Page 1



„„Service Spotlight

„„TURNING POINT IN ACTION Raising awareness of social care

Derby Supported Living

„„Improving Communication in Derby

„„Your Say Letters to the Editor

Don’t miss...

„„Poet’s Corner

It’s good to be me

„„Awards Time Extraordinary Person of the Month



elcome to the Winter edition of The Link. A Happy New Year to you all, albeit a bit late!

With this edition focusing on Derby it is great to see people we support having wonderful experiences. Roger certainly has had a great time and reading all his antics brought a smile to my face. Looking at the work we are doing with people’s communication needs reminds me what good support should look like and never to underestimate the power staff have to support people’s growth and ambition for themselves. 2014 see’s the start of some new initiatives that we are progressing here in Turning Point. We have been looking at our care planning and have developed new style plans that will encompass more areas and be more person centred. These are now in services and will be used when next refreshing them, so hopefully you will be involved in this when the time comes. We are also looking to instigate Personalised Technology throughout the regions and kick started this with a one day workshop for a variety of staff from across the country. Personalised Technology helps people to communicate more effectively, for instance Talking Books, Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA’s) and cause and effect switches. January also sees the start of my new head of Operations Andy Callow. He starts at the end of the month and it will be great to have him on board with all his experience. He is a qualified learning disability nurse and has worked in learning disabilities all his working life. Watch out for the next edition of The Link where we will do a mini interview with him. The results of the Involvement of Family Carer’s Survey are also in this edition for you to read. I hope you enjoy this edition of The Link. Best Wishes,

Fiona Ritchie Managing Director Learning Disabilities Turning Point


The Link

Contents In this issue Poet’s Corner It’s good to be me


Your Say


Letters to the editor

Awards Time Extraordinary Person of the Month

Family Carer’s Survey

The results are in

Service Spotlight


Derby Supported Living

6 7 8

Improving Communication in Derby




Fiona Ritchie visits Belarus

Turning Point In Action Raising Awareness of Social Care




On the cover Kathleen Evans: January’s Extraordinary Person of the Month, Rix House, Bradford.


Poet’s corner

It’s good to be me Joyce Austen, who is supported at Alfred Deller Court in Kent tells the tale of her recent holiday to Disney Land Paris. I got to Ashford station the train was late So I brought some food that filled my plate I looked at posters of Mickey Mouse on the wall Oh! The trains coming we just got the call.

We arrived at Disney, rushed into the park The fireworks and show, went on until dark I went back to the hotel and sat in the bar

joyce looking glamorous on holiday

I had a pint of Guinness, oooh la la.

Oh my goodness, I had a wonderful time I can’t begin to tell you, the magic was sublime People were kind and I had a brilliant room The fireworks and show have made my head swoon.

I had a manicure that really went well I had a character lunch at the Disney Hotel The rainforest café had lots of animals to see Well I’ll tell you this, I’m so glad I’m me.


The Link

Letters to the Editor

If you work at Sheldon as a carer or a nurse We would like to sing your praises in poetry and verse.

Last time I compared you to angels, the ones without wings For giving love and caring and all those precious things.

Nothing’s too much trouble, always given with a smile There’s nothing to compare you for many a country mile.

Dedication is your key word no matter how hard the task For a better team of carers no one could ever ask.

So thank you all at Sheldon you’re held in high esteem We really could not wish for a more devoted team

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year May all your lives be happy and full of seasons cheer

Thank you! Andrew and Peter

From Peter Bridger and his son is Andrew Bridger who lives at Sheldon Ridge, Bradford


Awa rd s time

The past few months have seen some great achievements from the people we support.

Extraordinary Person of the Month In December, The Extraordinary Person of the Month Award went to Anna Hopkins, who lives at Ramsgate Road in Kent. Anna won the award for being extremely brave and holding a huge spider on a trip to Wingham Wildlife Park. Well done Anna!

Anna Hopkins

January’s award went to Kathleen Evans who has lived at Rix House in Bradford for nearly six years. A year ago she was asked to join the Bradford People’s Parliament. She agreed to go along to see whether she liked it and she’s never looked back. From being a very shy person she has become not only a leading light in the Parliament, but also participates in induction courses for new staff by talking to them about what she likes and what makes a good Support Worker. Although Kathleen gets very nervous about doing the induction training, she always does a good job and has fun on the day; the new staff really enjoy her presentations. Kathleen’s confidence has built up so much that Kathleen Evans she is now readily getting involved in training to help her in her role on the People’s Parliament and at Rix House she answers the phone on two days a week, she greets callers and finds the right person to speak to them. Everyone who knows Kathleen has been thrilled to see how confident she has become. Well done Kathleen!

Staff Stars

Turning Point’s Learning Disability Services in Hertfordshire attended the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association Awards ceremony on Friday 29 November. Turning Point was a finalist in two categories, Support Worker of the Year and Best Care Business. In the last edition of The Link we commended Sophia Hawkins, Project Worker at Turning Point in Hertfordshire, for being nominated for Support Worker of the Year.This edition we want to say another big Staff and individuals we support from congratulations as Sophia went on to win the award! Hertfordshire


The Link

Family Carer’s Survey


The results are in

ast year you will remember we sent a survey out asking Family Carers if you would like to be more involved in Turning Point and if so how. We said we would update you on the results so here they are.

Thank you again to all who responded.

Conclusion The survey found that the most common ways family carers are currently involved is through visiting their relative, attending special events and open days and being involved in a carer’s group in their region. The main barriers to involvement were: personal health issues, being the primary care giver for another family member, distance from service where relative lives and time constraints. The majority of people felt that Turning

Point were average at communicating with them. As a way to be involved in the future the ideas of: coming to guest speaker events about carers issues was the most popular followed by becoming a member of a local family carer group and then meeting the board of Turning Point. Fundraising and a say on Turning Point policies were other ideas put forward as a way of being involved. The majority of people had access to transport and said that the best time to be involved was at the weekend, in the afternoon. Most respondents were from Bedfordshire, Northumberland and Wiltshire. Other respondents came from Bradford, Hertfordshire, Kent, Stoke on Trent, and Warwickshire.

Discussion Although time, health, and distance were stated as barriers to involvement there was still some interest in being involved. Moving forward we could look at creating positive learning opportunities for carers which gives them access to information that equips them to make informed choices. We could offer or collaborate with communities to provide family carers with seminars, workshops and information on topics relevant to them. This will also give family carers an opportunity to network with others who attend the event. The workshops in themselves may provide the meeting place for carers to discuss common issues and what matters to them

inadvertently creating a support network. Although seven people stated they would be interested in being part of a local carers group and two people would be interested in organising and chairing these groups a national carers group may not be relevant at this stage taking on board people’s barriers are time and distance, a national group would mean both of these things would be required. We will take on board all your views and start through regional forums where there are enough family carers who want to do something a bit different. Watch this space.

For a copy of the full analysis of the survey please email:


Derby Supp

Derby Learning Disability Services support individuals with autism, commu impairments to lead the best lives they want to lead. Providing personalis own homes and in the community.


Meet , he is 68 and lives in Derby. Roger has recently been on a holiday of a life time; a 10 night Iberian cruise on the Aurora cruise ship supported by Caroline Edwards and Laura Lister Support Worker’s in Derby. Read on to hear what Jolly Roger and his motley crew got up to. 28th and 29th November The night before the cruise we stayed at the Southampton Park Hotel. I liked the room so much so had room service bring up our meals. We were ready to board the ship the next day and we were all very excited. The next morning we were shown to our cabin and we settled in. After a quick safety talk by the crew we got ready for dinner and dined in the Medina Restaurant.

30th November We set about exploring the ship. It was great to be at sea. We spent the day walking on deck, finding our way around and taking it all in. I was pleased to see they had my favourite coffee bar, so I could have a pot of tea, I was starting to feel right at home! The second evening was a Black Tie night; we went to the Captain’s reception in The Crow’s Nest, then after the speeches we all went to dinner.

1st December Today we went on a canal barge for a leisurely tour of La Coruna and took in the sights of Sir John Moore Promenade, The Military and History Museum, The church of San Vincent de Elvina, San Carlos


The Link

Gardens, Gallacho rock and Torre de Hercules. We stopped to have tea and cake at Miradar de san Pedro Restaurant. In this city they have cannons that they fire on a daily basis - this made me chuckle. Later we returned to the ship for lunch and then relaxed until it was time for dinner. Our evening meal was smart dress so I wore a jacket and shirt.

2nd December Today was another day at sea so we listened to music, went for a walk and ended up in the coffee bar so I could have my pot of tea. We relaxed in the afternoon and went to another formal night and had our photo taken by the piano. Don’t I just look like James Bond!

3rd December Today we visited Casablanca, Morocco. We stopped for mint tea and cinnamon pastriesmmmmmm delicious! Here we saw The Minnerette, United

from left to right: Laura Lister, roger and Caroline Edwards

orted Living

unication and behaviour difficulties, physical disabilities and health sed, supported living services across 6 locations, to individuals in their


Square, Mohamed’s 5th Square to mention but a few places. After returning to the ship we relaxed then got ready for a casual night on deck.

4th December Today we went to Gibraltar. On a coach tour we visited The Old Military Fortress, The Gibraltar Rock the Rock Hotel and the Military Tunnels Itinerary.

5th December Today I didn’t fancy the trip planned to Seville so we all relaxed and spent time by the pool sunbathing while the staff on the boat ran around after us (which I loved every minute of)! While on the ship we had a view of Cadiz. After having lunch on the ship we went back to our cabin. We went to listen to a pianist playing classical music before returning to dress up for our evening meal in our smart dress.

6th December We visited Lisbon by coach where we had booked a river cruise. After having a lazy day on the river we went back to the ship and took part in the Sailaway Great British Party. We waved our flags and had a sing song with a refreshing drink.

7th December Today was a sea day. I was pleased as I was tired and kicked back in our cabin where room service bought us our meals. Ahhh this is the life!

8th December We were at sea again today. We walked on the deck watching the waves. We also had to pack today as the ship was going to dock at Southampton for 9am. Casual was the dress code for the evening so all our black tie night outfits, smart wear and our belongings we didn’t need that night were packed in our cases which were picked up and taken to load on trolleys for disembarking in the morning. We went to dinner and then to the cinema before returning to our cabin for our final night.

9th December We had breakfast on the docked ship and then returned back to dry land in Southampton. Having found my sea legs on board, walking on solid ground was a challenge and it took the rest of the day to return home and to get used to the fact that the ground wasn’t moving! What a great trip. All the staff on board were welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. They even changed their Menu to enable me to have my smoked salmon each night. At each destination, my support staff found out more and more about what I like and what I don’t like so we have updated my portfolio when we got back home. So, where next? I would love to go to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights. So watch this space!

To find out more about Roger’s holiday and for further information on how the trip was arranged please get in touch


Welcome Improving communication Derby - Muswell Road Stephen lives at Muswell Road in Derby. Stephen has difficulty communicating with others and although we know that he can say a few words he doesn’t often speak. Stephen used to communicate by loudly vocalising when trying something new. This could often be quite alarming when out in the community where people do not know

Stephen. We have been looking at ways of supporting Stephen to provide him with the skills to communicate in an alternative way which will help him communicate in a more accepted manner in the community and in turn improve his relationships across the board. An activity plan has been developed based on Stephen’s known likes. It was developed with Laura Lister who in addition to working for Turning Pont reads

Activity Plan

Activity: Assist Stephen to decorate a plant pot using any material of his choice.

Justification: This activity allows Stephen to explore his outside environment. After the pot has been decorated Stephen can plant a plant. Although Stephen does not like getting his hands muddy he can be supported to choose his own plant, where he wants his pot to go and to water the plant. Decorating the plant pot allows Stephen to have some control over his outside environment.


The Link

Art Therapy at Derby University. Here is an example of one of the activities in the plan and the desired outcomes of the session. As we started the activity Stephen started vocalising loudly. A few staff worked with him talking and encouraging him to adjust his communication and then continued with the activity. Alongside Stephen’s activity plan we have formed a strategy detailing methods which have been effective in coping with Stephen’s vocal expression. A small number of staff have been using a consistent approach to challenge Stephen when he loudly vocalises. As we have gone along we have shown other staff how we work with Stephen and how effective it is proving to be. We know that Stephen can say a few words and

are encouraging him to use words to help to make choices. If he is unable to say the word we encourage him to try by listening to us saying the desired word then asking him to repeat it. This has evolved into 1 to 1 time with Stephen either in the art room or in the dining room when the house is empty so as to limit distractions for both Stephen and the staff. Stephen now tolerates a full activity of between 20 minutes to an hour depending on what it is. He is also starting to show us that he is enjoying the activities through facial expressions. Stephen has also been enrolled on a communication course with the local Council which he is supported to attend on Wednesday mornings. At the course, they use Makaton. In the past Stephen has only replied to questions

n in Derby using yes and no in Makaton. He is now starting to use verbal communication with staff but as it is still in the early stages, he still needing prompts and support from his staff.

learning about him as we go.

Stephen does not like crowds but now manages to go Stephen’s art work to supermarkets and other By challenging Stephen’s stores. We pick quieter loud vocalising we times to limit the are finding that both Stephen’s stress and are relationships with able to complete the Stephen and staff are activity. improving.

We are learning more about Stephen and his likes and dislikes, which is opening up opportunities for him based on what we are

Stephen can make simple choices and is now starting to initiate small conversations about how he feels using single words such as happy. This is a big step forward and this will hopefully lead to Stephen asking for what he wants enabling his support to be more personalised in the future and having more control over his life.

What is Makaton? Makaton is an approach to teaching communication, language and literacy using combined modes of communication. Speech, sign, facial expressions are all key components of Makaton. It follows spoken word order and those supporting users would always speak and sign at the same time. It enables those people with communication difficulties and their carers to have a shared language of key words around daily living. Using signs and symbols together with speech can prompt people to develop their verbal and literacy skills.

For more information on how Derby are supporting people to improve their communciation skills please contact the Service Manager by emailing


Commentary: Fiona Ritchie


n October I spent a week visiting learning disability and mental health services in Belarus. This all began when Director of the Chernobyl Children’s Project (CCP) Linda Walker brought a delegation from Belarus who Turning Point’s CEO Victor Adebowale and myself met with. I was then invited to see their work in action, along with my husband Lawrence, a Clinical Psychologist. Founded in 1995, CCP provides holidays in the UK for Belarusian children as well as holiday camps, training programmes to improve opportunities for children and young people with disabilities and family homes for children and young people in Belarus. Lawrence and I visited one of these; the Rodni Kut home in


The Link

Above: big smiles and hugs for fiona

Gomel, where I talked to staff about sensory stimulation for one of the residents, Anton, a young boy who is blind and has autism. The set up was similar but yet very different to the UK, the person running the service had actually fostered the four children with profound needs who were living there, supported by extra staff. It felt much more like a family than care setting, with marvellous work being done under very difficult financial conditions. We also visited some of the state-run boarding homes, of which there

are a great number across Belarus, totalling thousands of beds. We had a warm welcome and were treated to a concert performance from the residents, who sometimes benefit from CCP activity projects and summer camps. Still, I felt I had been transported back in time. Much of what I saw I knew the UK was doing 50 years ago: fewer staff, dormitory style bedrooms and a lack of stimulation. The most surprising thing was just how able the individuals were, many of them with very little support could, in my

view, lead active and fulfilled lives in their communities. The other surprise was the lack of a distinction between mental health and learning disability, for instance a young person’s autism diagnosis can become a schizophrenia diagnosis when they turn 18. Meeting with staff in the large psychiatric hospitals, we found that people are admitted for very short periods of up to 30 days and again we saw people who would never have entered UK hospital provision. There was also a lack of infrastructure outside

e visits Belarus the hospitals, with no teams to support people in the community. Culturally it felt like there is still a preference for hospital provision. We heard about the strong medical approach used in all services, with many doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists employed but how there was very little joined up working with the Belarusian social services equivalent. Charity projects are in high demand due to the scarcity of community support, as children grow up and their families want alternative options for them than the boarding homes. In

Minsk I met with Elena Titova from Belapdi, an organisation run for and by family carers, with 61 branches and many hundreds of members across Belarus. She and her team were inspirational and I was humbled to hear about her struggles and lack of state financial support. Belapdi run a short breaks project and a life skills course teaching young people essential daily skills from eating and washing to housework, shopping and managing money. Unfortunately, these projects rely on foreign partners for short-term funding which is running out so many are winding

down. I could see the major differences that these impressive small projects are making to people’s lives and felt disheartened that they were not seen by the state as the way forward. We also attended a roundtable in Minsk with NGOs and government representatives from health, social care and education, organised by the Ministry of Social Protection. We discussed the future for adults with learning disabilities and improving cooperation between the state and NGOs and I talked about the progress the UK has made since our long stay hospital closures. They were keen to hear our views, which the NGOs fully supported, but I felt that the state

representatives are not yet ready to commit to closing the big institutions. By the time we were heading home we were exhausted but had been absolutely blown away by the dedication of the charity staff we had the privilege to meet. I have been left feeling that every minute counts, and wondering how we can support these great schemes to continue as they greatly need and deserve resources to continue their invaluable work. I am delighted to announce that Turning Point staff have decided to hold some fundraising events for the charity to continue their great work. It will be lovely for people with learning disabilities and staff to support people with learning disabilities and staff in Belarus. We shall keep you posted.

For more information about any of the issues mentioned above please email : Fiona at the round table event

or visit


Turning Point in action

Raising Awareness of Soci This time the External Affairs update is focused on the Government’s latest spending and economic plans and the recent Winterbourne View progress report

Autumn Statement tax but electronic monitoring will be used instead Sarah Cameron External Affairs, Advisor Turning Point

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne gave his Autumn Statement to Parliament recently; an update on the Government’s spending and economic plans. Key announcements were: „„

Petrol taxes have been frozen for the next year


Tax discs will be abolished – you will still need to pay


The Link


Train fare increases will be capped for 2014 to be in line with inflation





Economic growth is expected to be 1.4% this year and 2.4% next year


Welfare and pensions


From 2015/16 there will be a transferrable tax allowance for married couples and civil partnerships (only affecting couples where one doesn’t earn over £10,000)


All pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in primary schools will receive free school meals The NHS will be protected from £2 billion more spending cuts that other Government Departments will face The most expensive social housing will be sold off and rundown urban housing will be regenerated.


A cap on total welfare spending – details of this will be set out next year though Jobseekers Allowance and the basis state pension will be exempt £700 million to be invested in the ‘Help to Work’ scheme – the Government’s initiative to get longterm unemployed people who are able to, to work for their benefits from 2014 All Jobseekers Allowance claimants still unemployed after 2 years on the Work Programme will have to undertake intensive activity to improve their employment prospects or put something back into

their community, with sanctions for those who do not comply „„

The state pension age will rise to 68 in the early 2030’s and 69 in the late 2040’s which is quicker than previously planned, while it will rise to 66 in 2020


There will be a priority ‘right to move’ for people in social housing who need to move for employment

Announcements affecting young people „„

Employer National Insurance Contributions will be abolished for employees under the age of 21 from April 2015 (except those earning more than the upper earnings limit)

al Care Winterbourne View progress report




Improved support provided by Jobcentre Plus to 16 and 17 year olds not in education employment or training will help them to find apprenticeships and training, in partnership with local authorities Pilot programmes for 18-21 year olds claiming employment benefits will rollout. From the first day of a claim, training will be mandatory for people without a level 2 qualification in English and Maths After 6 months of a claim all 18-21 year olds will be expected to participate in work experience, training or a community work placement.

The Government also released an update one year after the improvement programme began in response to the Winterbourne View scandal. This looks at progress and the work still to do in: „„

Ensuring people are receiving the right care in the right place


Regulation and inspections


Good practice and advocacy


Information and data


Medication, positive behaviour support and physical interventions




Children and transition

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said he wants progress to accelerate and gave his priorities for the next six months which included: „„

Meet the commitment to ensure that individuals have moved or are moving to settings closer to family by June 2014


Establish robust systems for individuals, their supporters and clinicians to feed into and challenge the initiatives being taken forward


Drive concerted effort to ensure that services are provided to a 21st century standard

The 2013 learning disability census was also published. It gives a ‘snapshot’ of the 3,250 individuals who met its inclusion criteria - with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and/or behaviour that challenges and services they receive as inpatients in NHS or independent services. It found that patterns of care vary enormously across the country and that many people are spending a long time as inpatients - 60% had been inpatients for a year or more while one in six had been inpatients for five years or more. These results clearly show there is still a lot of progress needed to improve standards. The Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme led by the Local Government Association and NHS England work is ongoing locally and nationally, which the external affairs team continues to monitor and influence.


The Link has been designed for you. It’s about you and the people you care about, connecting families and carers of people with a learning disability from around the country. Please tell us what you think and how we can make it better next time.

What is important to you? What you say matters and we want to share your ideas and stories. Tell us more about what you would like to read about.

Get in touch today Tell us what you think by emailing or via post to The Link, Turning Point, Standon House, 21 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AA Letters may be edited. The Link will be distributed quarterly. If you would prefer not to receive it, you can opt out by emailing the address above, or via telephone on 020 7481 6228.

Celebrating 50 years of Turning Point As part of our 50th anniversaire celebrations, marking 50 years of Turning Point delivering health and social care services across the UK, we will be holding a series of events across the year, including some top-notch competitions. These will give everyone involved in Turning Point the chance to reflect on the past 50 years and look forward to the future helping shape the development of Turning Point and of course win some fantastic prizes. To find out more about upcoming competitions and how to enter please email:

Useful Numbers General Turning Point enquiries: Standon House (London)

020 7481 7600 The Exchange (Manchester)

0161 238 5100

Ideas, comments and stories: Claire Moszoro Turning Point

020 7481 6228

Turning Point is a registered charity No. 23454565. Address: Standon House, 21 Mansell Street London, E1 8AA

The Link Winter 2014  
The Link Winter 2014  

Bringing families and carers together