Amongst much celebration with friends and family and PCP staff and volunteers Helen Smith was named Options member of the year at the Day Care Service for Adults with learning and physical disabilities annual awards night.
The event, held at Redworth Hall Hotel, is an opportunity to reflect on another successful year for the service and the individual member’s achievements in 2018.
Options, based in the Pioneering Care Centre in Newton Aycliffe, operates five days a week and promotes independence, choice and social inclusion for every member.
The group enjoys days out and weekends away as well as a range of activities including healthy cooking, crafts, learning activities, fitness sessions, music sessions, puzzles and mind games.
All award winners are nominated by the Options members for each category. The members then vote on who to give the award to.
Helen’s peers decided she deserved the award as she is supportive of her colleagues.
If Helen notices someone is feeling sad she is the first one there to try and cheer them up, offering to make a cup of tea, or listen to their worries. These are the qualities that have marked her out amongst her peers and lead to her receiving this recognition.
Being Member of the Year is more than just an award it’s an ambassador role for the Day Service.
Helen will be attending and representing Options at events, the People’s Parliament, and around PCP, and will welcome visitors to the service and support new members to settle.
“I am so thrilled to have won this award and happy to represent Options,” she said.
On the night MP Phil Wilson and Carol Gaskarth, PCP’s chief executive, made the award presentations and after the awards the evening was finished off with a singer, meal and disco and which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
This year’s other winners included Samantha Grimes (gained most confidence), Howard Affleck (most cheerful member), Anthony Bowman (most adventurous member), Danielle Barlow (most sporty member), Keith Dolphin (best chef), Alison Hurworth (best sense of humour), Michael Smallman (kindest member), Keli Selbie (most creative member) and Thomas Oakley (most musical member).
Options co-ordinator Linda West said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported Options this year, your help is invaluable and makes a difference to our members, who as you can appreciate are all winners!
“In particular I’d like to say thank you to our volunteers who help to deliver this service, Baltic Training and GAMP who sponsored the event, Phil Wilson for agreeing to hand out the awards and the team at Sainsbury Cobblers Hall for supporting Options.”
• Pictured above: (Back Row) Phil Wilson MP, Keith Dolphin, Anthony Bowman, Carol Gaskarth Michal Tate; (Middle Row) Helen Smith, Samantha Grimes. (Bottom Row) Phil Thompson.