Autism Excellence award

Published on: Monday, 23-March-2015

Knowsley Council’s Adult Disability Day Service is celebrating after being awarded the Autism Accreditation Excellence Award. 

The Awards seek to recognise schools and services that provide exceptional levels of extra care and effort – and mean that the services Knowsley provides to people with autism are amongst the very best in the country.

Last year, a national panel awarded the Knowsley Adult Disability Day Service Autism Accreditation with commendation status, which is only awarded to services that are ‘innovative and beyond.

Autism accreditation provides an autism-specific quality assurance programme for organisations throughout the UK and across the world.  It provides a seal of quality that gives people peace of mind when choosing a service for themselves or people they care for.

25-year-old Kenny from Kirkby has been using the service for the last few years. His mum Nicky Rennie says the support has lead to a dramatic improvement in his social skills and quality of life.

She said: “Knowsley Adult Disability Services have opened up opportunities for Kenny to learn different skills – things like music therapy and drama, which we’d never have thought of, but which he really enjoys. They have really broadened his horizons and given him a greater sense of independence.

“We’re really pleased with how much his social skills have developed – before he wouldn’t acknowledge visitors in the house at all, now he will say hello and even ask us questions – he constantly surprises me!”

And Nicky agrees that the personal approach which the service has taken to understand the particular needs of each individual service user have given her greater peace of mind.

“When Kenny first started with the service we did a transition folder with him – so that everyone understands Kenny’s specific needs and triggers and we can all work together to support him. It makes an immense difference,” she says.

Knowsley Adult Disability Service supports 280 people with learning and physical disabilities and Autism across seven bases across the borough.  These are based in Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, Kirkby Leisure Centre, The Kirkby Centre, Bewley Drive, Stockbridge Village, Halewood Leisure Centre and Newhutte Neighbourhood Centre.

Over recent years, the service has undergone a major transition, from providing services in traditional day centres to neighbourhood activity bases that are co-located within community and leisure facilities.  The judges for the National Professional’s Conference Awards praised the service for integrating its services into the community.

Cllr Mike Murphy, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, commented “To receive independent recognition for our work is a fantastic achievement.  It reflects the improvements we have made through our modernisation programme, which aims to improve the service, widen the choice for carers, reduce costs for out of borough placements and provide the very best care and support for our vulnerable adults.”

For further information about the Autism Accreditation programme, visit http://www.autism.org.uk/

You can also watch interviews with service users and find out more about what Knowsley Disability Day Services provide by watching the short video on Knowsley Council’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/knowsleycouncil.