We are extremely proud to announce that Lisieux Trust resident, Janet, has completed a Marathon!

Starting on 1 June 2021, Janet committed to pacing steps towards the 26.2 mile mark around her Care Home. With Janet’s disability reducing her mobility, she made the decision to complete the course in small daily stints.

With Janet’s mobility in mind, the challenge was gruelling for Janet, but each day she woke up, determined to reach her goal.

On 30 June 201, Janet took her final step over the finishing line; cheered on by her Support Workers and fellow residents.

Janet had dreamed of completing a Marathon for a very long time. She brought the idea to her Key Worker, Emma McEvilly, who helped Janet to come up with a plan to achieve this goal.

Both understood that the achievement wouldn’t come without its challenges, but they were driven by Janet’s unwavering motivation to make her Mum proud.

Janet completed the marathon for her Mother, who has Dementia. She took on the challenge to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Society; a cause very close to her heart.

Janet had hoped to raise £500 for the charity. However, touching many with her story and commitment, she has so far managed to raise a huge £1,065.

To celebrate her fantastic achievement, Janet was awarded a certificate and medal from the Lisieux Trust team. Alzheimer’s Society further gifted Janet with two t-shirts and a medal for her support, which Janet has loved wearing.

It is hoped that in the coming weeks, the achievement will be properly celebrated with a garden party within Lisieux Trust.

Speaking of her achievement, Janet said: “I am really proud of myself.  I’ve always wanted to do a Marathon. Now, I’m thinking about what to do next!”

To contribute to Janet’s fundraiser, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-wakeham

 

 

 

A parent from within the Lisieux Trust community has completed a Captain Tom Challenge to raise funds for Lisieux Trust.

Bob Bright, father of a Lisieux Trust tenant, committed to fundraising by taking on a golf challenge.

He set out to chip 100 golf balls into a bucket from 10 metres away, and invited sponsors to guess how long it would take for him to achieve this goal.

The inspiration came after Bob had seen a TV clip of Captain Tom’s daughter, welcoming Brits to take part in a fundraising challenge. He saw this as an opportunity to support the organisation looking after his son.

Having experienced some hiccups during his training, peers appeared to show little faith in Bob’s abilities.

He said: “I found straight away that any balls that went into the bucket bounced straight out.

“I sent out mails to friends, relatives, and to many playing colleagues at Wishaw Golf Club. The response was great; although some had very little faith in my chipping ability.

“Time predictions varied from two hours and 48 minutes, through to 18 hours and 46 minutes.”

Wanting to perfect his swing, Bob sought support from a golf professional.

Bob said: “I have golf lessons at Lea Marston. Ben Challis changed my chipping technique and this improved my success rate enormously.”

On Saturday 1 May at 1000 hours, Bob started his challenge.

He said: “My better-half, Helen, had gone shopping and when she got back, she looked in the bucket and reckoned there was 100 in the bucket already.

“I stopped the clock and we started counting.

“There were 110 balls in the bucket!”

Despite predictions from his peers expecting a lengthy battle, Bob managed to complete his feat in just one hour and 40 minutes.

Thanks to Bob’s fantastic efforts, he managed to raise £500 for Lisieux Trust, which has been gratefully received. It is expected to be used towards an exciting activity for Lisieux Trust residents and tenants.

To find out more about how you can donate to Lisieux Trust, please visit www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/donate. For more information on fundraising for us, head to www.lisieuxtrust.org.uk/fundraising.

 

 

 

 

 

Following months of restrictions, it is with great delight that we were able to recommence Lisieux Trust’s Gardening Club this month.

 

The Club – which convenes weekly on a Friday – is responsible for the ongoing transformation of the Head Office garden, which has seen the previously untouched land being turned into a fruitful allotment.

 

 

The former pram shed is being converted into a beautiful pergola.

 

This year, the project will centre around converting an old pram shed into a beautiful, cosy pergola. It is expected to be enjoyed by residents, tenants, employees, and visitors during the summer sunshine.

 

The garden project began in June 2020, but as a result of the series of lockdown measures implemented across the country, activities were forced to a halt in October 2020.

 

Speaking of the decision to reinstate the club, Keith Latham, Groundsman and session leader, said: “It has been fantastic seeing the guys on a Friday again. The response has been positive overall, with everyone having fun, working together on the project.

 

“It’s great that the guys are outdoors again; it has brought back a sense of normality after spending a lot of time stuck at home.”

 

Residents and tenants have enjoyed being back in the outdoors

 

With some regular day activities and classes still yet to resume, the reinstatement of the Club has been met positively among our learning disabled and autistic community. For those who have been shielding for much of the year, the Garden Project has acted as a first move towards resuming an essence of routine and normality.

 

Updates on the progress of our Garden Project can be seen online, with regular photos being uploaded onto Lisieux Trust’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

 

We are delighted to share the news that all Lisieux Trust residents and tenants have now received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

On Thursday 15 April, JN, a tenant within our supported living projects, was the last of our people to receive their jab. He was supported by Registered Manager, John Gillon, to attend his appointment in Sutton Coldfield, making him the final service user within the organisation to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Speaking of his experience, JN said: “I feel good, and I am happy.”

 

The roll out of vaccinations within Lisieux Trust began on 9 January 2021, marking a 15-week timeframe from the first individual being vaccinated, until the last.

 

Until March 2021, autistic individuals, and individuals with a learning disability, were not considered a priority for the Covid vaccine; despite data suggesting that they were at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus. Following a widespread appeal to the Government, with Radio presenter Jo Wiley providing a high-profile face alongside the cause, the learning-disabled and autistic communities’ positions were reviewed.

 

Subsequently, autistic people and people with a learning disability were urged to come forward for the vaccination as soon as possible.

 

Although fears have mounted over the possible side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine, we’re happy to report that Lisieux Trust residents and tenants have responded well to the jab; with no serious aftereffects having been presented.

 

Commenting on her experience, resident, MCo, said: “It is the only jab that I have had that did not hurt. I hope I can go back to Ebrook soon, as I have had two jabs.”

 

With lockdown restrictions having eased further on 12 April, more Lisieux Trust residents and tenants now feel empowered to return to their usual activities and placements. Day centres, such as Ebrook Resource Centre, are expected to reopen their doors to welcome back people with a learning disability or autism in and around Sutton Coldfield.

 

Following a year of grave uncertainty, and change in routine, this prospect has been met with excitement from residents, tenants, and employees alike.

 

Commenting on the news, Jess Alsop-Greenacre, CEO of Lisieux Trust, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that all of our tenants and residents have now received at least the first of the two COVID-19 vaccinations. This is instrumental in helping to ensure that they stay safe and well during this pandemic.

 

“I have been so impressed by the commitment and bravery shown by residents and tenants during this process; especially from those who find injections daunting.”

 

To keep up to date with the fantastic things residents and tenants are getting up to, please follow Lisieux Trust on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

This month, we welcomed David Gill to our management team. He has joined the organisation as Deputy Manager, and will be supporting Mary Heap at our Francis House residential care home. We caught up with David to find out a bit more about him and what he hopes to achieve with us.

 

Welcome to Lisieux Trust, David! What does your new role entail?

I will be supporting residents, and the day-to-day running of Francis House.

Where have you joined Lisieux Trust from?

Before joining Lisieux Trust, I had been working for Precious Homes as a Team Leader.

Do you have any industry awards/certifications?

Yes – I was nominated for an award at the Great British Care Awards.

How did you first get involved with the learning disabilities and autism sector? 

I found a job opportunity as a Support Worker whilst looking for something I could do that was important. I wanted a role somewhere I could potentially make a difference and do some good. 

What do you like most about working in the care industry?

It is an honour. Some people in the industry are inspirational.  They’re heroes.

What was your first impression of Lisieux Trust?

Everyone is very friendly! I feel as though I have found a company whose ideals match with mine. 

I get the impression Lisieux Trust is serious about the care provided and the way employees are treated. 

What has surprised you most about working with Lisieux Trust so far?

Everyone seems to know everyone!

What are you enjoying most about being at Lisieux Trust so far?

The staff are very knowledgeable and excellent at what they do.

What are some exciting plans you’ve got in the pipeline?

I love activity planning and I hope to open the people we support up to new experiences. I especially want to encourage our residents to stay active during this pandemic, which is an exciting challenge. 

If you could give residents and tenants any piece of advice, what would it be?

Get yourself out there – there’s a lot of beautiful things in the world to see and experience, and nothing should hold any of us back from those things. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy watching football, playing video games, walking, listening to music, going to gigs, and travelling.

What football team do you support?

Aston Villa UTV!

What is on your bucket list?

I’d really like to do a tour of Europe.

 

This month, we welcomed Mikey Gavin to the Lisieux Trust team. He has joined us as a Deputy Supported Living Manager. Mikey brings over three years’ worth of care experience and knowledge, and we’re certainly looking forward to seeing some of the plans he has in store for the organisation.

We caught up with Mikey for a quick chat to learn a little bit more about him, his background, and what he has got planned in the pipeline.

 

Welcome to Lisieux Trust, Mikey! What will your new responsibilities include?

At the moment, I’m focussing on supporting our current Supported Living Manager, Brendan Griffith, all the tenants in supported living and all the supported living staff.

Where did you work before you joined us?

I had been working for another care provider for the last three years. I joined as a support worker, and was promoted to a team leader within 9 months. 11 months later, I was made a deputy manager.

That was my first role in the care industry. Before that, I was working in construction, which was completely different!

What drew you towards the world of learning disabilities and autism?

I have a nephew with autism; he helped me to learn a lot more about what autism is, and what people with autism need. When I first started working in the industry, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, though. My nephew has never really presented challenging behaviours, so that was something I had to learn to understand and manage.

What do you like most about working in the care industry?

The residents and tenants, definitely! They always know how to cheer me up. If I ever start a shift in a bad mood, I can always guarantee I’ll leave in a good mood.

What was your first impression of Lisieux Trust?

It’s like a family! Like one big family, where everyone supports each other. It’s great.

What has surprised you most about working at Lisieux Trust so far?

How close everyone is! I’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s great how everyone knows each other; tenants and residents know each other, even though they live in different houses. There’s a good sense of community amongst everyone in the Trust.

I’ve also been really surprised by how long many of the staff have worked here. Some have been here for years and years, which really says a lot about the organisation!

What are you enjoying about your role so far?

I’m really enjoying just joining the environment. It’s a great place to be. I had my first sleep-in shift last

week, and it was really nice. It felt like I was just spending an evening with family.

What exciting plans have you got in the pipeline?

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with revitalising our PBS (positive behaviour support). I have tonnes of experience with them, and think I can really help.

If you could give our residents and tenants one piece of wisdom, what would it be?

Keep doing what makes you happy!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m interested in sports, music, and all the typical things!

Lastly, what’s on your bucket list?

Make a bucket list! I don’t actually have one, but I think I should probably make one soon.

 

Lisieux Trust has officially closed its doors to the public. The Erdington-based Disability Information and Resource Centre had halted operations in March, in line with the Government’s coronavirus guidelines. Now, management has made the tough decision to keep the centre on Marsh Lane closed permanently.

Known locally as the DIRC, the centre opened over 13 years ago – an occasion attended by Sutton Coldfield’s former Lord Mayor, John Hood, and the late Lady Mayoress, Jean Hood – and has since been providing invaluable support services to people with disabilities and their families and carers. Clients of the centre relied on staff and volunteers to provide information and advice about disability-related benefits, and support with form-filling, finances, and IT skills, amongst other services. This support helped to equip people with disabilities with the knowledge and confidence to live more independently.

The decision comes after a series of fundraising efforts to help keep the centre running proved unsuccessful. Commenting, Jess Alsop-Greenacre, CEO at Lisieux Trust, said: “The decision to close the Disability Information and Resource Centre isn’t one we’ve made lightly.

“Over the 13 years of operating, we’ve welcomed over 5,000 people through our doors.  We’re all tremendously proud to have witnessed so many of our clients rightfully claiming their independence.”

The centre was originally born in 2006, following a cash influx, courtesy of a grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The charity was awarded £166,000 to help get the Disability Information and Resource Centre up and running.

Jess continues: “The DIRC was initially awarded two years’ worth of funding. Following this, we were fortunate enough to secure further financial backing from other funding organisations, which has been instrumental in allowing us to operate for as long as we have.

“Unfortunately, as the latest of our funding drew to its end, we were unsuccessful in securing further backing that would allow us to continue providing our DIRC services.  For the last two years, we’ve been relying on our reserves to keep our doors open. As a not-for-profit organisation these reserves are limited, and we’re no longer in a position where this solution can continue to be viable.

“If we continue to use up our reserves, we risk threatening the quality of the other services we provide for people with learning disabilities, which is not something we’re willing to gamble on. It’s in our absolute best interest to redirect these resources to maintain the high-quality residential care and supported living services that we provide.

“We know the closure of the centre might concern some of the clients who visit it regularly. We’re already living through worrying times, and we don’t wish to add any further stress to those already experiencing vulnerabilities. As such, we’ve put provisions in place to help signpost service users to other local organisations that can help.

“We would urge anyone who’s worried about this decision to get in touch with us, so we can help point them in the right direction.”