learning disability team with service userThe support that staff at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust provide people with learning disabilities has recently been praised at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.

Andrew Birkenshaw, Health Facilitation Nurse and Noel Brown, Support Worker were crowned winners at the highly coveted awards.

The national awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to those individuals who excel in providing high quality care.

Andrew Birkenshaw won the Learning Disability Nurse Award. Judges said: “He enables others to deliver a positive service to benefit the service user. He leads by example, is passionate and full of enthusiasm for his work.”

Andrew received his award from host and TV personality, Christopher Biggins. He said: “Winning this award and to be recognised at such a high level for the work I love is the most amazing feeling in the world. It is something that I will treasure for the rest of my life.”

Noel Brown won the Support Worker Award. Judges said: “Noel has achieved some outstanding work with some of the clients he has supported with his service.”

On winning the award Noel said: “I never expected to win as there are so many dedicated and brilliant people out there doing what they love. It has been an honour to accept the award and be recognised for the work I and my team do.”

Noel also won the Care Trust’s Patient Experience award for thinking outside the box to find creative ways to support people with learning disabilities. Noel has been working with Thomas, to help him overcome his fears of having blood samples taken, so Thomas can use his blood glucose monitoring machine.

At the awards evening guests represented all areas of the learning disability services including inspirational people with a learning disability, charities, private care providers, residential and nursing homes and local authority adult social care departments.

Debra Gilderdale, Interim Director of Operations and Nursing at the Care Trust, said: “Andrew and Noel are both fantastic individuals who alongside their colleagues deliver quality, person centred support and care for people with a learning disability. It’s fantastic that they have both been recognised for going above and beyond the call of duty to support people.”