Social Care Awards 2020

GHP / Social Care Awards 2020 5 , There are few places more effortlessly joyous thanMK SNAP. It’s a place where people begin the journey of realising their true potential. Those with learning disabilities can struggle with believing in themselves, and this is the gift that MK SNAP imparts. We took a closer look so we could showcase just what it is that changes the lives of somany. Best Learning Disabled Support Service 2020 - Buckinghamshire This Buckinghamshire-based charity has made an enormous impact since being set up over 27 years ago. For more than 60 adults each day of the week, it’s a lifeline, offering a dynamic programme of education, life-skills, work preparation and work opportunities. Every part of the organisation is designed to unlock people’s talents and skills, allowing them to see what they can uniquely offer. Of the 143 learners who are registered with MK SNAP, each is appointed a key worker and has the support of our pastoral care manager. Each learning plan is tailored to meet the needs of each individual. A risk assessment is created for every session. The ratio of staff and volunteer to learners creates a supportive environment to ensure that everyone is able and willing to participate. Sometimes, this means creating the potential for one-to-one support. For the most part, MK SNAP focuses on supporting mental, emotional and physical health with indoor and outdoor activities. All activities are designed to be inclusive and accessible, with sports sessions using modified rules and specialist equipment. Wheelchair users are allowed to use their hands in football, while Kurling equipment is modified for those with low mobility and a ball with a bell inside is used when playing with the visually impaired. Knowing how far people have travelled while at MK SNAP helps to identify where to improve and support change. Currently, the charity uses nine areas of focus which are practical skills, communication and social skills, learning skills, physical health, living skills, friends and relationships, well-being, social responsibility and work readiness. These are scored from 1-10, with 1 as the lowest and evidence of progress in these areas is captured through systematic and efficient collection and recording of information. Jan20055 Those who use MK SNAP enjoy it, and those who work for it appreciate the atmosphere of understanding and listening. Everyone is equally valued and a focus on personal and professional progression is part of the way the organisation is run. Training, mentoring and professional memberships are encouraged and supported by the management; with 89% of staff saying they achieve ‘a good balance between my work and my private life.’ As the social care industry continues to change, MK SNAP is acutely aware of the need to continually evaluate what its aims as a charity are, not only to keep it clear for those in the present, but accounting for the needs of the future. The importance of strategic partnerships cannot be overstated, with all parties working together to identify joint funding opportunities in a challenging financial climate. With the amount of people with complex disabilities in Milton Keynes growing; this is clearly an acute problem. Looking forward, MK SNAP has several projects and goals it would like to undertake. First amongst these is investment in its Changing Places toilet facility. Being able to provide these facilities would mean the charity could make a dramatic difference to those who need access to these facilities to take advantage of what MK SNAP has to offer. With regards to current projects, MK SNAP wants to expand its healthy lifestyle options currently available in the café, encourage more use of its garden space and outdoor classroom and grow the impact of #MKDAD. Additionally, they hope to grow the impact of the annual celebration led by MK SNAP of the contribution that people with learning disabilities make to the city’s sport, art and entertainment culture. With an overarching value of ‘fun’, MK SNAP has made a tremendous impression on those who need a friendly face in an inclusive place. As somewhere to celebrate what everyone brings to the table; there are very few organisations better. It’s this progressive approach that has made it such an incredible success. Contact Details MK SNAP Katie James