingarth are not shy when it comes to creativity and utilising their art skills and this flag says it all. Bold, vibrant, colourful – just like the people who made it! This flag makes a loud statement that is full of fun.
Leofric Villa – Wednesbury, Sandwell
Leofric Villa impressed us all with beautiful calligraphy and design, along with the inclusion of some brilliant drawings of their favoruite characters, animals and hobbies! Operational Manager for the Northwest John Eden says, ”The flag is so complex, there was so much time and effort that had gone into making the designs and it’s clear how much everyone loved getting involved and making a statement.”
Supported Living Service in Carmarthen, Wales
This flag was all about love – and we definitely loved it! It was amazing to see the joy and happiness that went into designing this rainbow-themed flag.
Main Road – Shrewsbury, Shropshire
This entry was truly a ray of sunshine – we loved seeing every person we support at Main Road included in the design of the flag and seeing all of their favourite things floating around in the clouds! Operational Manager for the Northwest John Eden says, “Everyone drew the people themselves and traced them onto the flag, so everyone was really involved – we loved seeing the rainbow, it made everyone think of a happy home.”
New Horizons – Magor, Caldicot
Our day centre in Wales, New Horizons, showed us all the things they love to do – and of course, their favourite honorary member, Pete the Peacock! Regional Director Katy Preedy said, “We loved this one because it just showed exactly what people get up to on a daily basis and highlights how much they enjoy being there.”
Parklands – Malpas, Newport
Parklands created a beautiful hand-drawn flag with a family tree that really shows the love and happiness that’s aplenty in the people we support there. Service Manager Liam says, “We wanted to make the flag as personal to Parklands as possible. We thought about ‘who are Parklands?’ and ‘what do people think of and remember when thinking of Parklands?’ The tree in the middle represents Parklands as a whole, as we feel we have a fantastic family environment within the home. The tree represents a family tree and how we continue to grow here at Parklands but keep those close connections with both staff and people we support.”
Pendle Gardens – Barrowford, Lancashire
There’s no arguing that the people we support at Pendle rock! Joanne at Pendle said, “The people we support love all things music, from singing to dancing to karaoke – they love it all! This flag shows our love of music and how this has a strong positive effect on people. Music brings people together from all walks of life.”
Pool Cottage – Magor, Newport
This flag, made by the people who live and work at Pool Cottage, just goes to show that their home is full of love! With a heart right in the centre, we loved seeing all the things that are important to the people who live there and are considered as their ‘Favourite Things’. From love, friendship, laughter, family, home, happiness and of course … dogs! They really know how to make us smile.
Supported Living Service in Farnworth, Bolton
Our supported living service in Farnworth, Bolton definitely impressed everyone with their uniquely interactive sensory flag – with woodwork, stitching and painting aplenty. The people we support said their flag was a representation of all the different hats support workers wear, combined with the interests and loves of the people supported there. Service Manager Naomi says, “The message they were trying to portray is that anything is possible if you work together. Although I’m a new manager and have only worked with the teams across my services a short while, the passion and commitment they put into everything they do is outstanding and that shone through with the amazing flags they all produced. Although not outright winners they were winners in my eyes.”
Supported Living Service in Caerleon, Newport
The name of this service translates from Welsh to English to ‘little hugs’ – and we definitely felt like we’d just received one after seeing their designs. Not only did these artists hand-design each letter individually, but spent time drawing the things they enjoy now they have the support to live independent lives.
And the winner is…
It was almost impossible to choose winners for this competition – largely because every single flag created was as unique as the people that made them, but after a lot of consideration Katy and her team handed out the following prizes:
Overall Winner: Main Road
Most Artistic: Leofric Villa
Most Interactive: Supported Living Service in Farnworth, Bolton
Biggest Impact Statement: Supported Living Service in Westhoughton, Bolton
Best Activities: New Horizons
CEO Paula Keys was very proud to announce the winners and says, “It was a joy to see the creativity, inclusion and fun in the flags designed by our support teams and the people we support.”