Tuesday 21st March saw the global celebration of World Down’s Syndrome Day, as a way of raising awareness of Downs Syndrome and empowering the millions of people around the world affected by it.

Around a third of the people we support have Down’s Syndrome, so this is always an important day for Lisieux Trust.

2021 and 2022 saw big leaps in the representation of people with Down’s Syndrome in the public eye. George Webster started presenting on Cbeebies, Ellie Goldstein became the face of Gucci and Adidas and high-street brands in the fashion industry started using models with Down’s Syndrome in their advertising.

We loved seeing this happen and we hope it helps other people with Down’s Syndrome to feel that they are important and valuable members of society.

Every year there is a different theme to the awareness day, with the 2023 theme – ‘With Us Not For Us’ focusing on how people with Down’s Syndrome have the right to make their own decisions about their own lives; rather than other people telling them how they should and shouldn’t live.

We are incredibly passionate about this at Lisieux Trust. We know all too well just how often adults with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities, or autism are told what they should and shouldn’t do by others.

We believe in supporting each adult to understand what their options are and to make choices that they feel comfortable and confident about.

People with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities and autism are often expected to live ‘perfect’ lives where they make no mistakes.

However, adults without disabilities make mistakes or make choices that other people would consider ‘unwise’ everyday; they might shout, swear, sit and eat a whole pack of biscuits in one go, they might go out and have too much to drink, they might date the wrong person, they might take a job that isn’t right for them.

These are the kind of ‘mistakes’ or ‘poor choices’ that teach us about ourselves and life; they can be an invaluable part of learning what is important to us and feeling more confident about how to achieve it.

Yet adults with learning disabilities are often expected to avoid these scenarios because they are considered too ‘risky’.

At Lisieux Trust, we believe everyone we support has the right to make informed choices; our job is to ensure our residents and tenants have as much information as possible about each option open to them and to support them to make their own decisions.

If they turn out to have made a mistake or a poor choice for them; we’re there to help them understand and learn from it. And if they need to be angry, have a cry or need a hug, we’re there for that too! We believe this is what real adult life looks like, and everyone has the right to it.

 

Residential care and supported living at Lisieux Trust

With 11 homes situated across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live together, learn together and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide here – https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/

Supported living allows adult with learning disabilities or autism to live life with greater independence while receiving the extra physical or mental support they need in their day to day lives.

It is a massive part of what we do here at Lisieux Trust. We currently manage eight dedicated supported living properties located across Erdington and Sutton Coldfield.

There are several benefits of choosing supporting living for your loved one and in this blog, our team are going to run through some of the key ones so that you can gain a greater understanding of how it works.

 

Enjoy more independence

Supported living provides the opportunity for your loved one to live a more independent life in their own home, with support tailored to their specific needs.

It is a great option to consider, whether they are leaving their parents’ home, living independently but require more support, or even transitioning from child to adult services.

Our support is personally tailored towards each person. It could be the case that a tenant may be independent enough to only need a short visit from a support worker, or it may be that a tenant needs 24-hour care.

Many of our supported living tenants also have fantastic opportunities to integrate within the community and attend places of work, volunteering roles, and higher education, as well as go out on lots of fun trips around Sutton and Birmingham.

 

A home tailored to their requirements

Each person we support has a tenancy agreement that grants them legal rights over their room in one of our shared properties and awards them the opportunity to have more independence in their lives.

They will be responsible for things like paying bills and the upkeep of their home which will help teach valuable life skills, but also provide a space to relax and call home.

Specialist assistive equipment will be available in each property depending on the individual needs and requirements of the tenants, including call systems, hoists, and automatic doors.

We know it’s really important to be surrounded by people you enjoy spending time with, so we support our tenants by finding suitable housemates with similar lifestyles and interests.

Our supported living homes are also set in the heart of their communities, meaning easy access to local amenities and attractions, along with having transport links close by.

 

The chance to create a home they love

One of the most fun parts of moving into your own home is being able to decorate it to your liking, and it is no different in our supported living properties.

This is another great opportunity for independence and can really help to bring back those home comforts that might be missed from no longer living with family members.

 

Tailored care and support

Whilst we encourage a greater independence for our tenants, we also ensure that any and all required support is always present. This covers lots of different tasks, including personal care, medication, and help managing finances.

Care is tailored to the needs and wishes of each tenant. Each person will receive a detailed assessment before placement to determine the level of support needed.

In some cases, tenants may be highly independent in some areas of life, but more dependent in others. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if that is what a tenant requires.

 

Support from a team of trained support workers

Just like in residential care, our support workers are professionally trained, and their focus is on helping to improve the lives of the people around them, while ensuring that tenants are always treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Personal qualities are also vital for our support workers and team members. When we recruit, we look for candidates who have important qualities such as kindness, honesty, good organisation, reliability, and who are excellent listeners.

 

Discover more about Lisieux Trust

With homes and supported living schemes across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live, learn, and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide on our website at https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/

The end of the year is nearly here, and it brings with it the perfect time for reflection. It’s been a great year for us at Lisieux Trust, mainly thanks to the fantastic efforts of the team who work hard to put smiles on the faces of our tenants and residents every single day.

We love seeing our fantastic team members get the recognition they deserve, and the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards is a great opportunity for this to happen.

Nominations have just opened for the annual awards, which cover both England & Scotland, with the winners announced at a ceremony in Birmingham next summer.

The awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities, looking to honour the individuals or organisations who excel at providing quality care.

With more than 17 different award categories to choose from, there are lots of great opportunities to nominate the members of the Lisieux community that go the extra mile.  If anyone comes to mind, we’d love for you to nominate them via the online entry form.

Many of the awards celebrate the different roles throughout the team, including support workers, managers, and other front-line staff. Special award categories recognise the people who have gone above and beyond, such as the ‘Making a Difference Award’ or the ‘Frontline Leaders Award’.

The full list of categories can be found on the National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards website – https://www.nationalldawards.co.uk/about-the-awards/

Each nomination needs a separate entry accompanied by a short explanation of why this person deserves recognition for the work they do.

Nominations are open until 13th May 2023. More information can be found on the awards website at https://www.nationalldawards.co.uk/

Thank you for your support throughout 2022!

A career in supported living is an extremely rewarding area to work in. As a support worker, you will play a crucial role in supporting and encouraging our tenants and residents.

Supported living is a different form of care that gives the residents and tenants you support the freedom to make lots of their own decisions and lead more fulfilling and independent lives.

Interested in finding out more about supported living? We’ve answered some of the most-asked questions.

 

What is supported living?

Supported living services enable people with learning disabilities, autism and other needs to live happy and fulfilling lives, both independently and safely in their local communities.

When a person goes into supported living, they have their own home with a tenancy agreement and at the same time, receive the support and varied care they need, which can vary from a couple of hours a week to one-to-one support, 24 hours a day.

 

What are the main duties of someone who works in supported living?

No day is the same in a supported living role. It is incredibly varied, challenging and rewarding.

Our support workers are at the heart of everything we do. On a day-to-day basis, you will support those with autism or learning difficulties for different periods of time, and the level of care you provide may change depending on the resident or tenant.

It’s a telling sign of the enjoyment of the job when a team survey found 97% of our employees said they were happy to work for us.

Some days, you may be asked to help with their creative projects, go on trips to see attractions around Sutton and Birmingham, or take part in communal sports activities. On others, you may be responsible for booking health appointments or carrying out important personal care duties.

 

What qualifications do I need to work in supported living?

Our focus is on providing the best support and experience for our tenants and residents. As a result, we focus on personality and transferable skills when adding to the team in support positions.

We look for candidates who are kind, honest, reliable, organised, and good listeners – experience in a care environment is beneficial but not essential.

What we do ask of people, however, is a willingness to work towards a Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care, to ensure that everyone upholds the highest of care standards. On top of this, you will also be subject to an enhanced DBS check as part of the hiring process.

 

Why choose a career in supported living?

There are very few careers out there more rewarding than care, especially supported living. It’s undeniable that it can be hard work at times, but the reward of seeing the tenants and residents happy and thriving far outweighs everything else.

The work you do will directly better the lives of others. You can see first-hand the effects of your care, learn new skills, adapt to any situation, and enjoy developing new professional and personal relationships.

You can help our tenants and residents achieve their goals, dream bigger, and live life to the fullest. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, what’s stopping you?

 

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about a career in supported living, you can learn more on our work for us page and find out if you could be the perfect fit.

Alternatively, you can speak to someone at our Head Office to talk through your options by emailing info@lisieuxtrust.org.uk or calling 0121 377 7071.

At Lisieux Trust, we prioritise the mental health of the Lisieux community, whether that be our team, residents, or tenants.

As part of this commitment, we encourage our team to become certified mental health first aiders, who can provide support to those who need it.

A mental health first aider is trained to be a point of contact for anyone experiencing issues with their mental health or emotional distress. They provide support, ranging from initial conversations to those individuals getting the appropriate help.

Recently 12 members of the Lisieux team undertook a Royal Society for Public Health accredited course to become certified mental health first aiders, which means we now have 17 certified mental health first aiders within the trust.

We hope to increase this number again before the end of the year to around 30 people.

The course covered a range of areas, focusing on factors that can affect a person’s mental well-being and helping the team improve their understanding of mental health.

They worked on practical skills such as spotting triggers and signs of mental health-based issues and how to step in to offer someone in distress the correct support, as well as developing interpersonal skills such as non-judgmental listening.

The group also learnt about how to prepare for emergencies, in a way that best prevents the likelihood of any harm coming to the individual or anyone else.

The feedback was positive. One member of the team who completed the course said: “I thought the training was very in-depth! The materials used were incredibly valuable and the course was well taught. It was one of the best courses I’ve been on. One of the eye-opening exercises we did covered psychosis, and hearing voices in your head, involving a practical exercise with someone talking in your ear while you had a conversation, and it highlighted the difficulties some people face.”

As part of the Lisieux Trust team, we ensure you are supported with continual training and that your skills are kept up to date. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a rewarding role with Lisieux Trust, go to https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/work-for-us/

Finding the right care services for your loved one can sometimes feel like a stressful task, as you focus on ensuring your family member is cared for in the best way.

In this blog, we will look at some of the key considerations you should make before deciding to ensure your choice is informed.

 

Make Sure the Home Provides All the Support they Need

The most important factor to consider when finding a house for your loved ones is ensuring their requirements can be met.

On top of ensuring they receive the right care, tailored support, and comfortable accommodation, you should also consider the opportunities for independence and development.

It is important that residents get opportunities to integrate within the community, build relationships with the people around them, attend places of work, volunteer, learn and take part in regular activities based on their interests.

 

Check if the Home Currently has Vacancies

The earlier you start the search for the right residential home, the better chance you have of finding the perfect place for your loved one.

Talk to the residential home you are interested in about their availability. You can also check the status of vacancies on sites such as ‘CareUK.’

Do not be disheartened at hearing a home is full. You can be placed on the waiting list until there is space to accommodate your loved one.

 

Check Their Website and Speak To Members of the Staff

You can never do enough research when making important decisions about residential care.

We recommend you get multiple perspectives on life at residential homes. Look at the website, check out brochures, speak to someone on the phone and arrange to look around the place.

Finding out about the experiences of existing residents will also help to give you even more insight into the care and support provided.

 

Find Their Most Recent Home Inspection

By checking the CQC website, you can find the most recent home inspection information for any residential home you are interested in, including Lisieux Trust.

It provides an impartial viewpoint on the residence, helping you to understand how they operate.

 

Discover More About Lisieux Trust

With 11 homes and supported living schemes across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live, learn and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide on our website at – https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/

Lisieux Trust are delighted to have been recognised in nine categories at The Great British Care Awards.

Acknowledging the individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence in the care sector, the awards take place annually, with regional events during November ahead of the National Finals in March 2023.

The team attended the West Midlands regional ceremony, which took place at the ICC in Birmingham on Saturday 5th November.

Our Head of Operations, Alison O’Meara was named the winner of the ‘Putting People First’ award for demonstrating an innovative approach to empowering people to have more control over the support they need in their lives.

Alison, who joined the team in January 2020, was also nominated for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Social Care’ award.

The Trust was recognised in the Care Employer category and Kay Everton was up for the ‘Care Home Worker’ award.

Two of our other individual nominations came in the ‘Registered Manager Award’ category, where Mary Heap and Denise Barrett were both nominated.

Mary looks after our Francis House property and has been a key part of the team since 2006, whilst Denise has worked at the Lisieux Trust since 2007 and looks after Lisieux House, Bartres Bungalow and Vesey Road.

Lisieux House was also the focus for our remaining nominations, with Service Manager, Charlotte Atkinson up for the ‘Front-Line Leaders Award’. While Charlotte, Denise, and the rest of the Lisieux House team were nominated for the ‘Care Team Award’.

Speaking about the achievement, Charlotte said: “It was an honour to have been nominated for these awards. I’m happy that so many of the Lisieux Trust team have also been recognised. I get to see first-hand the great work everyone does for our residents and tenants.”

Lisieux Trust are very proud of all the passionate, committed staff that work for them and the excellent support that is given to the residents and tenants. Thank you all.

Discover More About Lisieux Trust

If you’d like to find out more about the support provided at Lisieux Trust, then please call us on 0121 377 7071 or send an email to info@lisieuxtrust.org.uk.

Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate developmental and intellectual disability.

Most people are born with 46 chromosomes. However, someone born with Down’s syndrome will have an extra chromosome. This occurs roughly once in 700 babies.

The care requirements of individuals with the condition vary from person to person, with intellectual and developmental issues varying from mild, moderate or severe.

In this blog, we are going to focus on the support we provide for people with Down’s syndrome and answer some of the key concerns family members may have about how their loved ones may be affected.


How can Lisieux Trust help my loved one become more independent?

Our focus is on supporting adults with learning disabilities to live independent and fulfilled lives. People with Down’s syndrome often live well into their 70’s and 80’s.

Like everyone, the level of physical ability and agility of someone with Down’s syndrome varies from person to person, but there is no aspect of their condition that will impact their ability to take part in regular activities.

Many of our supported living tenants with Down’s syndrome have fantastic opportunities to integrate within the community, attend places of work, volunteering roles, higher education, and take part in regular activities.

We also support adults to develop and build skills in the home, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry.


How do you approach the care of an adult with Down’s syndrome?

Everyone receives a tailored approach to their care. A detailed assessment before placement, to determine the level of support needed because we understand that tenants might be highly independent in some areas of life but require more support in others.


How is the care funded?

In the current cost of living crisis, we understand that it may be a struggle to fund the care of a loved one privately.

Those in our care are often eligible to apply for a range of welfare benefits including housing benefit. These can be used towards help pay for their rent, utilities, groceries and activities. Where required we can provide support to anyone in our care to apply and manage their benefits.

Donations also help enrich the lives of the people in our care. For example, when we receive £15, it can fund a course for a resident or tenant, £30 could help towards nurturing hobbies and £50 helps fund social opportunities for our people.


Residential care at Lisieux Trust

With 11 homes situated across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live together, learn together and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide on our website at – https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/

Meet Samantha. She joined our team of Support Workers in February 2022, and has been thoroughly enjoying her role, working within one of our residential care homes.

 

Here, she provides insight into just what makes her role so fantastic.

 

 

I am a support worker at one of Lisieux Trust’s residential care homes. A support worker role is nothing like an office job; there is no set day-to-day routine. Every day can be different, but with the same goal – to make a positive change in people’s life.

Although I have only been with Lisieux Trust for less than a month, I have felt welcomed and included since the first day of my role. I remember the first day, coming to work, I was nervous and worried about what the role would entail. However, through training and support from the Trust, my managers, and other support workers, my knowledge and skills as a support worker have been growing rapidly day by day.

During a morning shift, I normally start off providing personal care to residents, through verbal prompts or direct support, depending on what the individual needs. After that, some of the staff will help to administer medication while other staff members will start completing different domestic tasks, such as laundry, cleaning, and preparing food. We work as a team to deliver the best support.

The residents have their own schedule every day. Some of them may want to go shopping, some of them may want to go for a walk, and some of them may have work during the day. As a support worker, I will go out with them sometimes.

For example, I may be required to walk a resident to work and pick them up when they finish, due to safety reasons. Other times, we may just go walking around in the neighbourhood. We talk and laugh just like any other people. It may sound ordinary, but it could be enough to make their day.

In my evening shift, we tend to stay in the house at the project I work in. However, it does not mean that there is nothing to do. Sometimes, we do colouring together, we talk about football, about family, or even politics.

At teatime, we prepare meals. Sometimes I provide residents with personal care support as well. As mentioned, it depends on what the residents need. There is always something to do.

Each resident has a different nighttime routine. For instance, some of them like to spend time in their room using their iPad before bed, and some of them may like to spend time in the lounge with others until they want to go to bed.At the house that I am based at, the residents often have a cup of hot chocolate together before bed.

As well as physical support, I do have to complete some paperwork too. These can be daily records about what has happened during the shift, and any other information that other support workers may need to know about what has happened in a resident’s day.

Before I joined Lisieux Trust, I had been a support worker for a year within another organisation. After relocating, and seeing vacancies within Lisieux Trust,I decided to be a support worker again; despite being offered a number of roles outside of care. This is because of the huge sense of job satisfaction I get in this position.

From my perspective, being a support worker is not a job to just support others, but also improve yourself. In this role, you are able to enhance yourself in different aspects, such as communication skills, interpretation skills, confidence and leadership. When you are making a positive difference in people’s lives, you are also making a positive change in yourself.

 

 

So, you’re considering a career in care? Read on…

If you want a job where no two days are the same, then a career in the care sector is worth considering. If you’re looking for a position that is both challenging but incredibly rewarding, then care work may be for you.

To have a fulfilling career in care, you don’t necessarily have to have vast amounts of qualifications or experience; meaning that a care job may be more accessible than you think. Even if you do have experience, every environment and individual is different and will require adapted working styles, so adaptability and resilience are both crucial qualities to possess.

Here, we breakdown just what it takes to be a serious contender for a career in the care industry.

 

Preparation

When it comes to interviewing, of course dressing appropriately and looking the part is important, but most employers will ultimately be impressed with your knowledge of the role.

It is important that, going into the care interview, you understand the roles and responsibilities of the care worker position, as well as the values of the company. Researching this beforehand will allow you to confidently navigate your interview, and will showcase your commitment to the role.

When responding to questions, try to remain relaxed. Practicing your responses to commonly asked questions in preparation for your interview may help with this; allowing you to respond confidently on the day.

Here are some samples of questions that could be asked. However, remember each interviewer is different:

Now, let’s cover some of the more tricky questions.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

In an interview, we are keen to impress, so it is understandable that you may want to list off a dozen strengths to your interviewer. However, still be prepared to have an open conversation about your weaknesses too. An employer wants to see that you can recognise your own areas of personal development, and have a solution for them too.

What qualities can you bring to the job role?

This question is all about you and why you think you’d be ideal for the job role, so, don’t be afraid to really sell yourself! This is what Jo Bongiovi, Head of HR Admin at Lisieux Trust, recommends:

“Transparency and honesty are important qualities to show in an interview, as they are qualities of a good person. I don’t look for any particular personality, but I do look for somebody with a warm energy. I look for somebody that is enthusiastic, and shows they have a passion to work in care.”

Can you give me an example of a time when you have actively participated in a team?

Teamwork is crucial in care. In high pressure situations, it’s important that your colleagues can rely on you, and vice versa. Your ability to work succinctly in a team will ultimately impact the outcomes received by the people in your care.

Good teamwork is formed by different elements such as good communication skills, ideas, support, and efficiency. Giving examples of how you’ve used these elements, or how you would use these elements, will truly show you understand the importance and impact of good teamwork.

Why do you want to work here?

As a care worker, you will be responsible for some of society’s most vulnerable. Your answer to this question will tell the employer a lot about you as a person and your intentions.

Working in care requires a person to be naturally compassionate and caring. Be prepared for the fact that working in care isn’t always glamorous, so pursuing such a role isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Think about all the reasons why you chose to pursue this particular opportunity, and be sure to show that honesty and authenticity during your interview.

 

Knowledge

The two most common questions brought up in a care interview are typically based around legislation and safeguarding. Both are incredibly important things you need to be aware of and understand when working in care.

The care industry is based on lots of ever-changing legislation. These form a standard to ensure that individuals who require support are being supported correctly.

Safeguarding is the action of protecting somebody in a vulnerable group. As a care worker, it will be your responsibility to report and intervene (where safe) any type of harm or abuse directed at the people you support.

Preparing responses that show your understanding of this will truly help to set you apart.

 

Flexibility

Being a care worker isn’t a 9-5 job, as care will always be required outside of office hours. It’s important to be aware that most care roles won’t come with regular shift patterns, and will require you to sometimes work unsociable hours, so flexibility is key.

Your day-to-day duties will differ hugely, and priorities will often change at the drop of the hat. Demonstrating your adaptability is important, as this will evidence your dependability.

Ready to kickstart your care career? If you think you have what it takes to be a successful care worker, visit lisieuxtrust.org.uk/work-for-us to learn more about our current vacancies.