An amazing evening, celebrating amazing achievements

July 11, 2022

Our headline sponsorship of the LD & Autism Awards 2022 came to an exciting climax at the Gala Dinner Awards on Friday at ICC, Birmingham – the highlight in the care sector calendar. Celebrating excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and paying tribute to those individuals or organisations who excel in providing quality care, Consensus joined over 700 guests for the glittering event.

With an introductory welcome from Paula Keys, our CEO and Veronica – who resides at Frinton House, the air was full of excitement and anticipation. Paula set the scene by saying how privileged Consensus were to be able to help honour so many inspirational people and celebrate their success. ‘Tonight is about celebrating the people who work in adult social care and the difference they make to people’s lives and quality of life every single day’ said Paula.

Paula and Veronica presenting on stage

Rev Kate Botley, the Celebrity Presenter did an amazing job of keeping the momentum going throughout the night, highlighting the many finalists and presenting trophies to many worthy and exceptional winners on the night.

Rev Kate Botley with the Consensus team

Consensus were delighted to congratulate Liz Smith, Service Manager of The Gables who won the ‘Learning disability Nurse Award’ category and Nicholas Kikabi from Wallace Crescent who received a Highly Commended accolade for the Support Worker (Individual) Award. We are very proud of all our finalists across 11 categories, encompassing our colleagues and the people we support. (Read about our 17 finalists here.)

As sponsors of the ‘Jim Mansell Outstanding Contribution Award’ we were delighted to take to the stage to help present the award to the winner – Anna Kennedy from Anna Kennedy Online, who the judges felt made an amazing commitment not just for the charity she set up for parents, carers and autistic people providing advice and training but the amazing projects she is involved with. These include running a school for 23 years, ‘First Steps’, to help autistic people set up a business, anti-bullying campaigns and instigating innovative ‘flash mobs’ to continually raise awareness. The judges felt her drive and passion are inspirational.

Finally we were delighted to present the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to an individual who has made a long-term outstanding contribution to the lives of people with a learning disability and/or autism and the sector over their lifetime. The proud recipient of this award was Aisling Duffy, CEO of Certitude. Beginning her career as a support worker, Aisling is now CEO, growing the organisation to be a leading not-for-profit provider. Aisling’s influence extends beyond Certitude. Through her role on the Boards of VODG and NDTi, Aisling works to improve support for people with learning disabilities nationally, ensuring the voices of people themselves are heard, respected and, crucially, acted upon.

Eddie Morgan, Chief Operating Office of Consensus was humbled and proud to be the recipient of the Jim Mansell Award in 2021 and said of the event “The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards showcase the very best of the best in our sector. I know how much this recognition means to colleagues and teams who have been nominated, shortlisted and gone on to become finalists and champions in the past. Massive congratulations to all!’

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