Naomi Dent was nominated by her Manager Claire McCabe from our Durham services for her work supporting Clients with submitting some artwork for the St Anne’s Art Competition.
In her nomination Naomi’s Manager explained that the clients who are People with Learning Disabilities are very complex and would not have been able to independently submit an entry. Naomi took it upon herself to plan and create an entry to the competition. Using recyclable material from home Naomi built a tree of inclusion which had detachable leaves so staff at the service could write a personal note on about what care means to them and the clients at Marwood park. Naomi hand crafted wooden hands and joined them all around the roots of the tree, this represented the inclusion that so represents the service at Marwood park. Naomi brought the tree to the service and the staff on duty supported each client to decorate an individual hand. Staff at the service then wrote messages on the leaves and they were then attached to the tree.
The tree was sent to Leeds and the service received a lovely certificate for their entry. The tree has since been moved to head office and it sits in the entrance of head office for all to see. There has been a great deal of feedback from people who have seen the tree and especially the meaning behind it.
When Claire asked Naomi if she could take a photo of her with the tree, Naomi kindly declined saying “it’s our tree of inclusion, not mine”. Claire thought this was very apt and shows that Naomi does value everyone’s input as a joint effort, she didn’t want the tree to be hers but to enjoyed by everyone.
I felt that Naomi had shown fantastic person-centred approach, getting everyone involved to promote inclusion within St Anne’s. Naomi showed dignity and respect to the clients, involving them as much as they were able to get involved in the project. Involving the most complex of our Clients and those with the most difficulty communicating is one of the most challenging aspects of the work we undertake at St Anne’s. I was touched by both the level of involvement; the way everyone was inspired to join in, the impact the tree had at the Art Competition – it’s quite beautiful – and the continued joy it brings to visitors to St Anne’s. For this reason I was very pleased to be able to present Naomi with an award for Employee of the Month.