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Mansfield resident wins top Learning Disability award

8 July 2019

A Mansfield resident with learning disabilities and mental health needs is going for gold after scooping a prestigious accolade.

Janice Spencer, Maria Spencer and Liz Wardle celebrate the awards win

Maria Spencer – a resident at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Corner House Care Home in Mansfield – won ‘The People’s Award’ at the England and Scotland regional finals of the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.

The annual awards celebrate individuals and organisations who provide quality care for those with learning disabilities, with ‘The People’s Award’ being presented in recognition of the winner’s personal development.

53-year-old Maria’s journey certainly fits the bill. She arrived at Corner House, which provides care and support for 11 adults with learning difficulties, in 2010, following difficult times through which she had received little support.

At first Maria struggled to form relationships in the home, suffering from extremely low self-esteem. With support and encouragement from staff, her confidence gradually increased and she improved her communication skills and started to make conscientious choices.

In 2018, Maria was given the opportunity to become the home’s activities organiser, which she embraced wholeheartedly. She arranged a Royal Wedding-themed event and has learnt how to take her fellow residents’ needs into account, discussing her plans at house meetings and organising bespoke birthday parties.

Maria will now go forward to the National Finals of the Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards, which takes place in October.

Maria said: “When my name was called out as the winner I just couldn’t believe it. I was so excited! It was a brilliant night. The staff at Corner House provide me with amazing support.”

Jo Hardwick, Sanctuary Supported Living’s local service manager for Corner House, who was also an award finalist on the night, added: “We are all so thrilled for Maria, it’s a fantastic achievement for her. She has really come on leaps and bounds since taking on her role as activities coordinator and is very good at what she does.”

Sanctuary Supported Living’s Operations Director, Sara Keetley, commented: “Maria has done so well, and for her and the team to be acknowledged across the whole of England and Scotland is an outstanding achievement.

“Sanctuary Supported Living prides itself on delivering personalised care for our residents so we’re delighted to see someone we support be recognised for their accomplishments. We were also thrilled that Sanctuary Supported Living as an organisation reached this year’s regional finals for the first time.”

Maria has done so well, and for her and the team to be acknowledged across the whole of England and Scotland is an outstanding achievement.

Sara Keetley, SSL Operation's Director

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